Apple brings another iteration of its infamous Watch Series with the eighth iteration of the device. The Watch Series 8 is a minor upgrade over the rather drastically changed Series 7 (at least in terms of its aesthetic.) However, the Series 8 still brings a few new features to the table that can make or break your decision.

With that said, we brought the darkest shade of the Series 8, Midnight, to our office to have a test run, compare it with the Series 7, and see whether the upgrade is worth it and what new features we should be expecting.

Apple Watch Series 8 - Where To Buy It?
9/10 Our Score
9
Activity/Fitness Tracking:10
Navigation:9
Battery Life:7
Contactless Payments:10
Phone Calls/Texts:8
Emergencies:10
Media Control:10
Time:10
Instant Notifications:8
Alarm Clock:8
Home Automation:9
  • Activity / Fitness Tracking: 10
    • An easy 10 over here for the Apple Watch Series 8. You gain access to a highly accurate GPS sensor and a watch that automatically detects workouts with preset templates for different exercises. 
  • Navigation: 9
    • You gain access to both Apple Maps and Google Maps on your Apple Watch. You cannot view the route itself as you can from your phone, but, you do receive real-time notifications thanks to the watch’s GPS allowing you to easily get to where you want to.
  • Battery Life: 7
    • The Apple Watch Series 8 sadly does not bring better battery life. Clocking in at about 24-26 hours of usage including sleep tracking, the newly introduced Low Power Mode does amp the life up to 36 hours. But still, it is nothing special.
  • Contactless Payments: 9
    • Apple Pay’s only getting better with time with more vendors supporting the option. While Apple Pay really needs more support for Asia and the Middle East, the feature still works quite well. 
  • Phone Calls / Texts: 8
    • The Series 8 also comes with a full-size keyboard inherited from the Series 7 that allows you to type in actual text messages. Moreover, you can also place calls using your iPhone’s number and can do so even if your phone isn’t with you if you have a cellular model. The microphone and speakers are both excellent and deliver crisp quality for a smartwatch. 
  • Emergencies: 10
    • The Series 8 takes a leap forward with emergency and security features. First, we have emergency calling, fall detection, atrial fibrillation detection, irregular heartbeat warnings, and now, emergency crash detection as well! So now, your Apple Watch Series 8 will contact emergency services if it detects you’ve been in a car crash.
  • Media Control: 10
    • Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and Apple Music all have used watchOS’s API to deliver excellent media playback controls to the Apple Watch Series 8. Even YouTube videos playing on your iPhone can be paused and played back directly on your watch.
  • Time: 10
    • The Series 8 doesn’t get any new watch faces. But, the Series 7 introduced plenty of new ones alongside watchOS 9 bringing more Modular watch faces to the mix as well. So, while we don’t get new ones, I’m quite happy with what we’ve had so far. 
  • Instant Notifications: 8
    • The Apple Watch Series 8 does instant notifications really well. You are able to have granular control of what particular notifications you want pushed on your watch and can activate Do Not Disturb mode or any Focus mode to be able to quickly change what notifications your watch pumps out.
  • Alarm Clock: 7
    • You can set up an alarm from the Apple Watch itself, use your iPhone, or have Siri set an alarm up for you. In any case, the Apple Watch’s speakers and haptic engine are more than loud enough to wake me up from a deep slumber.
  • Home Automation: 9
    • Apple’s HomeKit has seen great improvement over the years with the API now being more inclusive to others. So, devices have a merrier time connecting to Apple’s ecosystem. And, the Watch has plenty of applications that let you control your Smart Home devices. 

What’s Inside The Box?

  • Apple Watch Series 8
  • Matching Color Band / Loop
  • 1m Magnetic Charger to USB-C Cable (No Charging Adapter Included)

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Security Features: With cash detection, afib detection, irregular heart beat identification, there’s a whole suite of features on the Apple Watch dedicated to your security. So, if you are worried about your safety and health, the Series 8 is a perfect companion.
  • Reusable Bands: It’s been a few years now since we’ve been greeted with the same band mechanism present on the Apple Watch. So, all bands that you did purchase prior are interchangeable with the newer Apple Watch too.
  • Ecosystem: You can transfer calls from your iPhone to your Apple Watch, use your AirPods interchangeably when you are out and about, and have all your Health data sync seamlessly across devices. The ecosystem is truly what drives the Apple Watch Series 8 forward. 

Cons:

  • Same Aesthetic: The Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8 all look similar. In fact, if you don’t look at the model number behind the watches, you won’t be able to decipher the difference.
  • Poor Battery Life: Compared to other smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 8 simply doesn’t compete. The 24-hour battery life is sufficient 
  • Apple Only: Love it or hate it, the Apple Watch Series 8 and all other Apple Watches for that matter only work with iPhones. And as of yet, there’s no chance of them being compatible with Androids. 
  • Body Temperature Sensing: The Series 8 now comes with a body temperature sensor that lets you track your cycle effortlessly. However, it isn’t really usable for men and holds no importance for anyone other than those who are tracking their ovulation cycles.

Apple Watch Series 8 Features:

apple watch series 8 features

The Apple Watch Series 8 comes with an absolute plethora of features that help it stand out amongst the competition and also provide you with a great user experience:

  • Emergency Crash Detection: The Apple Watch Series 8 is able to detect whether you are in a crash or not by using a new g-force accelerometer and a barometer alongside your location. If detected, the Watch is able to notify emergency services of your location and also let your emergency contacts know.
  • Siri: The smart voice assistant, Siri, is present  on the Apple Watch and is now stronger than ever, with yearly updates really increasing the speed of the assistant in carrying out commands. While there aren’t any major increments to the number of capabilities Siri has, they’ve definitely gotten quicker.
  • Attend Calls: The Series 8 keeps the functionality of the Series 7 allowing you to attend calls on your iPhone with ease. Moreover, if you have the Cellular option, you can also place those calls regardless of whether your iPhone is close-by. Call quality remains excellent, and there’s little to complain about unless you have a shoddy internet connection.
  • ECG: With an optical heart sensor located underneath the watch, you are able to conduct an ECG that effectively allows you to identify your heart’s health. The feature (as of yet), isn’t avaialble in every region. However, Apple is adding support to multiple regions with each iteration of watchOS.
  • Music Playback: The Apple Watch integrates with Spotify, Hulu, Pandora and other music-streaming applications like Apple Music letting you control your music right on the fly. You can also use Siri to control playback using the watch’s on-board microphone.
  • Apple App Store: The Apple App Store adds another dimension to what you can do on an Apple Watch seamlessly integrating many of the applications that are already present on your iPhone to your wrist. For instance, you are able to use the Uber application to quickly call an Uber to your location with just a singular tap. Quite convenient if you ask me!
  • Always On Display: The iPhone 14 Pro series has just gotten an Always On Display while the Watch Series has had it for a few years now. In my opinion, it is one of the reasons why you should get an Apple Watch Series 8 instead of an SE 2. It lets you view the time at a glance and feels much more convenient than flicking your wrist constantly.
  • Fast Charging: The Apple Watch Series 8 has the same Fast Charging capabilities as the Series 7 allowing you to get about 8 hours of sleep tracking from just 8-10 minutes of charging from the included charger. The watch itself will charge in about 65 minutes.
  • Sleep Tracking: The Series 8 tracks your REM cycles, Deep Sleep and provides you with detailed and accurate information about your slumber. I’ve used it personally to identify patterns in my sleep, and it has really helped me improve my sleep over time.
  • Body Temperature Sensing: The new body temperature sensor allows the Apple Watch Series 8 to track female cycle data like never before, allowing for more accurate predictions. 

Apple Watch Series 8 vs Series 7

To be honest, it is going to be quite hard for you to find any noticeable differences between the Apple Watch Series 7 and Apple Watch Series 8. With that said, here’s a look at the specifications of both watches versed against each other.

Apple Watch Series 8
  • Size: 41  or 45 mm case with 20% larger screen size than Series 6
  • Display: Retina LTPO OLED (1000 nits)
  • Coating: Stronger Saphire Crystal
  • Always On Display: Yes
  • Connection Types: GPS and GPS + Cellular
  • Processor: S8 SiP (64-bit dual-core) 
  • Input Type: Digital crown + haptic feedback
  • Sensors: Blood oxygen sensor, electrical hear sensor (ECG), third-generation heart sensor, high dynamic range accelerometer 
  • Safety: High and Low Heart Rate Notifiications, Irregular Rhythm Notification, Emergency Crash Detection 
  • Miscellaneous: Crack-resistant front crystal 
  • Water Resistance: 50m (Swimproof)
  • Dust Resistance: IP6X
  • Connectivity: LTE, WiFi and Bluetooth 5.3
  • Speakers: 50% Louder than Series 6
  • Battery Life: 22 hours
  • Capacity: 32 GB
  • Fast Charging: Yes
Apple Watch Series 7
  • Size: 41  or 45 mm case with 20% larger screen size than Series 6
  • Display: Retina LTPO OLED (1000 nits)
  • Coating: Stronger Saphire Crystal
  • Always On Display: Yes
  • Connection Types: GPS and GPS + Cellular
  • Processor: S7 SiP (64-bit dual-core) 
  • Input Type: Digital crown + haptic feedback
  • Sensors: Blood oxygen sensor, electrical hear sensor (ECG), third-generation heart sensor
  • Safety: High and Low Heart Rate Notifiications, Irregular Rhythm Notification
  • Miscellaneous: Crack-resistant front crystal 
  • Water Resistance: 50m (Swimproof)
  • Dust Resistance: IP6X
  • Connectivity: LTE, WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Speakers: 50% Louder than Series 6
  • Battery Life: 18 hours
  • Capacity: 32 GB
  • Fast Charging: Yes

Key Differences

  • Ovulation Tracker: The Watch Series 8 adds a body temperature sensor that lets you track over ovulation cycles. Currently, it also helps provide temperature variation changes when sleeping. Besides that, the sensor doesn’t do much else.
  • Emergency Crash Detection: With a highly dynamic accelerometer, the Apple Watch Series 8 is able to detect when you’ve been in a car crash and is able to alert emergency responders if you don’t respond in a particular time frame.
  • Faster Processor: The S8 is marginally faster than the S8. But, that’s all there is to it. You won’t notice any tangible differences between the two smartwatches when it comes to performance.

Apple Watch Series 8 vs Google Pixel Watch

The Google Pixel Watch is Google’s debut into the smartwatch market. And, quite a reasonable one at that. Google’s acquisition of Fitbit really shines through in the entire watch. We’re greeted with the Google Assistant on the Pixel Watch’s end with a crown, just like the Digital Crown on Apple’s offerings being used.

Both the watches have a suite of heart rate sensors that can sense for atrial fibrillation, conduct an ECG, a temperature sensor and a blood oxygen (SpO2) sensor too. So, both the watches are neck and neck in that regard.

Both watches have a cellular option. This is great as it lets you use the watch untethered and even lets you pick up calls and texts if needed on the fly. The only primary difference is in battery life, where the Google Pixel Watch lasts slightly less from our testing compared to the Google Pixel Watch (about 18 hours) while the Series 8 lasts about 22-24 hours.

In my opinion, both watches are the best that you can purchase for their respective ecosystems. If you have an Android, you won’t really be complaining about how poor the Pixel Watch fares compared to the Series 8 and vice versa. Therefore, I find them to be great choices with the only differentiating factor being whether your phone is an Android or an iPhone. 

Apple Watch Series 8
  • OS: WatchOS
  • Battery Life: 22 hours
  • Compatibility: iOS
  • Phone Calls: Yes
  • Fitness Features: Pedometer, Sleep Tracker, Blood Pressure Monitor, ECG, GPS
  • Shape: Rectangular
  • Dust Resistance: IP6X
  • Case Materials: Recycled Stainless Steel
  • Display: AMOLED
Google Pixel Watch
  • OS: WearOS
  • Battery Life: 18 hours
  • Compatibility: Android
  • Phone Calls: Yes
  • Fitness Features: Pedometer, Sleep Tracker, Blood Pressure Monitor, ECG, GPS
  • Shape: Rounded
  • Dust Resistance: None
  • Case Materials: Aluminum, Stainless Steel
  • Display: LTPO OLED Retina

Who Is The Apple Watch Series 8 For?

The Apple Watch Series 8 is an all-rounder in every sense of the word. Its great for an athlete, an explorer (the Watch Series Ultra might beg to differ), and, is excellent for an individual who just wants notifications on the fly.

If you are deep into the Apple ecosystem and want a device that lasts you throughout the day, has a bright display that you can read in direct sunlight, let’s you take up calls and provides you with essential utility – then, the Apple Watch Series 8 is for you.

If, you can settle with the lack of an Always On Display and a smaller screen, the Apple Watch SE isn’t all that bad either. 

Verdict – Should You Buy The Apple Watch Series 8?

If you have an Apple Watch Series 7, purchasing the Apple Watch Series 8 simply doesn’t make sense. However, if you are upgrading from a Series 6 or a Series 5, the additional screen real estate, better speakers, faster processing speed, and the additional health features, especially with the ECG, make all the difference.

So, no, the Apple Watch Series 8 isn’t a must-buy, even if you are an Apple aficionado. Believe me, I’ve owned almost every Apple Watch out there, and even I’m holding back on upgrading from the Series 7 from this year’s update.

But, for anyone who’s in the market for a new Apple Watch or simply has a very old one, the Series 8 is a worthy successor. 

Check Out What Can You Do With Apple Watch

Founder & Chief Editor | + posts

I bought my first smartwatch in 2018 and have been wearing one ever since. It might get frustrating at times to receive 100 notifications a day. That's why we need to know how to make the best of them and how to use them to improve our daily lives, not the other way around. I write about the newest smartwatches, I create top picks, and I write helpful guides and simply explain complicated things.

Chief Content Creator | + posts

I have been a devout fan of smartwatches and everything tech from the moment I laid my hands on them. From owning every genre of gadgets under the sun to writing about them - my passion for bringing the best ensures I bring out quality content, always.