Review: Apple Watch Series 8 will detect a crash and help you conceive

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The Apple Watch Series 8 is the champion mainstream smartwatch you tin buy. This is existent adjacent though it is simply a simply incremental, overmuch much costly update connected past year’s Watch Series 7.

Price: from €499 (41mm); from €539 (45mm)

Pros: caller sensors supply further features

Cons: steep terms emergence connected Series 7, less upgrades than erstwhile years


After a fewer days’ use, it’s wide that the Watch Series 8 is inactive easy the astir accessible, multi-functional and almighty smartwatch presently connected the market. It’s a finely-tuned machine, now, that excels for health, is unmatched for mundane worldly similar payments and is besides much than competent for fitness.

It besides present has the enactment of importantly amended artillery beingness (though it’s inactive comparatively humble astatine 36 hours) done a caller debased powerfulness mode that lets you bash astir of the Watch’s mundane stuff.

Other than the evident regulation of it being iPhone-only, and that still-modest artillery life, the lone existent drawback to the caller exemplary is the huge, inflation-linked terms emergence presently sweeping crossed each of Apple’s products sold successful Europe.

But adjacent so, if you’re an iPhone owner, this is the undisputedly wide prime for an all-purpose smartwatch companion (unless you person €1,000 to driblet connected Apple’s just-announced Watch Ultra, which whitethorn beryllium a small similar overkill for anyone different than utmost sports enthusiasts).


 Adrian Weckler

The redesigned compass connected Apple’s Watch Series 8. Photo: Adrian Weckler

The redesigned compass connected Apple’s Watch Series 8. Photo: Adrian Weckler

That said, what are the existent improvements connected this year’s Watch Series 8 implicit the Series 7?

It chiefly boils down to a fistful of caller sensors, though it besides benefits from different header improvements — similar extended artillery beingness done a caller Low Power mode — that are applicable to astir Apple Watches done the WatchOS 9 bundle upgrade.

The main sensor-led diagnostic upgrade that Watch Series 8 gets implicit immoderate different exemplary is somesthesia sensing. This kicks successful astatine night, taking a wrist somesthesia illustration each 5 seconds. While determination are immoderate wide wellness pointers to beryllium gleaned from this, the biggest imaginable payment whitethorn beryllium to those seeking to way ovulation and menstrual cycles. Although it’s a retrospective measurement tool, the Watch volition commencement to springiness you ovulation estimates aft 2 menstrual cycles.


The Watch Series 8’s somesthesia  sensor allows for menstrual rhythm  tracking

The Watch Series 8’s somesthesia sensor allows for menstrual rhythm tracking

The Watch Series 8’s somesthesia sensor allows for menstrual rhythm tracking

Apple says that the diagnostic tin besides assistance to foretell erstwhile periods volition start, arsenic good arsenic lend to information postulation (you tin make a PDF of your rhythm history) connected what mightiness beryllium an underlying wellness information specified arsenic a thyroid upset oregon fibroids. I don’t ovulate, truthful I couldn’t trial this portion of the somesthesia sensor successful immoderate meaningful way. But it mightiness beryllium utile for those who do, oregon who are progressive successful household planning.

The different main sensor upgrade connected Watch Series 8 is simply a question sensor that gives the Watch the quality to observe a car clang and past study it to exigency services and your ain exigency contacts.


The Watch Series 8 has clang  detection

The Watch Series 8 has clang detection

The Watch Series 8 has clang detection

This happens courtesy of an improved high-g accelerometer (up to 256 g-forces compared to 32 connected erstwhile Apple Watches) and a better, much close gyroscope. The ticker besides uses a fewer different on-board sensors successful this process — the microphone (to measurement for a loud, abrupt sound specified arsenic screeching oregon solid shattering), the GPS (to observe a abrupt abrupt halt successful speed) and the barometer (to grounds an instant alteration successful the car’s compartment unit from the activation of an airbag).

Combined, these strategy elements are said to person the quality to observe erstwhile you person been successful a “severe” car crash, 1 typically that causes superior injury. At that point, the Watch gives you a notification suggesting that “it looks similar you’ve been successful a crash” and proceeds to telephone exigency services unless you pat ‘cancel’.

Once again, this is not thing I tin feasibly test. For its part, Apple says that it has been honed with implicit 1m hours of real-life driving and clang data, arsenic good arsenic controlled test-dummy clang exercises.

While these are the lone 2 main upgrades from the Watch Series 7 (and lone 1 of them — somesthesia sensing — is exclusive to the Watch Series 8; clang detection is besides recently disposable connected the updated, cheaper Watch SE), determination are inactive immoderate different caller features worthy talking about. These mostly travel from the WatchOS 9 that volition use to immoderate Watch aft (but not including) Series 3.

My favourite, so far, is the caller debased powerfulness mode.


Like each  Watches with WatchOS 9, the Watch Series 8 has a caller   debased  powerfulness  mode

Like each Watches with WatchOS 9, the Watch Series 8 has a caller debased powerfulness mode

Like each Watches with WatchOS 9, the Watch Series 8 has a caller debased powerfulness mode

This efficaciously doubles your Watch’s artillery beingness — from conscionable implicit 1 time to astir 2 days — by turning disconnected things similar the bosom complaint and humor oxygen measurements, arsenic good arsenic your Watch’s always-on show (for anyone with a Watch 5, 6, 7 oregon 8; the Watch SE doesn’t person an always-on screen).

Crucially, it inactive lets you bash astir each of the different mundane things you mightiness want, similar payments and playing euphony and navigation; it’s not similar the much utmost ‘power reserve’ mode the Watch offers erstwhile it has astir nary artillery beingness left, which doesn’t springiness you entree to immoderate of the Watch’s features different than the time.

The lone existent compromise I’ve noticed utilizing the debased powerfulness mode is the request to present flick my wrist again to activate the Watch’s display; I person taken the always-on surface for granted arsenic thing discreetly glanceable since it was introduced 3 years ago.

Nevertheless, I tin spot myself utilizing this diagnostic a batch erstwhile travelling. The azygous biggest downside of immoderate Apple Watch remains its comparatively humble artillery beingness compared to astir each different smartwatch successful the market. While the commercialized disconnected is that Apple’s Watch is acold much almighty and blase than others, it’s inactive an irritation to person to complaint it astir each day. This is adjacent much truthful erstwhile 1 of the Watch 8’s cornerstone features is simply a somesthesia sensor designed to enactment astatine night, erstwhile galore radical mightiness people complaint their Watch alongside their iPhone.

There are a fewer different bully small updates from WatchOS 9.

As good arsenic a redesigned Compass, a caller diagnostic called Backtrack lets you usage the Watch’s GPS to people a way arsenic you locomotion it, making it easier to retrace your steps if you request to.


The redesigned compass connected  Apple’s Watch Series 8

The redesigned compass connected Apple’s Watch Series 8

The redesigned compass connected Apple’s Watch Series 8

There are immoderate decent Fitness updates, too, chiefly featuring precocious metrics for runners, but besides including a caller multisport workout that could beryllium utile for triathletes arsenic it tin automatically power betwixt running, swimming and cycling.

And it’s worthy mentioning that immoderate of the modular features connected caller Apple Watch models, similar ECG and ‘fall detection’, are inactive precise useful, charismatic things to person successful your manner wellness arsenal, particularly for older adults.

There are 1 oregon 2 updated features that Watch owners volition lone get if they unrecorded successful countries specified arsenic the US oregon UK. Chief among these is planetary roaming for Apple Watch cellular models. Alas, nary Irish relation yet supports Apple Watch cellular models, an progressively bizarre and archaic scenario. I americium proceeding that Vodafone Ireland whitethorn not beryllium acold from a cellular announcement with Apple, but neither broadside volition corroborate that yet.

The deficiency of cellular connectivity present shuts out the precise practical, useful Family Plan features that let the Watch to beryllium utilized arsenic a communications and information instrumentality betwixt parents and kids.

Meanwhile, Apple’s caller ‘automatic way detection’ feature, which tin automatically observe 400-metre tracks you usage for running, volition besides lone beryllium disposable successful the US.

Like each of Apple’s caller products successful 2022, determination is simply a humongous, inflation-hit terms rise. Last year’s flagship Watch (Series 7) outgo €429 and €479. This twelvemonth it’s €499 and [€539, contempt nary alteration successful US prices from past year. As I’ve explained successful a fig of different Apple reviews, this isn’t a profiteering move, but is purely down to the 15pc illness of the euro against the dollar, which is the currency Apple links its caller products to.

But fixed the arguably slim fig of updates to Watch Series 8, mightiness it beryllium a savvier determination to bargain a Series 7 instead, earlier regular retailers tally retired of stock? Are the upgrades mentioned supra worthy the further €70?

It chiefly depends connected however agelong you deliberation you’ll person your Watch for. Apple Watches are mostly kept for longer than iPhones, which means you whitethorn person it for 5 years oregon more. Apple’s latest bundle update, WatchOS 9, supports lone the past 5 years’ of Watches, backmost to Watch Series 4. That doesn’t mean that Series 3 (and previous) halt working, but it does mean that you don’t get immoderate diagnostic oregon ratio bonuses that travel from the updates.

In different words, if you get the Series 8, you’ll apt get an other twelvemonth of updates, if that means overmuch to you. Other than that, the advantages of the Series 8 implicit the Series 7 are rather marginal and focused successful a fewer circumstantial areas: it would beryllium rather tempting to get a Series 7 exemplary — inactive amended than immoderate different smartwatch for a wide iPhone idiosyncratic — and walk the savings connected a truly bully 2nd strap.

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