Apple Watch Series 8 review: Should you upgrade?

Apple debuted a brand new model of its Apple Watch called the ‘Ultra’ at this year’s ‘Far Out’ launch event, and it’s been a big hit. It’s bigger, more powerful, offers better hardware, and is designed with a very special set of users in mind. Another thing that Apple Watch Ultra managed to do is steal the program from the standard Apple Watch Series 8. The new model has some upgrades over the previous Series 7, but not as many as we expected. Is the new Apple Watch Series 8 worth the upgrade, or should you stick with (or upgrade) to? Line 7 instead of?

Apple Watch Series 8 price in India

The Apple Watch Series 8 comes in two case sizes (41mm and 45mm) and two case finishes (aluminum and stainless steel). Another category you need to keep in mind when choosing an Apple Watch is connectivity. Here you can choose between a GPS model or a GPS + cellular model.

Apple Watch Series 8 with 41mm aluminum case starting at Rs. 45,900 for the GPS model and Rs. 55,900 for GPS + cellular model. Series 8 with 45mm aluminum housing is priced at Rs. 48,900 for the GPS model and at Rs. 58,900 for the GPS + cellular model. The Apple Watch Series 8 stainless steel models are only available in GPS+ cellular and cost up to Rs. 74,900 (for the base 41mm case).

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45mm Apple Watch Series 8 GPS + cellular case in Midnight finish with black Sport Band attached

There are several colors to choose from and the same can be said of the watch bands, from simple silicone bands to sturdy steel and premium leather options. I received the Apple Watch Series 8 GPS+ cellular model in Midnight finish with a 45mm aluminum case for this review.

Apple Watch Series 8 design and specifications

The design of the Apple Watch has barely changed over the years. We got a bigger screen with the Apple Watch Series 7 last year, and Apple has kept the same screen with this year’s model as well. In fact, there are no aesthetic changes between the two watches, unless you flip them over on their backs and take a closer look at the case back, which now reads ‘Series 8’ instead of ‘Series 7’. ‘. Even older bands from Series 7 (depending on case size) are compatible with Apple Watch Series 8.

The quality, fit and finish of the new Apple Watch Series 8 remains the same as before, which is to say very good. While my watch comes with the standard Black Sport Band (made of silicone), I have been using a smartwatch with the Summit white/black Nike Sports Strap, which can be purchased separately for Rs. 4,500. Despite its 38.8g weight, the Series 8 feels pretty comfortable to wear while working, exercising or otherwise, to the point where I even wear it to bed, which I don’t usually do with those ordinary watch.

Apple Watch Series 8 Back Case Back ndtv AppleWatchSeries8 Apple

Back of Apple Watch Series 8 case with ‘Series 8’ engraving

The Ion-X glass display on the Apple Watch Series 8 did not get scratched during the review, and the same can be said of the aluminum case that rubs against the thick metal chain and remains scratch-free. The more expensive stainless steel model offers better screen protection with its sapphire crystal display, but also costs a lot more.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is water resistant to 50 meters and comes with an IP6X rating for dust resistance. In the box, thankfully, Apple still includes a Magnetic Charger, with a USB-C port on the other end.

In terms of specs, the Apple Watch Series 8 comes with the new S8 SiP or system package and offers 32GB of storage used to store synced songs, photos, and apps (in addition to the software). watchOS and the corresponding app caching). Although converted from the first generation Apple Watch SE (Review), I only used about 10GB of free space. The new S8 SiP supports WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 and includes a W3 wireless chip for connecting to supported Bluetooth accessories, as well as a U1 (Ultra Wideband) chip.

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Apple Watch Series 8 with Summit White/Black Nike Sports Band

Like the previous model, the Apple Watch Series 8 also includes various health sensors to detect blood oxygen levels and is capable of recording an electrocardiogram. The all-new Series 8 bits include a more powerful gyroscope and accelerometer that helps support Apple’s new Incident Detection feature, and a new dual-temperature sensor design, used for monitoring. skin temperature during sleep and for the new ovulation period. tracking feature for women.

Performance of Apple Watch Series 8

The Apple Watch Series 8’s 1.9-inch LTPO OLED display is the same as the Series 7, offering up to 1000 nits of peak brightness and up to 500 nits in an always-on state. Since the screen is quite bright, I had no problems viewing it outdoors in the harsh afternoon sun. The implementation has always worked great with any watch face from Face Gallery.

Not only does this work well with regular watch faces that show information (time, date, weather, etc.) and enjoy every photo while in it’s always-on status. This makes it quick and easy for me to look through the information available on the watch face without having to rotate my wrist and wake the screen all the time.

Performance with the new watchOS 9 and S8 SiP is a smooth and fluid experience, whether it’s opening and running apps, using the watch to track workouts, or just switching between designed watch faces. beautiful design. Among the new watch faces is Playtime, which features fun numbers that float in and out of the screen to show the current time.

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Implement an always-on display (AOD) that shows enough information from the watch face

Apple’s new motion sensors (high-altitude accelerometer and gyroscope) can now detect a wider range of G-forces than was possible before. According to Apple, once the watch detects a problem, both the iPhone and Apple Watch work in sync and will call emergency services (or notify emergency contacts) if the user doesn’t respond within 10 minutes. second. New temperature sensors now make it possible for women to receive retrospective ovulation estimates (requires wearing the watch for at least two months before prediction begins), which could be useful when planning family family and is said to also provide improved menstrual cycle predictions.

While sleep tracking was previously available on the Apple Watch, watchOS 9 adds sleep stages (REM, deep sleep, and deep sleep detection and tracking) to provide more data to help users develop better sleep habits. Apple says it has developed an advanced algorithm that tests the same and tries to predict sleep stages based on signals from the accelerometer (sleep movement) and heart rate sensor. In my experience, I have found the data on the stages of sleep to be quite accurate. More than that, because I have a habit of checking the time whenever I wake up in the middle of the night.

Apple Watch Series 8 sleep stages ndtv AppleWatchSeries8 Apple

Sleep tracking is quite accurate, and the stages of sleep give a good understanding of sleep patterns

What’s interesting is how the Apple Watch Series 8 offers two sleep-tracking readings in the Health app, one telling me the total time I’ve spent in bed (lying in bed, reading a book, or watching a video), and readings tell me how much time I actually spent sleeping. What the Apple Watch still lacks compared to other smartwatches is the ability to track naps, as sleep tracking only works during specified bedtimes. With the new temperature sensors, the watch also monitors your temperature while you sleep, but it won’t alert you when you have a fever as it only tracks skin temperature, not body temperature.

In terms of fitness-related activities, the Apple Watch Series 8’s accuracy is pretty good, whether it’s GPS tracking while walking through my wooded neighborhood and buildings or tracking short workouts. in the home. I also did a basic step count of 1000 without my iPhone, and the results from the watch are close to accurate, just missing a few steps.

Monitoring SpO2, when compared to pulse oximeters, is not entirely accurate. It continued to fluctuate between 95 and 97 percent every time I took a reading a few minutes apart, and this also required me to keep my arm in a specific position to take the test and get it. get results. The SpO2 reading from the Apple Watch took just 15 seconds, compared to my oximeter taking about 30 seconds but with more consistently accurate results.

WatchOS 9 also brings a new compass feature called Backtrack (also available on older models), which will record your route using GPS so you can find your way back if you get lost. It can be activated manually, but it also turns on automatically when there is no data or Wi-Fi connection on the watch or via iPhone.

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New Playtime watch face (top) and new Backtrack feature in improved compass app (bottom)

Battery life on the Apple Watch Series 8 is as good as the Series 7, and it lasts about two days on a single charge when connected to my Wi-Fi network or to an iPhone. My usage mostly involved viewing and responding to notifications and about 30 minutes of exercise on some days, all with the always-on display on. Those who train for a few hours can see battery life drop to about a day and a half. Enabling new low-power mode in watchOS 9 will extend battery life by half a day, but it’s only useful for people who only use Apple Watch to see notifications because of all the automatic health-tracking features. and the always-on display is turned off.

One health tracking feature that low power mode doesn’t turn off is sleep tracking. It turns out to be the main cause of battery drain, without it the low power mode seems to be quite effective at its job. Apple’s fast charging feature for the Apple Watch was introduced with the Series 7, made available on the Series 8, and it quickly charges from zero to 100% in about an hour and fifteen minutes.


The Apple Watch Series 8 is a solid smartwatch for health and fitness tracking, and thanks to watchOS 9, users can now also get accurate sleep tracking data. What hasn’t changed or improved much is battery life, which Apple seems to have addressed with Apple Watch Ultra, but this model is not exactly intended for normal iPhone users. Crash detection is a feature that no other mainstream smartwatch maker has delved into, currently only on the 2022 Apple Watch models.

However, the Apple Watch Series 8, like Apple Watch Series 7, offers only minor incremental updates, and this time, there are almost no cosmetic changes. If you’re using an Apple Watch Series 7, you don’t really need to upgrade unless features like ovulation tracking and crash detection are what you need. If you are looking to upgrade from a Apple Watch Series 5 (or older), I recommend waiting for a good sale and getting the Apple Watch Series 7 at a discounted price. Current pricing of Series 7 starts at around Rs. 39,000 (online), makes little sense since the Series 8 starts at Rs. 45,900.

If you’re an Apple Watch user and simply yearn for something different, you should check out the Apple Watch Ultra (First impressions). It’s clearly built for the more adventurous thanks to its large dial size, but those looking for better battery life, a large display and not mind the hefty price tag, may find it appealing.

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