Apple Watch Sequence 8 Evaluate in Progress: My Ideas After a Week

This story is a part of Focal Level iPhone 2022, CNET’s assortment of reports, ideas and recommendation round Apple’s hottest product.

The Apple Watch Sequence 8, beginning at $399 (£419, AU$629), joins the temperature sensing wearable pack with a brand new temperature sensor of its personal. Temperature-sensing wearables have been a pattern these previous few years, from the Fitbit Sense to the Oura Ring, Amazon’s Halo band and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5. Just a few weeks in the past, I acquired sick and a little ring on my finger let me know my temperature was elevated. So, in my expertise temperature studying is not simply one other check-the-box characteristic. 

Additionally, this is not the one new Apple Watch, although. The lower-cost Apple Watch SE and costlier Apple Watch Extremely make a broad vary, going from $249 as much as $799 and past. 

This 12 months, with three new Apple Watches, the problem is realizing which one to get — if any.

Apple Watch Series 8 with rainbow display on blue background

The Apple Watch Sequence 8 provides a temperature sensor. However the way it performs over time remains to be TBD.


Scott Stein/CNET

After carrying Apple’s newest watch on my wrist for lower than every week, it is arduous to inform. The Sequence 8 appears to be like similar to final 12 months’s Apple Watch Sequence 7 and has many of the similar options. New to the 8 is its temperature sensor, together with improved gyroscope and accelerometer movement sensors that at the moment are in a position to detect automobile crashes and make SOS calls within the occasion of an emergency.

I did not take a look at the car-crash characteristic, for apparent causes. And, as of the time of this text publishing, I’ve solely simply had my nightly temperature information begin to seem. Each options might very properly find yourself being helpful over time, however how helpful stays to be seen.

The most effective a part of the Apple Watch this 12 months is its software program enhancements. WatchOS 9 provides plenty of extras which might be actually nice: a compass app that now tracks your steps through GPS that will help you navigate again residence throughout hikes, treatment monitoring, multistage sleep monitoring and a low-power mode that shuts down some capabilities to increase battery life. However you do not want a brand new look ahead to these; a free replace to WatchOS 9 might offer you these upgrades and make you are feeling like you have already got a brand new watch.

Apple’s strategy to enhancing its watch over time has been a gradual accumulation of upgrades — an always-on show one 12 months, blood oxygen the following, a barely bigger show and now temperature sensing. Skipping a bunch of years between upgrades can find yourself including a whole lot of new options in a single massive bunch, however anybody who has a Sequence 7 can have a tough time justifying the acquisition.

Apple Watch Series 8 and iPhone with Health app showing temperature readings

Temperature sensing exhibits up within the Well being app. Readings are relative, so you will solely see will increase or decreases, not absolute numbers.


Scott Stein/CNET

Apple Watch Sequence 8 temperature sensing

Apple’s temperature sensor measures pores and skin temperature, much like how different wearables work. It additionally measures air or water temperature (water temperature readings can present up in some apps that use the sensor). The sensor appears to be like at relative temperature change, displaying relative will increase or decreases in levels, however not an absolute temperature like a thermometer. 

The measurements are collected at evening whereas sleeping, and it takes 5 days for the watch to gather sufficient information to ascertain a beginning baseline. (Based on Apple, the baseline temperature will maintain calibrating over time.) From that time on, the measurements solely present up in Apple’s Well being App on the iPhone, below Pores and skin Temperature. I might verify the chart and see what my temperature modifications have been, however Apple’s not at the moment alerting wearers of modifications on their wrist, or every other manner. The measurements additionally aren’t getting used for any kind of Readiness or Wellness rating, like firms resembling Fitbit and Oura are already doing. Apple is probably going going to spend the following 12 months, at the least, attempting to determine floor that information extra. Within the meantime, possibly you wish to wait earlier than deciding if the sensor performs into the worth of the watch.

Yet another instantly helpful space for temperature-sensing information is ovulation monitoring, one other new watch characteristic. Much like how Fitbit and Oura already work, the temperature shifts are used to trace fertility cycles, in addition to attainable interruptions. CNET will take a look at this over the following few months, a lot as we have now with different trackers. And a phrase about privateness for the sort of information: Apple says its Well being information stays encrypted on the consumer’s account and in iCloud, and if two-factor authentication is turned on, nobody else can entry it.

Apple Watch Series 8 with new lunar watch face

One of many new WatchOS 9 watch faces: Gorgeous, however you do not want a brand new watch to take pleasure in it.


Scott Stein/CNET

Apple Watch Sequence 8 car-crash detection

Apple’s improved movement sensors on the Watch 8 are being put to make use of for crash detection, which the iPhone (and different units) can already do in some cases. Very similar to Apple’s fall detection characteristic on its watches, it is probably a life-saving characteristic if it will probably sense a crash and make an emergency name whereas somebody is debilitated. Sadly, realizing how dependable this characteristic could be is one thing we simply cannot decide but. I like the thought of watches as safety-monitoring instruments, although, however Apple additionally consists of car-crash detection on the cheaper Apple Watch SE.

On a aspect word, I am curious what else the extra correct gyroscope and accelerometer could possibly be used for. Would these sensors be capable of extra precisely monitor different physique actions or actions over time when new algorithms are refined? Or might they be used to enhance gesture monitoring? Or, as Apple approaches the discharge of its anticipated AR/VR headset, would improved movement controls be a doorway to controls for blended actuality? I am heading down a street of pure hypothesis, however I would be stunned if car-crash detection was all they have been able to.

Apple Watch Series 8 with sleep tracking readout

Sleep monitoring is improved, however battery life is not.


Scott Stein/CNET

Apple Watch Sequence 8 battery life

One massive lacking piece to the midrange Apple Watch is its battery. There’s an Apple Watch that may final an estimated 36 hours or extra on a cost, however that watch prices $799. The Apple Watch Extremely is massive and rugged, and we have not even reviewed it but.

With sleep monitoring now a full-featured a part of WatchOS and temperature monitoring needing an evening’s sleep to measure, the Apple Watch is now designed to be worn to mattress. That is an issue when the Apple Watch’s battery life remains to be solely a few day and a half. The watch costs up absolutely in about an hour and a half, or as much as 80% in 45 minutes or so, however when will you cost it? Earlier than mattress? Within the morning whereas showering? At your desk?

I wore the Sequence 8 to mattress one evening after being absolutely charged, wore it the entire subsequent day, to mattress once more, and it was at 34% battery the following morning. You could possibly make it by way of a day or extra with out charging, however for the reason that Apple Watch has its personal proprietary charger, you will need to be sure to’re not caught someplace with it operating low.

I are usually a charge-at-night individual, or with longer-battery wearables just like the Oura Ring or the Fitbit Sense, I put on them for days earlier than needing to fret. It feels just like the Apple Watch Sequence 8 is caught within the center proper now. That low-power mode will not assist, both, as a result of it turns off temperature monitoring and coronary heart charge with a view to get these longer-life battery positive factors. Possibly you could possibly flip forwards and backwards between modes, maybe? Nonetheless, I would place “larger battery” on the high of my Apple Watch Sequence 9 want listing.

I have not lived with low-power mode a lot this previous week, since I used to be busy monitoring temperature information — however I am curious to see the way it impacts battery life over the following few weeks.

Apple Watch Ultra and Series 8

The Apple Watch Extremely, Sequence 8 and SE. All ought to carry out properly now, however the characteristic units scale up.


James Martin/CNET

Apple Watch Sequence 8 vs. SE and Extremely: Must you improve?

The Apple Watch Extremely has a extra sturdy design, longer battery and higher water resistance. Is it the higher selection? The SE, which lacks blood oxygen, ECG, an always-on show and temperature sensing, is likely to be a superb choose for somebody who would not want as a lot (however the lack of an always-on show is not supreme). And can temperature monitoring really feel helpful over time, together with ovulation monitoring?

There’s little purpose to improve to the Sequence 8 if in case you have a Sequence 7, or perhaps a Sequence 6. However, the Apple Watch Sequence 8 is essentially the most full well being watch in Apple’s lineup that does not want an improve to the Extremely.

The excellent news about Apple’s new and improved watch lineup is the processors ought to all be equally quick, however the design and options scale up. Shopping for final 12 months’s Sequence 7 if it is on sale is a superb various, however the 8’s greatest draw over the SE proper now’s its always-on show, barely larger display and its additional ECG, blood oxygen and temperature sensors.

Test again right here in a month or two, and we’ll reply this extra clearly. For now, the Apple Watch Sequence 8 stays a wonderful piece of watch {hardware} with improved software program and a well being sensor that could possibly be an element down the street. However first, verify your wrist: It’s possible you’ll have already got an Apple Watch that is adequate.

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