The Apple Watch Series 8 arrived with the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch SE 2 at this year’s Apple “Far Out” event on September 7.
First, the Apple Watch Series 8. It comes with new features, including the much-touted skin temperature sensor, which has a dual function while improving sleep tracking and menstrual tracking. It can detect changes of 0.1 degree Celsius thanks to its dual sensor design.
Apple says tracking temperature changes can indicate ovulation and help report cycle variations that could indicate other health conditions. However, Apple also places emphasis on the privacy of the data that is encrypted on your device using two-factor authentication.
Vehicle Collision Detection is a new feature that uses several motion sensors, including an accelerometer, barometer and GPS. It will automatically notify an emergency contact if you find yourself in the fender.
The Apple Watch Series 8 still runs a full day of 18 hours of battery life, and the new Low Power Mode can provide 36 hours of battery life. International roaming for mobile watches will be available in 30 countries.
The watch is available in four colors: midnight, starlight, silver and product red, and metallic shades of silver, gold and graphite. It starts at $ 399 / $ 629 for the GPS model and $ 499 / $ 789 for the US and Australian mobile version and will be ship September 16 (opens in a new tab).
Next up is the Apple Watch Ultra, which costs $ 799 in the US and $ 1299 in Australia. It’s tough, withstands temperatures down to -20 degrees Celsius or 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and is the largest Apple watch ever thanks to its 49mm titanium case.
A key feature is the new customizable action button. The Ultra action button can now start training, transition between race stages for triathletes, and operate the new Depth Underwater app. It has a 36-hour battery life, and its low-power training mode reportedly allows for long races with full GPS coverage.
It uses a new high-precision dual-GPS solution, the L5, with custom positioning algorithms that Apple claims is “the most accurate GPS of any smartwatch on the market.” It’s made for adventures: the orientation view in the compass app lets you add waypoints with the action button, the BackTrack feature lets you easily retrace your steps on the trail, and the WR100’s water resistance and the aforementioned Depth app make it perfect for no one. The watch also works as a dive computer that can be used underwater with the action button and the larger digital crown.
The watch will ship on September 23 and it can be pre-ordered here. (opens in a new tab)
Finally, the Apple Watch SE 2 comes with many of the same features and specifications that come with the Watch 8, and at a great price – $ 249 / $ 399 for the GPS model and $ 299 / $ 479 for the cellular model. Its premiere is also scheduled for September 16. You have a choice of silver, midnight and starlight colors with an aluminum housing.
The Apple Watch SE 2, like the Series 8, is water and dust resistant, and includes a new crash detection feature and a skin temperature sensor.
The screen is 30% larger than the Watch 3 and 20% faster than the previous Apple Watch SE thanks to the new S8 processor, but otherwise Apple skimmed on new hardware to keep the price low. That’s a good move in our book – the new processor will allow it to all of the fantastic features of watchOS 9, without over-updating the parts that will raise the price.