The Apple Watch Series 8 Suspicions Were True

It's been a week since Apple announced three new smartwatch models at its September launch event called Far Out. Aside from the entry-level, second-generation Apple Watch SE, the event saw the company announce the Apple Watch Ultra — a pro-grade product that targets professional athletes — and the Apple Watch Series 8, the company's most advanced smartwatch for the general public.

Months before the launch of the Apple Watch Series 8, the product was the subject of multiple rumors — most of which stressed the likelihood of the Series 8 featuring minor, incremental upgrades over the Apple Watch Series 7 models from 2021. While this wasn't something to get excited about, these incremental upgrades over multiple generations have resulted in a product that has improved by several notches over the years.

New features that were expected to make it to the Apple Watch Series 8 included the ability to detect car crashes, a useful low-power mode, and the addition of a temperature sensor. Another interesting Apple Watch Series 8 rumor was the possibility of the wearable supporting satellite connectivity. There was also talk of the Series 8 gaining the ability to detect blood sugar levels. While the Apple Watch Series 8 did get the low power mode, crash detection, and temperature detection features, Apple restricted the satellite connectivity feature for the iPhone 14. The Series 8 also missed out on the ability to detect blood sugar levels.

It's too early to thoroughly test the new features

Despite shipments of the Series 8 yet to begin, the first reviews of the product have started trickling in. As expected, most of the initial Apple Watch Series 8 reviews seem to focus on the fact that the Series 8 is a marginal upgrade over the Series 7 models.

The Verge's Victoria Song notes that it was difficult for her to spot the visual differences between the Series 8 and Series 7 models. Interestingly, she was able to note the visual changes brought about by watchOS 9, which range from a bunch of new watch faces to a redesigned calendar app that supposedly makes better use of the slightly larger display. CNET's Scott Stein made interesting observations about the battery life of the Series 8: his watch easily lasted an entire day on a single charge. In fact, he wore the watch to bed, wore it the next day and the next night, and noted that it was still at 34% battery the day after that second night. Scott also said it took him a little over an hour and a half to charge the watch from 0 to 100%.

A common thread with these early reviews was the inability of the reviewers to thoroughly test the new cycle-tracking and temperature sensing features. This was primarily because both these features need the watch to be used for a significant amount of time before the algorithm begins accurately tracking them. We expect most of these reviews to be updated with all this information in the next few weeks.