Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch SE unveiled — familiar design, new features
At the first autumn presentation, Apple showed updated versions of its standard and budget smartwatches. Here’s what you need to know about them.
Apple Watch Series 8
Outwardly, these watches do not differ from the Series 7, the displays are the same: 41 and 45 mm. The processor has been updated only nominally: instead of the Apple S7, there is an S8, but no performance increase has been reported.
The watch received a pair of thermal sensors (one in the place where the watch touches the hand, the second is right under the display). They will check the user’s body temperature every 5 minutes and alert when a fever is detected.
Temperature sensors have also made it possible to improve tracking of the menstrual cycle: now the application is able to calculate ovulation and send notifications when abnormalities are detected. This data is confidential and stored in encrypted form, access to them can be protected by Face ID or a passcode.
Thanks to the improved gyroscope and accelerometer, the watch has learned to fix car accidents. The function works only when the user is driving, and uses algorithms trained on different types of cars.
The watch provides 18 hours of autonomy, but a special power-saving mode extends the operating time to 36 hours. It retains the fitness tracker and fall and crash detection, but disables Always On and auto-start workouts. This feature will also be available on Series 4 and newer models after updating to watchOS 9.
The Apple Watch Series 8 will go on sale September 16 starting at $399 for the base 41mm aluminum version, while the 45mm model starts at $429. For LTE, you will have to pay $100 extra.
Apple Watch SE 2nd generation
The budget watch has the same Apple S8 processor as the Series 8. It has a 30% larger display than the Series 3 and 20% more performance than the original SE.
You can also make calls, share location, and send emergency calls. But, like the previous generation, the second SE did not receive all the sensors of the flagship version: there is no ECG, temperature sensor, and even SpO2.
Like the older model, the Apple Watch SE 2 will go on sale on September 16th. They will cost $249 for the 40mm GPS version, while the 44mm model will cost $279. LTE versions will cost $50 more.