Hand-on experience with the Apple Watch Series 8: release date, price, features, and first impressions

Hand-on experience with the Apple Watch Series 8: release date, price, features, and first impressio ...

While the Apple Watch Series 8 may seem a bit ludicrous to the brand-new Apple Watch Ultra, don''t be mistaken about improvements to health tracking, safety, and connectivity in order to make the best smartwatch even better.

All of the best Apple Watch Series 8 upgrades are on the inside. The new watch has a long-rumored skin temperature sensor and a long-awaited low power mode, which can extend the battery life of the Apple Watch 8 to 36 hours. Additionally, the Apple Watch 8 includes a new crash detection feature, which allows you to receive immediate help when you need it most.

Otherwise, nothing else is new, but that''s on the brand for what I''ve grown to expect from the Apple Watch year after year. Apple keeps the $399 starting price in place. Oh, and it ships with watchOS 9.

That remains to be seen in a complete review of whether or not the time is enough again this time around. For the time being, here are my hands-on views of Apple Watch Series 8 and an overview of all the new features.

Apple Watch Series 8 price and availability

The price of the Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 for a 41-millimeter, a GPS-only model, and $499 for the GPS+ cell version. The 45-millimeter diameter, however, will start at $429, and go up to $529 for cellular support.

This year, there will be two additional Apple Watch models: the $799 Apple Watch Ultra and the $249 Apple Watch SE (2022). You might recall that the original Apple Watch SE started at $279, so that model received a $30 discount, a move that makes sense as the Apple Watch Series 3 was discontinued... finally.

Preorders for the Apple Watch Series 8 are now live, and their number will be announced on September 16.

Apple Watch Series 8 hands-on: Design

The Apple Watch Series 8 is similar to the Apple Watch Series 7, which featured a curvier chassis and thinner display bezels that debuted last year. This screen is optimized for the new watchOS 9 faces, although there are no additional faces for the Apple Watch Series 8.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is complemented by a familiar digital crown and a side button. I''m unlikely that you''d be able to tell the new flagship Apple Watch from the one you purchased.

If you pay close attention to the colors, the Apple Watch Series 8 colors include Midnight, Silver, Starlight, and Product Red. I''m not feeling one way or the other about their departure, however, because I prefer finding the right Apple Watch bands.

Hand-on Apple Watch Series 8: Skin temperature sensor

I''ve already discussed the new features, but let''s dive deeper into the skin temperature sensor Apple is introducing in this update. Sleep tracking and cycle tracking might assist you keep an eye on external factors that might affect your regular rest.

Skin temperature readings help fertility tracking. Increasing wrist temperature have been proven to be beneficial indicators of probable ovulation (opens in a new tab). Whether you''re looking to conceive or monitor ovarian syndrome (PCOS), skin temperature readings through Apple Health and Apple Watch seem to make a great use of the new sensor.

All cycle tracking data is securely secured with end-to-end encryption, and data can be deleted at any time. Additionally, you have control over who you share your health data with. For example, you may want to share your cycle information with a doctor who assists you with fertility.

Crash detection for Apple Watch Series 8 is a hands-on game.

Crash detection isn''t a new Apple Watch Series 8 feature I hope anyone ever has to test, but it''s regrettable that car accidents happen. Apple Watch has had fall detection and emergency SOS features for a while, but crash detection is a new type of safety tool that is enhanced by enhanced motion sensors in Series 8.

The Apple Watch Series 8 features two new motion sensors, along with an improved gyroscope and accelerometer. These together can measure motion 4 times faster than previously, so the watch will automatically notify emergency services in the unfortunate event of a crash. Depending on the reason, quicker assistance might be life or death.

Apple Watch Series 8 hands-on: Battery life

The Apple Watch Series 8 has a long-time wishlist feature: low power mode. Yes, previous Apple Watch devices have Power Reserve, allowing you to see the time when the watch is practically dead. However, the Apple Watch'' new low power mode will dissipate certain power-draining capabilities while leaving the device still mostly functional. In my time with the watch, I was able to toggle on low power mode from the control center, which makes sense. The main one is the Always On Display, which is also helpful

Apple Watch Series 8 may last up to 36 hours thanks to low power. Otherwise, expect the same old 18-hour lifespan between charges. I''m interested in seeing how or if my Apple Watch charging schedule is altered.

Apple Watch Series 8 hands-on: Outlook

The Apple Watch Ultra is the first device I tested between the Apple Watch 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra. That''s not a surprise to the Apple Watch Series 8, but I did it eventually.

The skin temperature sensor, crash detection, and low power mode seem to add to the experience. Will they be enough? The Apple Watch Series 8 is now available for viewing.