Apple Watch Series 8 features the beloved design of the Apple Watch, including a large, always-on Retina display and a tough, shatter-resistant front crystal. With up to 18 hours of all-day battery life, Apple Watch Series 8 builds on best-in-class health and safety features like ECG and fall detection by delivering temperature sensing capabilities, retroactive ovulation estimates, fault detection, and international roaming.
The Series 8 was placed in a slightly awkward place. Yes, the shiny new Ultra has momentum out of Apple’s rough offering, but that doesn’t mean the 8 Series was just a second thought. I gave the Series 8 a wear test for a little less than a week after the big reveal in Keynote, and found the consistency to rule it out with the new hardware.
During testing, I was able to maintain the “all-day” battery ratings that Apple advertises (usually tied to 18 hours, though that will depend on usage), but I needed to extend the time between charges with a busy week at work. It kicked in low power mode at about 22 percent in the afternoon, then got ready for the rest of the day without running out of battery by the time I got to the charger at 8pm. Apple estimates the full battery range with Low Power mode at 36 hours. I didn’t get that far, but I had no issues in low power mode. To compensate for the drop in output, some features such as the Always-On display, heart health notifications, and automatic workout tracking have been disabled.
Along with the new hardware, this week marks the release of Apple’s latest software for its wearables, watchOS9, now available for all Apple Watch devices from Series 4 and later. This is where things get exciting, especially if you are less concerned with watching negative health and more focused on getting your body moving and being active.
One of the most important updates is the overhaul of the Workout app, where users track their workouts and view data as they train…the real fix came in the outdoor running mode. Along with preset workouts and new individual session settings that let you set time, distance, pace and calories burned, there’s a wide range of new data points available for runners to learn all about their steps as they train. Metrics such as vertical oscillation, stride length, and ground contact time can be entered directly on the screen, allowing you to make adjustments quickly. I didn’t like the experience, but I’m working my way up – for less confident runners, these tools can be used to improve their stride.
Take MacDailyNews: It’s rather surprising that we, ordinarily, would be very excited to upgrade our Apple Watches to the next in the series, but not this year. This year, the Apple Watch Ultra is where you’re at.
Apple isn’t telling us that, but some analysts will take their cracks in speculating about the Apple Watch mix this year and the numbers will be impressive.
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