Apple has just unveiled revisions to two of its most popular products. Coming live from the Far Out event, this time it’s the Apple Watch 8, Watch 8 Pro and the AirPods 2 Pro. This year’s announcements don’t just feature iterative updates, as Apple has made significant changes under the hood. Let’s take a look.
Apple Watch 8 and Watch 8 Ultra
Apple Watch 8 continues on the same path paved by its earlier releases, and there’s mostly incremental updates here since this is the (now) the base model. The biggest change is the new body temperature feature which is a first for the Apple Watch series. There’s also a host of features related to women’s health including a new ovulation tracker, new fitness options and better medication management packed inside the Series 8.
Watch Series 8 automatically provides ovulation phase estimates with it’s dual temperature trackers. There’s also a mensuration tracker and Period Prediction, and all of this data can be now exported into a pdf, for easy access to health care providers.
The crash detection feature has now been improved, with an all new car crash detection feature powered by a 4-axis gyroscope and high g-force accelerometers. There’s also a new low power mode, giving users up to 36 hours of battery life. Even better, the new feature is also coming to older models too, on Watch Series 4 and up.
As for the design, it’s similar to the Apple Watch 7. And Apple is releasing it in four colorways this time around, with black, silver, gold and graphite variants. As for available sizes, it’s the same as the Watch 7, coming in at a 41mm and a 45mm version.
The Apple Watch 8 Ultra is where the fun is at. Although this isn’t exactly meant for the average user, and is targeted towards a more fitness focused audience who would also consider brands like GARMIN for its extremely precise tracking. The Watch 8 Pro is sure priced like a high-end watch, coming in at $799. For the price, Apple packs in a host of new sensors. There’s also a programmable action button and a physical crown. The watch also features a second speaker for better volume.
The watch is aimed at athletes who dabble in extreme sports, targeting a niche community who want the best of the best. The Watch 8 Pro even comes in a bigger 49mm rugged casing made out of titanium alloy, with sapphire glass on top. It has a display resolution of 410 x 502 pixels with a max brightness of 2000 nits, and Apple even uses the extra space for fitting more health metrics. The watch has a standard 36 hour battery life, and Apple will further update it with a new mode later this year, that can extend the battery life up to 60 hours.
Apple has packed in a bigger battery as well as an almost 2-inch screen, making the Watch 8 Pro a chunky boy. The watch also features unique bands, each for a different adventure, like Alpine loop, Ocean band, and the Trail loop
Both watches share the same processor under the hood, the S8 SoC, and it’s only new in name as the specs of the chip remain unchanged from last generation’s S7 chip. That’s why both the Watch 8 and Watch 8 Pro (largely) share the same features and will be getting all of the following improvements.
The Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 for the GPS version, and $499 for the GPS+Cellular version. As for the Apple Watch Ultra, it will be available for $799, starting September 23rd.
Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation)
Apple also announced the second iteration of the cheaper Apple Watch SE. The new Watch SE is now equipped with a new Retina OLED display that is 30 percent brighter than the last release. What’s more, the Watch SE second gen also gets a new chip inside the hood, featuring the fast S8 SoC, same as seen in the new Apple Watch Series 8.
The new SE is also equipped with new health monitoring and safety features, including an ECG monitor, a blood oxygen level monitor and even crash detection. The watch is now made up of a new material, composed of a nylon composite. The watch will be available in 40mm and 44mm aluminum cases, in the midnight, starlight, and silver colorways.
The Watch SE second gen now starts at $250 for GPS and $299 for the GPS+Cellular version.