The Apple Watch Series 8 arrived, along with the Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch SE 2, at the Apple ‘Far Out’ event on September 7th this year.
First, the Apple Watch Series 8. It brings new features, including the much-lauded skin temperature sensor, which performs the dual function of improving sleep tracking and menstrual tracking simultaneously. It can detect changes of 0.1 degrees Celsius thanks to its dual-sensor design.
Apple says tracking temperature changes can indicate ovulation and help notify you of cycle deviations that could indicate other health disorders. However, Apple is also emphasizing the privacy of this data, which is encrypted on your device with two-factor authentication.
Vehicle collision detection is a new feature using multiple motion sensors including an accelerometer, barometer and GPS. It will automatically notify an emergency contact if you get into a fender.
The Apple Watch Series 8 still has 18 hours of all-day battery life, while a new low-power mode can deliver 36 hours of battery life. International roaming for cellular watches will be available in 30 countries.
The watch comes in four colors: midnight, starlight, silver and, product red, and metallic shades of silver, gold and graphite. It starts at $399/AU$629 for the GPS model and $499/AU$789 for the cellular version in the US and Australia, and will be ship on September 16 (opens in new tab).
Next up is the Apple Watch Ultra, which costs $799 in the US and AU$1,299 in Australia. It’s rugged, capable of withstanding temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius or 150 degrees Fahrenheit, and the biggest Apple Watch ever thanks to its 49mm titanium case.
The main feature is a new customizable action button. The Ultra action button can now start your workout, transition between running legs for triathletes, and operate the new Depth app underwater. It has a battery life of 36 hours and its low power training mode lets you do a long run with full GPS coverage.
It uses a new, accurate dual GPS solution, L5, with custom positioning algorithms, which Apple claims is “the most accurate GPS of any smartwatch on the market.” It’s tailor-made for adventures: a guidance view in the compass app lets you add waypoints with the Action button, the BackTrack functionality lets you easily retrace your steps on the trail, while the WR100 water resistance and the aforementioned Depth app make it perfect for divers. The watch also doubles as a dive computer, which can be used underwater with the action button and a larger digital crown.
The watch will be released on September 23 and can be pre-ordered here. (opens in new tab)
Finally, the Apple Watch SE 2 is packed with many of the same features and specs that came with the Watch 8, and at a great price – $249/AU$399 for the GPS model and $299/AU$479 for the cellular model. It is also set to be released on September 16th. You have a choice of silver, midnight and starlight colors with an aluminum case.
The Apple Watch SE 2, like the Series 8, is swim and dust proof and incorporates the new Crash Detection feature and skin temperature sensor.
The screen is 30% larger than the Watch 3 and 20% faster than the previous Apple Watch SE thanks to the new S8 processor, but Apple has skimped on new hardware to keep the price down. It’s a good move in our book – the new processor will allow for all the fantastic features of watchOS 9, without over-upgrading parts, driving the price up a lot.