Apple Watch Series 8 Hands-On Temperature Sensing and Low Power Mode

Apple Watch Series 8 Hands-On Temperature Sensing and Low Power Mode: On Wednesday, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 8 at its yearly fall product announcement. The price for the GPS version is $399 (£419, AU$629), while the price for the cellular version is $499. Preorders are now being accepted for delivery on September 16th. In addition, Apple unveiled a new iteration of the cheaper Apple Watch SE, which starts at $249 and is currently available for preorder.

The most significant update is the addition of a temperature sensor, the first new health sensor Apple has added to its smartwatch since the Series 6 debuted in 2020 and included blood oxygen saturation measures. The Series 8 and the new SE and Ultra versions from the latest batch of Apple Watches are also the first to feature automobile crash detection, highlighting the company’s focus on health and security.

The Apple Watch SE is an updated version of Apple’s less expensive smartwatch, while the Apple Watch Ultra is a new outdoor-friendly model of the Apple Watch targeted toward sports.

Temperature Sensing and Car Crash Detection

The temperature sensor on the Apple Watch Series 8 is the most significant improvement. There are two sensors—one on the back, closer to the skin, and another under the display. Enabling the watch to discriminate between your wrist temperature and other factors influencing the environment’s temperature should increase accuracy. Every five seconds throughout the night, the watch takes the temperature of your wrist and logs it in the Apple Health app.

I could not test it in Apple’s demo room because this passive reading takes place overnight. I did, however, get to see how this data will be displayed in the Health app. The app’s chart will show variations in your baseline temperature and explain what the data represents. According to the business, your basal temperature changes could indicate illness, activity, or jet lag. You can access this information via a new wrist temperature tile in the summary area of the Health app.

Apple Watch Series 8
Apple Watch Series 8

The temperature sensor is marketed by Apple as the most beneficial for monitoring female health. Series 8’s enhanced period predictions and retroactive ovulation estimates are made possible by the temperature sensors. This year, the Apple Watch will also acquire a new security feature: auto accident detection. If the wearer has remained unresponsive for 10 seconds after the watch senses a crash, it will alert emergency personnel and the wearer’s emergency contacts. Because it uses the improved gyroscope and accelerometer, this is only accessible in the Series 8, new SE, and Apple Watch Ultra versions.

Apple Watch Series 8: From $399

Preorder your Apple Watch Series 8 directly from the manufacturer to receive three months of Apple Fitness Plus.

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Low Power Mode

The Apple Watch now has a low power mode, which according to Apple, should increase battery life for the Series 8 by up to 36 hours. The always-on display and automated workout detection are disabled in the new low-power mode to maintain functionality while preserving battery life. Although Apple only revealed the feature on Wednesday, Series 4 models and upwards will also have access to it. Other than that, the Apple Watch’s battery life is constant at 18 hours.

This year’s Apple Watch appears to have a broadly similar overall look. The Series 8 will be offered in midnight, starlight, silver, and Product Red with an aluminum housing and the same size and general design. I had the opportunity to use the stainless steel version, which will also be offered in graphite, gold, and silver. Most of the most significant improvements made to the Apple Watch Series 8 are technical rather than aesthetic, such as temperature sensing and low power mode.

To determine how much these upgrades genuinely affect the overall experience, we’ll need to use the Series 8 more. But based on what we currently know, the Series 8 appears to be another step in making the Apple Watch an even more all-inclusive wellness tool. In the second quarter of 2022, Apple shipped 29.3% of all smartwatches sold worldwide, according to Counterpoint Research. With 9.2% of the global smartwatch shipments during the same period, Samsung comes in second.

Apple is still up against more opposition. Despite having considerably fewer shipments than Apple, Samsung saw a 40% year-over-year increase compared to Apple’s 8% growth, per Counterpoint’s data. Samsung introduced the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in August. Google’s first wristwatch, the Pixel Watch, is anticipated to go on sale this fall.

Google hasn’t provided many specifics about the Pixel Watch yet, but it appears to be promoting it as a high-end smartwatch competitive with the Apple Watch. Although the iPhone is Apple’s top revenue generator, other devices like the Apple Watch are crucial to the company’s operations.

After the iPhone and digital services, the wearables, home, and accessories division—which includes items like the Apple Watch and AirPods—is the company’s third-largest revenue generator. Apple said that its wearables business has grown to the level of a Fortune 100 firm during a quarterly earnings call in April.

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