Apple Watch Series 8: Timeless Tech

  • 07 Sep, 2023
Apple Watch Series 8: Timeless Tech
The Watch Series 8 was introduced by Apple last year, replacing the Watch Series 7 and adding a temperature sensor, crash detection, and a new S8 chip. We thought we'd see how the Watch Series 8 holds up over time because there are reports that the Watch Series 9 would have the same design.

Should you get a Watch Series 8 while it is on sale or wait for the Watch Series 9, which may cost more but provide less? Here, after more than six months of use, is our comprehensive assessment of the Apple Watch Series 8 to aid in your decision.

Sleek and Modern Design of Apple Watch Series 8: 

The Apple Watch Series 8 resembles its predecessor in appearance. Even the 41 x 35 x 10.7 mm and 32 g measurements and weight of the 41mm Aluminum (GPS + Cellular) model that is the focus of this study are identical to those of the Watch Series 7 model. The 1.69" screen on the Aluminum edition is covered with Ion-X glass (Sapphire crystal on stainless steel models), as is already clear from the name, and the chassis is built entirely from recyclable aluminum.

The speaker and microphone are located on the left and right sides, respectively, of the Apple Watch Series 8, which is also equipped with a red-accented Digital Crown and a recent/side button. Both the button and the crown provide pleasant feedback, and the latter allows for responsive scrolling that, in my opinion, is smoother than swiping on the screen. Even after being used for so many months, both have kept their tactility well. ECG measures are also taken with the crown; however, more on it is covered in the Performance section.

The heart rate and oxygen saturation sensors are mounted on a raised plate, and the glossy ceramic back panel facilitates magnetic charging. This guarantees optimum contact with the skin for precise measurements and helps avoid the buildup of dirt over time. A temperature sensor is also included on the crystal, while a third is located beneath the display.

Two buttons on the Watch Series 8's rear release the straps. The black standard Sport Band package that included the S/M and M/L strap parts and can fit wrists measuring 130 to 200 mm was included with our unit. Apple claims that because they are composed of a "custom high-performance fluoroelastomer," they are "durable and strong, yet surprisingly soft."

The straps that come with the watch are, in fact, plush, and given the weight of the watch, wearing them while working out and sleeping was a nice experience. The Watch Series 8's bands have a pin-and-tuck closure, which at first made wearing it a chore for me and led to amusing situations because it had been a long since I wore a piece of wearable technology with this type of strap (I had a similar experience with the Oppo Watch a few years back). For those who have never worn a strap of this kind before, it may take some getting used to, but once you figure it out, it's really simple and quick to place the watch on your wrist.
But since I preferred a more conventional form and the bundled straps' design gave me rashes on my wrist, I wound up purchasing a few third-party straps. There were plenty of accessories to choose from because we're talking about Apple.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is especially worth mentioning because it is IP6X dustproof and has water resistance of up to 50 meters, making it "swimproof." It follows that you do not need to remove it from your wrist when taking a shower.

The Apple Watch Series 8's overall appearance is appealing. Although it has a similar appearance to its forerunner, it is more durable and has endured months of use without even a scratch.

The Brilliant Display of Apple Watch Series 8:

The 41mm model of the Apple Watch Series 8 has a 1.69" screen with a resolution of 430x352 pixels, while the 45mm model has a 1.9" screen with a resolution of 484x396 pixels. However, both devices have Sapphire Crystal Glass protection and Always-On Retina LTPO OLED displays with a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits.

The retina display on the Watch Series 8 is colorful and includes a 3-level brightness adjustment. And at 100% brightness, I had no trouble seeing what was on the screen even in direct sunlight outside. Additionally, the smartwatch incorporates an ambient light sensor for effective automatic brightness adjustment.

The Watch Series 8's screen has a wonderful touch responsiveness and good haptics, and despite my initial concerns, typing on such a small screen wasn't as challenging as I had anticipated. This was largely because of the swiping motions, which were ideal for a screen of this size.

The smartwatch only comes with one watch face, but there are many more to choose from via the Watch software on the paired iPhone, which is organized into more than two dozen categories.

The Always-On Display (AOD), which can be enabled or disabled via the Settings app on the smartwatch and the Watch app on the paired iPhone, is compatible with many of these watch faces. Additionally, it has wear recognition to turn off AOD while the Watch Series 8 is not being worn.

The screen is left on at night while you sleep because AOD cannot be planned to switch on and off automatically every day at a specific time. Even with lesser brightness, this could annoy other people in the room at night. It could also waste battery life while also raising the possibility of display mishaps.

That doesn't imply that there isn't a fix for this. The Cinema Mode (also known as Theater Mode) function in watchOS allows you to keep the Apple Watch Series 8's screen dark while you're sleeping. It may be turned on via the Control Center on the smartwatch, which is accessed by swiping up from the home screen. The two-mask icon serves as its representation.

The Robust Software Ecosystem of Apple Watch Series 8: 

With an iPhone 8 or later and iOS 16 or later, the Apple Watch Series 8 is compatible. WatchOS 9.0 was used to launch it, and watchOS 9.6.1 is currently installed. The three applications Watch, Health, and Fitness that come pre-installed on the iPhone 13 I tested for this review are what the Series 8 depends on.
The Health app handles all of your health-related data, including sleep, heart rate, ECG, blood oxygen level, and step count, among other things, whereas the Watch app is used to configure the Watch Series 8 and play about with its general settings. The Fitness app, as its name suggests, displays all of your indoor and outdoor workout data. Additionally, it shows information about your mindfulness practices and all of the accolades you have received.

The Watch and Fitness applications offer a clean, uncluttered user interface that I found to be rather intuitive to use. Although Apple might have done a better job of displaying some health statistics, the Health app isn't particularly difficult either.

In addition, I would have preferred a one-stop solution rather than having to switch between three distinct apps, such as a single app for everything. It's not difficult; we've seen several other companies, like Amazfit, achieve it for their wearables.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is powered by Apple's S8 dual-core processor, which, along with watchOS 9, provided a fluid experience because the wristwatch continually performed quickly over these months of use.
Like the aforementioned apps, the Watch Series 8's user interface (UI) is uncomplicated and easy to use. On the home screen, a swipe-down displays the notification center, and a slide-up displays the control center, which gives you access to quick settings that can be customized. I think it is wasteful to do nothing when you swipe left or right. Apple might have made it possible for users to swipe left or right on the smartwatch's home screen to access their favorite features and apps.

Pressing the crown will launch any installed apps on the smartwatch, including the Settings apps. The apps are displayed in a grid layout by default, but you can switch to a list view. The app can be closed with the crown as well. On the other hand, the side button allows you to move between recently used apps.

Unveiling the Features and Performance of Apple Watch Series 8:

The S8 chip, a temperature sensor, and crash detection are new additions to the Apple Watch Series 8, which is otherwise virtually unchanged from its predecessor. The typical array of health and fitness features is also included, such as real-time heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen level measurement, sleep tracking, ECG, sedentary reminder, steps counter, and indoor and outdoor exercises.

Along with these other features, the Apple Watch Series 8 has GPS (L1), weather forecast, compass (with Backtracking), phone finder, stopwatch, countdown timer, fall detection, and music controls. Temperature sensing is another feature of the Watch Series 8, however, it is primarily helpful to women because it is utilized for Cycle Tracking with retroactive ovulation predictions to assist them in understanding their menstrual cycle.

With 32GB of internal storage, the Apple Watch Series 8 enables users to download songs for offline listening. If you're feeling daring, you may listen to them through the watch's speakers. Alternatively, you can pair it with any Bluetooth earphones to listen to music without an iPhone.

This saves you from having to bring your iPhone along when exercising outside, especially if you have the LTE variant, which enables you to make and take calls without being linked to an iPhone.

In addition, the Apple Watch Series 8 supports Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) connectivity and is equipped with Apple's W3 and U1 wireless chips.

Speaking of the health and fitness aspects, the Apple Watch Series 8 automatically takes a heart rate reading every minute without a method to modify it. This isn't ideal because allowing users to expand the gap by even a few minutes would help the battery last longer. I understand why Apple didn't offer that option, however, most wearables advocate automatic heart rate measurement at intervals of one minute for more precise data.

However, you can always take a manual heart rate reading using the Heart Rate app on your smartwatch if you don't want to rely on information from automatic tracking.

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