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Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Apple Watch Series 7: Key Differences to Expect

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intro

Apple’s dominance in the smartwatch market was largely undisputed in 2021, when Cupertino accounted for over 30% of all new smartwatch sales, and right now there’s little that can stop the momentum. The Galaxy Watch 5 series certainly sounds like it has potential, but really, the smartwatch to dethrone the Apple Watch Series 7 will definitely be… the Apple Watch Series 8!

Apple’s next smartwatch, which will hit its stride this fall, is already going to be a pretty intriguing update over the previous Apple Watch 7 generation as the watch’s design is expected to undergo a major overhaul and bring it in line with the latest Apple Watch. iPhone 12/ iPhone 13 with a flatter design in tow. In addition, we also expect Apple to unveil a rugged Apple Watch for the first time.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs Apple Watch Series 7 in a nutshell:

  • Newer Flat Design on Apple Watch 8
  • Skin temperature sensor on Apple Watch 8
  • Robust version of Apple Watch 8

Index:

Design and display

A big change in design

The Apple Watch Series 8 will be the most significant design update in Apple’s wearable history. We expect the Apple Watch 8 to be very different from its predecessors, with a predominantly flat design and fewer curves than before. This would no doubt help with uniformity, as the Apple Watch will finally resemble the most recent iPhones, such as the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. Both the panels and sides will be essentially flat, but an important aspect of the wearable will not. change: the lower half, which actually makes contact with your arm and contains all the sensors, will undoubtedly remain slightly curved for the best comfort.

Meanwhile, the Apple Watch 7 was the smartwatch that made the most progress this year: the screen has about 20% larger screen area than the Apple Watch 6. The larger screen makes working with the Apple Watch more pleasant because text is easier to see. It’s easier to text on the keyboard or quickly check your stats. Furthermore, the Always-On display is brighter than on the Apple Watch 6, but the overall brightness hasn’t changed much.

We generally expect the Apple Watch 8 series to come with 41mm and 45mm housings, just like the Apple Watch 7, giving plenty of usable display space. Speaking of the screen, we also expect Apple to reuse the Apple Watch 7’s strong and shatter-resistant crystal on the front on the Apple Watch 8. IP6X dust protection was a new feature of the Apple Watch Series 7, and we would of course expect the Apple Watch Series 8 to have this durability standard as well. The WR50 swim-resistant resistance certainly stays as well.

When it comes to watch bands, we expect Apple to introduce some new designs along with the Apple Watch 8, as the Apple Watch 7 hasn’t given us any new watch bands. It’s time, Apple! In any case, all previous watch bands were compatible with the Apple Watch Series 7 despite the larger screen, and we naturally assume that the Apple Watch Series 8 is also compatible with all of these bands.

Battery life and charging

Not many changes are expected

Frankly, we don’t really expect significant improvements in terms of battery life. The Apple Watch Series 7 should normally last up to 18 hours with normal use, and we don’t really see how the Apple Watch Series 8 could vastly improve that number. With the adequate optimizations, we think Apple could squeeze in an extra hour or two, but for the most part, you’d probably need to charge the watch on a daily basis. The same goes for the Apple Watch 7 – you’ll need to upgrade it regularly.

Fortunately, with the Apple Watch 7, Apple has improved the overall charging experience. A full charge takes an hour and 20 minutes, about 33% less time than the Apple Watch Series 6. Meanwhile, a 30% charge gets you 50% of the battery on the Apple Watch 7, which is also much faster than before.

Provided Apple doesn’t improve the charging experience much, we can probably expect the same performance from the Apple Watch Series 8.

Software and Features

The Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Series 7 will both run WatchOS 9 this fall. The latest software was previewed at Apple’s WWDC’22 dev summit. Some of the highlights include plenty of new watch faces namely Astronomy face, Lunar Calendar, Playtime and Metropolitan as well as some additional functionalities. There is now a history of atrial fibrillation (AFib), basically arrhythmia, caused by a rapid and irregular heartbeat in the atrial chambers of the heart, which will be available on all Apple Watch models with an EKG on deck.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says the Watch Series 8 will include a body temperature sensor, a feature used on many other smartwatches such as the Huawei Watch GT3 and numerous Garmin wearables, and is also reported to be debuting on the Galaxy Watch 5. series. Gurman believes that the Apple Watch Series 8 will also have improved atrial fibrillation monitoring, which is confirmed by the aforementioned WatchOS 9 feature.

The wearable may get new watch faces and workout modes, as well as a new power-saving mode to improve battery life and satellite connectivity. The Series 8 will still detect your heart rate and blood oxygen saturation, but it will miss the temperature, blood sugar and blood pressure rumors Apple has been working on.

As we mentioned, the Apple Watch 7 has the same biometric sensors that the Apple Watch 6 had in tow. This means it tracks your blood oxygen (SpO2), heart rate, altitude, sleep and EKG, just like the Series 6 does. The Apple Watch 8 will definitely keep all of that, along with the new skin temperature sensor reportedly coming. In the coming years, we are reportedly getting both a blood glucose sensor and a blood pressure sensor. We will live and we will see.

Summary and expectations

It looks like the Apple Watch Series 8 will be more than a decent successor to the Apple Watch Series 7. With a new design to show off and a few new tricks up its sleeve, the smartwatch is simply destined to become another bestseller in the line of successful Apple Watch wearables. However, this does not mean that the Apple Watch Series 7 will be obsolete once the new watch arrives, no. On the contrary, the Apple Watch 7 will certainly remain more than a decent and affordable alternative.

In addition, Apple Watch Series 7 content probably shouldn’t be pressured to upgrade to the new smartwatch. The new design could certainly be a major selling point of the Apple Watch 8, and that new temperature feature sounds intriguing, but let’s face it, it’s not groundbreaking stuff.

As for the price, we expect the Apple Watch Series 8 to keep the starting price of $399 and cost just as much as the Series 7 at launch. Sure, in these uncertain times there is always the chance of an unexpected price hike, but that is not very likely.

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