At Apple’s Far Out event on Wednesday, the company announced its new lineup for the Apple Watch. The big news is the new Apple Watch Ultra, but Apple has also unveiled the new Series 8 and second-generation SE watches that replace the Series 7 and SE respectively. Here are the key features for each model.
Apple Watch Series 8
The new Apple Watch Series 8 shares the same design as the Series 7. Available in 41mm or 45mm sizes, it features the same rounded corners, the digital crown and side button on the right, and a choice of aluminum (Midnight, Starlight, Silver or product red) and stainless steel (Space Black, Gold, Silver, Graphite).
Its health and fitness features are topped off by a new body temperature tracker for tracking a woman’s ovulation cycle. It monitors the temperature of a user’s wrist while sleeping to record variations used in menstrual cycle tracking. All data is encrypted end-to-end and is only shared if a user allows it.
The Series 8 has a new high-G accelerometer and high dynamic range gyroscope that work together to enable the Crash Detection function, which can detect if you’ve been in a serious car accident and automatically contact emergency services .
The Series 8 has an S8 processor, which appears to be the same as the S7 in the Series 7, as Apple has not mentioned any performance improvements of the Series 8 over the Series 7. Apple ranks battery life at 18 hours, which is the same as the Series 7, but the Series 8 has a Low Power mode that can extend battery life to 36 hours by disabling some features. That feature will also be available as an update for all Apple Watch Series 4 models and later.
International roaming is also new to the Series 8, so a Series 8 with mobile phone can be used when you leave the country, as long as the watch is added to your mobile subscription.
The Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399, with prices varying based on the case material (aluminium or stainless steel), band, and cellular connectivity. Apple is now taking orders on the watch, and shipments will begin arriving on September 16.
Apple Watch SE (2nd generation)
Apple’s entry-level model is finally getting an update two years after its initial release. The new SE follows the same design features as its predecessor and is available in 40mm and 44mm sizes.
The second-get SE has all the features that the original SE model had, including heart rate and rhythm notifications and fall detection. New to this model is Crash Detection, but it still lacks ECG and blood oxygen sensors, as well as an always-on display, one of the biggest drawbacks of the original SE.
The SE has an S8 processor, the same chip found in the Series 8, and an upgrade from the S5 in the first-generation SE — Apple claims a 20 percent performance improvement over the original SE. The second-generation SE continues to use a W3 chip for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity is available as an option.
The Apple Watch SE 2 starts at $249, $30 less than the previous model. Orders for the SE can be placed now, with shipments set for September 16.