With the Apple Watch Ultra, Apple Watch Series 8 and a new Apple Watch SE, Apple has thoroughly revised its own smartwatches. Apple Watch Ultra offers the most innovations, Series 8 focuses primarily on new temperature sensors and accident detection.
Apple Watch Series 8
Two new temperature sensors
Unlike its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 8 now has a temperature sensor that’s also meant to help women with cycle tracking by letting the Apple Watch predict ovulation during the cycle based on changes in body temperature. Apple installs a temperature sensor on the back of the watch and one on top directly below the display. This combination is intended to improve the measurement accuracy by taking into account external influences during the measurement. At night, the Apple Watch 8 measures the body temperature every 5 seconds with a discrepancy of 0.1 degrees Celsius.
Functions such as ECG and blood oxygen measurement are still available with the Apple Watch Series 8. Nothing has changed on the case with 41 and 45 mm and it is still protected against dust according to IP6X. The screen again offers 396 × 484 pixels on the 45 mm model and 352 × 430 pixels on the 41 mm model. Apple’s Ion-X front glass is used on the aluminum model, and sapphire glass on the stainless steel version.
Apple Watch 8 records car accidents
In addition to fall detection and the ability to call 911 from the watch, Apple Watch 8 now also detects car accidents and automatically calls 911 if the user is unresponsive. For this purpose, the Apple Watch Series 8 uses the gyroscope and an accelerometer. In addition, data from the barometer, GPS and microphone on the iPhone is used to identify typical accident patterns. The smartwatch detects accidents from the side, front, rear and also rollover with the car.
New power saving mode for longer battery life
According to Apple, the Apple Watch Series 8 offers a battery life of up to 18 hours. A new feature is a low power mode that can double battery life to 36 hours if needed. In this mode, functions such as the always-on display and automatic training recognition are switched off. Low Power Mode will be available starting with Apple Watch Series 4 and requires watchOS 9.
As a processor, the Apple Watch Series 8 uses the S8 SiP (System-in-Package), about which Apple has not yet given any more precise information, because the S8 SiP is basically the same processor as in the Series 7 and Series 6.
Pre-orders start today
The Apple Watch Series 8 is available starting today and will ship on September 16. In aluminum it is available in the four colors Polarstern, Midnight, Silver and (Product)Red, the stainless steel version is available in the three colors Silver, Gold and Graphite. The aluminum model starts at 499 euros as a GPS version with 41 mm (539 euros with 45 mm), the LTE model is estimated at 619 euros (from 659 euros for the 45 mm variant).
Apple Watch Ultra
Bright display, titanium and sapphire glass
With the Apple Watch Pro this year, Apple introduces a completely new model that sits above the Apple Watch Series 8. As expected, Apple relies on a titanium cover that is taller than the Series 8 and protects the screen. The case, which is larger than the Series 8, always measures 49 mm, and the screen offers 410 × 502 pixels. The Apple Watch Ultra weighs 61.3 grams, while the 45mm Series 8 weighs 38.8 grams with aluminum and 51.5 grams with stainless steel. The larger and brighter screen of the Apple Watch Ultra is protected by a flat sapphire glass. According to Apple, it should achieve a brightness of up to 2,000 cd/m².
S8 SiP with Bluetooth 5.3
To optimize night vision, the crown can be rotated to activate Night Mode, which tints the UI red to improve visibility in the dark when using the new Wayfinder watch face. In addition, the Ultra also offers the new temperature sensors like the Series 8. The Ultra also uses the S8 SiP, so Apple does without a more powerful SoC compared to the Series 8. Only the Apple Watch Ultra already has Bluetooth 5.3, while the Apple Watch Series 8 continues to use Bluetooth 5.0.
Action button, LTE and multiple microphones
In addition to the crown on the right, the watch has a new, orange action button on the left, which can be assigned by the user himself. The use of the crown and buttons should also be optimized for the use of gloves. A second speaker should increase the volume, while three microphones ensure good intelligibility when making phone calls through the Apple Watch Ultra, even in strong winds, to be able to call for help in an emergency. The Apple Watch Ultra will only be available as a cellular variant with a cellular connection.
More battery and better GPS
A larger battery is said to enable a battery life of up to 36 hours, with a separate power saving mode that reduces the frequency of GPS and heart rate measurements, up to 60 hours are possible. As an outdoor smartwatch, the Watch Ultra is said to offer the best GPS to date by supporting L1 as well as the latest network frequency L5. A new feature allows the user to retrace their route as it is automatically detected and set waypoints to get back to where they started if they strayed from the route. An audio signal such as a siren with 86 decibels should also be able to alert you in an emergency.
Protected to military standards
Apple Watch Ultra is designed for temperatures from -20 to 55 °C and is certified according to MIL-STD-810H. Tests included low air pressure (altitude), high temperature, low temperature, thermal shock, liquid contamination, rain, humidity, immersion, sand and dust, freeze/thaw, ice/sud, shock and vibration.
Watch Ultra as a dive computer
The Apple Watch Ultra can also be used as a dive computer that offers automatic depth measurement and supports a depth of up to 40 meters. As a diving computer, the Apple Watch Ultra also measures the water temperature. It is also certified according to WR100 and EN 13319. The new Depth app shows the time, current depth, water temperature, dive time and maximum depth reached while diving.
For 999 euros starting today
The Apple Watch Ultra can be pre-ordered starting today for 999 euros. Deliveries start on 23 September. With the Trail Loop, Alpine Loop and Ocean Band, Apple has developed three new wristbands designed to provide the appropriate support for the respective applications. The new Wayfinder dial is specially designed for the larger display and displays up to eight complications in addition to the compass.
Apple Watch SE
The Apple Watch SE is also undergoing a refresh. With the S8 SiP, the Apple Watch SE relies on the same SoC as the Series 8, making it 20 percent faster than before. However, it must do without functions such as the temperature sensor of the Series 8 and the ECG and blood oxygen function, but crash detection and pulse measurement are also included in this model. The SE’s screen is 30 percent larger than the Series 3 and still doesn’t offer always-on functionality. The 44 mm model has 368 × 448 pixels, the 40 mm model has 324 × 394 pixels.
Apple Watch SE is available in Silver, Midnight and Starlight colors, each with an aluminum body. The size has not changed with 40 and 44 mm. Apple’s Ion-X front glass is still used for the glass. What is new, however, is that the back is matched to the color of the Apple Watch SE and is made of nylon composite material. The GPS model of the Watch SE (2022) costs 299 euros, while the LTE model costs 369 euros.
Comparison of all new models
Apple itself already offers a very good comparison of the technical data for all new Apple Watches.