With the Watch Series 8, Apple announced the Watch Ultra, an option for “athletes and adventurers of all kinds.” As such, the Generation 8 isn’t the most advanced option in the Cupertino giant’s smartwatch series. But, of course, this won’t affect the relevance of the world’s best-selling smartwatch series.
Whether you’re thinking of upgrading from the Series 7 to the Series 8, or unsure which of the two models to buy, keep reading this comparison to understand which device best suits your needs.
Apple Watch Series 8 compared to Apple Watch Series 7
|Benefits of evaluation
|Assess the damage
Read the Apple Watch Series 7 review
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: Prices and Availability
Both the Series 8 and Series 7 are available in 41- or 45-millimeter versions. While there was a titanium option last year, only available in stainless steel and aluminum for the Series 8, titanium is now reserved for the Apple Watch Ultra. In general, you can choose between Midnight, Polaris, Gold, Graphite, Silver, Space Black and (PRODUCT) Red. The price starts from 399 dollars.
|Apple Watch Series 8
|Apple Watch Series 7
|$399 or $499 (4G)
|$429 or $529 (4G)
|$399 or $499 (4G)
|$429 or $529 (4G)
|Stainless steel case
|Titanium Case (Apple Watch Edition)
It’s important to note that Apple has pulled the Series 7 from its stores and the previous generation can only be purchased through sellers like Amazon. This means that the final price of the Series 7 may vary more or less depending on the time of year you buy the smartwatch.
Now, for example, some Series 7 models are available on the Amazon store that are more expensive than the new generation due to the manufacturer’s sales strategy and/or retailers.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: Design and Screen
In design, the two generations are very similar. We have the same 45mm or 41mm case sizes and edge-to-edge display. The fact that Apple chose to keep the size and design is not surprising since we had a 20% jump in display size last year.
Added to that, we have the same screen resolution and the same 1,000 nits peak brightness as the previous generation. Like last year, the 41mm casebands in 2022 are compatible with 38mm and 40mm cases, and the 45mm casebands are compatible with 42mm and 44mm cases. Also, if you own a Generation 7 model, you can use most wristbands on the Generation 8.
When it comes to durability, the Apple Watch Series 7 and Watch Series 8 are WR50 certified and IP6X certified for dust resistance. WR50 means the watch should be good for swimming and snorkeling, but not high-speed water sports or diving.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: SoC and Performance
As mentioned at the beginning, one of the biggest differences between these two models is the upgrade to the S8 chipset under the hood. Additionally, like the Watch Series 7, the new generation is also equipped with the U1 ultra-wideband (UWB) chip.
Both models run the watchOS 9 operating system, which among other things brings a new low-power battery mode to last year’s generation – more below.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: Sensors
When it comes to sensors, the Watch Series 8 has the edge, because it brings two new temperature sensors: one is located next to the skin, and the other is in the display. Specifically aimed at monitoring the menstrual cycle and ovulation, these sensors monitor body temperature during the day and night, providing more accurate information about ovulation or the next period.
This is a really useful addition to help with family planning or simply to avoid future health concerns.
Another addition is “Crash Detection” which now detects car accidents and can alert emergency services and emergency contacts in case of serious accidents.
To that end, Apple has improved the gyroscope and accelerometer in the new model, and added two new motion sensors. According to the company, this means 4x better motion detection than before, making fall detection, for example, more accurate.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: Features
Starting September 16, both models will have support for Apple’s latest smartwatch software, watchOS 9, which will include features such as exercise profiles and fitness metrics for the Workout app, as well as a feature to accurately track sleep levels.
But thanks to the new temperature sensor, the Watch Series 8 can track your menstrual cycle and ovulation more accurately as mentioned above. Another unique feature is collision detection, which was not available in the model released last year.
Functions such as failure detection, atrial fibrillation detection (Afib) and medication monitoring are available in both the Series 8 and Series 7 right within the Health app.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Watch Series 7: Battery and fast charging
On the battery front, we didn’t have a big difference when it came to battery life for each of the smartwatches, with 18 hours remaining for both models. What changes here is the usage time of the device in low power mode, which according to Apple provides up to 36 hours for the Watch Series 8.
As mentioned above, watchOS 9 brings Low Power Mode to Apple’s older line of smartwatches, the Watch Series 4 and later. With that, we’re seeing a battery boost in the Series 7, along with the autonomy offered by this year’s models.
Just keep in mind that Low Power Mode extends the watch’s battery life by limiting certain features, such as sensors or apps running in the background, such as heart rate monitoring.
When it comes to charging the battery, both series magnetic chargers use a USB-C plug compatible with the company’s 20W adapter. According to Apple, it takes 45 minutes to reach 80% charge on the smartwatch.
Conclusion: Is the upgrade worth it?
According to a recent report from Counterpoint Research, Apple will lead the global smartwatch market with 29.3% of shipments in Q2 2022, so it’s no surprise that the Apple Watch Series 8 hasn’t changed much from last year’s model. The Watch Ultra is also the current premium smartwatch from the Cupertino giant – and it’s certainly a bit different from the Series 8.
So if you own a Series 7 model, should you upgrade to the ne Watch Series 8? Given the few differences to the previous generation, my suggestion is to wait for the Series 9, which brings more additions to the line.
Now, if you own an Apple Watch Series 6 or below and are wondering which model to buy in 2022, my advice is to get the newer models. The price gap is small, and you’re getting the latest system-on-a-chip and some new or improved sensors. This also goes for those looking to buy an Apple Watch for the first time.
But if you are in doubt between last year’s Apple Watch edition and Apple Watch Ultra, I advise you to stay with the latter model, because the differences are many, as you can see in us. Apple Watch buying guide.
Finally, if you’re looking for an alternative to Apple Watches, models like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Fitbit Sense 2 or Garmin Instinct 2 could be good options. Also, don’t miss our guide on the differences between the Apple Watch Series 8 and Watch Ultra.