Apple Watch Sequence 8: Per week with the brand new finest smartwatch (for now)

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The Sequence 8 is the center youngster of Apple’s 2022 Watch lineup, and sadly it could be the simplest to miss. With its important updates being crash detection and a brand new pores and skin temperature sensor that enables for ovulation monitoring, the Sequence 8 seems like a small replace to final 12 months’s Sequence 7. At $399, it additionally faces stiffer competitors from the Watch SE, which not solely noticed a value discount this 12 months to $250, but additionally shares the identical processor because the Sequence 8, amongst many different options. And with the high-end Watch Extremely arriving quickly, it’s laborious to think about anybody is feeling excited in regards to the Sequence 8.

Nonetheless, since most individuals don’t improve their smartwatches on a yearly foundation, a generational comparability isn’t essentially the most helpful to make. By itself, the Sequence 8 is an outstanding watch that makes an important multipurpose wearable with wonderful well being and health instruments. I’ve spent a few week testing the Sequence 8 alongside the Watch SE, in addition to the Sequence 7. (Sure, that’s a variety of watches on my wrists.) And, whereas I don’t really feel able to pronounce a full verdict, I can comfortably say most individuals will probably be happy with the Sequence 8.

It’s laborious for me to actually evaluate the Sequence 8 to the Sequence 7 as a result of I acquired a bigger dimension to check than regular. The older mannequin in my possession is the 41mm model, whereas the Sequence 8 I’ve is the 45mm possibility. It doesn’t translate to a serious useful distinction, however the dimension discrepancy did make some options more durable to check.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

For instance, I’m already extra delicate than most about sleeping with a watch on my wrist. That the 45mm Sequence 8 is larger than my Sequence 7 meant I hated testing its sleep-tracking much more than regular – a lot in order that I’ve been pushing aside this a part of the assessment course of. As an alternative, I wore the brand new 40mm Watch SE to mattress, which made for a tolerable expertise.

I’ve to date worn the Sequence 8 on a redeye flight to see if I’d get some temperature readings then, however regardless of my having arrange a Sleep Focus as required, the watch didn’t observe sleep. I’ll need to do extra testing, however between that and likewise testing the Watch SE in a single day, I can’t consider options like the brand new pores and skin temperature sensor for now.

Apple makes use of the information it collects when you sleep to calculate a baseline in your physique temperature, and over time it seems at deviations to evaluate if and once you ovulated. The Sequence 8 requires at the least 5 nights of knowledge to find out the baseline, after which extra time is required to gauge your cycles.

An Apple Watch Series 8 on the wrist of a person gripping a red kettlebell, showing its Always On Display.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

With all that’s concerned in testing this function, I’ll want to attend a bit of longer earlier than I can get a greater concept of how helpful it’s. I can also’t safely take a look at crash detection, in order that’s not one thing I can vouch for both.

For now, although, residing with the Sequence 8 is rather a lot like utilizing the Sequence 7 . The brand new beige Starlight coloration possibility isn’t one thing I’m enthusiastic about, but it surely does make the Watch really feel much less like a black stone on my wrist.

Although the Sequence 8 makes use of a more moderen S8 system-in-package processor, it didn’t really feel dramatically quicker than its predecessor. It did final a bit of longer generally, although I would like extra time testing to know for certain. I additionally suspect that the bigger dimension might need one thing to do with this. I used the new low energy mode in watchOS 9 one morning when the Sequence 8 was down to twenty p.c battery and I nonetheless needed to run to the health club for an 8am exercise. It managed to final one other two hours at the least whereas additionally with the ability to observe my efficiency through the HIIT class. I used to be impressed by how little it felt like I needed to sacrifice in trade for the additional juice.

The Apple Watch Series 8 on a person's wrist, showing a paused workout tracking screen.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

I additionally loved trying out another watchOS 9 updates like cardio zone pages throughout exercises and the brand new watch faces. The Lunar display specifically helped me keep in mind that the Mid-Autumn Competition was this previous weekend, since I may clearly learn the date in Mandarin on the web page. (The date for the pageant in Mandarin can also be a colloquialism that refers back to the moon.) Once I switched Focus Modes on my telephone, the corresponding image confirmed up on the prime of the Sequence 8’s display to point it additionally adopted that profile. Reminders to take the medicines I’ve saved to Apple Well being had been additionally useful, and I favored with the ability to use the watch to log drugs I took.

Most of those options will probably be out there to these utilizing older Apple Watches as soon as the software program replace is put in.

Whereas it’s good that you would be able to get ECG and blood oxygen readings on the Sequence 8, I didn’t run these very a lot throughout my time with the system. These aren’t instruments that I’d use usually sufficient to warrant spending an additional $150 on the higher-end mannequin. For most individuals, the Watch SE presents loads for a pleasant value — particularly for those who can stay with out an always-on show and IP6X mud resistance.

The Apple Watch Series 8 on the wrist of an arm held up in mid-air with a bike seat in the background.

Cherlynn Low / Engadget

The Sequence 7 and eight each cost quicker than the SE, however the cheaper watch by no means took longer than 45 minutes to get sufficient juice for a day’s use. Additionally, I’ve but to misplace my Apple Watches, so the U1 chip that’s lacking from the SE hasn’t felt as essential. On the Sequence 8, that extremely wideband function will allow extra exact location by way of Apple’s Discover My app.

I’ll probably maintain utilizing the Sequence 8 as my main smartwatch (after buying and selling it in for a smaller mannequin), however not as a result of I really want the pores and skin temperature sensing or crash detection; my job requires me to remain on top of things on the newest gadgets and options. But when I had been making the choice for myself (and never my profession), I’d probably purchase the Watch SE. Nonetheless, the Sequence 8 is well-rounded and full-featured, and arguably one of the best smartwatch round. That’s, till we get our arms on the upcoming Watch Extremely.

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