In addition to the new Apple Watch 8, the Apple brand has also announced the Apple Watch Ultra, a version “for athletes and adventurers of all kinds”. So the Apple Watch 8 is no longer the most advanced model in Apple’s line of smartwatches. However, of course, that won’t impact the relevance of what is the world’s best-selling smartwatch series.
Whether you’re considering upgrading from the Apple Watch 7 to the Watch 8 or just unsure which model to buy, read this comparison to understand which Apple Watch best suits your needs.
Apple Watch 8 vs Apple Watch 7: Should you buy the new model?
|The 2022 model||The 2021 model|
Apple Watch 8 vs. Watch7: Price and availability
The Apple Watch 8 and Watch 7 are both available in 41mm or 45mm versions. While there was a titanium variant last year, only stainless steel and aluminum are available for the Watch 8, with titanium now reserved for the Apple Watch Ultra. In all, you’ll have a choice of Midnight, Polaris, Gold, Graphite, Silver, Space Black and (PRODUCT)RED colorways. Here are the prices of the different models:
|Model||Apple Watch Series 8||Apple Watch Series 7|
|Aluminum case||€499 or €619 (4G)||539€ or 659 (4G)||€429 or €529 (4G)||€459 or €559 (4G)|
|Stainless steel case||899€||949€||849€||899€|
|Titanium case (Apple Watch Edition)||–||–||949€||999€|
It is important to note that Apple has removed the Watch 7 from its catalog, and it is only possible to buy it through retailers like Amazon. This means that the final price of the Apple Watch 7 can vary more or less depending on the time of year you buy the smartwatch.
Apple Watch 8 vs Watch7: Design and display
In terms of design, the two generations are very similar. We find the same case sizes of 45 mm or 41 mm and a borderless screen. The fact that Apple chose to keep the size and design is no surprise given that last year we had a 20% increase in screen size.
Added to that, the screen resolution is the same, as is the 1000 nits of peak brightness. Like last year, in 2022, 41mm straps are compatible with 38mm and 40mm cases, and 45mm straps are compatible with 42mm and 44mm cases. Also, if you already own an Apple Watch 7, you’ll be able to use most bands on the Watch 8.
In terms of resistance, the Apple Watch 7 and Watch 8 are certified WR50 and IP6X for resistance to dust. The WR50 certification means the Apple Watch is suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not for high-speed water sports or diving.
Apple Watch 8 vs Watch7: SoC and performance
As mentioned at the beginning, one of the big differences between these two models is under the hood, where we find the new Apple S8 SoC. Besides, just like the Watch 7, the new generation is also equipped with the U1 chip for UWB.
Both models run on watchOS 9 which, among other things, brings a new energy saving mode to the Apple Watch 7. We tell you more about it in the following.
Apple Watch 8 vs. Watch7: Sensors
When it comes to sensors, the Apple Watch 8 has the edge, as it brings two new temperature sensors: one located near the skin, and the other inside the screen. Intended in particular to follow the menstrual cycle and ovulation, these sensors monitor body temperature throughout the day and night, providing more precise data on the moment of ovulation or the next period.
It is a really relevant addition to help with family planning or simply to avoid health problems in the future.
Another addition, the “Crash Detection” function now also recognizes car accidents, which makes it possible to alert the emergency services in the event of a serious accident, as well as your emergency contacts.
For this, Apple has upgraded the new model’s gyroscope and accelerometer, and added two new motion sensors. According to the company, this means 4x better motion detection than before, making fall detection, for example, even more accurate.
Apple Watch 8 vs. Watch7: Features
From September 16, both models will be able to run the latest version of Apple’s OS for its smartwatches, watchOS 9. The update brings features such as exercise profiles and performance metrics for the Workout app, as well as the functionality to accurately track sleep stages.
But thanks to the new temperature sensor, the Apple Watch 8 can track your menstrual cycle and ovulation period even more accurately, as mentioned above. Another unique feature is Crash Detection, which will not be present in the model announced last year.
Features like fall detection, atrial fibrillation (Afib) detection, and medication tracking are available on both the Apple Watch 8 and Watch 7, right in the Health app.
Apple Watch 8 vs Watch7: Battery life and fast charging
Regarding autonomy, there is no big difference between the two generations of smartwatches, which both offer 18 hours of use. What changes is the autonomy in Low Power mode, which goes up to 36 hours on the Apple Watch 8 according to the manufacturer.
As mentioned above, watchOS 9 also brings Low Power Mode to older models in Apple’s smartwatch lineup, namely the Watch 4 and later models. With this function, you should have a battery life gain on the Apple Watch 7 which should bring it closer to the Apple Watch 8.
Just keep in mind that Low Power mode stretches the smartwatch’s battery life by limiting certain features, like sensors or even apps running in the background, like heart rate tracking.
When it comes to charging, both models use a magnetic charger with a USB-C plug compatible with Apple’s 20W charger. According to Apple, it takes 45 minutes to charge smartwatches to 80%.
Conclusion: Is the upgrade worth it?
According to the latest report from Counterpoint Research, Apple leads the global smartwatch market with 29.3% of sales in the second quarter of 2022, so it’s no surprise that the Apple Watch 8 doesn’t bring much change from compared to last year’s model. Also, the Apple Watch Ultra is the Cupertino giant’s current high-end smartwatch and it actually differs quite a bit from the Watch 8.
So should you upgrade to the new Apple Watch 8 if you already own the Watch 7? Given the few differences from the previous generation, I suggest you wait for the Apple Watch 9, which should bring considerable improvements to the range.
However, if you have an Apple Watch 6 or a lower model, and you are in doubt which variant to buy in 2022, I advise you to buy the Apple Watch 8. The price difference is rather small, and you will get the latest SoC as well as some new or old but improved sensors. This also applies to those who want to buy an Apple Watch for the first time.
However, if you are hesitating between last year’s Apple Watch Edition and the Apple Watch Ultra, I advise you to go with this latest model, because the differences are numerous, as you can see in our Apple Watch comparison 8 and Watch Ultra.
Finally, if you are looking for an alternative to the Apple Watch, models such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Fitbit Sense 2 or Garmin Instinct 2 can be good options.