And 8! With the regularity of a watchmaker, Apple launches its new Apple Watch “Series” every fall. This year, the 8th version was upstaged by the Ultra – bigger, better equipped, much more expensive. This will only be revealed next week. In the meantime, some testers were able to start evaluating this new Series 8 that its first customers will receive tomorrow.
Not surprisingly for anyone who attended the keynote curtain raiser or browsed the list of new features for this model… there aren’t many. Worse — or good — watchOS 9 is the main provider of changes and it does not reserve them all for this latest generation.
Overview of watchOS 9 new features: discover a very sporty update!
The design of the previous models is carried over this year. With the 41 and 45 mm cases enlarged last year, and the edge of the screen slightly overflowing. The Ultra has reshuffled the cards on this ground, the Series 8 for its part does not touch anything. Its screen also retains its 1,000 nits brightness. The processor is an S8, instead of the S7, which brought little difference to the S6 (dual cores and 64 bits all three). Apparently that hasn’t changed too much this year either.
Apple Watch Series 8 processor is identical to Series 6 and 7
The cases are still available in aluminum and steel, but no longer in titanium, reserved for the Ultra. The reverse of the watch is now provided with a “ceramic and sapphire crystal” cover, while that of the Series 7 is in “ceramic and sapphire crystal”. For what advantages? A question of cost? Apple says nothing about it.
Comparison: what are the new features of the Series 8 compared to the Series 7?
Notably, the Nike family is stepping down this year, but the specific dials remain and are now usable by everyone as soon as you install the Nike Run Club app. As for the Hermès collection, it is renewed, RAS.
” It’s not a terribly exciting update ” Victoria Song announces from the outset at The Verge : “ but is it necessary? since the previous Series have worked well and the competition is not yet up to par. Identical judgment for Nicolas Lellouche at Numerama : “ Never has an Apple Watch introduced so few new features. But is this really a problem, when Apple’s previous watch was already considered the best on the market? “.
Last year was a blank season for the health functions on Series 7, this time we are entitled to a thermometer. However, it is only used to notify a Series 8 (or Ultra) wearer that she has already entered the ovulation period, or to track her period.
These measurements are only taken at night — in 5-second intervals — when using sleep mode. You have to wait 5 nights for the software to establish a basis of comparison for the rest. This monitoring will therefore not be triggered at will and there will be no notifications outside this specific framework of ovulation periods.
These indications temperature differences (and no temperature level per se) are however readable by everyone by going to the Health app. Only this app can account for these figures ” Apple did not consider it necessary to deploy a “Temperature” application on its watch regrets Nicolas Lellouche. He suggests that Apple may have considered doing more, but that, over time, it limited itself to this very controlled use. He recalls in passing that other watch manufacturers who have a thermometer show great restraint in the reliability of their readings, sometimes preferring to use color schemes rather than numbers.
The other hardware evolution relies on the use of a new accelerometer and an improved gyroscope to detect that his vehicle has hit or been hit by something. The watch then activates the emergency call function. Testing the cycle monitoring proved impossible due to lack of time, that of an accident was not more obvious to do. Results, The Verge rather had fun hanging the watch on a radio-controlled car sent against the walls… No alerts in the end, but Apple assured that its system was efficient enough not to be caught by such schemes.
” Until 6 p.m. “. This is the autonomy that we can expect from a Series 8 and it was already the case with the previous one. This includes ” 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app usage and a 60 minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch using Bluetooth “says Apple for the GPS model.
This year we are entitled to a new energy saving mode that we activate manually. It is not specific to the Series 8, it is in the luggage of watchOS 9 and works from a Series 4. The S8 lasted up to 24 hours for Victoria Song from The Verge and without economy mode activated.
watchOS 9: how the new power saving mode works
The 36 hours claimed by Apple by activating it are still difficult to achieve unless you are careful. Joanna Stern of wall street journal nevertheless succeeded, she still had a little juice after this stage. But he had to charge his watch to 30% to hope to see her spend a second night with sleep mode. However, it is not yet this year that we will be able to go on weekends without our Apple Watch charger. Numerama.
watchOS 9: the energy saving mode boosts the autonomy of some Apple Watch
Here are the functions that the energy saving mode of watchOS 9 disables
Prices have gone up, like many other Apple products. From 70 and 90 € for the first Series 8 aluminum in GPS and cellular, they are respectively 499 and 539 €. In view of the developments of this generation, The Verge recommend it instead to owners of versions that are beginning to date. When you don’t have the screen always on, or when this screen starts to be a bit small to be easily readable, an S8 is a good choice. Numerama places itself in the same logic, and judges that in spite of the meager novelties ” it is a product [qu’on] can only recommend “.
Joanna Stern for her part advises to start by installing watchOS 9 on her Apple Watch S4 or more, before thinking about changing it. A good part of these tests of the new watch have indeed focused on the novelties of the latest system. Another sign, if needed, that this Series 8 is above all an incremental update.