The Apple Watch Series 8 and the impossible test

Apple may have launched three new models of connected watches this year, only the Apple Watch Ultra really arouses curiosity. With a new design and several new features, this top-of-the-line model will only be released next week. In the meantime, Apple has sent some journalists and youtubers a demonstration Apple Watch Series 8 before its release this Friday. Only here, the novelties are of an unprecedented complexity and make impossible any test within a reasonable time.

Our American colleagues from The Verge tried it but had to admit defeat. The Apple Watch Series 8 only brings two real new features: the temperature sensor and two improved sensors (gyroscope and accelerometer) for accident detection. The processor of the S8 chip is also identical to that of the S7 chip.

The temperature sensor does not provide a measurement on demand: not precise enough for that, it merely measures trends and compares periods with each other. It can thus give indications on the evolution of the quality of sleep, and it makes it possible to retrospectively give an estimate of the date of ovulation which can be a valuable aid in conception. But it’s not something that can be tested in a few days: for ovulation, for example, it takes two cycles for the Apple Watch Series 8 to start an estimate.

As far as accident detection is concerned, it is clear that testing this novelty would require disproportionate equipment and risk-taking. The Verge had fun taking the watch on a small remote-controlled car which suffered a few voluntary accidents in the editorial aisles… At least we know that the feature is not triggered by, um, accident: the sensors are complex enough not to be fooled.

The Verge test thus quickly turns to a review of certain new features of watchOS 9 that are not specific to the Apple Watch Series 8. A useful test, the new energy saving mode allowed Victoria Song to reach 24 hours of battery life — it’s not impossible to reach the 36 hours promised by Apple, but you have to be particularly careful.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is inherently far from dull: it’s just a fairly minor update to the Apple Watch Series 7 which was already one of the best watches on the market. Temperature detection only addresses half of the population globally, while accident detection has also been included in the iPhone 14. If we add the price increase suffered in Europe, it is difficult to advise the purchase of this new model unless you have a very specific attraction for its thermometer.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is sold from €499 (41 mm) or €539 (45 mm) on the Apple Store and at retailers such as Amazon, Fnac, Darty, Boulanger or LDLC. However, the Apple Watch Series 7 is still available at a reduced price in certain stores and in particular at Amazon. On the side of the 41 mm model, there is a reference at 379 € (green) and two at 399 € (midnight, blue). On the side of the 45 mm model, there are two at 429 € (blue, starlight). You can find all the prices on our comparator.

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