The first tests of the Apple Watch 8 have arrived!

The first Apple Watch Series 8 and second-generation Apple Watch SE reviews are out. Ahead of the first customer shipments arriving tomorrow, US media is giving us a first in-depth look at modest updates to the Apple Watch Series 8, pending reviews of the Apple Watch SE 2 and the Apple Watch Ultra that we have already taken in hand.

Apple Watch 8 reviews

For The Verge, most Apple Watch Series 8 upgrades are invisible to the naked eye, as it has the exact same design with slightly different colors. Our colleague notes, however, how the body temperature sensor works, because Apple has not provided much information on this subject:

The temperature detection of the watch is essentially passive. Unlike existing EKG, heart rate, and blood oxygen sensors, on-demand readings are not possible. You can only get wrist temperature readings when you have Sleep Focus and sleep tracking enabled. Additionally, you need to sleep with the Apple Watch on for five nights to establish a baseline. Once this step is completed, you will only see deviations from this baseline. You’re never really going to look at your wrist and say, “Oh, I have a fever because my temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit.”

(…) If you happen to track your cycles in the Health app, turning on wrist temperature readings gives you retrospective estimates of ovulation after about two cycles.

apple watch 8 test dial watchos 9

For its part, Tom’s Guide talks about the new car accident detection function and highlights two improved sensors of the Apple Watch Series 8:

Apple Watch Series 8 features two new motion sensors, plus an improved gyroscope and accelerometer. Together they can sample movement four times faster than before, so the watch will be able to detect a crash at the precise moment it happens. And, in the unfortunate event of an accident, the Apple Watch will automatically call emergency services and notify your emergency contacts. Although a dark thought, quicker help could be a matter of life and death.

Engadget notes that the new S8 chip isn’t faster but could improve battery life in general (must have forgotten that S8=S7=S6, processor hasn’t changed since Series 6):

Although the Series 8 uses a newer S8 processor, it didn’t feel much faster than its predecessor. It lasted a little longer in general, but I need more time to test it and be sure. I also suspect the larger size might have something to do with it. I used watchOS 9’s new low power mode one morning when the Series 8 was down to 20% battery and I still had to run to the gym for an 8 a.m. workout. She managed to last at least another two hours while still being able to track my performance during the HIIT class. I was impressed with how little sacrifice I had to make in exchange for that extra battery.

The Wall Street Journal praises the new power saving mode:

[Le mode faible consommation] removes the always-on display and heart rate measurements in the background, while retaining activity tracking and drop detection, which is ideal for long flights or weekends without a charger (.. .) In my testing, Low Power Mode extended the battery life of the Series 8, as well as my old Series 7 watch. The watches even had battery left after 36 hours, but they needed to be recharged to 30% for a second night of sleep tracking. (Apple’s 36-hour estimate is based on testing that doesn’t include sleep tracking, though sleep tracking still works when the feature is enabled).

TechCrunch, for example, emphasizes the importance of emergency functions, especially for older users. One of the new features is the international emergency call:

International Emergency Call extends functionality for people traveling abroad, covering some 120 countries/regions around the world. The system can also be triggered if the watch detects a fall. These aren’t “sexy” features, far from it, and that probably contributed to the rather low-key reaction to the product’s launch. I’d venture to say that those sorts of additions aren’t exactly the kind of features that shake things up for too many users, but Apple is building a strong case as a device for older users and those with known health conditions.

The rest is of little interest since they are the same capacities and performances as the Apple Watch 7.

apple watch 8 test sports

Buy Apple Watch 8

The new Apple Watch features an always-on display, a new body temperature sensor, battery life improvements, and more like crash detection. Its price starts at 499 euros in 41 mm and 539 euros in 45 mm.

Finally, here are some videos to finish:

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