Apple’s latest wearable, the Apple Watch Series 8, has been announced alongside the next generation SE. The Apple Watch Series 8 brings new health tracking features and advanced crash detection to Apple Watch. The SE has also been updated, and a new Apple Watch Ultra exists.
The watch is open for pre-orders and will be available starting September 23 and comes in at $799.
The Watch SE and Watch Ultra are rather interesting entries in Apple’s smartwatch lineup. The Watch SE is cheaper than its predecessor while also using the same chip as the more expensive Series 8 and retaining a lot of its features, while the Watch Ultra is Apple’s first rugged smartwatch that comes in at double the price of the Series 8.
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Series 8 is here
The Series 8 includes a new temperature sensor, which places the focus on women’s health, especially period tracking with end-to-end encryption on the Apple Health app in addition to two new motion sensors to detect when you’ve been in a crash.
Apple claims that the watch can track temperatures as small as 0.1 degree Celsius and checks for body temperature every five seconds. The company is banking on the fact that tracking body temperature overnight can give insights into the ovulation cycle and that the process is meant to improve the watch’s already working period tracking feature.
The data is already encrypted on the watch and can only be shared with your explicit permission, for which Apple is providing rather good controls. This is rather important for people, especially after the Roe v. Wade judgment.
As for crash detection, the company claims that it only works when you’re driving, meaning better battery life. Speaking of battery life, the Series 8 claims around 18 hours of battery life, with a new low-power mode which can extend the battery life to as much as 36 hours.
The low power mode will also come to all Apple Watches starting Series 4 and later as part of the largest WatchOS 9 update. Cellular roaming connectivity is also supported on Series 8, and older watches thanks to WatchOS 9.
The Apple Watch Series 8 will be available starting September 16 and will come in at $399 for the GPS variant and $499 for the cellular variant.
A new Standard Edition
The new Apple Watch SE is both cheaper and up to 20% faster than the previous generation thanks to the new S8 chip, the same one used in the newly announced Series 8. There’s also a 30% larger screen as compared to the Apple Watch Series 3 — the watch that the Original SE went against.
The new entry-level Apple Watch gets a lot of the Series 8’s features, including crash detection and international roaming in addition to the usual SE features, including the 50-meter water resistance, Retina OLED screen and optical heart rate sensor. You also get support for Apple’s Family Setup feature, which debuted with the original SE.
The Apple Watch SE will be available starting September 16 and will come in at $249 for the GPS variant and $299 for the cellular variant, a $30 price drop from the original SE.
An Apple Watch ‘Pro’, sort of?
Following years of anticipation, Apple has finally launched a rugged version of its smartwatch, and it isn’t called ‘Pro’ for a change. Instead, Apple decided to name its rugged version the Apple Watch Ultra.
The new smartwatch sits on top of Apple’s existing smartwatch lineup and is designed for exploration in harsh environments and underwater. It gets an updated 49mm titanium case, a special orange action button and a more rugged crown both designed to work with gloves.
All versions of the Apple Watch Ultra get 36 hours of battery life, which can be extended to up to 60 hours thanks to the new low-power mode. The Ultra also gets a low-power GPS mode that’ll still be able to measure heart rate. Apple claims that the Watch Ultra will be able to withstand a complete triathlon consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a full 26.2-mile marathon.
Speaking of GPS, the Ultra also gets updated multi-band GPS, including the L1 and L5 bands. There’s WR100 water resistance with EN 13319 certification for scuba divers proving a maximum diving depth of 40 meters in addition to a new Oceanic Plus app for recreational divers. The watch also gets an 89-decibel signal to help others locate you in times of distress.
Apple did not go easy on the rugged parts at all. The company claims that the watch can withstand temperatures from -4° F (-20° C) to 131° F (55° C). It’s also certified for MIL-STD-810H, a standard used for military equipment and is popular among rugged equipment manufacturers.
Last but not least, there are three new bands — Alpine, Trail, and Ocean catering to different outdoor activities including running, exploration and swimming.
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