The Apple Watch Series 8 may be Apple’s newest smartwatch, but its reveal was somewhat overshadowed by the Apple Watch Ultra. With Black Friday fast approaching and last year’s watch on sale, do the new features in the Watch 8 make it worth buying over the Apple Watch Series 7?
Since the Watch Series 6, we’ve hoped for a design refresh of the Apple Watch, but Apple has mostly left the core aesthetic unchanged. The biggest improvement has been extending the display over toward the corners a little. This means that, at first glance, there’s little to differentiate the Apple Watch Series 8 from the Series 7, or even the Series 6.
Still, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and the Apple Watch remains far and away the most capable wearable fitness tracker/smartwatch. That’s because it ties so deeply into the iPhone’s iOS operating system. It also manages its own version of the App Store, so a lot of your apps will appear on the Watch instantaneously when connected.
Since there’s very little difference between the Series 7 and Series 8 models, which side you come down on could easily be decided by fine margins.
For example, if you’re looking to track menstrual cycles, the Apple Watch Series 8 is the way to go because it adds a Cycle Tracking feature. The Series 8 has a new temperature sensor that helps you understand how temperature variations relate to ovulation, what it means when the temperature deviates from your baseline, and how to use this health metric in efforts to conceive.
The Apple Watch Series 8 also has a feature that you’ll hope never to use – Crash Detection. With more advanced gyroscopes and accelerometers, the Apple Watch Series 8 can work out when the wearer has been in a car crash, even pulling barometric pressure data that suggests when an airbag has been deployed. It can then contact emergency services. It’s a nice addition to have, even if you hope never to need it.
The Apple Watch Series 8 isn’t much more expensive
Aside from those two headline features, though, the Apple Watch Series 8 remains very close to the Series 7 in terms of overall functionality. There’s no big leap in battery life, and all watchOS 9 features are available on both models. That means things like the new “Low Power Mode” are ubiquitous across both.
As you may have guessed, that may make picking up a Series 7 or Series 8 more of a numbers game than anything else, and Apple doesn’t ship the Series 7 on its own site anymore. Thankfully, there are a handful of Black Friday deals out there, so you can still get one at a good price.
Amazon is currently offering the smaller size, 41mm, for $299.99 as part of its “renewed” range, but you can also get the 45mm size for $369.99 (opens in new tab), or as low as $349 (opens in new tab) if you like the Product Red colorway.
And yet, it’s not all that cheap, especially when you can buy a brand new Series 8 for just $30 more from Apple (opens in new tab). In fact, the Apple Watch Series 8 is down to $379 in a current sale at Amazon (opens in new tab), making it an easy pickup instead of its aging sibling – even with only two major new features.
Think about the trade in value
One final consideration is trade value. Just as you can trade your old phone when you buy a new one, you should also plan on trading your old watch for a new one. Apple fans know that Apple devices hold value better than other manufacturers. Spending a bit more money on a watch now will equal more value in trade later.
While there’s only a little difference in features to help choose between the Apple Watch Series 7 and Watch Series 8, the same can also be said about the gap in price right now. With that in mind, we’d advise spending the $30 extra if you can. Not only do you gain a couple of intelligent new features, but you’ll also give yourself a better chance of selling the Apple Watch for more further down the line.