Men’s Health reviews Apple Watch Series 8: ‘Consistency rules’

Apple Watch Series 8 features the beloved Apple Watch design, including a large Always-On Retina display and a strong, crack-resistant front crystal. With 18-hour all-day battery life, the Apple Watch Series 8 builds on top health and safety features like ECG app and drop detection by introducing temperature sensing, retrospective ovulation estimates, detection crashes and international roaming.

The redesigned Compass app provides more in-depth information and new zoomable views.
The redesigned Compass app provides more in-depth information and new zoomable views.

Brett Williams for Men’s Health:

Series 8 is put in a somewhat awkward position. Yes, the flashy new Ultra has the momentum coming out of Apple’s rough presentation, but that doesn’t mean the Series 8 was just a second thought. I put the Series 8 through a wear test for just under a week after the big reveal at Keynote, and found that consistency ruled with the new device.

During my testing, I was able to maintain Apple’s advertised “all day” battery estimates (usually set at 18 hours, although this will depend on usage), but I needed to extend the time between recharge and the other with a busy week at work. I went into Power Saver mode at around 22 percent around noon, so I went out for the rest of the day without running out of battery when I took it to a charger at 8pm. Apple estimates that the entire battery life with the power saving mode is 36 hours. I didn’t get very far, but I had no problems with the power saving mode. To compensate for the drop in output, some features such as the Always-On display, heart health notifications and automatic workout detection are disabled.

Along with the new hardware, this week marks the release of Apple’s latest software for its wearables, watchOS9, now available for all Apple Watch Series 4 devices onwards. This is where things get exciting, especially if you are less interested in passive health monitoring and more focused on moving your body and getting active.

Chief among the updates is a overhaul of the Workout app, where users track their exercises and view data as they train … The real overhaul has come to the outdoor running mode. In addition to preset workouts and new individual session settings that allow you to specify time, distance, pace and calorie consumption, a wide range of new data points are available to let runners know everything about their pace as they train. Measurements such as vertical swing, stride length and ground contact time can be entered directly on the display, allowing you to make adjustments on the fly. I didn’t like this experience, but I’m determined in my own way: for less confident riders, these tools could be used to improve their pace.

MacDailyNews takes: It’s pretty surprising that normally we’d be so excited to upgrade our Apple Watches to the next in the series, but not this year. This year, the Apple Watch Ultra is where it is.

Not that Apple will tell us, but some analysts will be scrambling to guess the Apple Watch mix this year and the figures will be fascinating.

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