Here’s your complete hands-on sports & fitness test of the Apple Watch Series 8, including tons of data, real-world usage, and plenty of WatchOS 9 background testing as well.
While all eyes last week were on the Apple Watch Ultra, the reality is that the Series 8 will sell the most units (by far), has almost every software feature of the Ultra, and includes the same slate of massive sports and feature changes as part of WatchOS 9. The Apple Watch Series 8 hardware itself was a modest update at best, instead, relying heavily on new sports & fitness software features like triathlon support, deeper structured workout/interval features, a revamped compass app with backtrack functionality, and running power/efficiency metrics.
To be sure, the hardware features – however minor, will likely be important to Apple’s longer-term vision. These features include vehicular crash detection (using high-impact detecting sensors & algorithms), but more notably on the health/fitness side include a new skin temperature sensor set at the wrist. This sensor set aims to track your wrist temperature while sleeping, primarily with the goal of providing women’s menstrual cycle tracking. However, in this iteration, it falls short of cycle prediction like we’ve seen from some of Apple’s competitors, who leverage similar temperature tracking hardware.
I’ve been putting the Apple Watch Series 8 through its paces in a variety of workouts, including running, cycling, swimming, and more. This is of course in addition to testing WatchOS 9 most of this summer as well, using the new features there – even in a triathlon. I’ve also got an Apple Watch SE In-Depth Review slated for tomorrow, and of course, in due time you’ll see a review of the Apple Watch Ultra.
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