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Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Apple Watch Series 8: What’s the difference?

Is the Apple Watch Series 8 worth the upgrade over your Series 7? Let’s find out.

Apple Watch Series 8 and Series 7 are pretty similar

Apple Watch Series 7

  • The Apple watch series 7 is a good smartwatch but it may be discontinued by Apple. It has most of the features that the new Series 8 has, but it is missing Crash Detection and temperature sensing. Still, you could probably find a good deal on one if you wanted.

For

  • Could get one for a good deal
  • Only a few features short

Against

  • Older chip
  • No Crash Detection
  • No temperature sensors

Apple Watch Series 8

  • The Apple Watch 8 is the direct successor to the Apple Watch 7. Although the Apple watch series 8 doesn’t feature other significant changes, it genuinely is an upgrade. With a temperature sensor that can help you detect illness or help you with ovulation tracking plus the new Crash Detection feature, the Series 8 offers more health features than the previous generation.

For

  • Temperature Sensor
  • Crash Detection
  • S8 processor

Against

  • Likely not on sale right now

The two models feature tons of health and fitness functions as an assistant device of the iPhone. The biggest differences are the few key features Apple has added to the Apple Watch Series 8. Still, those features may not be worth upgrading if you’re happy with your current Apple Watch Series 7. Let’s dive in and find out all the differences.

Design changes

You can hardly tell the difference between series 7 and series8 at first glance cause they are the same appearance. Both models come in two case sizes —  41mm and 45mm — and are the same weight, meaning those extra temperature sensors in the Series 8 don’t mean you need to deal with a heavier watch.

When it comes to finishes and colors, these models have different options. The Apple Watch Series 8 only comes in aluminum and stainless steel finishes, whereas the Series 7 also offers a titanium option. Of course, we know now that’s because the titanium finish is now reserved for the new Apple Watch Ultra(opens in new tab).

The Apple watch series 7 have more color options to choose from on the aluminum model. There are blue, green, red, starlight and midnight. The Series 8 has dropped the green and blue options but kept the red, Starlight, and Midnight, while also adding a silver option. Both models have the same color choices when it comes to the stainless steel models. 

S7 vs. S8 Chip

According to Gurman, the S8 chip is the same as the S6 and S7 chips. This means that the chip is unlikely to deliver the significant performance or efficiency improvements as the ‌Apple Watch Series 7‌’s chip.

Spec differences

Once you know more details about these two models, you can differentiate them clearly. The Apple Watch Series 8 has a few new big features, but it’s also got a big upgrade inside.

Series 8Series 7
Case sizes41mm and 45mm41mm and 45mm
ProcessorS8S7
Blood Oxygen appYesYes
ECG appYesYes
Fall detectionYesYes
Crash DetectionYesNo
Temperature SensorYesNo
Low-power modeYesNo
Entry-level GPS$399$399
Entry-level Cellular$499$429

The Series 8 is an upgrade over the Series 7, and the brain that powers the device has a lot to do with it. The internal chip, the S8, is about 20% faster than the previous chip in the Series 7. You’ll get more done and a lot quicker on a Series 8, but that likely will only be noticeable to the select few who use their Apple Watch very heavily for communication, music, fitness tracking, and everything else.

Regarding features, the Series 8 packs in a few new heavy hitters that are worth noting. On to the next section!

Battery Life

While Apple announced a new Low Power Mode alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, it is a feature that will make its way down the lineup in watchOS 9. Any Apple Watch Series 4 and later will be able to take advantage of Low Power Mode as part of watchOS 9, meaning the Apple Watch Series 7 can take advantage of it too.

In Low Power Mode, the Apple Watch Series 8 and presumably other watchOS 9 devices could extend their battery life up to 36 hours depending on use — twice as long as using the Apple Watch in normal mode.

What exactly does it do to make the Apple Watch more power efficient? Apple has stated it temporarily disables or limits select sensors and features, including the Always-On Retina display, workout autostart, heart health notifications, and more.

Features differences

First things first, the Apple Watch Series 8 can do everything the Series 7 can do. That means the Always-On display makes a comeback, fall detection hasn’t gone anywhere, and all the watch faces you’re used to having on your Series 7 are compatible with the Series 8. It’s the Series 7 that own lacks a few new key features.

Body temperature sensing

Apple has included a temperature sensor in the Apple Watch Series 8, which is sensitive enough to sense a 0.1 degree Celsius temperature change in your body. The Series 8 takes your wrist temperature during sleep every five seconds, which Apple says can help you detect illness early and help a lot with ovulation tracking.

Crash detection

Thanks to two new and improved sensors — a 3-axis gyroscope and a G-Force accelerometer — the Apple Watch Series 8 will be able to tell when you are in a crash. Crash detection uses many sensors and features to determine if you’ve been in a severe crash, including the barometer, GPS, and microphone on your iPhone. When it does detect a severe crash, the Series 8 will automatically call 911, provide your location, and notify your emergency contacts if you don’t respond to the on-screen notification in 10 seconds. It’s very similar to fall detection, but for crashes instead.

Should you upgrade your Apple Watch?

If you just bought a Series 7, I’m not convinced the Series 8 is necessary to run out and grab right away for most people; however, a couple of new features could make it worth it to some.

If you’re someone who menstruates and you want better Cycle tracking and more precise indications of when you might be ovulating, the Series 8 might be worth it to you. Or, if you absolutely want the most features, you can get on your Apple Watch and think a temperature sensor and Crash Detection are worthy of your money.

Overall, I think there’s no question the Apple Watch Series 8 will take the mantle of best Apple Watch over the Series 7, but whether you want to ditch your Series 7 in favor of the Series 8 is up to you.

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