Apple has announced its latest wearable, the Apple Watch Series 8. It includes a new temperature sensor, which Apple says “takes its commitment to women’s health even further.” The Series 8 also includes two new motion sensors to detect if you’ve been in a severe car crash. It’ll be available starting September 16th and will cost $399 for the GPS model and $499 for the cellular model.
The company says it can track temperature changes as slight as 0.1 degrees Celsius and that it checks your temperature every five seconds. The company says that tracking your body temperature overnight can help give you insights into your ovulation cycle, which it can use to enhance the watch’s cycle tracking feature for those who menstruate. The company says that this data is encrypted on the watch itself — an important consideration for anyone tracking their cycles after the repeal of Roe v. Wade. Apple also says that anyone using Cycle Tracking will now get a warning if their period is irregular, which could be a sign of “underlying health conditions.”
The company says that its crash detection feature will only run while you’re driving, which helps preserve the watch’s 18-hour battery life. Apple’s also introducing a low power mode, which extends the watch’s battery life to 36 hours. The feature will also be coming to older watches starting with the Series 4 as long as they’re running watchOS 9. Enabling the mode will turn off the always-on display and auto-workout tracking, but you’ll still get activity tracking and crash detection. Also coming to older watches and the Series 8 is cellular roaming.
Last year’s model, the Series 7, featured a slightly updated design that made the screen bigger compared to previous models (but did not, as rumors suggested, introduce a radically new look with flat sides). Aside from the redesign, it only included a few new features: faster charging, improved durability, and some new colors. The Series 8 aluminum comes in four colors: midnight, starlight, silver, and red; the stainless steel model is available in silver, gold, and graphite.
The Apple Watch Series 8 has a lot of competition. Fitbit recently revamped its smartwatch lineup with the Sense 2, Inspire 3, and Versa 4, which cover a wide range of price points. Garmin’s latest generation of smartwatches has also garnered a lot of praise from reviewers. And while the upcoming Pixel Watch and Samsung’s Galaxy Watches aren’t really competing for iPhone users’ wrists, it’s always interesting to see how Apple’s wearable stacks up with the flagships on the Android side.