Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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Apple Watch Series 8 review: Iterative upgrade with temperature sensor

successor to the Watch Series 7 (review), the Apple Watch Series 8 is an incremental temperature sensor upgrade among the notable additions. There are actually two temperature sensors; one placed under the screen and another on the bottom next to other sensors. These sensors are not available on demand, but work in the background while you sleep to calculate the baseline (first five nights) and then measure variations in body temperature.

A temperature-sensitive wearable strapped to your wrist is a new idea, but its usefulness is limited to women’s health on the Apple Watch Series 8. That said, the Watch Series 8 allows users to receive retrospective ovulation estimates in the Health app available on iPhones. For the uninitiated, knowing when ovulation occurred can be helpful for family planning. In addition, the temperature measurement makes it possible to better predict the period. Women’s health-related stats aside, there’s hardly anything from Apple and third-party app makers taking advantage of temperature data.

‘Crash Detection’ is another feature I couldn’t test and pray never to be in a situation where it could be activated. However, I set it up and the process was simple – open the Watch app, tap ‘Emergency SOS’, enable ‘Call after severe crash’ and add emergency contacts.

The experience is enhanced by the WatchOS 9, which brings several new features and adds refinement to the existing ones shipped with the latest version of the Watch operating system. There are four new faces – Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan and Astronomy – and each of them is designed to take full advantage of the Watch Series 8’s screen with contoured edges. My personal favorite is the new ‘Low Power Mode’, which extends battery life by limiting the use of energy-intensive sensors and features such as activity tracking, fall detection, background heart rate monitor and always-on display.

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verdict

The Apple Watch Series 8, priced at Rs 45,900 (review unit – midnight aluminum case with sports band), is an iterative upgrade. Apple has made significant changes to the sensors to enable features such as crash detection. In addition, it added a temperature sensor for holistic insights into women’s health. The WatchOS 9 brings dollops of novelty, but it’s not exclusive to Watch Series 8. That said, the Apple Watch Series 8 is more of a seasonal refresh than a proper upgrade from the last-gen model. Still, it’s a good buy for existing Watch Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, and SE users looking to upgrade.

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