Apple Watch Collection 8 4.6 / 5 Superb professionals and cons Execs WatchOS 9 brings new well being and health options

Enhanced sleep monitoring for extra correct insights

Temperature monitoring can enhance ladies’s well being

Spectacular battery life

At all times-On show retains getting higher Cons No main {hardware} upgrades from the Apple Watch Collection 7

Would not match the entire sensors in Samsung watches $399 at Apple $329.99 at Goal $329 at Finest Purchase extra shopping for decisions

On the floor, you would not have the ability to inform the distinction between the Apple Watch Collection 8 and final yr’s Collection 7.

If you’d like essentially the most complete Apple Watch expertise — aside from the Extremely — then the brand new Collection 8 is the one to get.

The show sizes (41mm and 45mm) are the identical. The battery sizes are the identical. And the inventory of colourful watch bands is generally the identical.

It is solely whenever you work together with the brand new Apple Watch that you will start to note a lot of the enhancements.

Additionally: The most effective Apple Watch Collection 8 bands

I have been exercising, sleeping, and wandering about with the Apple Watch Collection 8. Listed here are my ideas on Apple’s newest wearable and whether or not or not it might be an excellent match for you.


Apple Watch Collection 8 (41 mm) Apple Watch Collection 8 (45 mm) Show 352 x 430 pixel At all times-On Retina LTPO OLED 396 x 484 pixel At all times-On Retina LTPO OLED Weight Aluminum (32g), chrome steel (42.3g) Aluminum (38.8g), chrome steel (51.5g) Processor Apple S8 chip Apple S8 chip Storage 32GB 32GB Battery As much as 18-hour lithium-ion battery (36 hours in low energy mode) As much as 18-hour lithium-ion battery (36 hours in low energy mode) Sensors GPS, altimeter, blood oxygen, optical coronary heart sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient mild sensor, physique temperature sensor, high-G accelerometer

GPS, altimeter, blood oxygen, optical coronary heart sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient mild sensor, physique temperature sensor, high-G accelerometer

Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE (GPS + mobile mannequin solely) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE (GPS + mobile mannequin solely) Case supplies and colours Aluminum: Midnight, Starlight, Silver, (PRODUCT)RED | Stainless-steel: Graphite, Silver, Gold Aluminum: Midnight, Starlight, Silver, (PRODUCT)RED | Stainless-steel: Graphite, Silver, Gold IP ranking IP6X dust-resistant waterproof to 50 meters IP6X dust-resistant, waterproof to 50 meters Worth Beginning at $399 Beginning at $429


Like its predecessor, the Collection 8 mannequin is available in 41mm and 45mm stainless-steel aluminum circumstances.

The case’s slim bezel helps the show shine because the 41mm panel encompasses a lot of the watch’s face. And there is a refined curve surrounding the Apple Watch, giving a smooth, pebblelike impression.

The digital crown and residential button stay on the best facet of the watch case and proceed to be the best strategy to navigate by way of the watch interface, scroll by way of notifications and apps, and even regulate the audio quantity.

The Collection 8 is available in seven completely different aluminum case colours, 4 of which the Collection 7 doesn’t have: Gold, Silver, Graphite, and Area Black.

Coming from a 38mm Collection 3 to the 41mm Collection 8, I used to be initially apprehensive that the watch would look or really feel cumbersome on my comparatively smaller wrist. The 3mm distinction, nonetheless, become a constructive — I might now see notifications and my reside health metrics extra clearly, and the watch nonetheless felt modern quite than cumbersome.

“Modular” is my watch face of selection. Christina Darby/ZDNET

In contrast to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch collection or extra basic, round-faced watches, Apple continues to maintain its staple squircle design. Whereas Apple launched a number of new bands with this yr’s mannequin, each the 41mm and 45mm sizes are backward-compatible — in case you at present personal a Collection 7 Watch and need to elevate the look with out paying up for the Collection 8.

Additionally: 9 methods to get extra out of your Apple Watch

Show and brightness

The Apple Watch Collection 8 has the identical show and brightness as final yr’s mannequin, which suggests it is nonetheless spectacular to work together with and take a look at. The brightness, particularly, additionally made it simpler for me to benefit from the six new Apple watch face designs, together with Lunar, Astronomy, Modular, and Metropolitan. Like on the Collection 7, the background colours adapt to the sunshine of your atmosphere when the watch is in your wrist, shifting from mild and darkish modes to optimize battery life and maintain issues in focus.

Additionally: The way to allow the Exercise Sharing characteristic in your Apple Watch

The At all times-On show additionally continues to get higher and higher. The mix of the improved battery life within the Collection 8 and WatchOS 9 optimizations has made the At all times-On show extra usable than ever. Apple’s early implementation of the At all times-On show on the watch was not all the time definitely worth the battery hit.

Relying on what watch face you have been utilizing or what app you had open when it went to sleep, the At all times-On show used to behave extra like a screensaver with a clock on it. Now, for instance, it may possibly merely dimthe watch face or Health seconds counter — minimizing the battery hit, so it is value turning on the characteristic.

WatchOS 9

The newest model of WatchOS introduces enhanced well being and health options, together with in-depth sleep monitoring, cycle and basal temperature monitoring for ladies, cut up tempo notifications for cardio exercises, and a extra customized exercise show. At all times-On show and its notification performance have additionally gotten a elevate; quite than piling up after which shortly disappearing, notifications pop up on the prime of the watch face and roll away with out overwhelming your feed.

Additionally: The way to arrange an Apple Watch

It is value noting that Apple Watch fashions courting again to the Collection 4 are eligible to obtain the WatchOS 9 replace, however not all of the options — particularly, the well being and health ones — shall be out there. For that purpose alone, it might or might not make sense so that you can make the improve to the Collection 8.

My watch face is customizable with my very own photographs and I can change the colour of the background to make the portrait pop much more. Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

Health efficiency

As health continues to be on the core of the Apple Watch expertise, the Collection 8 wearable introduces a catalog of recent monitoring and measurement options.

For cardio-based workout routines, the smartwatch can now observe the “Zone” that your coronary heart price drops to throughout a exercise. Like on a professional-grade coronary heart price monitor, you may see in case your coronary heart price falls in Zone 1, 2, 3, or 4. For example, after I felt out of breath throughout my spin class, I observed that my coronary heart price had dropped to Zone 3 however nothing decrease, so I pushed tougher to get it racing once more and train extra effectively. Since WatchOS 9 calculates these zones along with your resting and max coronary heart price taken under consideration, every Zone is tailor-made to your particular coronary heart price and up to date month-to-month. You may view how the precise zones correspond to your coronary heart price ranges in your watch settings and study so much about your cardio well being.

The Apple Watch can save data of your coronary heart price numbers and efficiency. June Wan/ZDNET

Moreover, the Apple Watch Collection 8 now exhibits your mile cut up, which is helpful in the event you’re a long-distance runner. Whereas I am not coaching for a race, I discovered it simply as sensible for my on a regular basis stroll to work. By monitoring how a lot time it will take for me to stroll a mile or two, the watch mainly set a benchmark for my strolling velocity, which pushed me to push my tempo.

The brand new metrics monitoring helps you see exercises in a different way. Since there are actually extra stats you may sift by way of, with the addition of coronary heart price zones and cut up tempo, you may higher customise your watch face to show the knowledge that is most essential to you. Inside the train app, you may, say, swap the standard “energy burned” metric in your watch face to the cut up tempo numbers as a substitute. In case you, like me, are borderline obsessive about closing all of your rings, you may even set the watch to show the three trackers at a look. There have been loads of instances after I’d see that I solely wanted 50 extra energy to shut my transfer ring and it motivated me to place in a number of extra reps when understanding.

Overview: I put the Apple Watch Extremely by way of a Robust Mudder: Here is the way it held up

It is also doable so as to add extra selection to your run with the Apple Watch Collection 8. As an alternative of utilizing your watch to easily log a run, now you can account for warmups and restoration and set drills and repeats in your foremost “work” intervals. For runners coaching for a 5K or half marathon, this software could make your runs extra structured and dependable.

The Apple Watch Collection 8 exhibits your cut up time whenever you’re strolling, working, or biking. Break up time generally is a good software for establishing and modifying a benchmark tempo. Christina Darby/ZDNET

You may even grow to be your personal largest competitor by racing your self on an out of doors observe that you’ve got already accomplished. Once more, in case you have a favourite coaching spot and need to construct off your benchmark time, this characteristic alone could also be definitely worth the splurge.

Lastly, for the true multitaskers on the market, the Collection 8 additionally has a “multi-sport” perform that means that you can shortly transition from working to biking or swimming with out having to fully finish the exercise — like on the Collection 7.

Additionally: That is the last word use of your Apple Watch Extremely’s Motion button

It is value noting that the Apple Watch Collection 8 nonetheless can not measure blood stress and physique composition standalone, two metrics that Samsung’s newest Galaxy Watch 5 collection, with its BioActive sensor, can calculate. If these numbers matter to you, and you do not need to have to purchase extra tools to seek out them out, then the Apple Watch 8 will not be your best option.

Sleep monitoring

New this yr, the watch tracks how lengthy you spend in deep sleep, core sleep, REM sleep, and awake. You may then entry the info within the iPhone’s Well being app to study simply how environment friendly or inefficient your sleep actually is. As somebody who chronically wakes up each evening round 3 a.m., I used to be impressed to see that the Apple Watch was capable of completely mark these instances and the depth of my sleep after the very fact.

Carrying the watch to mattress is extra comfy than I’d’ve anticipated, and I am extra invested in my sleep habits than ever earlier than. Its sleep schedule characteristic has even been the key to correcting my poor sleep habits.

My colleague Jason Hiner has additionally been testing the Apple Watch Collection 8 and has been utilizing the Apple Look ahead to sleep monitoring for over three years. He is additionally examined under-the-mattress sleep sensors and a sensible mattress. He reviews that, total, he nonetheless prefers the SleepWatch app on Apple Watch to the built-in software program within the Well being app.

Additionally: The way to sleep higher with the Apple Watch

Nonetheless, the largest factor he missed from the under-the-mattress sensor was the info on sleep phases to assist perceive the standard of sleep. He now repeatedly makes use of that characteristic on the Collection 8 and is impressed with the accuracy and the visualizations. However, the Apple Watch’s sleep app can be a lot better if it additionally built-in HRV, blood oxygen, and different information — and he added that Apple is overdue to launch a companion Sleep app for the iPhone as properly.

Whenever you go into your well being app on the iPhone after you sleep, you may view your sleep insights. Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

The options I did not check

Crash Detection

Just like the iPhone 14 line, the Apple Watch Collection 8 can detect a extreme automobile crash by measuring modifications to the atmosphere’s sound, stress, and movement, and assist join you to emergency companies. Within the occasion of a automobile crash, the Apple Watch will ask in the event you’re OK or if it ought to name emergency companies. It is going to do the latter if there is no response inside 20 seconds. By default, crash detection is on.

Girls’s well being options

Maybe one of many largest upgrades to come back with WatchOS 9 is the upgraded well being options, particularly for ladies’s well being. As a lady, I discovered it handy that I might observe my cycle by answering a number of questions and carrying my watch each day. Whereas this know-how is helpful for ladies who simply need to be extra in tune with their our bodies, it is value noting {that a} smartwatch is just not smarter than your doctor. When you’ve got an irregular cycle or undergo from medical nervousness, the Apple Watch could also be a helpful first evaluation, however you shouldn’t base your medical selections on simply that.

Whereas I personally am not utilizing the look ahead to household planning functions, I do know many search for instruments to take action. WatchOS 9 additionally tracks modifications in basal temperature whilst you sleep (after 5 days) and may monitor your ovulation.

Battery life

You may count on an identical battery life efficiency with the Apple Watch Collection 8 as final yr’s mannequin given the similarity in battery dimension. Having switched from the Collection 3, nonetheless, I used to be much more impressed with the Collection 8’s endurance.

Additionally: The straightforward manner so as to add extra problems to your Apple Watch

I sometimes put on the watch from morning to nighttime, strolling about 2 miles to and from work, exercising for half-hour to an hour, after which sleeping for about 7 hours. I’ve discovered that point and charging administration are wanted in the event you plan on utilizing the Apple Watch day and evening.

A view of the Apple Watch Collection 8 when it begins charging. Christina Darby/ZDNET

Luckily, the brand new Apple Watch costs quick. I have been utilizing Anker’s 511 Charger (Nano 3) and Apple’s USB-C charging cable, which takes the Collection 8 to a full cost after an hour. Since I have been utilizing the watch throughout my sleep, I have been often trickle-charging it in the course of the day, like after I’m sitting in a gathering.

Backside line

The Apple Watch Collection 8 is an incremental replace to the basic, squircle smartwatch — and I am not complaining. The identical catalog of handsome and sensible watch faces remains to be there and, with the improved well being and health monitoring options, the watch is extra helpful than ever for serving to me keep in tune with my physique each throughout exercise and at relaxation.

Additionally: The 5 finest smartwatches

My solely callout is of WatchOS 9 and its abundance of updates and options: They might be overwhelming and never relevant to each person. However if you need essentially the most complete Apple Watch expertise — aside from the Extremely — then the brand new Collection 8 is the one to get. As we regularly say with the most recent merchandise, in case you have final yr’s Collection 7 then there’s little purpose to improve to the Collection 8. However in the event you’re on the upgrade-hunt and have the Collection 6 or earlier, the Collection 8 presents a lift in options and battery life.

Options to contemplate