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Apple Watch Series 8 review: Iterative upgrade with temperature sensor

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Successor to the Watch Series 7 (review), the Series 8 is an incremental upgrade with temperature sensor among the notable additions. There are actually two temperature sensors; one placed under the screen and another on the bottom alongside 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 thereafter measure the variations in body temperature.


A temperature-sensing wearable tied onto your wrist is a novel idea, but its utility is limited to women’s health in the Series 8. That said, the Watch Series 8 enables users to receive retrospective ovulation estimates in the Health app available on iPhones. For the uninitiated, knowing when ovulation has occurred can be helpful for family planning. Besides, the temperature sensing enables improved period predictions. Aside to women’s health related metrics, there is barely anything from Apple and third-party app makers that take advantage of temperature data.


‘Crash Detection’ is another feature that I could not test and pray to never be in a situation for it to trigger. However, I did set it up and the process was straightforward – Open Watch app, tap on ‘Emergency SOS’, enable ‘Call after serious crash’, and add emergency contacts.


Lifting the experience is the WatchOS 9, which brings several new features and adds fineness to the existing ones that arrived with the last version of Watch operating system. There are four new faces — Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan, and Astronomy – and each of them are designed to utilise the Watch Series 8’s screen with contoured bezels to the fullest. My personal favourite is the new ‘Low Power Mode’, which extends the battery life by limiting the use of power-intensive sensors and features such as activity tracking, fall detection, background heart rate monitor, and always-on display.


Verdict


Priced at Rs 45,900 (review unit – midnight aluminium case with sport band), the Series 8 is an iterative upgrade. Apple has made significant changes in the sensors to enable features like crash detection. Besides, it added a temperature sensor for holistic insights into women’s health. The WatchOS 9 brings dollops of newness, but it is 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. Yet, it makes a good buy for existing Watch Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, and SE users looking to upgrade.

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