Apple Watch Series 8 and SE 2 reviews are available now

The first reviews of the Apple Watch Series 8 and the second generation Apple Watch SE have appeared. Before the pre-orders reach shoppers on Friday, these early reviews provide our first in-depth look at the modest Apple Watch Series 8 upgrades and the new generation of entry-level Apple Watch models with the SE 2.

Down Borderland, most of the Apple Watch Series 8 improvements are invisible to the naked eye because it has the exact same design with slightly different colors. The review highlights how the body temperature sensor works, as Apple hasn’t provided much information about it:

The watch’s temperature sensor is mostly passive. Unlike existing ECG, heart rate, and blood oxygen sensors, you cannot take readings on demand. You can only get wrist temperature readings if you have Sleep Focus turned on and sleep tracking is turned on. Additionally, you need to sleep with your Apple Watch for five nights to establish a baseline. When you do this, you’ll only see deviations from that baseline. You will never really look at your wrist and think, “Oh, I have a fever because my temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit.”

(…) If you happen to track your cycles in the Health app, turning on wrist temperature readings means you can get retrospective ovulation estimates after about two cycles.

Tom’s guides talks about the new Car Crash Detection feature, highlighting two improved sensors on Apple Watch Series 8:

The Apple Watch Series 8 includes two new motion sensors, as well as an improved gyroscope and accelerometer. Together, they can sample movement 4 times faster than before, so the watch will be able to accurately detect a failure. And in the unfortunate event of a failure, your Apple Watch will automatically call emergency services and notify your emergency contacts. Gloomy as it is, getting help sooner can be a matter of life or death.

Engadget Notes that the new S8 chip is not faster, but can improve battery overall:

While the 8 Series uses the newer S8 processor in the package, it didn’t feel much faster than its predecessor. Overall, it took a little longer, although I need more testing time to be sure. I also suspect that the larger size may have something to do with it. I used the new low power mode on watchOS 9 one morning when the Series 8 battery dropped to 20 percent and I still had to run to the gym for my 8am workout. He managed to hold on for at least two hours while still being able to track my results during HIIT classes. I was impressed with how little I felt that I had to sacrifice myself in exchange for the extra juice.

Wall Street Journal praises the new low-power mode:

[Low Power mode] cuts the always-on display and background heart rate measurements while keeping activity tracking and drop detection – perfect for long flights or a weekend without a charger (…) In my tests, the low-power mode extended the battery life of the 8 series – as well as my older series 7 watch The watches even had some battery after 36 hours, but had to be recharged to 30% for the second night of sleep tracking. (Apple’s estimate of 36 hours is based on tests that don’t include sleep tracking, although sleep tracking still works when the feature is turned on.)

TechCrunchfor example, it highlights the importance of emergency functions, especially for older users. One of the new features is international emergency calls:

International Emergency Calls extend this feature for overseas travelers to approximately 120 countries / regions around the world. The system can also wake up if the watch detects a fall. These are by no means “sexy” traits – and that probably contributed to the somewhat subdued response to the product’s launch. I’d venture to say that these kinds of add-ons aren’t exactly the kind of features that move the needle for too many users, but Apple is building a strong hold as a device for older users and people with known health issues.

Reviews on Apple Watch SE (2022)

Streets summarizes what the selection of the new Apple Watch SE looks like in 2022:

The Apple Watch SE is best for those new to Apple Watch, who don’t need all the health features of a display that’s always on, or if you have an older model like Series 1, 2, or 3.

Engadget doubles Streets review by highlighting what you are missing when selecting your Apple Watch:

The main features you will miss if you opt for the SE instead of the Series 8 are the Always On Display (AOD), EKG reader, blood oxygen app, and the new skin temperature sensor. Like the older SE, this year’s model also loads slower than the 7 and 8 series and lacks the U1 chip for the ultra wideband band. It also lacks an IP6X dust resistance rating compared to more premium counterparts, so if you fancy taking it Tough Mudding or to the beach, consider the more expensive model. Those who hate chunky bezels will also find that the thicker SE boundaries are off-putting, but I didn’t notice much difference side by side.

Wall Street Journal talks about the slight differences between the predecessor of the Apple Watch SE 2 and who this smartwatch might be worth it for:

SE ($ 249 and up): If you want basic activity tracking and safety features, get the SE. There is no always-on display, temperature sensor, blood oxygen sensor, or ECG application. Like the Series 8, it is water resistant to 50 meters.

Video review of Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE 2

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