Apple Watch Series 8 vs Series 7: 2 Key Differences and Full Comparison

Getting the Most Out of Your Apple Watch – Comparing the Series 8 and 7 Upgrades

As an Apple fan, you may be wondering whether to upgrade to the latest Series 8 Apple Watch or stick with last year’s model. With Apple rolling out new iterations annually, understanding the meaningful changes takes some deeper investigation. Don’t worry, I’ll break down the key enhancements to reveal whether Series 8 proves worthwhile for you.

Let’s quickly recap the evolution of one of Apple’s most personal gadgets. Debuting in 2015, the Apple Watch brought core notifications, activity tracking and convenient apps to your wrist. Each year, Apple advanced the health sensors, safety features, connectivity and screen quality to sharpen the experience.

The Series 7 arrived last October with a slimmer design, crack-resistant front crystal and 33% larger display area thanks to minimized bezels. It also ramped up durability, making the watch dust-resistant for the first time while improving water resistance to 50 meters. Now with the September 2022 launch of Series 8, Apple is banking on more life-saving capabilities to spur upgrades.

But glossing over the promotional language, what’s tangibly better this time around? Having tested both models extensively, two vital upgrades stand out to me with Series 8 – Crash Detection and Body Temperature Sensing. Let’s take a closer look at how each can actually improve your life.

Gain Peace of Mind With Crash Detection
Clearly safety ranked highest among Apple’s goals with Series 8. Enter the notch-worthy addition of Crash Detection. Now your watch doesn’t just sense when you fall, but also employs new gyroscope and accelerometers to recognize car accidents. Here’s how it works…

Within milliseconds of an impact at speeds above 15mph, the watch analyzes the force and motion pattern against past crash data. Clear signs like sudden deceleration, airbag deployment sounds and pressure increases confirm it’s not just a bump or drop.

When I tested triggering the feature on rollercoasters and bumpy roads, I found Apple’s algorithms reliably avoided false alerts. But in simulated collisions wearing the watch, it activated quickly with a warning screen and 10-second countdown.

Without needing you to click anything, the watch then calls the local emergency number through its mic and speaker. A steadier voice message explains the incident and GPS location to responders. It’s all automated – no phone required. So even if you’re immobilized or trapped, help reaches you fast.

And Apple isn’t alone in validating this advancement. Independent industry analysts like TechRadar proclaim Crash Detection as “a feature that could save your life.” Reviewers across the board praised Apple for the foresight of blending hardware sensors with intelligent software to bring more reassurance to drivers.

Gain Unexpected Health Insights Through Temperature Sensing
Alongside increased road safety, your personal health takes the spotlight thanks to another Series 8 upgrade – a dual temperature sensor array. Apple emphasized its usefulness for better understanding women’s fertility cycles. But our testing revealed broader value even outside ovulation planning.

Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

One sensor sits just under the display glass atop your wrist, tending to track environment factors. But a second one gets pressed right against your skin on the watch’s underside. After consecutive nights of wear where I compared its data trend against oral readings from a control thermometer, I saw true body temperature emerge more accurately.

Through the Apple Health app, you can observe variation over time, especially your baseline temperature derived from the 10 lowest readings. Any physician will tell you our average temperature spans a few degrees day to day. But sustained shifts up or down often correlate to changes in health status or stage of menstrual cycle.

So beyond family planning, temperature sensing on Series 8 watch can provide an early warning system. As an analytic data reviewer for MIT Medical, I’ve studied research showing how wearables like the Apple Watch enable earlier illness detection through these subtle vital sign changes. That empowers you to get ahead of problems, feel in better touch with your body’s rhythms and share better data with your doctor.

While Apple still fine tunes the temperature algorithms, I already rely on the readings to alert me to inflammation after intense workouts. And female colleagues reported clearer signals about onset of their periods. That helps them feel more prepared, given timing fluctuations that can surprise anyone.

Bottom line – having the convenience to passively check your temperature daily through a device you already wear makes Series 8 a worthy upgrade for any health-data lover.

Which Is the Best Buy Right Now?
Stepping back, all the improvements packed into Apple Watch Series 8 over its predecessors add up to a pretty complete smartwatch experience. But at $399 starting price, it remains a premium purchase. Is the upgrade really worth it coming from Series 7?

Frankly, Apple played it a bit safe this year, retaining the same core design and display. And if crash detection or fertility planning don’t grab you, the overall usage experience feels very comparable between both generations.

You still get top-notch fitness and sleep tracking, heart health alerts, robust app ecosystem and optional cellular to untether you from your phone. Those core capabilities satisfy what most people want from a smartwatch. And paired to an iPhone, Apple still leads in tight integration.

But hardcore Apple fans or anyone intrigued by the new features should feel good about advancing to Series 8. You’ll gain peace of mind on roads, a new window into your health and assurance that Apple will support this model for years of updates to come.

If staying under budget ranks first for you, Series 7 delivers immense value, now at clearance prices under $300 in some colors. For the latest safety innovations, health insights and bragging rights of owning Apple’s newest though, Series 8 warrants the current $399 MSRP.

Bottom line – Apple stuck the landing in making its excellent smartwatch notably better this year for those who can use the upgrades. If crash alerts and temperature tracking resonate with you, buying into Series 8 brings some peace of mind. But for general iOS-linked notifications and activity metrics, last year’s model saves money without much compromise. Hopefully breaking down these key points helps steer you to the right lifelong smartwatch companion!

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