The 2022 Apple Watch Series 8 succeeds the Apple Watch Series 7 and delivers a number of improvements over its predecessor.
However, not every Apple Watch generation ships with many new features to make an upgrade worth it. Some versions are incremental, and you can skip them altogether without missing much.
With that in mind, is the Apple Watch Series 8 worth upgrading if you have a 2021 Apple Watch Series 7? Well, here’s how Series 8 compares to Series 7 in all the areas that matter.
Design and Display
The Apple Watch Series 8 is undoubtedly one of the best smartwatches you can buy, and so is the Series 7. Given the Series 7 was already spot on in many areas, Apple plays its safe with the Series 8 by wrapping it in the same familiar design.
You still get the Digital Crown on the right and a button. The shape, watch band connections, bezels, and size (both are available in 41mm and 45mm) are all identical. They also ship in different colors, and you can choose from various wristbands.
The display is the same Retina LTPO OLED panel with up to 1,000 nits peak brightness and Always On support. You also get the same Ion-X glass (aluminum cases) or sapphire crystal display (stainless steel cases). However, the Series 7 also had a third titanium model with a sapphire crystal display.
Battery Life and Charging
Like the Series 7 and every other generation of the Apple Watch, Apple promises up to 18 hours of battery life on the Series 8. Real-life usage won’t match Apple’s estimates as different factors can impact battery life.
But as far as battery life goes, don’t expect an improvement if you upgrade to the Series 8. Our Apple Watch Series 8 review reveals the same. So, instead of buying the Series 8, we recommend you leverage some tips to help improve the battery life on your Apple Watch instead.
Fast charging is available on Series 7 and 8, which ensures you can be up and running in no time if your battery runs low. With moderate use, you won’t need to recharge your wearable during the day. And if you need an Apple Watch with a more robust battery life, your only option is to buy the Apple Watch Ultra.
Apple Watch Tracking Features
The significant change to the Apple Watch Series 8 is the addition of two tracking features. One of the newest addition is Apple’s Crash Detection feature. Crash Detection will automatically detect if you’ve been in a severe car crash and notify emergency services to offer help.
Another addition to the Series 8 is the temperature sensor. The sensor is mainly targeted at helping women track menstrual and ovulation cycles. Don’t get it twisted, though. The Apple Watch has had cycle tracking since watchOS 6, to be precise. The new temperature is, therefore, just a background sensor to augment already available tracking features like ovulation and sleep.
Regarding tracking features, other than the new temperature sensor and Crash Detection, which is also available on the iPhone, everything else stays the same. The Series 8 Ultra should be your go-to device for more tracking capabilities. Here’s how the Series 8 compares to Apple Watch Ultra.
Apple Watch Series 7 aluminum case variant is available in five colors: Starlight, Green, Blue, Midnight, and Red. The stainless steel models only come in three colors: Gold, Silver, and Graphite. On the other hand, the titanium models ship in Natural or Space Black.
For the Series 8, you can choose between Midnight, Starlight, Silver, and Red if you go for the cheaper aluminum model. But the color options for the stainless steel model remain the same as the Apple Watch Series 7.
The Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399, the same price as the base Series 7 at launch. Note that the $399 price tag is for the Wi-Fi-only model, but you can get cellular support starting at $499.
From there, the price increases depending on the case size and strap. So, it’s worth checking out Apple’s order page for the finer details.
Don’t Pay Full Price for Minimal Upgrades
The difference between the Apple Watch Series 7 and 8 is very minimal. Aside from the new temperature sensor and Crash Detection capability, there’s nothing new about the new Apple Watch model.
Besides, Crash Detection is also available on the iPhone 14, so you don’t need a Series 8 if you have any of the latest iPhone models. We, therefore, don’t recommend upgrading to the Series 8 if you own a Series 7.