At Apple’s Far Out event on Wednesday, the company announced its new lineup for the Apple Watch. The big news is the new Apple Watch Ultra, but Apple also unveiled the new Series 8 and second-generation SE watches that replace the Series 7 and SE, respectively. Here are the key features for each model.
Apple Watch Series 8
The new Apple Watch Series 8 has the same design as the Series 7. Available in 41mm or 45mm sizes, it has the same rounded corners, the Digital Crown and Side button on the right side, and a choice between aluminum (Midnight, Starlight, Silver, or Product Red) and stainless steel (Space Black, Gold, Silver, or Graphite).
The health and fitness features are headlined by a new body temperature tracker for tracking a woman’s ovulation cycle. It checks a user’s wrist’s temperature while sleeping to record variations that are used in period cycle tracking. All data is end-to-end encrypted and will only be shared when a user allows it.
The Series 8 has a new high g-force accelerometer and high dynamic range gyroscope that works together to enable the Crash Detection feature, which can sense if you are in a severe car crash, and can automatically contact emergency services.
The Series 8 has an S8 processor, which Apple says is 20 percent faster than the S7 in the Series 7. Apple ranks the battery life at 18 hours, which is the same as the Series 7, but the Series 8 brings Low Power mode that can extend battery life to 36 hours by disabling some features. That feature will also be available as an update to all Apple Watch Series 4 models and later.
International roaming is also new to the Series 8, so a cellular-equipped Series 8 can be used when you leave the country, so long as the watch is added to your cellular plan.
The Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399, with prices varying based on case material (aluminum or stainless steel), the band, and cellular connectivity. Apple is taking orders on the watch now, with shipments to start arriving on September 16.
Apple’s entry-level watch finally gets an update two years after its initial release. The new SE follows the same design cues as its predecessor and is available in 40mm and 44mm sizes.
The second-gen SE has all the features that the original SE model had, including heart rate and rhythm notifications, and fall detection. New to this model is Crash Detection, but it’s still missing ECG and blood-oxygen sensors, as well as an always-on display, one of the major drawbacks of the original SE.
The SE features an S8 processor, the same chip that’s in the Series 8, and an upgrade from the S5 in the first-gen SE–Apple claims a 20 percent boost in performance over the original SE. The second-gen SE continues to use a W3 chip for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and cellular connectivity is available as an option.
The Apple Watch SE 2 starts at $249, $30 less than the previous model. Orders can now be placed for the SE, with shipments going out on September 16.