Apple Watch Series 8 latest
The new Apple Watch will appear this week alongside a Pro version and possibly a new Watch SE it seems
UPDATE: The Apple Watch Series 8 is now official. Plus there’s also the amazing new Apple Watch Ultra too
Original feature continues below….
The Apple Watch Series 8 news is expected to launch alongside the iPhone 14 in an event on this Wednesday 7 September. Set to be the successor to last year’s Apple Watch Series 7 (which we currently rate as the overall best smartwatch money can buy), the Apple Watch 8 is shaping up to be a pretty major update, with a design overhaul tipped as well as fresh fitness functionality.
Certainly the announcement of some new watchOS 9 features in June had us stoked for the launch of the next Apple smartwatch. It is expected to offer a number of important upgrades on previous models – and it looks like there will definitely be a new rugged Apple Watch Pro variant. Read on as we tell you what you really need to know about the device, based on the latest Apple Watch Series 8 specs, price and release date rumours.
In addition to the new flagship wrist tech, there could also be room for an Apple Watch SE 2 upgrade. The first model was announced in 2020, and Apple could look to refresh its more affordable offering now it’s officially the entry-level Apple Watch – the arrival of watchOS 9 at Apple’s June dev conference officially heralding the beginning of the end for the Apple Watch 3.
Want to learn even more? Here’s everything we know so far about this year’s new Apple smartwatch, starting with the Apple Watch 8 specs we can hope to see.
- Related: read our full Apple Watch Series 7 review
Apple Watch Series 8: rumoured specs, design and new features
Among the many Apple developer conference (WWDC 2022) highlights, we got our first proper glimpse of watchOS 9, which will launch alongside the Apple Watch 8. It gives us a number of major clues as to what to expect from Apple’s next flagship smartwatch, as in addition to offering the usual goody bag of fresh watch faces, it’s brimming with new health and fitness features – especially those aimed at runners and outdoor athletes.
This chimes nicely with the Apple Watch 8 rumours suggesting that a third Apple Watch model could be released this year. Right now, the Apple Watch is offered in 41mm and 45mm models – the size being that of the watch case – but analyst Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants thinks the Series 8 could see the birth of a trio.
It’s gossip that sits neatly with a report by respected Apple insider Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, who in one his recent Power On newsletter instalments posited that the Apple Watch Series 8 would also be available in a ruggedised version aimed at outdoorsy types.
He subsequently expanded on this in a new report, saying the extreme sports Apple Watch would have a larger screen, metal case and increased battery life. Screen size could increase to 2in diagonally, up from 1.9 on the current Watch Series 7 for around a 7% increase. Resolution also looks set to take a bump (Gurman specifically mentions 410×502). The metal casing would be stronger than the current Apple Watch’s aluminium build (probably titanium) and use shatter-resistant glass for the watch face.
Indeed it looks like the Pro will end up being a whopping 49mm. Leaker Sonny Dickson has shared images (below) of it in a lineup alongside the 44 and 41mm models of the Apple Watch Series 7.
Previous rumours suggested that the case would have a slightly smaller size, perhaps 47mm or even 48mm.
Given one of the most exciting new watchOS 9 features is the ability for triathletes to toggle swiftly between the Apple Watch’s running, cycling and swimming modes, we think there’s a reasonable chance this one comes good later this year. It could be a shrewd business move for Apple, given Garmin’s wares currently dominate the best GPS sports watch debate and generally rule the dedicated running watch roost.
WWDC also gave us a new 2022 MacBook Air, which at first glance would seem mostly unrelated to the Apple Watch Series 8. But there are clues to be found here, too, as the MacBook Air has been on the receiving end of a flat design refresh – something the Apple Watch 8 has also been linked to.
Twitter tipster ShrimpApplePro for one is throwing their weight behind a new flat Apple Watch display, as has YouTuber Jon Prosser in one of his videos.
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A flatter Apple Watch display was actually first rumoured for the Series 7 and failed to materialise, leading some to believe it was just wishful thinking, Yet the flatter screens of the current gen iPhone 13 family, and now the new MacBook Air, has us feeling that flat design could be a major theme of this year’s new Apple releases.
Inside, Apple is reportedly going with an S8 processor – a slight variant of the S7 seen in the current Apple Watch Series 7, which was itself a tweaked form of the chip seen in the generation previous. That should mean general performance is unchanged, leaving design and new sensors to be the reason people should consider upgrading.
Skin temperature is also expected to be a big new addition for 2022, which could work with Apple Health to detect illness or fever in the wearer. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his Power On newsletter supports the fact that a temperature sensor will be a major new feature in the Watch Series 8. A patent uncovered by MyHealthyApple — titled “Temperature gradient sensing in electronic devices” shows off said sensor used in a watch, further adding fuel to the rumour fires.
Elevation and swim tracking data are also rumoured for improvement, and other more fanciful rumours point to advanced features like sleep apnea detection (though the regular readings required might tank battery life), in addition car crash detection which could automatically alert emergency services if an accident occurs. Obviously, all of this should be taken with a pinch of salt, but none if it is absurdly outside the realm of possibility.
- Read our full iPhone 13 review
Apple Watch Series 8: release date window
The Apple Watch 8 release date hasn’t been officially confirmed but we now know that Apple has chosen Wednesday 7 September for its next big reveal event. Products should then appear in stores on 16 September, just over a week later.
This does align with Apple’s strong historic pattern when it comes to launching new Watch products. It typically does so at the same autumn event it debuts the new iPhone, which normally falls in early September, releasing the product shortly thereafter.
There have been slight deviations in previous years, but not by much. Take a look for yourself:
- Series 1 and Series 2 release date: September 16, 2016
- Series 3 release date: September 22, 2017
- Series 4 release date: September 21, 2018
- Series 5 release date: September 20, 2019
- Series 6 and SE release date: September 18, 2020
- Series 7 release date: October 15, 2021 (announced September 14, 2021)
- Series 8 launch date: probably September 7, 2022)
Don’t be surprised if some or all models don’t start shipping until October based on what happened last year and current challenges in the global tech supply chain.
Apple Watch Series 8: potential price
When it comes to the Apple Watch 8’s price, we’re once again limited to educated guesswork. The Apple Watch 7 starts at £369 but can rise as high as £1449 for the most luxurious model. Expect to see similar pricing in the main, though if there is a new ruggedised third model aimed at outdoor athletes, that one could cost a fair bit more to strap on.
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