The Apple Watch has been slowly evolving over the past few years, slightly better every year.
Today Apple announced their latest 2022 Apple Watch models: the Apple Watch Series 8, starting at $399, and a brand new Ultra model starting at $799.
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About the new Apple Watch models for 2022-2023
Ever since the Always-on-display mode on the Series 5 Apple Watch, Apple has had to delicately manage the balance between new features and the availability of battery juice.
The Apple Watch Series 8, with 18 hrs of battery life, shows how Apple can better manage this tradeoff via sophisticated algorithms.
The new Apple Watch Ultra features a 36-hour battery life with a single full charge.
It’s important to remember how Watches, in general, became passé for many of us, something that the smartphone obviated.
With the Apple Watch, Apple rejuvenated the watch as both a watch and a new kind of personal computing device and health guardian of sorts on our wrists.
Apple’s commitment to building on this momentum can be appreciated with the release of the latest Apple Series 8 and Series 8 Ultra Apple Watches.
Apple Watch Series 8
Here are the five biggest and boldest features of the new Apple Watch Series 8
- Screen Size Evolution – The original Apple Watch until Series 3 had 38mm, and 42mm options, Series 4 to Series 6 featured larger 40mm and 44mm, and the last year’s Series 7 featured 41mm and 45mm. The new Apple Watch Series 8 and its pro variant continue this larger screen size trend. While the Apple Watch Series 8 retains the same screen size as last year’s model, Apple has upped the display size on its brand new Apple Watch Ultra with a 49mm display. The display looks beautiful and bright.
- New Wellness Sensors – While Samsung has adeptly focussed on introducing new sensors on its smartwatch models, Apple has focused more on the software side of things and making the most out of motion algorithms and existing heart rate sensors. That trend changed with the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 8. Apple has incorporated two new core temperature sensors on the new watch. Apple is introducing a suite of cycle tracking features this year. Using the health app, you can see nightly temperature changes. Users will be notified about cycle deviations automatically. The temperature sensor will expand Apple’s footprint in fertility and ovulation tracking offerings. Your cycle tracking data is encrypted locally on your device, making your data private.
- Safety – Car Crash detection is a new safety feature that Apple is unveiling with Series 8. The new crash detection can detect if you are in a severe car crash. Two new motion sensors were introduced on the Apple Watch to help detect the extreme impacts of a car crash. Crash detection will automatically notify emergency services and your emergency contacts in case of an accident. Crash detection runs only when you are driving. When Apple Watch detects a severe car crash, the device will check in with the user and dial emergency services if they are unresponsive after a 10-second countdown. Emergency responders will receive the user’s device location, which is also shared with emergency contacts.
- Processor – Apple is reusing the processor from last year’s model instead of a new core chipset for the Apple Watch. A new processor is expected in next year’s Apple Watch model.
- Battery Juice and Low Power mode – Apple introduces a new low power mode giving the watch 36-hour battery life. The new Ultra even features 36 hr battery life on a single charge and 60 hr battery life in a new low-power mode that is expected to be released later this year.
Apple is also introducing new international roaming calls on the Apple Watch with the Series 8.
Apple Watch Ultra
The new Apple Watch Ultra has been made for adventure, exploration, and extreme sports. It is a brand new expression from Apple regarding the Apple Watch platform.
The case is made of aerospace-grade titanium, making it a sturdy watch featuring crack-resistant properties.
The Apple Watch Ultra features a 49 mm titanium case. The digital crown has a larger footprint, so you can use it better even when wearing gloves.
The new watch also offers a new Action button on the other side that can be personalized. The watch has one of the best displays featuring 2000 nits — 2x brighter than any Apple Watch display.
According to Apple, the new Action button can instantly begin workouts and move users to the next interval of a Custom Workout or the next leg of a Multisport workout.
It can also mark segments, complementing the new Track running experience, automatically providing the ultimate pacing and distance estimates for runners at a track.
The Ultra features three microphones making it easy to use phone calls even in extreme weather conditions.
It gets up to 36 hours of battery life on a single charge and offers 60 hr battery life using low power mode.
The Apple Watch Ultra also offers excellent GPS coverage using precision dual frequency offering L5 coverage. This makes the watch the best yet for locating you!
The Ultra watch will also know when you are at a running field and offer appropriate workouts. This feature will come later in the year.
The Compass app has been entirely designed on the Apple Watch Ultra to meet the needs of explorers who like off-grid locations. It features backtracking capabilities to help you if you are lost.
WR100 is the new water-resistant metric for the Apple Watch Ultra, making it an amazing device for swimmers who like to swim in the open waters. The new Ultra is also certified EN1339 making it an excellent watch for diving.
If you are into scuba diving and looking for a dive computer, this might be the best smartwatch you can get today on the market. The Oceanic app on the Apple Watch Ultra makes it an excellent watch.
The Apple Watch Ultra is certified to the relevant aspects of MIL-STD-810H, used for military equipment, and popular among rugged equipment manufacturers.
The Apple Watch Ultra is available with three exclusive new bands. These are Alpine, Trail, and Ocean made for specific environments.
“Inspired by explorers and athletes from around the world, we created an entirely new category of Apple Watch designed for new and extreme environments — it’s the most rugged and capable Apple Watch yet,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Apple Watch Ultra is a versatile tool that empowers users to push their boundaries with adventure, endurance, and exploration.”
Apple is working hard with edge computing to balance the features and battery juice. It is important to remember that Apple bought edge computing startup Xnor.ai . This was an Edge computing-based startup that had branched out from the nonprofit Allen Institute for AI back in 2017.
I believe that some of the watchOS 9 based features probably take advantage of sophisticated edge computing capabilities acquired by integrating Xnor.ai. Remember, this was the first AI startup to showcase how AI applications could be built that consume low power.
It will be important to mention that although Samsung’s wearable platform has introduced the new BIA sensor and Blood pressure monitoring algorithm, many of these features are yet to be approved by the FDA.
The Apple Watch is not losing out to competition but gaining market share. The Apple Watch maintained its market dominance, with a 36.1% market share in the latest Counterpoint survey, more than triple that of second-placed Samsung at 10.1%. Counterpoint expects this trend to continue.
If you are contemplating getting a smartwatch, Apple Watch Series 8 is the way forward. It is the number one selling watch for the last seven years!
New Apple Watch SE
Apple is also unveiling the new Apple Watch SE. Available in midnight, silver, and starlight colors. The new production process at Apple reduces the carbon footprint by 80%.
The new Apple Watch SE is swim-proof and has fall detection, crash detection, and more. The SE Display is 30% larger than the Series 3. The new watch is 20% faster than the earlier model.
Apple Watch SE starts at an affordable price of $249 with a cellular version at an additional $50 for $299, making it a perfect watch for Family Setup. Apple Watch is available for preorders today and is available on Sept 16th.
Starting today, Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS) is available to order in 41 countries and regions, and Apple Watch Series 8 (GPS + Cellular) is available to order in 22 countries and regions.
The new Apple Watch Pro model is also available for order starting September 16th, 2022. The new Apple Watch Ultra starts at $799 and will ship on September 23rd.
Will you be upgrading to the new Apple Watch Series 8 / Apple Watch Series 8 Pro models this year, or will you be waiting it out? Please let us know using the comments below. We would love to hear from you.