Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Apple Watch Series 7

This year’s Apple Watch Series 8 and last year’s Apple Watch Series 7 are strikingly similar, both offering a vast array of fitness and functionality that far exceed any competing smartwatch brand currently available. The biggest distinctions between the Watch 7 and Watch 8 are some high-end health and safety features that Apple has added to the newest model.

Instead of piling a load of specialty features and updates onto its general audience of iPhone users, Apple opted to break out and target high-end sports enthusiasts with a brand new Apple Watch Ultra that’s engineered especially for the adventurous crowd. For the rest of us perhaps trying to decide if or when to replace an older civilian model, Apple has made the decision much easier with the mid-tier Apple Watch 8. We compare and contrast the new Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Series 7 to detail what has changed and what has stayed the same.


Apple Watch Series 8
Apple Watch Series 7
Display size 41mm: 1.53 inches

45mm: 1.78 inches

41mm: 1.53 inches

45mm: 1.78 inches

Body size 41mm




Resolution in pixels 41mm: 352 x 430

45mm: 396 x 484

41mm: 352 x 430

45mm: 396 x 484

Touchscreen 41mm: LTPO OLED Retina

Always-on display45mm: LTPO OLED Retina

Always-on display

41mm: LTPO OLED Retina

Always-on display45mm: LTPO OLED Retina

Always-on display

Storage 32GB 32GB
Wireless interface Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC, LTE Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC, LTE
Depth 0.41 inches / 10.5 mm 0.41 inches / 10.5 mm
Blood oxygen sensor
Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes
Heart rate sensor Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes
Water/dust resistant IP6X IP6X
Battery life Up to 18 hours (36 hours in Low Power mode) Up to 18 hours (36 hours in Low Power mode with WatchOS 9)
Price From $399 From $399
Availability Apple Apple
DT review News 5 out of 5 stars

Design and display Apple Watch Series 7 on wrist.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

At first glance, it’s hard to tell the difference between the 2021 Apple Watch Series 7 and the new Apple Watch Series 8. They both sport the same signature square Apple Watch design, dimensions, and weight and are available in the same 41mm and 45mm case sizes. There are a few subtle differences in colors and finishes. The Apple Watch Series 8 comes in aluminum and stainless steel only, while the Series 7 offered a titanium option, which now appears to be reserved exclusively for the hard-core, adventure-centric Apple Watch Ultra. Both versions have the same color choices for the stainless steel models — silver, gold, Graphite, and Space Black — though Series 7 has more color options on the aluminum models, including blue, green, red, Starlight, and Midnight. Series 8 eliminated the green and blue hues but added silver while keeping the red, Starlight, and Midnight colors.

The 41mm Apple Watch Series 8 features an always-on LTPO Retina OLED display with a resolution of 352 x 430 pixels, while the 45mm model resolution is 396 x 484 pixels — identical to the previous models. The aluminum model’s screen is covered by the Ion-X front glass, while the premium stainless steel model gets the tougher sapphire crystal covering. The screen can reach a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, while the storage capacity is 32GB, both the same as the Apple Watch Series 7. New watch faces for Series 8 include Lunar, Astronomy, Modular, and Metropolitan.

There’s very little difference here. This is a draw.

Winner: Tie

Performance, battery life, and charging Apple Watch Series 8 double view.Apple

The Apple Watch Series 8 features a new dual-core S8 system-in-chip that’s reportedly 20% faster than the S7 chip of the previous generation. Connectivity for the new series includes LTE, Wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n, and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless pairing with other devices — the same as its predecessor. The new watch’s battery should last some 18 hours on a single charge, identical to the previous watch series.

The Apple Watch Series 8’s new Low Power mode lets your watch operate for up to 36 hours on a single charge. This is twice the rated 18-hour battery life. It can do that because Low Power mode disables some services and features like the always-on Retina display, workout autostart, and heart health notifications while maintaining most operations in normal mode. Both watches support magnetic wireless charging, with a full charge complete within an hour.

Winner: Apple Watch Series 8

Fitness and health-tracking features Apple Watch Series 8 health features.Apple

Apple announced two new temperature sensors for the Apple Watch 8: a new skin temperature sensor that’s designed to detect a 0.1 degree Celsius temperature change in your body and a sensor underneath the screen to measure temperature fluctuations during sleep. The Watch 8 takes your wrist temperature during sleep every five seconds, which Apple says can help you recognize illnesses early and assist with ovulation tracking. It can also fine-tune menstrual predictions by alerting wearers to unexpected cycle deviations. Irregular menstrual cycles can indicate health issues, and that’s where the temperature-sensing data can be of service to women and families.

Other sensors with the Series 8 watch include a blood oxygen sensor to measure SpO2 levels, an electric heart sensor for measuring electrocardiogram (ECG), a third-generation optical heart rate sensor for pulse tracking, an ambient light sensor, an updated high-G acc

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