Ask Kurt: Apple Watch 7 vs. 8 – Is it worth the upgrade?

The Series 8 is the latest version of the Apple Watch, which originally launched in 2015 and replaced the previous generation Apple Watch Series 7.

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The latest version has cool features like crash detection and a temperature sensor. However, the big question Donna wrote to me from Lake Charles, Louisiana is:

“Our 30-year-old daughter found out at the age of 24 that she had type 1 diabetes. We’d love to buy her a new Apple Watch, but we’re not sure about the technology. Is there a big enough difference between series 7 and 8 that she would notice?”

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An Apple Watch.

What is the difference between Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8?

First, it’s important to note that after the Apple Watch Series 8 was introduced, the company discontinued the Apple Watch Series 7.

As a result, you would have to buy the Series 7 from a reseller.

This leads to an immediate difference: the price, which is likely to only keep going down. However, is the reduced price worth forgoing the Series 8 additions and improvements? Or are these changes substantial enough to even consider? With this in mind I would like to offer you a direct comparison.

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The Series 7 display was a notable improvement over the Series 6, but the Series 8 display doesn’t have any major differences as both models have:

  • A face that measures between 41 and 45 mm
  • A dust-resistant screen

The only notable change is the choice of colors available, with Series 8 aluminum models available in:

  • midnight
  • starlight silver
  • Product Red

And Series 8 stainless steel models are available in:

The 8 series stainless steel does not have a blue and red option like the 7 series stainless steel.

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An Apple Watch open to the Fitness app.

An Apple Watch open to the Fitness app.
(Apple)

Battery life and storage

Some highlights:

  • Battery life
    Promoted as one of the best attributes of series 8 However, its 36-hour battery life in sleep mode is the owner of the watch series 7 Those who download the WatchOS 9 software also have an extended battery life. When not in sleep mode, which limits certain functions, the Series 7 and 8 have an estimated 18 hours of battery life.
  • Promoted as one of the best attributes of series 8 watch is its 36-hour battery life in sleep mode
  • However, owner of series 7 Those who download the WatchOS 9 software also have an extended battery life.
  • When not in sleep mode, which limits certain functions, the Series 7 and 8 have an estimated 18 hours of battery life.
  • storageSeries 7 and Series 8 have 32GB of storage.
  • Series 7 and Series 8 have 32GB of storage.

Health and Safety Features

Regarding her daughter’s health and safety, Donna, who wrote to me, was most concerned about the differences in health and safety features between the newer and older models. In terms of diabetes management, both the Series 7 and Series 8 have features that would be helpful for people with diabetes, including the ability to track daily activity levels and set reminders to take medication.

Additional health and safety features to be aware of include:

  • Both the Series 7 and Series 8 currently have fall detection, emergency SOS, and a gyroscope.
  • However, there are blood oxygen sensors on the Series 8 rather than the Series 7, as well as two new body temperature sensors, one close to the skin and the other in the display.
  • In addition to 24-hour body temperature monitoring, the body temperature sensors can also help women track their menstrual cycles and send alerts if any irregularities are detected.
  • Another new feature currently unique to the 8 Series is a car crash detector which can not only detect a vehicle crash the moment it happens but also alert emergency services as well as your emergency contacts if you don’t respond after 10 seconds .

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A woman wearing an Apple Watch looking for places to buy coffee.

A woman wearing an Apple Watch looking for places to buy coffee.
(Apple)

Worth the upgrade

Overall, the changes between Series 7 and Series 8 are relatively small.

Those of you who currently have one Series 7 Apple Watch You might want to wait until a newer model comes out with more new features and improvements before upgrading.

Get an Apple Watch Series 7

However, first-time Apple Watch buyers and those who are particularly concerned about their health and safety may consider paying a little more for a new one 8 series modelwhich currently sells for around $399 without GPS capabilities.

Get an Apple Watch Series 8

However, assume that these few additions make little difference to you. In that case you might want to consider saving the cash and going for the Series 7, which lacks very few of the things found in the Series 8.

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