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Apple Intros New Sensors on Apple Watch Series 8, Updates SE Models

The new Apple Watch Series 8 (top) and Apple Watch SE (bottom). Image: Apple

Surprisingly, of all the new products Apple unveiled during its Sept. 7 “Far Out” event, the flagship Apple Watch updates were the mildest. Granted, we did get the awesome new Apple Watch Ultra—available to order now!—but it’s still slightly surprising to see a whole new increment in the Series numbering for changes mostly made possible by software and the addition of a few additional sensors.

Here’s what you need to know about the Series 8 lineup.

Does the Apple Watch Series 8 get better battery life?

Thanks to improvements in watchOS 9 and a new Lower Power Mode, you can extend Apple Watch Series 8 battery life up to 36 hours on a single charge. The new mode disables or limits select sensors and features, including the always-on display.

Does the Apple Watch Series 8 have a Body Temperature Sensor?

One of the primary focuses of Apple’s presentation around the Series 8 was with regard to women’s health. Specifically, a new body temperature sensor array in the watches can give women insights into ovulation.

The sensor array is composed of one body temperature sensor on the back of the watch and another one just under the display. The sensors are used to track nighttime body temperature at a rate of every 5 seconds. This data is helpful in general to track changes in health brought on by a variety of factors including exercise, jet lag, and illness.

Can Apple Watch Series 8 Track Ovulation?

But nighttime body temperature tracking is particularly useful in helping women track ovulation. The typical way of doing this today is using a thermometer to track daily changes of body temperature. These changes in body temperature can indicate what is known as biphasic shift—an indicator of ovulation.

By recording these nighttime temperature readings, the Apple Watch Series 8 can create retrospective ovulation records, allowing women to track periods of ovulation in the past and better inform them about their body in the future.

Does Apple Watch Series 8 have Crash Detection?

Just like the iPhone 14/14Plus, and the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max, the new Apple Watch Series 8 can detect when you have been in a severe car crash.

To do this, Apple developed a new high dynamic range gyroscope and a new dual-core accelerometer, enabling the Apple Watch Series 8 to detect G-forces up to 256Gs. With this capability, if the Series 8 watch models detect a severe car crash, it will contact emergency services and your emergency contacts.

What’s new with Apple Watch SE?

The new Apple Watch SE family. Image: Apple

Apple Watch SE gets the new Crash Detection feature detailed above along with a redesigned back case that better matches the case finish.

How much do Apple Watch Series 8 watches cost?

Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 and are available to order now. The release date is Sept. 16.

How much does the new Apple Watch SE cost?

Apple Watch SE starts at $249 and releases Sept. 16.

OWC Wayne G
the authorOWC Wayne G
Tech lover, multimedia creator, and marketing manager for OWC's Rocket Yard and Mission Control blogs.
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