Apple Watch 8 vs Apple Watch 7

The eighth generation Apple Watch was unveiled in September 2022. Apple Watch 8 seeks to be the newer cousin of Apple Watch 7. Is it worth upgrading to Apple Watch 8 from Apple Watch 7? We look at some critical elements of the newest launch and compare Apple Watch 8 with Watch 7.

Topics in this document include:

Table of Comparison – Apple Watch 8 vs Watch 7

The comparison table below displays Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch with over 40 features and functions. The features between Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch 7 that are different have been marked in bold for ready references.

FeaturesApple Watch 8Apple Watch 7
ProcessorS8 chip with 64 bit processorS7 chip with 64 bit processor
Wireless ChipApple W3Apple W3
Wideband ChipU1U1
Storage32 GB32 GB
Size 41 mm and 45 mm models41 mm and 45 mm models
DisplayOLEDOLED
Always on Display (AOD)YesYes
Screen Brightness1000 nits1000 nits
Display Area (45 mm model)1143 sq mm 1143 sq mm 
Display Area (41 mm model) 904 sq mm904 sq mm
Display Resolution (45 mm model)396 by 484 pixels396 by 484 pixels
Display Resolution (41 mm model)904 sq mm display area904 sq mm display area
GPSL1 GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDouL1 GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou
Water rating50 meters (equivalent to 5 ATM water rating)50 meters (equivalent to 5 ATM water rating)
IP68 Dust ProtectionYesNo
Battery Life18 hours18 hours
Fast ChargingYesYes
Wireless ChargingYesYes
Finish Available (GPS + Cellular)Aluminum and Stainless SteelAluminum, Stainless Steel and Titanium
Finish Available (GPS)AluminumAluminum
Bluetooth 5.35
Wi-Fi802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5GHz802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Fall DetectionYesYes
Crash DetectionYesNo
GyroscopeYesYes
AltimeterYesYes
AccelerometerYes (up to 256 g force)Yes (up to 32 g force)
Pulse Oxygenation YesYes
Heart SensorThird-generation optical sensorThird-generation optical sensor
ECGYesYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Temperature SensorYesNo
Cycle Tracking (Women)YesNo
Emergency SOSYesYes
Speaker and MicrophoneYesYes
NFCApple PayApple Pay
Ambient Light SensorYesYes
GymkitYesYes
Network ConnectivityLTE and UMTSLTE and UMTS

So, what changed from Apple Watch 7 to Apple Watch 8? Let us do a quick synopsis of the changes below.

Processor

Apple Watch 8 uses S8 chip with 64 bit processor. Apple Watch 7 had a S7 chip with the same 64 bit processor. Technically, the processor remains unchanged from Apple Watch 7 to Apple Watch 8. So, there are no anticipated performance gains on the processor front.

Bluetooth

Apple Watch 8 supports Bluetooth 5.3 while the Watch 7 supports Bluetooth 5. Bluetooth 5.3 standard seeks to improve quality of transfers and make the transfer more secure. Overall, this is a positive move as we transition from Bluetooth 5 to Bluetooth 5.3.

More Powerful Accelerometer

The accelerometer on Watch 7 worked on measuring acceleration with up to 32 g force. On the Apple Watch 8, this limit has increased to 256 g force measurement. The distinct or direct advantage of this improvement is the introduction of ‘Crash Detection’ feature on the Apple Watch 8.

Crash Detection

Crash Detection is the newest feature that has been introduced on Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch SE 2. Crash Detection is designed to detect car crash. If an Apple Watch 8 detects a car crash, it kicks into motion an emergency response system.

First it tries to seek a response from the wearer. This is to ensure that the wearer is stable and fine. If the watch does not receive a response from the wearer within 20 seconds, it does the following actions:

  • Apple Watch 8 sends an emergency message to the designated emergency contacts on the watch with crash detection information.
  • Apple Watch 8 can call the emergency services (if supported in your country) to notify about the car crash.

In both cases, geo-locational data of the wearer is sent with the emergency SOS messages.

Crash detection is a useful feature. It works much like the fall detection feature. This is a big positive from Apple Watch 7 to Apple Watch 8.

IP68 Dust Protection

We always believed that Apple Watches provided IP68 dust protection. Well, Apple Watch 8 has been officially rated IP68 for dust and water ingress protection. IP68 standards are useful for dust protection.
Interestingly, Watch 7 does not have IP68 protection !!!

Temperature Sensor

A skin-based temperature sensor has been made part of Apple Watch 8. Apple Watch 7 does not have a temperature sensor. Skin-based temperature sensing has become a norm for most advanced smartwatches.

Finishes Available

There has been a small tweak in terms of finish available for the GPS + Cellular variant of Apple Watch 8. It is no longer available in titanium finish. Apple Watch 7 did have the titanium finish.

This implies Apple Watch 8 GPS + Cellular is only available in Aluminum and Stainless Steel finishes. Apple Watch 7 had Aluminum, Stainless Steel and Titanium finishes.

Closing Thoughts

Should you go for Apple Watch 8 over Apple Watch 7?

Yes, most definitely. The crash detection feature is a positive advancement on Apple Watch 8. It can be the difference in getting proactive medical help in the event of a car crash. And, I believe that the IP68 rating is another essential feature advancement.

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