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Apple Watch 8 Release Date: Everything We Know So Far About the Next-Gen Smartwatch

It‘s that time of year again – Apple fans around the world are buzzing with anticipation for the next generation of the company‘s flagship smartwatch. The Apple Watch Series 8 is on the horizon, and rumors are swirling about what exciting new features and upgrades it will bring.

As an Apple enthusiast and tech expert, I‘ve been closely following all the latest leaks and reports to bring you the most comprehensive guide to the Apple Watch 8. In this article, I‘ll break down everything we know so far about the highly-anticipated smartwatch, including its likely release date, pricing, design changes, and game-changing new features.

So buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of the Apple Watch 8!

When Will the Apple Watch 8 Be Released?

While Apple keeps its cards close to its chest, we can make some educated guesses about the Apple Watch 8 release date based on the company‘s historical patterns. For the past several years, Apple has announced new Apple Watch models in September alongside its annual iPhone event.

Here‘s a quick rundown of recent Apple Watch launches:

  • Apple Watch 7: Announced September 14, 2021, released October 15, 2021
  • Apple Watch 6 & SE: September 18, 2020
  • Apple Watch 5: September 20, 2019
  • Apple Watch 4: September 21, 2018

Based on this cadence, it‘s likely that the Apple Watch Series 8 will be unveiled at an event in mid-September 2022, with availability beginning in late September or early October.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 13 as a potential announcement date. However, ongoing supply chain issues could potentially delay the actual release by a few weeks, as we saw with the Series 7 last year.

How Much Will the Apple Watch 8 Cost?

Apple has maintained consistent pricing for its smartwatches over the past few generations. Barring any major changes, we expect the Series 8 to fall in line with the pricing structure of the Series 7:

  • 41mm model: Starting at $399
  • 45mm model: Starting at $429

These are the base prices for the aluminum case models with GPS. Stainless steel and titanium editions, as well as adding cellular connectivity, increase the price tag significantly.

One wildcard this year is the rumored addition of a new high-end "Pro" or "Rugged" model aimed at extreme sports enthusiasts. This durable model could come in at a premium price point to reflect its upgraded design and features (more on that later).

We also anticipate an updated version of the more affordable Apple Watch SE, likely still starting at $279.

Design Changes: A More Rugged Apple Watch?

Last year‘s Series 7 surprised some by retaining the overall rounded design of previous models, despite widespread rumors of a flat-edged makeover. It‘s possible that the Series 8 could finally deliver on that redesign, bringing it in line with the industrial aesthetic of newer iPhones and iPads.

The most intriguing design rumor is the addition of a third "Pro" model this year with a larger 50mm display and titanium case aimed at rugged outdoor use. Reportedly, the large display would make workout metrics, maps, and other graphics easier to read during active use.

Reliable sources have also indicated that the Series 8 may switch to tougher, more scratch-resistant glass for the display, though specifics are still unclear. Overall, while we‘re not expecting a radical redesign, the Apple Watch 8 lineup could offer some appreciably fresh hardware options.

Game-Changing New Health Features

Health and fitness tracking have long been cornerstones of the Apple Watch experience, and the Series 8 is set to push the envelope even further with an array of potentially life-saving new sensors and software features.

Body Temperature Sensor

Perhaps the most significant rumored addition is a body temperature sensor. This would allow the watch to monitor fluctuations in the wearer‘s temperature and potentially help detect early signs of illness or changes in health conditions. However, it likely won‘t provide an exact temperature reading like a thermometer.

The temperature sensor could also be used for fertility tracking, giving women insights into ovulation cycles and pregnancy planning.

Car Crash Detection

Building on the success of Fall Detection, Apple is said to be developing a feature to detect car crashes and automatically alert emergency services if the wearer is unresponsive. Internally referred to as "Crash Detection," the feature would use a combination of sensors including the accelerometer and gyroscope to assess sudden impacts.

Activating instantly in the event of a crash, this critical safety tool could be a true lifesaver, especially for anyone who spends significant time on the road.

Advanced Sleep Tracking

Sleep has been a major focus area for Apple, and the Series 8 will likely continue to expand the watch‘s capabilities in this domain. Rumors point to more sophisticated sleep stage tracking (light, deep, REM) as well as the potential to detect sleep apnea and other sleep disorders using the existing blood oxygen sensor.

Apple is said to be testing these features in collaboration with medical research institutions. However, unlocking the full potential of sleep tracking may significantly impact battery life – an ongoing challenge for smartwatches.

Expanded Atrial Fibrillation Monitoring

Since the Series 4, the Apple Watch has offered the ability to detect signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib) – a serious heart arrhythmia. With the Series 8, Apple is reportedly working on quantifying the amount of time spent in AFib over a certain period, giving users and their doctors a clearer picture of heart health over time.

While the Apple Watch is not a replacement for medical-grade devices, these screening features have already helped countless users identify potential issues and seek timely care.

Performance and Battery Life: Incremental Upgrades

Under the hood, the Apple Watch Series 8 will run on a new S8 system-in-package (SiP). However, multiple reliable sources have indicated that the S8 will offer similar performance to the S7 and S6 chips, which share the same CPU specs.

So while the Series 8 will certainly be speedy and responsive, it may not deliver a noticeable performance leap over recent models. For most users, the advanced sensors and software features will be more impactful upgrades.

Battery life is another key spec where the Series 8 may not move the needle dramatically. The Series 7 maintained the 18-hour "all-day" battery life pledge of its predecessors, even with a larger display.

However, the Series 8 may introduce a new Low Power Mode to help extend battery life in certain situations by disabling select features. This could be especially helpful for sleep tracking and multi-day usage.

Fast charging, introduced with the Series 7, will also likely carry over to the Series 8, allowing it to charge up to 80% in about 45 minutes with the appropriate USB-C cable.

How Does the Apple Watch 8 Stack Up Against the Competition?

The Apple Watch has long been the gold standard in the smartwatch category, and the Series 8 looks poised to maintain that reputation. However, it faces increasingly stiff competition on a number of fronts.

On the Android side, Samsung‘s Galaxy Watch 5 lineup is expected to launch in August with advanced health monitoring features and multi-day battery life. Google‘s forthcoming Pixel Watch will also bring deep integration with Fitbit‘s industry-leading fitness tracking.

For serious athletes, Garmin remains a top choice with its highly specialized sports watches like the Fenix and Forerunner series. And Fitbit continues to offer compelling options at lower price points, such as the Versa and Sense.

However, for iPhone users and those invested in the Apple ecosystem, the seamless integration and user experience of the Apple Watch remains unmatched. Features like Apple Pay, Siri, and iMessage shine on the wrist, while thousands of third-party apps expand its functionality even further.

The Bottom Line

Based on the rumors and reports we‘ve seen so far, the Apple Watch Series 8 is shaping up to be an exciting update with meaningful new health and safety features. While it may not reinvent the wheel in terms of design or performance, additions like the body temperature sensor and car crash detection show Apple‘s ongoing commitment to pushing the boundaries of what a smartwatch can do.

Of course, no one outside of Apple knows exactly what the Series 8 will deliver until Tim Cook takes the stage this fall. But one thing is for sure – millions of iPhone users will be eagerly awaiting the chance to strap the latest and greatest Apple Watch onto their wrists.

Whether you‘re a diehard Apple fan, a fitness enthusiast, or just someone who wants a top-notch smartwatch experience, the Apple Watch Series 8 is definitely one to watch. Stay tuned as we learn more details in the coming months!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Apple releasing a new watch in 2022?
A: Yes, Apple is expected to announce the Apple Watch Series 8 at an event in September 2022, alongside the iPhone 14 lineup.

Q: Should I wait for the Apple Watch 8 or buy the Series 7 now?

A: If you need an Apple Watch immediately, the Series 7 is still an excellent choice. However, if you‘re interested in the rumored temperature sensor or car crash detection, it may be worth waiting for the Series 8.

Q: Will the Apple Watch 8 work with my older iPhone?
A: It‘s likely that the Series 8 will require at least an iPhone 8 or newer running the latest version of iOS. Compatibility details will be confirmed at launch.

Q: Will the Apple Watch 8 have a bigger battery?
A: Specifics on battery capacity are still unknown, but we expect the Series 8 to maintain at least the 18-hour "all day" battery life of previous models, potentially bolstered by a new low-power mode.

Q: Will the Apple Watch 8 be waterproof?
A: Like the Series 7, the Apple Watch 8 will almost certainly be swimproof with a WR50 water resistance rating, meaning it can withstand water up to 50 meters deep. However, it is not suitable for diving or high-velocity water sports.

Q: Does the Apple Watch 8 need to stay connected to your phone?
A: The GPS-only models of the Apple Watch require an iPhone for several functions such as receiving notifications, making calls, and using apps that need an internet connection. However, models with cellular connectivity can perform many standalone functions without a phone nearby, as long as they are connected to a cellular network or Wi-Fi.