The first reviews of the Apple Watch Series 8 and SE 2 confirm little that is new. Both models are only very incremental upgrades compared to their predecessors.
New features of both models include the S8 chip, car accident detection and international roaming. Because the S8 chip shares the same CPU as the S7 and S6 chips, the Series 8 doesn’t have any notable performance improvements over the Series 7 or 6.
After all, the Apple Watch SE 2 is up to 20% faster than the original.
Little new in the reviews
Cherlynn Low of Engadget confirms that the Apple Watch SE 2 is closely related to the Series 8, since both models have the same chip:
… this year’s Watch SE includes … the same System-in-a-Package (SiP) processor as the $400 Series 8, along with a high-G accelerometer that enables crash detection. In my time with it, the SE was, unsurprisingly, just as responsive as the Series 8, starting workouts and performing heart-rate scans at the same time.
Victoria song by The Verge about the new temperature detection function of the 8 series and its battery:
As for accuracy, it’s a little hard to say as I’ve only had the Series 8 for about a week. I don’t have two cycles worth of temperature data and I’ve only just set a baseline. However, for the few nights I have temperature data for, it largely matches what I got on my Oura Ring. For example, two nights ago, the Oura Ring said my body temperature was 0.5 degrees higher than normal, while the Series 8 said it was 0.41 degrees higher.
Fair warning: Enabling battery saver mode will magically give you multi-day battery life, and I never got the full 36 hours. With regular use without the low power mode, my Series 8 got about 24 hours before I had to stick it back on a charger.
So it’s hardly surprising that owners of an Apple Watch Series 7 or 6 have largely no technical reasons to upgrade this year.