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Apple Watch Series 8: Worth the hype?

Yahoo Finance Tech Editor Dan Howley reviews the Apple's latest smartwatches, the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch 8, and offers recommendations about whether consumers should upgrade.

Video Transcript

[AUDIO LOGO]

[MUSIC PLAYING]

- Welcome back. Apple embracing its strengths in the war for people's wrists, and what a war that is-- the tech company leading into its health and safety credentials with the release of two new watches hitting stores tomorrow. Dan Howley has taken the Apple Watch Series 8 for a spin and has the review right here. You can see it-- exciting stuff.

DAN HOWLEY: There we go. Yeah, look at that. Ooh, hey.

- It looks a lot like the other ones--

DAN HOWLEY: It looks exactly--

- --to me. But--

DAN HOWLEY: --like the other ones.

- But I know there's a twist here--

DAN HOWLEY: Yes.

- --because the price is going up. The feature set is going up as well.

DAN HOWLEY: Yes. So this is the Apple Watch SE. You can start it at 399, but then you're gonna have to bump it up a little bit if you want to get the 45-millimeter size. That's what this is. The 41-millimeter size, that's gonna start the 399 price.

But there's two main differences between this and the Apple Watch SE, which is also available. That's the always-on display as well as the new temperature-sensing feature. So there are two temperature sensors on this watch. There's one on the display and one underneath.

You can't see them. But what they're supposed to do is help you with fertility tracking. So with ovulation, it will be able to tell you when the biphasic shift happens. I never learned any of this in health class. Apple taught me. So--

- I'm learning--

DAN HOWLEY: --thank you very much.

- --right now. This is great.

DAN HOWLEY: Thanks, New Jersey education. Anyway, so essentially, they'll help you figure that out. And then it'll give you a past look at ovulation trends, and then you're supposed to infer the future from that. They're not gonna tell you a prediction, though, but it does have a period tracking feature.

Now, beyond that, it can also be used to do things like check if you had an illness. You can look and see if your temperature was higher. And it can also tell you if you were knocking back a few too many and it interrupted your sleep.

- Do you need to watch for that?

DAN HOWLEY: I mean, sometimes. So it's not gonna be able to be something that's on demand, though. It's something that's gonna happen when you're asleep. So you can't just be like, hey, Apple Watch, tell me if I have a fever. It's gonna do that on its own while you're sleeping when you're using the Sleep mode and Sleep Focus mode. So it's two things you have to put into practice and able to get that temperature sensor.

And then the other thing is obviously that always-on display that it has. Let's see. That's a pretty cool pose, right? That doesn't make me look dumb. So you can get that, but not on the SE.

I think, for most people, I just bought the 8 because I'm bougie and I like that. And so I'm excited to get it.

- You bought the one that's on your wrist. That's a demonstration watch.

DAN HOWLEY: This is a demonstration--

- A loaner.

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, this is the loaner. The one that I bought is coming. But I do think, for most people, the Series 8 is great if you don't have a Series 7. The Series 7 and Series 8, very similar-- the differences quite minimal.

You have the temperature sensor. OK. You also have crash detection where, if you're in a car accident, the watch can alert the authorities. But your iPhone can do that as well if you have an iPhone 14.

A lot of the big features for this watch-- the improved fitness tracking, a compass that can tell you where you've been, backtrack locations if you're off the grid, and easily get back and leave breadcrumbs for you. That's all coming in watchOS 9. So it'll come to watches that are compatible with that. So you don't need the watchOS 8 for that specifically.

The SE, I think, if you're looking for something less expensive, it's going to be the one to go for. As for the Ultra-- that's the one that everybody is--

- Yes.

DAN HOWLEY: --really of talking about--

- 800 bucks.

DAN HOWLEY: 800 bucks. That's if you're, like, one of those, like, wild people who like to go out, do, like, ultra marathons, things like that. That's not me. I've said this before.

- Not me either.

DAN HOWLEY: I'll say it again. My biggest exercise is rolling off the couch and getting a White Claw out of the fridge and then sitting back down on the couch. So I don't think that I'd be getting the Ultra. But if you are that type of person, you can have those added capabilities like added durability, like a dive sensor, and like 36 hours of battery life.

So I do think--

- Battery life.

DAN HOWLEY: --that some people will like that.

- Yeah, all of this predicated on the fact that the watch needs to have power in order to function-- critical that we--

DAN HOWLEY: Yes.

- --have that. All right. Dan Howley, thank you for all of that. Great demonstration there. I hope you get your Apple Watch on time--

DAN HOWLEY: So do I.

- --whatever that means.