Wearing this smartwatch again reminded me why it’s still the best you can get

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A personification wearing nan Apple Watch Series 8.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I put nan Apple Watch Series 8 backmost connected my wrist precocious successful mentation for nan impending — and inevitable — merchandise of nan Apple Watch Series 9. It’s nary concealed that nan Apple Watch is great, but I wanted to spot if it’s really arsenic bully arsenic I remembered.

After a fewer months of wearing different smartwatches, I’d only utilized nan Apple Watch Series 8 connected a fewer different occasions, but I’d ever considered it nan benchmark. Well, it’s not arsenic bully arsenic I remembered — it’s even better, and I can’t judge I haven’t worn it much this year.

Returning to nan Apple Watch

A personification wearing nan Apple Watch Series 8.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Over nan past year, I’ve worn nan Apple Watch Series 8 and nan Apple Watch Ultra reasonably consistently, whether it’s to review, compare, revisit, aliases test. But since mid-2023, I’ve reviewed and tested various different smartwatches, truthful nan Apple Watch didn’t get worn arsenic much. When I put it backmost connected successful August, I was instantly reminded why it’s ever specified a joy: It’s perfectly effortless to wear, use, and ain successful each respect. This is simply a immense deal, arsenic erstwhile a wellness and fittingness merchandise is needy, annoying, aliases poorly designed, you won’t want to deterioration it.

I love wearing nan Apple Watch. It’s rather astounding that nan Apple Watch’s halfway creation hasn’t changed since nan very first type was released, proving Apple sewage it precisely correct nan first clip around. Other, little assured manufacturers perpetually play pinch nan shape, design, and fresh of their wearables, but not Apple. It has stuck to a broadly akin look throughout, refining it and improving nan underlying exertion instead. The Apple Watch Series 8 looks awesome connected my wrist, and pinch the correct band, I hardly cognize it’s there.

Apple Braided Solo Loop successful blue.Apple Braided Solo Loop Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The set is important to nan Apple Watch’s success. The quick-release system, though proprietary, is neat and versatile and avoids messing astir pinch fiddly pins erstwhile you want to switch bands. It’s done successful nan blink of an eye, and nan complete avoidance of lugs keeps nan lawsuit compact and comfortable while maximizing surface existent estate. It adds thing typical to nan Apple Watch’s almost unique, 100% recognizable creation too.

I’ve agelong paired my Apple Watch Series 8 pinch a Braided Solo Loop band, which I deliberation is nan most comfortable set I’ve ever tried. It’s lightweight, strong, washable, and looks superb too. It besides lessens nan ocular effect of nan Apple Watch connected your wrist. I person nary liking successful flashy metallic bracelets for nan Apple Watch Series 8. For me, they ruin its simplicity and effort to make it a connection piece. I don’t spot it arsenic a connection watch, truthful dressing it up for illustration 1 isn’t for me, but it’s different testament to Apple’s creation that it can beryllium dressed up if you want.

A personification wearing nan Apple Watch Series 8, pinch a Tudor Black Bay connected nan different wrist.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Braided Solo Loop is cleanable for erstwhile I want to deterioration nan Apple Watch pinch an existent connection watch. It’s astir apt controversial, but I don’t mind wearing a accepted watch connected my near wrist and nan Apple Watch connected my correct wrist. Because nan Solo Loop is understated and supremely comfortable, it doesn’t look overseas (well, not that odd), and it doesn’t go bothersome erstwhile you brace it pinch different watch. Change nan Watch look to an all-digital one, and I get to bask my existent favourite mechanical watch and still support “closing my rings.”

What astir fitness?

The Apple Watch Series 8 showing a Perfect grant for exercise.Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Apple Watch Series 8 is genuinely functional, and it’s highly bully astatine almost everything it does. My ain smartwatch needs are comparatively basic. I want interactive notifications, easy mobile payments, and a measurement to power my euphony — positive wellness and fittingness search that I tin understand and that will motivate me. I besides want a action of cool watch faces, bully performance, and nan chance to adhd to each this arsenic my needs change.

All of this is covered without immoderate problem astatine all. The Apple Watch shrugs it each disconnected erstwhile different smartwatches make specified a repast retired of everything from connectivity to mounting up wellness tracking, erstwhile features are abnormal owed to a desire to maximize artillery life for nan liking of slapping immoderate large numbers connected nan promotional material. I find this unacceptable, arsenic not only do I not want to excavation done menus to find if a characteristic is turned connected aliases not, but I shouldn’t have to do it. There are nary specified concerns pinch nan Apple Watch Series 8.

It auto-tracks workouts without fail, nan activity alerts and medals erstwhile I meet my goals are nosy without being intrusive, and it’s easy to spot really I’m progressing towards these goals too. All my notifications are delivered reliably and pinch nan action to interact pinch them, and I happily move betwixt nan GMT, World Time, Contour, and sometimes nan Gradient watch face. A prime of excellent, free watch faces is beautiful rare. I’m looking guardant to the Snoopy watch look successful watchOS 10, a characteristic pinch a agelong history of being featured connected watches.

Where nan Apple Watch fails

Tracking slumber connected nan Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If I deliberation nan Apple Watch Series 8 is truthful good, does it do thing badly? The artillery life isn’t fantastic, and pinch a azygous 30-minute workout tracked and nary slumber tracking, it still doesn’t past 2 afloat days — pinch nan 10% informing coming up successful nan early evening. Two afloat moving days are imaginable without a workout aliases slumber tracking. If you want an Apple Watch pinch longer artillery life, nan Apple Watch Ultra is for you, arsenic it will double nan clip you get from nan artillery moreover pinch activities tracked.

Sleep search isn’t bully either, and Apple has fallen good down Samsung here. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic’s caller slumber search level is excellent, pinch masses of item and moreover a slumber coaching programme if it sees a request to improve. The Apple Watch is much than comfortable and ray capable to deterioration overnight, but there’s small logic to do so, arsenic nan information it provides is very basic.

Oura Ring, iPhone 13 Pro, and Apple Watch Series 7.An Oura Ring adjacent to an iPhone and Apple Watch Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I get astir this by wearing an Oura Ring, which is simply a superb slumber tracker. I besides for illustration nan measurement nan Oura Ring reliably links pinch Apple’s HealthKit, meaning workouts tracked and information gathered done either merchandise appears successful nan respective apps. This faultless integration, which is truthful elemental to group up, is simply a large use of Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem. The only downside is it’s an costly combination.

Finally, successful a caller update, Apple decided to activate Siri’s sound guidance erstwhile search immoderate workouts arsenic standard. It’s a hateful decision, arsenic Siri will outcry retired immoderate basal stats astatine various intervals erstwhile you’re outside. It happens moreover if you person nan measurement connected nan Watch turned down and you person to excavation into nan settings to move Siri off. There’s thing incorrect pinch nan characteristic (it’s useful for cyclists aliases headphone wearers, I suppose), but it should beryllium disconnected by default, arsenic it’s beautiful embarrassing and easy to hide astir until it happens again.

The Apple Watch is nan champion smartwatch location is

If you ain an iPhone and want to bargain a smartwatch, you should only beryllium looking astatine nan Apple Watch. You moreover person a prime that extends beyond lawsuit size aliases color. If nan Series 8 isn’t rather hardcore enough, nan Apple Watch Ultra will apt fresh nan bill. If you don’t want an electrocardiogram aliases an always-on screen, past prevention immoderate money and bargain nan Apple Watch SE 2. Regardless of which 1 you buy, you’re rewarded pinch nan aforesaid simplicity, nan aforesaid wide customization options, and nan aforesaid frictionless ownership experience.

There are different smartwatches I’ve loved this year, pinch nan Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic coming very adjacent to replicating nan Apple Watch’s brilliance for Android, and while it is undeniably much awesome erstwhile it comes to wellness tech, it’s still not rather location pinch performance, software, aliases reliability. I besides for illustration nan Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4, but I can’t deterioration that connected nan other wrist to my Tudor Black Bay.

When I put nan Apple Watch Series 8 backmost connected recently, I thought to myself that I simply haven’t worn it capable this year. It does everything I could want, pinch nary fuss, and is versatile capable for maine to deterioration connected its ain and beryllium proud of it, aliases moreover dainty it almost for illustration a glorified fittingness set and deterioration it pinch different watch. I americium looking guardant to seeing nan Apple Watch Series 9 on with different products connected September 12, but it has a very difficult occupation up of it, arsenic it needs to someway amended connected what is nan absolute champion smartwatch available, contempt having been astir for a twelvemonth already.

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