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Apple Watch 8 vs Apple Watch SE 2: How do the new wearables compare?

Not too long after the Apple Watch 8 was unveiled, Apple went on to announce the Apple Watch SE 2. Here’s how the new smartwatches compare.

In addition to announcing the iPhone 14 and the AirPods Pro 2, Apple’s Far Out event turned out to be a big one for Apple Watch fans, announcing not one, not two but three Apple Watches. While there’s plenty being written up about the Apple Watch Ultra as we speak, we’re here to dive into Apple’s new mainline wearable and its more affordable alternative.

After all, even though we’ve become accustomed to a new Apple Watch each year for quite some time, the Apple Watch SE hasn’t had any form of update since it first released nearly two years ago. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know if you’re trying to decide which device is right for you.

The Apple Watch 8 has a temperature sensor

The concept of a temperature sensor might not sound like a huge feature at first glance, but it can have huge ramifications for improving overall health tracking on the Apple Watch. For starters, the Watch 8 will be able to track your skin temperature overnight and let you know if you stray too far away from your base line, which can be an indicator of an oncoming illness.

The truly game changing element of the temperature sensor is found in the realm of menstrual tracking however. While cycle tracking does exist on the SE 2, the feature is far more comprehensive on the Watch 8, with the temperature sensor creating an estimated start date for a person’s upcoming ovulation cycle, and it can even pick up on moments of ‘Possible Cycle Deviation’ which could be a sign of wider health issues.

Apple Watch period tracker

Both models have Crash Detection

One of the key new features Apple mentioned in its Far Out event was the addition of Crash Detection. Similar to Fall Detection, this feature uses an accelerometer to know if a crash has taken place, immediately contacting the emergency services and all of your emergency contacts in the aftermath.

It’s a huge feature that might be the reason why some folks upgrade from an older smartwatch, and if that’s the case then you’ll be glad to know that the feature is coming to both the Apple Watch 8 and the Apple Watch SE 2, so you don’t have to choose one over the other for this particular feature.

Apple Watch 8’s battery can go for longer

Both the Apple Watch 8 and the Apple Watch SE 2 come with a standard 18-hour battery life that has been the norm for several Apple Watch generations, but the Watch 8 does have an ace up its sleeve that the Watch SE 2 doesn’t

Thanks to a new Low Power Mode the Watch 8 can now keep the party going for up to 36-hours by turning off fall detection and automatic workout detection. It might not be the exact battery life upgrade that a lot of people were hoping for, it’s a marked improvement that does but the Watch 8 ahead of the Watch SE 2.

Apple Watch 8 still has the bigger display

When the original Apple Watch SE came out, screen size wasn’t an issue, but with the Apple Watch 7 receiving an end-to-end display, a lot of users were hoping that the same tech might make its way into the SE’s successor.

Unfortunately this hasn’t played out as such with the Apple Watch 8 still having a larger end-to-end display that trumps that of the Watch SE 2. It’s not a dealbreaker by any means, but it does mean that some watch faces that make use of the larger real estate simply won’t be available for the Watch SE 2.

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