Apple Watch Series 8 in the test - my personal experience

Apple Watch Series 8 in the test

In the past I was unfortunately very lazy with reports on my Apple devices. I would like to change that in the future, because after all my blog is all about Apple and the devices of this brand. With the momentum of good intentions, I'll start today and give you my impression of the Apple Watch Series 8, which arrived a few days ago.

The packaging of the Apple Watch is a small design work of art, but I particularly like the fact that Apple largely dispenses with plastic and relies on paper and cardboard.

The packaging of the Apple Watch is a small design work of art, but I particularly like the fact that Apple largely dispenses with plastic and relies on paper and cardboard.

Pay for everything yourself...

For the people who think Apple might support me in some way: no, they haven't even accepted me into their affiliate program and are far from letting me test their products. Unfortunately, for this to happen you have to be a hip YouTuber or TikToker, but as a small blogger you get nothing from Apple.

Note on the technical data

I would like to make a small interjection before we really get started: I do not want to go into the technical data of the Apple Watch here, because Johannes already has a great article about it Watch Series 8 data written, which I can heartily recommend to you if you want to read the specs. But here we go!

The Series 8 is noticeably thinner than the Watch Series 3 - also shown here in the photo.

The Series 8 is noticeably thinner than the Watch Series 3 - also shown here in the photo.

Switching from Apple Watch Series 3 to Series 8

While I buy the iPhone almost every year and buy the new model, I waited several years for my Apple Watch. The Series 3 LTE that I had before is already five years old and is actually far behind the current Series 8 in terms of hardware. In view of this, I thought I would switch to a current model and see how the new watch is doing in the everyday makes.

My experiences with the Apple Watch Series 8 have been consistently good and I think the optics are also very successful.

My experiences with the Apple Watch Series 8 have been consistently good and I think the optics are also very successful.

No Watch Series 8 LTE this time…

I've previously had a model with built-in LTE, but I've found that I rarely wear the watch without an iPhone. There were maybe two or three situations in the first few years when I was out and about without an iPhone and was actually happy that I could make calls with the watch. However, it seems excessive to me to pay 5 euros a month for years if you only use the feature twice.

That's why I only took the WiFi version of the Series 8 and didn't use a data plan. If I went jogging regularly, things might look different, because you don't want to have an iPhone 14 Pro Max in your pocket when running.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is an elegant device that I will focus on here in my review. You can find out what experiences I have had with the Apple Smartwatch in this article.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is an elegant device that I will focus on here in my review. You can find out what experiences I have had with the Apple Smartwatch in this article.

After a day Series 8: these points impressed me

I always find the first day with a new device to be particularly exciting, because here you can still clearly see the differences that are really noticeable and striking. In contrast, after a month with my MacBook Pro, I no longer realized how lame my old one was. You only notice that when you sit down again.

But what are the areas that particularly struck me about the Apple Watch Series 8 compared to the Series 3? Here is my list with brief explanations:

3 millimeters more diagonal and significantly more display area

You can see that the Series 8 is a tiny bit bigger than the Series 3. Strictly speaking, this is a difference of 42 to 45 mm. So only three millimeters more.

However, what catches the eye more clearly is the size of the display under the glass. Apple flattened the display (I think when moving to the Series 7) and enlarged the display under the glass so that the displays go more to the outer areas. If I remember correctly, this gives you almost 20 percent more display area compared to the Series 6. Compared to the Series 3, you even have more than 50% more display area if you use the Series 7 or 8.

This change is very pleasant as the gauges are larger and there is more room for complications. The small ads in the corners and the overview of the apps are also much clearer to see. I fell in love with the larger display right away.

If you look at a photo on the Apple Watch, it becomes particularly clear how much larger the display of the Watch Series 8 actually is.

If you look at a photo on the Apple Watch, it becomes particularly clear how much larger the display of the Watch Series 8 actually is.

Flatter construction and more elegant design

Overall, the design of the Apple Watch from Series 1 to Series 8 hasn't changed that much. We still have a square smartwatch with the sensor dome on the bottom and a display on top.

While the glass with the pulse sensors on the underside has remained relatively the same size and curved, Apple has made the display glass flatter and reduced the edge.

These changes - coupled with the larger 45mm diagonal - give the Apple Watch Series 8 a noticeably sleeker look than the Series 3. Anyway, I really like the new design.

The sensor bump on the bottom of the watch has changed on the inside. but not much has changed from the curvature.

The sensor bump on the bottom of the watch has changed internally, but not much has changed from the bulge.

The Series 8 is super-fast - including Siri

I have to say that Siri really gave me a headache on the Watch Series 3. For one thing, I never knew if Siri was listening or not, since the Siri icon was sometimes displayed very late.

But what was far worse was the speed – or rather slowness – with which Siri recognized what was being said. A simple "set the timer to 5 minutes" sometimes took 5 to 8 seconds and quite often the feedback came that this could not be done at the moment - why not? Nobody knows that.

The bottom line is that using Siri was so painfully slow that I only used the voice assistant to set a timer or alarm. More complex tasks like "Play the song X by the band Y"Or"Turn on the light in room X' had been so excruciatingly slow and misdetected so often via the Watch Series 3 that I stopped using Siri.

The Series 8 display is easy to read even in bright sunlight and offers an incredible amount of space (photos: Sir Apfelot).

The Series 8 display is easy to read even in bright sunlight and offers an incredible amount of space (photos: Sir Apfelot).

With this experience in mind, I tried Siri on my Apple Watch Series 8 today and was totally surprised at how quickly I got answers here. Commands like "set the timer for 3 minutes" were already executed after I finished speaking.

Siri also quickly recognized and passed on the music requests. What Apple Music then made of it is another matter, but that could be because I speak German with Siri and English band and song names should actually also be spoken in German. So "Play Haiwei to hall from A Zee Dee Zee“…but that's another building block for Apple, unrelated to the Apple Watch 8.

In short: I was impressed by how fast the Watch Series 8 is and I no longer wait for the app to start. With the Series 3, it was four to five seconds before Komoot, for example, was ready. With the Series 8 I type and not a second later the app is open.

The always-on display is so practical in everyday life that I no longer want to be without it. In addition, the display area and the resolution of the display is very good.

The always-on display is so practical in everyday life that I no longer want to be without it. In addition, the display area and the resolution of the display is very good.

Always-on display - an enrichment

The Apple Watch Series 8 is my first device with an always-on display - a screen that is always on. The fact that Apple uses something like this shows the progress that has been made in terms of power consumption. Apple already introduced this function with the Apple Watch 5, but I only got to know it now.

At first glance, it sounds like a decent drain on battery life, but in my experience, the runtime is still well over 24 hours - even with Siri use, always-on display, and exercise tracking.

I really like the fact that you no longer have to tap the display or consciously turn your arm. My kids are also happy that they can now tell the time when they can read my watch on the side. Otherwise a child would always come by, tap my watch and walk away again – a bizarre thing when you think about it. 😂

So: The always-on display is very good... really a feature that pleases me every day.

It's nice when I get a notification when I've written a new post. The always-on display also helps here if you look at the display a bit in between (photos: Sir Apfelot).

It's nice when I get a notification when I've written a new post. The always-on display also helps here if you look at the display from time to time (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Fast Apple Watch charging

A simple rule applies to my Apple Watch Series 3: When charging, you can fill the battery at about 1 percent per minute. After 50 minutes, the Watch 3 is charged from 0 to 50 percent.

The Watch Series 8, on the other hand, charges a little faster. For comparison: In about 45 minutes you can bring the watch from 0 to 80 percent. This gives you about 2 percent per minute, which I didn't quite achieve in practice. Nevertheless, charging is noticeably faster, which I find particularly pleasant if you only want to charge the watch for a short time. But it would be nice to go even faster.

This photo shows how much thicker the Series 3 glass is compared to the Series 8 (left).

This photo shows how much thicker the Series 3 glass is compared to the Series 8 (left).

Conclusion: Is the Watch Series 8 worth the switch?

I would put it this way: Significantly less happens with the Apple Watch from year to year than with the iPhone. That's why you can skip two generations here without any problems.

But for me it was a switch from Series 3 to Series 8 and that comes after a huge technical leap. The display of the Watch Series 3 alone now seems to me like something from the Stone Age: thick, bulky and you have a square edge in the display and no rounded corners that reach close to the edge of the display.

I would say that if you have a Series 5 and older, you can safely switch to the new Watch Series 8 and you will certainly enjoy new features and the better display. However, if you have a Series 6 or Series 7, the change should bring very few improvements.

On the left is my new Watch Series 8 and on the right is my old Series 3, which is currently in theater mode and is therefore not showing anything.

On the left is my new Watch Series 8 and on the right is my old Series 3, which is currently in theater mode and is therefore not showing anything.

But maybe money isn't an issue and you really want the feature that detects car accidents - in which case, of course, you should grab it and die Watch Series 8 Kaufen.

Apple Watch Series 8 GPS, 45mm Midnight Aluminum Case with Midnight Sport Band -...
  • The temperature sensor makes retrospective ovulation estimates and offers advanced features for...
  • Measure the oxygen level in your blood with a powerful sensor and app
  • Take an EKG anytime, anywhere

And if you would like to save almost 120 euros, you can currently do that too Watch Series 7 get and has very similar features as with the Watch Series 8, but at a lower price:

Apple Watch Series 7 (GPS, 45mm) - Blue Aluminum Case with Abyss Blue Sport Band - Regular
  • With the GPS model you can take calls and answer text messages from your wrist
  • The Always-On Retina display has nearly 20% more display area than the Series 6, so you can see everything better...
  • The most shatterproof front glass that an Apple Watch has ever had, dust-proof according to IP6X and floating

Apple Care for the Watch?

I broke the glass of the Apple Watch Series 3 several times. Sometimes it got stuck on a stone corner in the garden, sometimes it hit the rock while climbing and sometimes it fell on the tiles in the bathroom. That's why I don't give much thought to it when it comes to Apple Care for the watch.

In the meantime I also had one or the other bumper or a protective cover on the watch, but that limits the fun with the device and both solutions could not convince me for long.

If you're careless like I am, then purchasing Apple Care+ is a sensible decision. This calculation above is straight from the Apple site.

If you're careless like I am, then purchasing Apple Care+ is a sensible decision. This calculation above is straight from the Apple site.

Whether you get the watch with Apple Care or not is ultimately a decision you have to make. But to understand what it costs and what you save, here is a small calculation:

  • Apple Care (for 2 years) costs for my Apple Watch Series 8 (45mm, wifi only) only 99 euros
  • if you smash your display, it will cost you with Apple Care 65 euros
  • you smash your display without Apple Care, it costs 359 euros

There isn't much for me to think about, which is why I booked Apple Care+ directly with the watch.

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2 comments

  1. Wolf says:

    Nice report.
    I had the Series 2, then bought the Series 6 (the one with all the health sensors). And now I've ordered the Ultra. She has so much energy that she can do a triathlon. But did Apple take my weight into account?
    I ordered it for the first time as LTE. Answered a few calls with my Series 6 when I couldn't get the iPhone out of the bag fast enough at work. But it was a pain in the ass.
    I ordered the Ultra because of the battery life, because of the ruggedness (I'm often on machines where it's loud, dirty, humid and hot), but also because of the louder speakers. And when I get a call, I should be able to understand who is calling me.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello wolf! I was flirting with the Ultra too, but I thought the Watch Ultra looked so strange in the product photos in the keynote. I think I'll have to see them in the wild first and maybe next year there'll be the Ultra instead of the Series 9. We'll see. And yes: calling with the watch is not for the long term. You can do that in an emergency when nothing else is at hand, but if you have to hold your arm in front of your face all the time so that you understand something, it's not particularly ergonomic and also looks pretty stupid. 😂

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