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Apple Watch Series 8 features: An overview of what your device can do

There's a lot to pack into the space on your wrist.

Published onApril 19, 2023

An Apple Watch Series 8 user explores the wearable's apps and features.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Apple Watch line consistently ranks among the best smartwatches you can buy. The latest model, the Apple Watch Series 8 builds on its predecessor, offering the same staple features users know and love, plus a few upgrades. This guide covers everything you need to know about what features you’ll find on the Apple Watch Series 8.

Apple Watch Series 8 features at a glance

An Apple Watch Series 8 places an outgoing call.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

As always, the Apple Watch Series 8 is compatible with iPhones only. While that’s bad news for Android users, the limitation lends itself to a harmoniously integrated iOS experience. Users can check notifications, access Siri, and utilize third-party apps. You can even make and receive phone calls from your wrist or stream playlists while you work out.

To that end, the watch also boasts an impressive health and fitness tracking suite for maintaining your goals and monitoring your wellness. The Series 8 even adds a new body temperature sensor for more intuitive menstrual cycle and sleep tracking. Crash detection, Low Power mode, and plenty of software enhancements round out the Apple Watch Series 8 feature set.

Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)
AA Editors Choice
Apple Watch Series 8 (Wi-Fi)
Excellent Retina display • Premium design and build • Advanced health tracking sensors
MSRP: $399.00
A very powerful device for anyone inside Apple's walled garden
The Apple Watch Series 8 with Wi-Fi connectivity features advanced fitness and health tracking tools, including a temperature sensor to monitor body variations and better insights into women's cycles. The device also features a thick front crystal over its display for improved durability. Additional highlights include Crash Detection, Low Power Mode, and extensive third-party app support.
See price at Amazon
Save $470.00
Apple Watch Series 8 (LTE 45mm)

Smartwatch features

Apple Watch Face Infograph
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

We consider the Apple Watch Series 8 one of the best smartwatches you can buy and for good reason. For iOS users, the device offers a robust list of features. As mentioned, the watch supports seamless iPhone integration, allowing users to check and dismiss notifications, reply to messages, and utilize iPhone controls for things like music playback and photos. The watch can also make or receive phone calls when within Bluetooth range of a paired iPhone (or with an LTE model). Or, if you know another Apple Watch user, you can tap into Apple’s Walkie-Talkie function and contact friends from your wrist. The watch also offers basic tools like calendars, alarms, timers, maps, weather, and much more.

With seamless iPhone integration, the Apple Watch Series 8 offers the best smartwatch experience available to iOS users.

However, what makes the Apple Watch stand out is the line’s unrivaled third-party app support. Sure, you’ll find plenty of useful features on the Apple Watch Series 8, but if there is anything you don’t see natively, there’s likely an Apple Watch app for it. The Apple App Store is absolutely loaded with popular and niche apps for everything from productivity to detailed fitness tracking. It’s this support that makes the watch truly customizable.

Below are a few more smart features found on the Apple Watch Series 8.

  • Customizable first-party watch faces
  • Powerful first-party apps
  • Onboard maps and navigation
  • Offline music playback
  • Siri voice assistance
  • Apple Pay

Health and fitness features

An Apple Watch Series 8 displays the workout app, one of the wearable's most robust features for activity tracking.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Apple’s health tracking is historically high-caliber and the tools of the Series 8 are no exception. On the latest model, users will find a heart rate sensor, SpO2 monitor, and an electrocardiogram (ECG) for on-demand readings. The Series 8 also adds a skin temperature sensor intended to provide more accurate and insightful menstrual cycle monitoring. In addition to its fertility-tracking benefits, the temperature sensor also garners useful sleep-tracking details. The Series 8 can track users’ time spent in each sleep zone, including REM and deep sleep.

These advanced sensors are in addition to the basic health and fitness tracking offered on the device. The Series 8 will accurately track users’ steps, distance, floors, and calories burned as well as their stand time. Apple’s famous rings keep key activity stats organized and digestible to help users maintain activity goals. Thanks to its heart rate sensor, the watch can also estimate users’ VO2 max and track heart rate variability.

The device features advanced health tracking sensors in addition to monitoring basic activity, sleep, and exercise.

Within its comprehensive workout app, the watch can record more than 20 sport modes ranging from basics like running and walking to pickle board and Tai Chi. Depending on the exercise, the Series 8 also provides useful metrics for improving your performance. Advanced workout features include onscreen heart rate zones, custom workout options, detailed metrics like oscillation and stride length, and the ability to race past results for outdoor runs or cycling routes.

Thanks to watchOS 9, the Apple Watch Series 8 also offers two newer health features: AFib (atrial fibrillation) history and a Medications app for managing prescriptions. Other everyday wellness tools include a handwashing timer and notification. environmental noise monitoring, and a mindfulness app with built-in breathing exercises. Finally, the device provides safety features including fall detection, crash detection, and Emergency SOS support.

Battery life features


Much to our disappointment, the Apple Watch Series 8 suffers the same 18-hour battery life claim as its predecessor. However, the watch also offers some consolation. The features below alleviate some of users’ charging woes.

  • Low Power Mode: Now available on all Apple Watches compatible with watchOS 9, Low Power Mode disables power-guzzling features like the always-on display, heart rate notifications, workout reminders, and background measurements for heart rate and blood oxygen. This setting allows users to stretch battery life well past the 18-hour mark.
  • Fast charging architecture: First introduced on the Apple Watch Series 7, fast-charging capabilities and a magnetic charging cable with a fast-charging module speed charge times considerably on the Apple Watch Series 8. Users can power their device from 0 to 80% in just 45 minutes.


The two devices are very similar, however, the Series 8 features a temperature sensor for advanced sleep and cycle tracking. Read our Apple Watch Series 8 vs Series 7 guide for a more in-depth comparison.

The pricier Apple Watch Ultra features an even more durable body, water resistance up to 100 meters, an oversized display, and a bigger battery. It also boasts niche navigation and safety features for outdoor adventuring, including an 86-decibel emergency siren.

We consider the Apple Watch line one of the best competitors in the market, and a worthwhile purchase for iOS users. The Series 8 offers a fantastic smartwatch experience with reliable health and fitness tracking, justifying its price tag.

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