Featuring many of the Apple Watch Ultra’s standout features at half the price, the Apple Watch 8 is an appealing mid-range smartwatch choice…

Check out our full roundup of the best fitness watches in 2023

Apple Watch 8 


From $520 / £419 / apple.com 


  • Best-in-class app support 
  • Available in more styles than competition 


  • 18-hour battery life isn’t competitive 
  • Not much improvement on the Series 7 

Design: 4/5
Battery life: 2/5
Smart features: 5/5
Fitness insights: 4.5/5

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If you have an iPhone, want an Apple Watch but aren’t into endurance sports, or simply can’t justify shelling out over £800 for an Apple Watch Ultra, the Series 8 could be the smartwatch for you. After all, when it comes to apps and fitness features, it’s virtually identical to the Ultra, and with more options available to customize its styling, fashion victims and price-conscious shoppers alike could be better served with the Series 8.  

So what do you miss out on by picking a standard Series 8 versus the priciest Apple Watch around? Durability, diving features and battery life are the main elements – in addition to that more avant-garde design, of course.  

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Instead, the Series 8 relies on what made the Series 7 great: incredible app support, wellness features like heart rate tracking, SpO2 monitoring, ECG and fall detection. It also features automatic cycling detection, better durability than some past-gen watches with a crack-resistant crystal display, and water-resistance up to 50m. 

While the Series 7 and Series 8 are very similar, the latest line introduces a thermometer for temperature detection, as well as crash detection, so is able to call emergency services if it detects you’ve been in a collision.  

Apple Watch 8 battery life

The Apple Watch 8’s weakest area is, without a doubt, its 18-hour battery life. This doesn’t just hold it back for long training sessions, it also means battery life might fall short of nightly sleep tracking, so you may miss some nights while the watch is on charge. That said, if smart features are your main concern, and you love the styling of Apple’s ubiquitous wearable, then the Apple Watch really is a great balance of the latest features in an accessible package. 

Available with cellular connectivity as standard, up to 4G, you have more buying options than the competition, with the Apple Watch available either off-contract or on networks like Vodafone for roughly £23 a month. If you’re still up in the air about shelling out for an Apple Watch Series 8, the Apple Watch SE is a smart alternative with a lower price tag, and fewer bells and whistles.