I regret not wearing the Apple Watch more this year | ENBLE

I regret not wearing the Apple Watch more this year | ENBLE

The Apple Watch Series 8: Even Better Than I Remembered

Apple Watch Series 8 Andy Boxall / ENBLE

I recently decided to put on my Apple Watch Series 8 again in anticipation of the upcoming release of the Apple Watch Series 9. As someone who constantly reviews and tests various smartwatches, I wanted to see if the Apple Watch was still as good as I remembered. To my surprise, it wasn’t just as good—it was even better!

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to try out other smartwatches, but none of them compare to the effortless experience of wearing and using the Apple Watch Series 8. The design remains unchanged since the first version, a true testament to Apple’s ability to get it right from the start. It fits beautifully on the wrist, and with the right band, it’s hardly noticeable.

The band is a crucial component of the Apple Watch’s success. The quick-release system makes it easy to swap bands without dealing with fiddly pins, and the absence of lugs keeps the watch compact and comfortable. Personally, I prefer the Braided Solo Loop band for its comfort and understated style. While some may opt for flashy metal bracelets, I appreciate the simplicity and versatility of the Braided Solo Loop.

Apple Watch Series 8 GMT Andy Boxall / ENBLE

In fact, the Braided Solo Loop is perfect when paired with an actual statement watch. I sometimes wear a traditional watch on my left wrist and the Apple Watch on my right, and the understated Solo Loop complements the ensemble without being obtrusive. This flexibility adds to the Apple Watch’s appeal—whether you want it to stand out or blend in, it can accommodate your style.

When it comes to fitness, the Apple Watch Series 8 excels in functionality. It effortlessly handles interactive notifications, mobile payments, music control, and health and fitness tracking. With auto-tracked workouts, movement alerts, and goal achievements, it provides motivation and a clear overview of your progress. Additionally, the selection of free watch faces, including the upcoming Snoopy face, adds a fun touch.

While the Apple Watch Series 8 is exceptional in many ways, it does have its limitations. Battery life remains a concern, lasting just under two days with moderate use. Sleep tracking is another area where Apple lags behind, with Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic leading the pack. To compensate, some users opt for pairing the Apple Watch with devices like the Oura Ring for more comprehensive sleep tracking.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Andy Boxall / ENBLE

A recent update brought Siri’s voice guidance feature to some workouts by default, which can be a bit annoying. While this feature may be useful for cyclists or headphone wearers, it should be off by default to avoid moments of embarrassment.

Despite its shortcomings, the Apple Watch remains the best smartwatch for iPhone users. Whether you opt for the Series 8, the Apple Watch Ultra with extended battery life, or the more affordable Apple Watch SE 2, you can expect a seamless and customizable user experience. While other smartwatches come close, such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and the Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4, they still fall short in areas like performance, software, and reliability.

As I reflect on my experiences with the Apple Watch Series 8, I realize that I haven’t worn it enough this year. It effortlessly meets my needs without any fuss, whether I choose to wear it on its own or alongside another watch. I eagerly await the Apple Watch Series 9 and other product releases, but Apple faces the challenge of improving upon what is already the best smartwatch on the market.