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Should you wait for Apple Watch 8 or buy Apple Watch 7 now?

Apple Watch app view
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch Series 8 could be just a few months away from its debut at the next Apple event, which will likely take place in September.

But what if you want to buy an Apple Watch before then? Right now, the Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch you can buy. Though if it’s going to be replaced in a short time, you might be wondering if it’s worth getting one now or waiting for the Apple Watch Series 8. Buyer’s remorse is a real thing, after all. 

We’ve seen the best Apple Watch deals drop the Apple Watch 7 price down considerably this summer, making it a tempting purchase — and for a good reason. The current Apple Watch is the best Apple Watch yet thanks to a larger display and faster charging, among other small upgrades.

Yet there could be some key differences between the Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Apple Watch Series 7 that would make it worth your while to wait. Thanks to the Apple Watch 8 rumors we’ve heard so far, plus what we know about the Apple Watch after all these years, we can give you an idea of which move is better for you: waiting for the Apple Watch Series 8 or buying the Apple Watch Series 7 now.

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Apple Watch Series 8: Rumored new features

We’ve heard a handful of Apple Watch 8 rumors that tell us some changes could be planned for this year. Here are the top things we think you’ll want to know about if you’re wondering whether to wait or buy.

Skin-temperature reader: While the Apple Watch 7 vs. Apple Watch 6 didn’t introduce a new health sensor, the rumored Apple Watch 8 body temperature sensor could bring new wellness-tracking abilities to Apple’s next smartwatch. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has suggested the temperature sensor could be used to inform select features such as fertility, though we’ve seen it used for sleep-tracking metrics on other wearables. Your skin temperature could eventually be used to tell you when you might be getting sick, recognizing a change in typical readings.

Low power mode: As it turns out, a surprise watchOS 9 upgrade could be the best thing about Apple Watch 8. Another report from Mark Gurman says Apple is working on a low-power mode for Apple Watch, which could possibly extend the battery life past the 18 hours we’ve come to expect. Chipset improvements or small changes to the display, GPS or even the battery cell itself could help make this rumored low power mode for Apple Watch Series 8 possible. We imagine it’ll function similarly to the low power mode for iPhone — fewer notifications and less demanding screen settings.

Flat-edged redesign: Rumors of a flat-edged Apple Watch started before the Apple Watch Series 7, and while we’re not optimistic they’ll materialize, tipster Jon Prosser has shared renders about a redesigned Apple Watch Series 8. The drastic change would make the next Apple Watch more closely imitate the iPhone’s design. (That’s something the Apple Watch could borrow from the iPhone, since the iOS 16 lock screen seems to draw inspiration from watch faces.) So, there’s a chance the Apple Watch 8 doesn’t look like any Apple Watch before it, though we’d say it’s a relatively small chance.

What about Apple Watch 8 Pro?

We’ve yet to mention the Apple Watch 8 Pro, or the rumored rugged Apple Watch. Mark Gurman has been the source of Apple Watch 8 Pro tips as well, saying that alongside the Apple Watch 8 (and Apple Watch SE 2) we’ll see an extreme sports smartwatch from Apple this year.

Compared to the standard Apple Watch 8, the 8 Pro could feature premium or ultra-durable materials suitable for outdoor adventures. They would look to complement the largest Apple Watch display yet, with multiple tips for a 2-inch screen.  

It could also get a battery life that better rivals the best GPS watches or best Garmin watches. Because the last thing you need on an excursion is a smartwatch that can’t keep up with you.

These elevated specs will reportedly be matched with a steep price tag. Rumors say the Apple Watch 8 Pro could cost $1,000 — possibly the same as the iPhone 14 Pro

Should you buy Apple Watch 7 or wait for Apple Watch 8?

If you’d like a new smartwatch right now, get the Apple Watch Series 7. It’s a great device that’s designed to last several years thanks to software updates. In the fall, it’ll be eligible for watchOS 9, or the same software that’ll ship on the Apple Watch Series 8. Plus, with the current discounts, you’re getting an excellent piece of tech for less.

That said, if you’re the type who likes to own the latest and greatest, it might be best to wait for what the Apple Watch Series 8 has to offer. Rumors of a new sensor, improved battery life and refreshed design could come true. And if they sound like what you want out of a smartwatch, it could pay to be patient.  

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Kate Kozuch
Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account (opens in new tab), which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.