The Apple Watch has unsurprisingly been the gold standard in smartwatches, especially when it comes to the health monitoring features that could potentially save lives. Its more premium design, however, hasn’t made it a good fit for some users despite having sporty bands and some level of water resistance. That could be changing this year with the introduction of a long-rumored rugged Apple Watch variant, one that is designed to compete in extreme sports against the likes of Garmin. Based on the latest word on what this alleged Extreme Sports model will have, it could actually be the Apple Watch to beat, potentially outshining even the standard Apple Watch Series 8 if it ends up looking as stylish.
The rumors of a rugged Apple Watch started as far back as 2021, partly in response to a growing market for wearables that could be used even in harsh conditions. While many smartwatches flaunt dustproof and waterproof designs, more features are needed to enable a device to survive during extreme sports. With the Apple Watch’s growing set of health features, many athletes would probably prefer to wear one all the time rather than switching between an Apple Watch for everyday use and a Garmin for sports.
A few months back, we even saw a patent that pointed in this direction. It details a new kind of water detection membrane that would alert wearers of potential errors in sensor measurements caused by extreme water pressure, among other things. That would be a perfect fit for an Extreme Sports edition of the Apple Watch, but that could just be the tip of the iceberg.
An even better Apple Watch
The Extreme Sports edition of the Apple Watch could, in fact, be the best smartwatch the company has to offer, at least based on details shared by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. Rather than a rubbery exterior like you would expect from rugged devices, this Apple Watch might go in the opposite direction and deliver the biggest upgrade to the wearable so far, namely a larger screen and a stronger metal body, the very upgrades Apple Watch fans have been wishing for — assuming the sources behind the leak are accurate, of course.
The larger screen is supposedly designed to allow wearers to see more health and fitness information at a glance, though that would benefit any app or watch face, as well. Instead of using aluminum, the Extreme Sports model will reportedly feature a stronger metal body, one possibly made of titanium alloy, to increase its durability. Although not mentioned in the report, it will also most likely come with more durable and rugged straps to round out its Extreme Sports nature.
This alleged new Apple Watch model — which would be the third variant — is expected to launch alongside the Apple Watch Series 8 later this year. It will reportedly have the same Apple S8 chip, which is practically the Apple S6 from 2020. Given the rumored features, it won’t be a surprise if this model costs more than the $699 starting price of a regular Apple Watch — unless, of course, the company surprises everyone by making the Extreme Sports variant the new standard.