Despite having access to the Pixel Watch for nearly a year now, I’ve used Google’s first smartwatch only a handful of times. And while there are a few reasons I think it isn’t the ideal smartwatch, the biggest turnoff about it must be the fact that it literally turns off way too soon. In other words, it has mediocre battery life that often wouldn’t last a whole day of use (especially if you’re someone who uses their smartwatch to the fullest).However, fast forward to today, my recent visit to the GP has helped me realize that keeping track of my sleeping habits, heart rate, and caloric output could probably help me get to know my body better and start… feeling better. So, I’m now using the Pixel Watch but while I’m doing that I’m constantly reminded of its shortcomings, which means I should probably look for a better smartwatch to buy.So, I also did what I always do before buying a new piece of tech – I watched a few (too many) YouTube reviews/comparisons of different smartwatches and more specifically, their health tracking capabilities.
The good news? Apple might actually be cooking up something more interesting! Rumors of the first major Apple Watch redesign in years coming from a trusted source (Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman) tell us the Apple Watch could finally bring something new to the table! The not-so-good news is that we aren’t talking about Apple’s upcoming watches, the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 but about the 2024 Apple Watch, allegedly called “Apple Watch X”.
Let me explain…
Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2: Why 2023 might be the best and worst time to buy an Apple smartwatch
Apple’s new Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are expected to get a brand new chip for the first time in three years. But this might be the only upgrade they get.
Again, starting with the good news, Apple will (finally) be upgrading the chip in their smartwatches for the first time since the Apple Watch Series 6, which is a bigger deal than many realize.
The 5nm build of the alleged Apple S9 chip should bring noticeable improvements to performance and efficiency in the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, and potentially allow Apple’s new watches to do some things they weren’t able to do before. That being said, it’s not like the Apple Watch 8 or Apple Watch 7 ever felt “slow” (in fact, quite the opposite), so the bigger gains might be in the area of efficiency and battery life, which would be a much appreciated upgrade.
The not-so-good news about this year’s Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 is that apart from the expected (major) processor upgrade, we aren’t really expecting anything new – like at all. According to leaks and rumors (or the lack thereof), the new SoC in the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 might be the only new thing about Apple’s 2023 watches, meaning they should look (and feel) basically the same as their predecessors.
Apple Watch X with complete redesign rumored for 2024: As important as iPhone X, or not as good as Apple Watch Ultra?
Will the Apple Watch get its own iPhone X-like moment next year?
The obvious reason to expect an Apple Watch “X” in the first place is the 2017 “iPhone X”, which was launched to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. However, apart from the “obvious”, we already have a leak/rumor coming from reliable tipster Mark Gurman who says Apple is planning a major redesign for the Apple Watch that will coincide with the 10th anniversary of the device.
- According to Gurman, Apple is aiming to make the Apple Watch thinner and slimmermeaning this could potentially result in a larger display, which might even be of the brighter and more efficient microLED kind previously rumored to come to the Apple Watch in 2024-2025.
- The alleged Apple Watch X is also rumored to bring a new kind of watch bands that (according to Gurman) would attach magnetically and free up valuable space in the chassis for other components currently taken up by the band cutouts. Of course, this would also make older Apple Watch bands incompatible with the alleged Apple Watch X.
- In terms of health features, we haven’t heard any rumors just yet but Apple’s been working on bringing blood pressure monitoring to the Apple Watch for a while now, and it’d make sense if this comes with the alleged Apple Watch X, especially considering the company’s strong commitment to improving health and fitness features.
Apple Watch X should be really special if it’s going to be using the “X” name
On a personal note, as a current Pixel Watch user waiting for the “perfect” Apple Watch to buy, I must say that if the Apple Watch X is a thing, then I’d like it to deliver some meaningful upgrades in areas that matter to me and most people. Especially if I’ll be spending over $500 for a watch…
- Besides the new design, I’d like to see longer battery life on the alleged Apple Watch X; considering this one’s expected to be thinner and slimmer than its predecessors, this might involve a new battery technology that Apple will hopefully develop for the Apple Watch X
- Fast charging and universal Qi wireless charging is something else I’d love to see on my first Apple Watch; considering smartwatches don’t last long on a single charge, these two features could be super useful – especially when traveling
- I’d also like to see some more health tracking features on top of the rumored blood pressure monitoring like temperature sensors that can measure your body temperature on demand (currently, the Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch Ultra can only take your temperature while you’re sleeping)
- I know this isn’t happening but if for some reason Apple takes “crazy” requests… make it a circle
There’s something confusing about the future of Apple’s flagship smartwatch – is it going to be the Apple Watch Ultra or the alleged Apple Watch X?
If Apple was to release an Apple Watch X, would the Apple Watch Ultra still be the company’s flagship smartwatch?
In the end, I don’t know about you but there’s an interesting question that keeps popping up in my head…
With both the “redesigned” Apple Watch X and Apple Watch Ultra (which should be in its 3rd iteration in 2024)… which one is going to be Apple’s flagship smartwatch? The easy answer might be “the more expensive Apple Watch”, but is it that simple?
For the record, my money is also on the Apple Watch Ultra model but only thanks to the price argument. That being said, the Apple Watch Ultra is (technically) more of an enthusiast smartwatch (thanks to its adventure centric features), or simply one you buy if you have extra cash that you don’t mind spending.
That being said, if people (no matter whether that’s the ‘target audience’ or not) are buying the $800/€1,000 Apple Watch Ultra (which they do), then this will be Apple’s flagship smartwatch, because that’s the one Apple will want to sell more of. What’s your two cents on this one?