We’ve been hearing rumors for some time now about the Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition, a new top-tier spin-off of the upcoming Apple Watch 8, supposedly built for outdoor and endurance activities (hence the name).
Now, a reliable leaker has provided some juicy details about the next smartwatch that got us all excited.
That leaker is Mark Gurman, a name likely well known to tech fans for his history of leaking Apple products, which has, in his Power On Bulletin (opens in new tab)shared a lot of information about the newest redesign of the Apple Watch.
This rival wearable from Garmin is apparently going to feature some intriguing features, most notably hiking and swimming, that should appeal to those who enjoy taking long-distance hikes or braving the wild waters.
The design is also said to be a big selling point with a shatter-resistant display and a premium metal housing (likely titanium, according to Gurman), plus it’s said that battery life has also increased – presumably over the Watch 7, though. this is not clear.
Interestingly, Gurman thinks the Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition (or Watch Extreme, Max, Explorer or Pro – there are a lot of names floating around leakers and Gurman cites them all) will only come in a mobile-enabled version, eschewing the more affordable Connect-only version. Bluetooth that standard Apple Watches come with.
Gurman also mentions something he and other leakers have mentioned countless times now: this rugged wearable will also come alongside a standard Watch 8 and Apple Watch SE 2, though they certainly look like less interesting models.
Review: A Necessary Apple Watch Overhaul
Even compared to other Apple products, the Watch series is one that takes the idea of ’iterative updates’ seriously. Each new family member only brings a few tweaks and changes to the previous one, and we rarely see major overhauls.
It looks like it’s going to be different this year, as the Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition might be the biggest change we’ve seen in the family since the first device launched in 2015.
If the tone of this article hasn’t been clear enough, that’s certainly a good thing: Cheap smartwatches quickly caught up to Apple’s, offering similar features (both in terms of fitness and smartphone connectivity) at a fraction of the price. The new Extreme model could give Apple an edge over the competition and make Apple Watches interesting again for non-Apple fans.
One problem might be Gurman’s price guess, which is $900 to $999. That’s much for a smartwatch – more than most people would choose to pay.
So we’ll need to wait until the likely September launch of the Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition to see how good it is, but if the feature leaks are right (but the price isn’t), this could be destined for a high spot on our list of best Apple Watches.