Rugged Apple Watch leak plagues screen and battery upgrades

Apple’s smartwatch portfolio is getting a new member this year, one that’s all about ruggedness and aimed at extreme sports enthusiasts. According to a report by BloombergApple is going to be big and bold upcoming sturdy smartwatch slated to debut in the fall. However, buyers may have to pay a pretty penny for it too — possibly $700 or more.

Speaking of the core upgrades, the wearable in question will offer a 2-inch display, the largest ever on an Apple smartwatch to date. The Tim Cook-led company gave a screen real estate bump to the Apple Watch Series 7 last year, which came armed with a 1.9-inch screen.

Music controls on the Apple Watch Series 7.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The screen resolution of Apple’s upcoming rugged smartwatch will reportedly be 410 x 502 pixels, offering all the bells and whistles of its more mainstream sibling. Aside from the larger screen, the glass of Apple’s tough smartwatch offers a higher degree of shatter resistance.

The material of choice for the case will also be sturdier compared to the recycled aluminum found on Apple’s current generation of smartwatches. Battery capacity also increases, allowing fitness enthusiasts to continue their fitness regimen for longer without having to place their smartwatch on a charging puck.

Like the vanilla Apple Watch Series 8, its rugged brother would also have a temperature sensitive function that will tell users if they should be checked for a fever. Some improvements are also made on the software side. The report, which comes from the ever-trustworthy Mark Gurman, notes that the chunky smartwatch will also “improve tracking stats like elevation during hiking workouts and data while swimming.”

On the hunt for another niche

It’s no hidden secret that the debut of the Apple Watch killed a certain upstart named Pebble. But until now, the Apple Watch hasn’t really been the best choice for performance athletes, a segment where Garmin and Polar have made a name for themselves despite offering far fewer features compared to the Apple Watch.

Take the latest and greatest from Apple, for example, the Series 7. It comes with a water resistance of 50 meters according to the ISO standard 22810:2010. Simply put, the IP6X certified watch is only suitable for shallow water activities, such as swimming in a pool or in the ocean.

Apple Watch Series 7 back case.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It is probably not a good idea to take it for a deep sea dive. Apple actually warns against wearing a Series 7 smartwatch for “diving, water skiing, or other activities that involve high velocity water or shallow depth submersion.”

For extreme sports enthusiasts, that’s seriously limiting. Combining the smarts of the Apple Watch Series 8 with a longer-lasting battery and rugged build that can handle the aforementioned scenarios sounds like a sure-fire recipe for success.

With Apple’s polished software complemented by the industry’s best portfolio of fitness services, the rugged Apple Watch edition already looks like a winner. Whether those upgrades warrant a potentially dazzling price remains to be seen, but it sounds like we shouldn’t have to wait too long before we know for sure.

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