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Smartwatches

The next Apple Watch is the one you want if you’re serious about fitness

By Sanuj Bhatia July 8, 2022, 5:30 am
Apple Watch Nike Series 7 Long Source: Apple

Apple Watch is arguably one of the best smartwatches for most of us. The way it fits into the whole Apple ecosystem, its health-tracking features, watch faces, medication tracking, and thousands of other features — it just works. However, there is a niche category of people for whom the Apple Watch may not prove to be the best option, and yes, I am talking about sports athletes and fitness fanatics.

While all the Apple Watch models flaunt dustproof and waterproof designs, it isn't really an ideal smartwatch for people serious about sports. The display glass, even the "Sapphire crystal display" on the titanium and stainless steel models, is much weaker than the ones found on the likes of Garmin and Fitbit smartwatches. The overall durability is also much lower.

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However, this isn't a drawback as Apple Watch is aimed at people who are not into extreme sports and are attracted by its features, usability, and fashion. But, according to a new report, Apple is working to address the needs of people who want to use the Apple Watch in extreme conditions as the company is planning to release a rugged Apple Watch model later this.

Apple Watch Series 7 Rock Climbing Source: Apple

While we already know that Apple is planning to release three Watch models in 2022 — Series 8, SE 2, and a rugged model — Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has detailed the features and specifications we can expect from the smartwatch. According to Gurman, the rugged model will come with a bigger battery, a rugged metal casing, and a larger display to appeal to the extreme sports athletes.

Starting off with the display, Gurman says that the rugged model Apple Watch will feature a "nearly 2-inch display" with 7% more screen area than the largest Apple Watch available today. While the overall shape is expected to remain the same, the bigger display will feature an improved resolution of 410 pixels by 502 pixels. This display will also be more "shatter-resistant", due to it being targeted toward extreme sports athletes.

The leaker also believes that the smartwatch will be able to show more information on the display during exercises and workouts, thanks to the bigger display. While the report doesn't reveal what sort of material Apple will use to improve the smartwatch's durability, it claims that the smartwatch will be built with a stronger metal than aluminum.

Apple Watch Series 7 Cycling Source: Apple

Powering the Apple Watch rugged model will be the same Apple S8 chip that is expected to debut alongside the Series 8 later this year. Previous reports have revealed that the S8 chipset will be nothing but a rebranding of the S7 chipset (which in itself was a rebranding of the S6 chip). Another feature that the rugged model will share with the Apple Watch Series 8 is the ability to take the user’s body temperature and detect if they have a fever.

All of this won't come cheap. While the report doesn't mention the exact price tag, Gurman does say that the rugged model will be priced higher than the standard stainless steel model which starts at $699. So, you can expect the price of the rugged model to match Garmin's Epix 2 price, which retails for around $900 today.

The overall leaked features and specs do suggest that Apple is developing a worthy contender that would be able to withstand extreme conditions. Coupled with Apple's excellent health tracking features (more coming with watchOS 9), premium build quality, and excellent user experience, Garmin and Fitbit could have serious competition at their hands. Would you be interested in buying the Apple Watch rugged model? Let us know in the comments section below!

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