According to rumors, the Apple Watch 8 is getting a ‘Rugged Edition’ or ‘Extreme Edition’, designed for extreme sports or intensive outdoor use.
This type of smartwatch would be like the ones designed by Garmin, Amazfit or Casio, with a sturdy design, long battery life and a focus on useful features for extreme sports.
Think long-distance hiking, trail running, climbing, skiing or similar activities, with useful extra functions like GPS tracking and altitude and weather monitoring making the watch a useful tool.
Even the best Apple Watches don’t offer that kind of feature versatility right now.
We’ve heard enough rumors to think this new Apple Watch 8 for endurance sports is coming, but since Apple hasn’t made one before, we don’t fully know what it will look like. But to give us a first glimpse, we’ve created this guide – it will show you what we’ve heard so far, as well as what we want to see.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A tougher version of the Apple Watch 8 with more features
- When do you leave? Later in 2022, according to leakers
- How much will it cost? No idea – but probably more so than the Apple Watch 8
Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition release date and price
Current rumors point to this upcoming Apple Watch variant launching alongside the Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch SE in late 2022 – expect it alongside the iPhone 14 in September, or perhaps at a separate launch event a little earlier. or later next to these models mentioned.
Price-wise, it’s hard to pin down an exact value, but we imagine it’s going to be more expensive than the standard Apple Watch 8…another watch we don’t charge for.
For some context though, the Apple Watch 7 would cost $399 / £369 / AU$599 for its most affordable option, and go up if you wanted a bigger case or more premium stuff. So expect a higher price point for the rugged device.
Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition Name
As this is not an official product yet, we don’t know what it will actually be called.
We’re naming it after the Apple Watch 8 – emphasis on number – but it’s possible that it isn’t linked to the flagship smartwatch as concretely and could miss the digit.
Most leakers have referred to the device not by its name but by its features – so we’re not sure if it will be called the Extreme Edition, Rugged Edition, Endurance Edition or something else entirely.
We’ve chosen the middle one for this article, because that’s the name that most members of the Apple fan community have decided to use, but that doesn’t mean it’s confirmed in any way. We will rename this article if we hear an official title from Apple.
Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition leaks and rumors
Most of the Apple Watch chunky edition leaks we’ve heard only mention the watch’s existence rather than what it will actually do. But we’ve heard some rumors about the Apple Watch 8 that might actually be about the chunky edition.
One is new technology that can detect if your smartwatch has suffered water damage and alert you if that’s a problem – great for water sports.
It is also possible that the watch will receive a body measurement tracking tool that was originally supposed to appear on the Watch 7.
And it’s likely to come with watchOS 9 as it’s Apple’s newest smartwatch operating system – some of its features include new running posture tracking and improved sleep tracking.
Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition: What we want to see
Having used a lot of rugged watches before, we’ve come up with some features we’d like an extreme Apple Watch to have.
1. GPS mapping functions
If you’re wandering around in nature, measuring the altitude and steps of your long-distance hike, it’s all too easy to turn around and get lost.
Some watches have GPS mapping capabilities – you can view maps and your position on them, and sometimes see a route mapped as well, to help you find yourself or just plan ideal routes.
We would like Apple to embrace this kind of technology so that it can remain competitive with many other devices on the market. Apple has an irritating habit of making its best features exclusive to the US or select countries, so perhaps it could work with another mapping company on the feature – ideally not Apple Maps.
2. A robust design
Smartwatches can be some of the flimsiest devices on the market – they sit open on your wrist and you can easily drop or bump them. That’s why rugged watches need a little more durability.
Many we’ve tested have rugged designs designed to protect the display and internal components. This can involve thick frames, materials that are not easily scratched, and a lot of waterproofing.
The Apple Watch will absolutely need the same, so it can survive in the wild. You don’t want to scratch it on the first rock face you try to climb, or have a splash break it while surfing.
The Apple Watch chunky edition will need enough resources – both hardware and software – over its flagship-series cousin to justify its existence.
You can buy rugged cases for the standard Apple Watch, which would likely cost a lot less than a rugged version of the device, and if there are no built-in features to justify its existence, the extreme version would be a waste of space.