2024 is already shaping up to be a big year for tech wearables, especially smartwatches. Just last week, we saw the arrival of a new tough-as-nails, fitness-focused G-Shock smartwatch as well as the new female-focused Fitbit Lily 2.
CES 2024 may be in the rearview mirror, but we have no shortage of (likely) product releases to look forward to this year, from Apple to Samsung. In no particular order, here are the five smartwatches I’m most looking forward to seeing IRL in 2024, along with upgrade predictions, feature wishes and possible release dates.
Apple Watch 10
Apple Watch releases tend to be predictable, and we expect a new Apple Watch 10 to be unveiled sometime in September. This being the tenth anniversary of the OG Apple Watch, some folks speculate that the Cupertino Kid may do something special with the release.
Might it be called the Apple Watch X and sport an entirely fresh design? The former is possible, and the latter is doubtful — but never say never. More likely: The design will incorporate a thinner case with a brighter display. And while I fully expect Apple to include a next-gen microLED screen in a forthcoming wearable, I don't think it will debut in this model.
The Apple Watch 10 will almost certainly incorporate several important new health features. According to Bloomberg, it will monitor for signs of sleep apnea and hypertension, alerting users to anomalies. That’s a pretty serious upgrade, given how deadly sleep apnea and high blood pressure can be when left undiagnosed or untreated. We also expect to see some other minor health and safety updates.
Finally, the new Apple Watch 10 will likely ship with the forthcoming watchOS 11 pre-installed. Beyond that, we may see minor improvements to battery life and a new magnetic mechanism for attaching straps.
Google Pixel Watch 3
There’s a lot of anticipation building around the Google Pixel Watch 3 release. As noted in our original Pixel Watch review, we were pleasantly surprised by its design and features — despite being a first-generation product, it got most things right. The Pixel Watch 2, however, felt like a minor upgrade, especially from a design perspective, which is why we’re hoping for a major facelift in the 3.
What would that ideally look like? For starters, no one likes the Pixel Watch’s chunky bezel — in 2024, it's dreadfully dated. So, that's first to go. There’s a chance Google will take a button-less approach, opting for a gesture-only user interface. However, given how recently Google filed patents for the tech, we’re not entirely convinced.
Other than that, we don’t know much about the Google Pixel 3. But I do know what I want to see: multiple sizes, better battery life, a brighter display and support for wireless charging. Battery life, in particular, could really use a bump up to stay competitive.
Ultimately, we don’t expect a new Google Watch to launch until late fall. However, we may catch a glimpse or learn more about it during this year’s I/O conference which historically is held in May.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 7
One of the most significant features I’ll be looking out for is on-wrist blood pressure monitoring. While the current Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 technically has the tech to perform this, the device never received FDA approval, so U.S. customers can’t use the feature.
Additionally, I want to see improvements in battery life and a brighter screen. Like Apple, reports also suggest that Samsung is also experimenting with microLED technology — between the Galaxy Watch 7 and Apple Watch 10, I’d put my money on the Samsung debuting it first. After all, the Galaxy Watch 7 is a flagship product.
Moving into the wishful thinking category, I’m hoping the new Galaxy Watch plays nicer with others than its predecessor. By that, I mean full compatibility with popular non-Galaxy Android smartphones.
Fitbit Charge 7
Straddling the line between smartwatch and fitness tracker, we may see a Fitbit Charge 7 announcement sometime this coming fall or winter. If we do, it will have big shoes to fill — the Fitbit Charge 6 is the best overall fitness tracker in 2024.
Still, the Charge 6 was a fairly iterative update to the 5. So, we may see some more significant design shifts with the Charge 7. But expect the size to stay largely the same, save for a thinner case.
Further details are scant. But if Google listens to user feedback, we will hopefully see even better integration with Google apps and possibly expanded support for third-party ones (but don’t get your hopes up). Support for Spotify, if nothing else, would be fab. The addition of an altimeter for better elevation tracking would also be welcomed.
Finally, Fitbit doesn’t offer much by way of safety features. It would be awesome to see the new model incorporate features similar to Apple’s Waypoints and Backtrack, both of which can be handy in emergencies. Crash detection would also be nice.
Black Shark S1 Pro
Built for hardcore gamers, the other prominent selling point is a Gaming Health Monitoring Mode for long bouts at the sticks. Details on this feature are also limited. But we look forward to testing it out, when available, during a six-hour NFL Blitz 2001 marathon.
That aside, the S1 Pro is a fairly standard (but respectful) smartwatch affair with a 1.43-inch AMOLED display, Bluetooth calling, up to 15 days of battery life and an IP68 water-resistance rating. It runs on FreeRTOS.
But what about ChatGPT Voice support? Presumably, it will work similarly to a virtual assistant, like Siri or Alexa, but with far more capabilities. Unfortunately, none of the demo videos currently circulating show the feature operational, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Black Shark was among the first to announce incorporation of an AI-based assistant into a smartwatch. But the brand will need to move quickly to be first to market — ChatGPT Voice is now free for all to use. And no doubt others are looking to do the same. Either way, I’m excited to see how AI and smartwatches intersect in 2024.
Smartwatches to watch in 2024
Without a crystal ball, it's impossible to pin down exactly which smartwatch models and features will most dominate in 2024. But we do know there's a lot on the horizon to be jazzed about.
Which potential 2024 smartwatch releases are you most excited about? And what features do you crave most? Let us know in the comments.
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Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd.