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Apple Watch 8 — everything we know so far

Apple Watch 8 
(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)

The Apple Watch 8 is expected to arrive this fall, possibly with new features, multiple models and other upgrades compared to the Apple Watch 7.

Apple has announced a new version of the best smartwatch every year since the launch of the original. So there's a good chance the company is planning a follow up to the Apple Watch 7. We haven't seen any major leaks like we have for the iPhone 14, but a few rumors and tips are starting to surface.

For all we know, Apple is still planning the flat-edged redesign many people anticipated for the Apple Watch 7. It could also bring a new health sensor to the Apple Watch 8, since the Apple Watch 7 vs. Apple Watch 6's hardware didn't introduce much in terms of wellness. 

If you're curious about what lies ahead, these early Apple Watch 8 rumors (and watchOS 9 rumors) worth putting on your radar. Be sure to bookmark this page for the latest updates on the possible Apple Watch 8 price and release date, expected features and more. 

Apple Watch 8 latest rumors and news (Updated May 3)

Apple Watch 8 possible release date and price  

Claimed Apple Watch 8 render

(Image credit: LeaksApplePro)

We’ve don't know a potential release date for the Apple Watch 8 yet. But going by previous Apple Watch launches, we’re expecting to see the next Apple Watch in September 2022. 

Similarly, there's no information available about the Apple Watch 8 price right now. But Apple has maintained the same price structure for several years, so we expect next year's Apple Watch will match the price of the Apple Watch 7. The Apple Watch 7 starts at $399 for the 41mm model, with premiums for the larger 45mm model and cellular connectivity.

Apple Watch 8 design

The Apple Watch's appearance has remained virtually unchanged since the first model debuted in 2016, but the iconic squircle was tweaked with the Apple Watch 7 to accommodate larger displays in a ever-so-curvier chassis.

While it's early for Apple Watch 8 rumors, there are some rumors doing the rounds. The latest one is an alleged render image of the Apple Watch. We can't verify this image's legitimacy, but if it's accurate then the Apple Watch 8 won't be sporting a big design change over the Apple Watch 7. 

But the Apple Watch 8 could follow the design language of newer, flat-edged iPhones, if it gets the upgrades that were previously rumored for the Series 7. Expectations of a flat-sided Apple Watch grew when leaker Jon Prosser shared a series of renders earlier this year. Prosser hedged the timeline of the major design change, saying his sources could've passed along intel for a different future Apple Watch — not necessarily the Apple Watch 7. 

A render of what the Apple Watch 8 might look like

(Image credit: Jon Prosser & Ian Zelbo)

Another set of renders published ahead of the Apple Watch 7 announcement revealed plans for a flat-edged redesign. The reportedly leaked CAD renders, shared by 91Mobiles tease an all-flat design, display included.

Could Apple jump from its curviest Apple Watch yet to its sharpest?

Apple Watch 8 rumored features

The Apple Watch 8 might not offer new health-tracking sensors compared to the Apple Watch 7, according to Mark Gurman in a January installment of Power Up. Gurman followed up this report in April claiming blood pressure reading is currently planned for the 2024 Apple Watch, while blood glucose readers are even farther down Apple's smartwatch roadmap. 

More recently, Gurman also said skin temperature reading could actually materialize with the Apple Watch 8, but not in the way we expected. Skin temperature could be used to inform fertility at first. Perhaps later versions will offer traditional body temperature readings from the wrist.

We believe since the Apple Watch released the fall prioritized design with larger Apple Watch 7 sizes, the 2022 model would see internal improvements. Time will tell. 

Rugged Apple Watch, Apple Watch SE 2

There's a chance the Apple Watch 8 comes alongside a less expensive Apple Watch SE follow up, which would be two years old by next September. See our guide to the Apple Watch SE 2 for a complete guide to everything we know about the rumored midrange watch.

Mark Gurman claims the Apple Watch 8 could launch alongside a new Apple Watch SE and a rugged Apple Watch, complete with improved activity tracking and new chips. We could see the Apple Watch SE 2 start at $279 with updated specs compared to the current best Apple Watch for those on a budget.

There's also talk of a rugged Apple Watch designed to better cater to outdoor sport enthusiasts. Whether it would become one of the best sport watches depends heavily on battery life and GPS features. Rugged Apple Watch rumors started ahead of the Apple Watch 7 launch.

Apple Watch 8: What we'd like to see

Better battery life: The Apple Watch's battery life has been rated for 18 hours for several years now. And while the company has added more taxing features like an always-on display, you still can't bypass a daily charge. Maybe with a larger battery capacity and a more efficient processor, the Apple Watch 8's stamina will improve compared to previous-generation models. We hope for this every year, though. Even the Apple Watch 7 was tipped for a huge battery life boost, but it didn't happen.

Skin temperature reader: According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is working on on a skin-temperature sensor, as found in the Fitbit Sense. A Wall Street Journal report targets 2022 as the possible arrival for this capability, which would require new hardware in the Apple Watch to monitor temperature. It's possible the watch's temperature-taking ability would be pitched as a fertility-planning feature. According to Mark Gurman, this is still a possibility.

Blood glucose reader: Blood glucose reading for Apple Watch has been rumored for some time. The Wall Street Journal report mentioning skin temperature reading also confirms that Apple wants its smartwatch to be able to detect or help monitor diabetes. There are already third-party apps that work with an invasive pump, but Apple is reportedly studying noninvasive ways to take blood glucose readings. A recent report in DigiTimes further backed this up, claiming that Apple has begun working with its suppliers to create short-wavelength infrared sensors that could monitor the amount of sugar in a users’ blood.   

Blood pressure monitor: Like blood glucose reading, rumors of blood pressure monitoring for Apple Watch began a while back. For a moment ahead of the Apple Watch 7 launch, Apple seemed poised to announce the health sensor, but it didn't materialize. As we've seen, Samsung is still struggling to earn FDA approval for the blood pressuring monitor in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. The Apple Watch won't get blood pressure monitoring until it earns the necessary certificates for U.S. application. 

MicroLED display: Rumors have considered that the Apple Watch could make a switch from an OLED display to a microLED screen. It could enable a slimmer and more power-efficient Apple Watch. MicroLED displays offer better brightness and don't suffer from the luminance decay problems of traditional OLED panels. In other words, using micro-LED screen tech could help boost the Apple Watch's lifespan, which stands at just 18 hours with an always-on display. 

Touch ID: The Apple Watch's current biometric system is pretty simple. If you use a passcode, you'll need to type it in anytime you put your Apple Watch on your wrist. Considering the amount of information your smartwatch may hold, we'd welcome more security. Until the Apple Watch gets a native selfie camera for FaceID, TouchID seems like the solution. Perhaps a fingerprint reader could be added to the side button, or even under the Apple Watch display.

Even larger sizes: Though the Apple Watch 7 grew from 40mm and 44mm to 41mm and 45mm (as confirmed by Apple Watch bands listed on Apple's website), we'd like the Apple Watch to come in even larger sizes. The current sizes allow for a miniaturized user experience that’s excellent in snippets but impractical for productivity. Adding a couple of millimeters to the Apple Watch might not sound like a major change, but it could give the company room to add things like stronger microphones and speakers or a bigger processor.

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.