Apple Watch 8 — 5 biggest rumors so far

Apple Watch 8 renders
(Image credit: Jon Prosser)

The Apple Watch 8 could be just weeks away from making a debut. With the next Apple event scheduled to take place on September 7, we expect Apple’s next-gen flagship smartwatch is among the devices that will be there.

There could actually be up to three new Apple Watch models arriving this year. Alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, rumors claim we could see the Apple Watch SE 2 and an all-new Apple Watch 8 Pro. Each of these devices holds potential for exciting upgrades, fresh fitness-tracking features and more.

Most of our Apple Watch Series 8 intel comes from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a reliable Apple tipster who, in the past months, has shared quite a few reports detailing the redesigned Apple Watch 8 lineup. We don’t have many details from other sources, but it’s still worth catching up on the rumors we have heard.

Here are the biggest Apple Watch 8 rumors to pay attention to as we approach the smartwatch’s anticipated launch. After all, the Apple Watch 8 could be the best smartwatch of the year.

Skin temperature sensor 

Apple might be planning an answer to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. Though it’s impossible to say which company first began working on body temperature tracking via smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 skin temperature sensor recently materialized. While the feature will primarily be used for sleep tracking, it’s not available yet.

We’ve heard conflicting rumors about the Apple Watch 8 body temperature sensor. Apple is due to incorporate a new health sensor; we last got the blood oxygen reader on Apple Watch Series 6. But we’re skeptical a sensor would be announced if it didn’t have the proper clearances or functionality. As long as it’s approved and operational, the skin-temperature sensor could further advance the Apple Watch as a medical device. The sensor might be used for fertility tracking, sleep data and, eventually, fever detection.

Apple Watch 8 Pro, Apple Watch SE 2

Besides the new sensor, the biggest Apple Watch 8 rumors probably pertain to the additional models believed to be planned for this year: the Apple Watch 8 Pro and Apple Watch SE 2.

According to Gurman, the Apple Watch 8 Pro will get premium materials, a larger screen and longer-lasting battery life compared to the basic Series 8. Perhaps pitched as a rugged device (similar to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro), the Apple Watch 8 Pro could be better equipped for outdoor sports than any of the best Apple Watch versions before.

Meanwhile, the Apple Watch SE 2 could replace the original Apple Watch SE with some stripped-down Apple Watch 8 features in an older design. We hope to see a faster processor and SpO2 reader, if not also the ECG reader. An always-on display option for Apple Watch SE would be another major upgrade. 

Low power mode

Gurman has reported that the Apple Watch may soon get a low power mode, or better battery management options. Currently, the Apple Watch offers a Power Reserve function that lets you still check the time even when your smartwatch's battery is nearly dead. But unlike on the iPhone or iPad, there’s no pre-emptive "low power" setting that disables many of the battery-draining functions with a single toggle.

It’s unclear whether this low power mode would be available to all the watchOS 9 supported devices, or just the Apple Watch Series 8. It’s possible Apple will announce some watchOS 9 features that are tailored, or exclusive, to the upcoming smartwatch. If true, this could be a huge difference between the Apple Watch 8 vs. Apple Watch 7.

Color rumors

A recent tip tells us the Apple Watch 8 color selection might be slimmer than previously offered. In one of the few rumors that’s not from Gurman, Twitter tipster ShrimpApplePro suggested the Apple Watch Series 8 will come in Midnight, Starlight, Product Red and Silver. Though Starlight is very similar to Silver, we did notice a slight difference in the two colors offered for the MacBook Air M2

This could also mean that Blue and Green are no longer options for Apple Watch. Whether this reflects sale numbers of the Apple Watch Series 7 or is just to accommodate the amount of options available from the rumored two Apple Watch 8-adjacent devices is unknown.

Apple Watch 8 price and release date rumors

Finally, we have the latest rumors on the Apple Watch Series 8 price and release date. The baseline Series 8 is expected to maintain a $399 starting price, with premiums for LTE and the larger size. The Apple Watch SE 2 should come in at $279, while the Apple Watch 8 Pro price remains a mystery. Gurman said it could be as much as $999 — the same as the iPhone 13 Pro — but time will tell. For comparison, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro starts at $449.

The next Apple event is taking place on September 7. We anticipate the Apple Watch Series 8 release date will happen shortly after, with pre-orders starting as early as September 9.  

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.