Apple Watch X — 5 rumored upgrades I'm most excited for

Apple Watch 10 render
(Image credit: @concept_central)

Apple Watch X rumors are trickling in and even though the launch isn't until September, we already have a decent idea of what the 10th-anniversary smartwatch might look like, inside and out. 

Some upgrades on my wishlist likely won't come to pass — like the inclusion of an Action button — but others, like better battery life, seem like a sure bet. Based on the current crop of Apple Watch X rumors and leaks, here are five potential upgrades I'm most eager to see come to fruition to make it the best Apple Watch yet.

1. Greater screen real estate

The Apple Watch 10 may get the largest display of any Apple Watch yet, according to leaked CAD renderings shared by 91mobiles. We're talking two inches of screen real estate, slightly more than the Apple Watch Ultra and Ultra 2, which both boast a 1.93-inch display. 

By comparison, the Apple Watch Series 9 sports a 1.7-inch screen, making this rumored update pretty significant. Beyond a larger display, improvements to screen brightness would also be appreciated.

The current generation Series 9 devices max out at 2000 nits. No word yet on whether that will jump but we do know that MicroLED technology is almost certainly not coming to the X. Womp, womp. 

2. Slimmer design

Apple Watch Series 9 on a user's wrist

(Image credit: Future)

A larger display often equals a clunkier smartwatch case but the 91mobiles renderings suggest the Apple Watch X may keep the bulk to a minimum. Despite having a bigger screen than the Ultra 2, it appears that the case size will remain more petite.

The Apple Watch 10 will also likely be thinner than the Series 9, says Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who tends to be correct about these types of things. The current generation isn't necessarily a clunker but I'd love to see its 10.7mm depth slimmed down a bit, for comfort's sake. Just as long as that doesn't negatively impact battery life...

3. Better battery

Thankfully, we expect the battery life on the Apple Watch X to show improvements over the Series 9, which is good for about 18 hours of use. A report from The Elec suggests that some battery improvements may come in the form of a more efficient screen.

Though it's unlikely to be a MicroLED affair, Apple is tipped to be using low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) tech to lower the device's screen power consumption. We just don't know by how much. 

We also don't know the battery capacity of the forthcoming device but any improvements would be greatly welcomed. 

4. More wellness monitoring

Apple Watch 6 back

(Image credit: Future)

Wellness monitoring is a huge selling point of the Apple Watch and the greater the number of conditions and health anomalies that can be scanned for, the better. Assuming Apple works out its beef with Masimo over SpO2 monitoring tech, the new smartwatch may feature sleep apnea and hypertension detection. 

This info comes from a report in Bloomberg that also says the Apple Watch X could feature highly personalized workout and nutrition recommendations. 

Hypertension and sleep apnea are two conditions that can increase an individual's risk of heart attack or stroke considerably if left undiagnosed and treated, which is why early detection is so important. 

The former will establish a blood pressure baseline over time and look out for readings that stray too far. The latter is tipped to monitor a user's breathing patterns and sleep habits for signs of the condition.

In either case, if something appears out of whack, users would receive a notification from their Apple Watch 10 recommending further medical analysis. 

5. Increased durability

Okay, this one is more wishful thinking than based on concrete rumors or leaks. However, given hints of a complete design overhaul, it's not outside the realm of possibility.

The Apple Watch 9 is a respectably well-built device but there is room for refinements, notably in water resistance. With just 50 meters of H20 protection, Apple doesn't recommend you wear the Series 9 in water for more than 30 minutes. 

I'd love to see this spec bumped up to 100 meters, matching that of the Ultra series. Increased water resistance would also give the series a leg up over similar devices from Samsung and Google, including the Galaxy Watch 6, Google Pixel Watch 2 and Fitbit Charge 6

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Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

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.