What we already know about Apple Watch Series 8 | Cult of Mac

What we already know about Apple Watch Series 8

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Apple Watch Pro with flash screen
A new top-of-the-line Apple Watch Pro allegedly coming in 2022 will have a flat screen and a titanium body.
Concept: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

You don’t have to wait until September to get the details on the next-gen Apple Watch. Many of them leaked out already.

Here’s what to expect out of the upcoming Series 8, and a new “extreme sports” Apple Watch. An updated Apple Watch SE is also supposedly in the offing.

Apple Watch rumors: Peering into the future

The days when Tim Cook and Co. could unveil a new product and expect everyone to be surprised are long over. Leaks reveal many of the details of upcoming iPhones and MacBooks well before they launch. That’s true of the 2022 Apple Watch lineup, too.

These unconfirmed reports are useful for consumers who are deciding whether they want to wait for this fall’s Series 8 or would be happier with a Series 7 purchased now at a bargain.

That said, leaks about Apple’s next wearables are somewhat sketchy and occasionally contradictory. And we certainly don’t know as much about the upcoming larger, rugged model as we’d like.

Apple Watch Series 8: Don’t expect big changes

This isn’t the year for big changes in the standard Apple Watch. According to the latest info, Series 8 will have the same design as the 2021 model, with the usual 41mm and 45mm sizes to choose from.

That dovetails with the scarcity of rumors. Most leaks come from Apple’s component suppliers, oftentimes because someone noticed a difference in design. This won’t happen if Series 8 components look much like Series 7 parts.

There supposedly will not be a titanium option for Apple Watch Series 8. The aluminum version will be available in midnight, starlight, red and silver, while the stainless steel one will come in silver and graphite. That’s fewer color options than before.

Apple Watch Series 8 is expected to run on a new Apple S8 chip … but the processor supposedly will deliver roughly the same performance as last year’s S7 chip.

Despite a limited number of changes, the wearable won’t be identical to its predecessor. Series 8 is rumored to feature a body temperature sensor. This supposedly won’t give a specific number, but will instead support reproductive health features and warn wearers that they might be running a fever.

Apple Watch SE 2 will be an equally minor tweak

Apple reportedly will unveil an updated Apple Watch SE at the same time as Series 8. That’s not surprising, as the original one came out in 2020.

But the new model is expected to stick with the same design as its predecessor in either 40mm or 44mm sizes.

The big change will supposedly be the aforementioned Apple S8 chip.

All attention is on the Apple Watch Pro

Many people wear an Apple Watch for health and fitness, and Apple is allegedly prepping a model designed for hardcore athletes. The leaks indicate Apple will call it the Explorer Edition or the Pro.

The device supposedly will be made of titanium to be more rugged, and sport a larger battery for longer workouts. And it’ll have the largest screen yet in a watchOS wearable: up about 7% bigger than the largest Series 7 model.

Expect it to have … everything. The latest processor, the new temperature sensor, everything.

Coming in September for … how much?

All sources point to Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Pro/Explorer Edition coming in September, as usual, alongside the iPhone 14 lineup.

Unfortunately, no tipster has been able to say anything definitive about pricing for any of the three 2022 Apple Watch models. But given that Series 8 and SE 2 sound like only slightly improved versions of their predecessors, it might prove difficult for Apple to justify a significant price hike, despite inflationary pressures. If that’s the way it works out, Series 7 will start around $399 while the base model SE 2 will be in the neighborhood of $279.

But the Apple Watch Explorer Edition (or Pro or whatever it’s called) will be entirely new — and likely more expensive. The Titanium Series 7 versions start at $799, so expect the upcoming rugged model to cost at least that much.

These wearables almost certainly will debut at the same time as watchOS 9, which puts a strong focus on new fitness features. After the September iPhone/Apple Watch unveiling, the company reportedly will discontinue Apple Watch Series 3, a move that’s long overdue.