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Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition: what we want to see

According to the rumors, the Apple Watch 8 is getting a 'Rugged Edition' or 'Extreme Edition', designed for extreme sports or intensive outdoor use.

This kind of smartwatch would be like those designed by Garmin, Amazfit or Casio, with a hardy design, long-lasting battery, and a focus on features that would be useful for extreme sports.

Think long-distance hiking, trail running, climbing, skiing or similar kinds of activities, with extra helpful functions like GPS tracking and altitude and weather monitoring making the watch a handy tool. 

Even the best Apple Watches don't offer this kind of feature versatility right now.

We've heard enough rumors to think that this new Apple Watch 8 for endurance sports is coming, but since Apple hasn't made one before, we don't totally know what it'll look like. But to give us a first glimpse, we've created this guide - it'll run you through what we've heard so far as well as what we want to see.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A hardier take on the Apple Watch 8, with more features
  • When is it out? Later in 2022, according to leakers
  • How much will it cost? No idea - but likely more than the Apple Watch 8

Apple Watch 7

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition release date and price

Current rumors point to this upcoming Apple Watch variant launching alongside the Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch SE toward the end of 2022 - expect it either alongside the iPhone 14 in September, or perhaps at a separate launch event slightly earlier or later alongside those aforementioned models.

Regarding a price, it's hard to pin down an exact figure, but we imagine it'll be pricier than the standard Apple Watch 8... another watch we don't have a cost for.

For some context, though, the Apple Watch 7 would set you back $399 / £369 / AU$599 for its most affordable option, and goes higher if you want a bigger case or more premium material. So expect a higher price for the ruggedized device.

Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition name

Since this isn't an official product yet, we don't know what it'll actually be called.

We've been naming it after the Apple Watch 8 - emphasis on the number - but it's possible that it won't be tied to the flagship smartwatch in such a concrete way, and could lose the digit.

Most leakers have referred to the device not by its name, but by its characteristics - so we're not sure if it'll be called the Extreme Edition, Rugged Edition, Endurance Edition or something else entirely.

We've gone with the middle one of those for this article, because that's the name most members of the Apple fan community have decided to use, but that doesn't mean it's confirmed by any means. We'll change the name of this article if we hear an official title from Apple.

Apple Watch 3

(Image credit: Future)

Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition leaks and rumors

Most of the Apple Watch rugged edition leaks we've heard just mention the existence of the watch, and not what it'll actually do. But we've heard some rumors about the Apple Watch 8 that might actually be about the rugged edition.

One of these is new tech that can detect whether your smartwatch has received water damage, and alerting you if it'll be an issue - great for water sports.

It's also possible that the watch will get a body measurement tracking tool that was originally meant to show up in the Watch 7.

And it's likely it'll come with watchOS 9 as that's Apple's newest smartwatch operating system - some of its features include new running posture tracking and improved sleep tracking.

Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition: what we want to see

Having used loads of rugged watches before, we've come up with a few features we'd like an extreme Apple Watch to have.

1. GPS mapping functions

If you're wandering around in the wilds, measuring the altitude and steps of your long-distance hike, it's very easy to get turned around and lose your way.

Some watches have GPS mapping features - you can view maps and your position on them, and sometimes see a route charted too, to help you find yourself or just plan optimal routes.

We'd like to see Apple embrace this kind of tech, so it could keep competitive with lots of other devices on the market. Apple has an annoying habit of making its best features exclusive to the US, or select countries, so maybe it could work with another mapping company on the feature - ideally not Apple Maps.

Apple Watch 6

(Image credit: Future)

2. A sturdy design

Smartwatches can be some of the most fragile devices on the market - they're sitting out in the open on your wrist, and you can easily knock them or bump them. That's why rugged watches need a bit more durability.

Many we test have hardy designs, designed to protect the screen and internals. This can involve thick bezels, materials that don't get scratched easily, and plenty of waterproofing.

The Apple Watch will absolutely need the same, so that it can survive in the wilds. You don't want to scratch it on the first rock face you try to scale, or have one splash break it when surfing.

3. Extra features over the Apple Watch 8

The Apple Watch rugged edition will need sufficient features - both hardware and software - over its main-series cousin in order to justify its existence.

You can buy rugged cases for the standard Apple Watch, which would likely cost a lot less than a rugged version of the device, and if there aren't any features on-board to justify its existence, then the extreme version would be a waste of space.

Source: TechRadar

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