Top 9 Features I’m Excited to See in the Apple Watch X

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Apple’s first smartwatch, the Apple Watch, was unveiled in September 2014 and released in April 2015. Last year, we saw the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, both of which were relatively iterative upgrades. Now, attention should be on what Apple might have in store for the 10th anniversary of the Apple Watch, similar to what the company did for the 10th anniversary of the iPhone with the release of the iPhone X.

Rumors indicate that this anniversary smartwatch could be named the “Apple Watch X,” and it could make an appearance later this year or, more likely, in 2025.

If the Apple Watch X is as game-changing for the Apple Watch as the iPhone X was for the iPhone, here are a few features we’d like to see.

A new design is long overdue

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

There has been speculation about a potential design refresh since the release of the Apple Watch Series 7. Despite these rumors, the look and feel of the main Apple Watch have remained unchanged, although many people (myself included) expected otherwise.

While a design change may not have made sense in the past, it seems more feasible with the 10th-anniversary version of the wearable. The iPhone design largely remained unchanged until it reached its 10-year mark, when the iPhone X eliminated the classic Home button that had been a staple of the iPhone for the past decade. If Apple is unveiling an Apple Watch X, a redesign should be on the cards. Apart from the Apple Watch Ultra, the Apple Watch has maintained a consistent look year after year. It’s time for a makeover.

The specifics of the new design remain unknown. Previous rumors around the Series 7 suggested an Apple Watch with flat edges, akin to the iPhone 12 style. While I found that design appealing, I understand that my preference may not be widely shared.

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

It would also be interesting if the Apple Watch adopted a circular shape instead of a square one. This would give the Apple Watch a more traditional timepiece appearance, akin to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 or Google Pixel Watch 2. Admittedly, this move might blur the distinction between the Apple Watch and its competitors, but round watches do exude a certain elegance.

A more traditional round face would also bring me to my second point: the adoption of traditional watch bands.

Universal watch bands for all

The Ocean Band alongside the Apple Watch Ultra with the Solo Loop band. Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I’ve been using an Apple Watch for almost a decade, and over the years, I’ve collected a decent assortment of Apple Watch bands, whether from Apple or third-party sources.

However, rumors have surfaced about a potential change in the band attachment mechanism for the Apple Watch X. The existing bands currently slide into the case of the watch and secure with a unique mechanism. The rumored change would entail integrating a magnetic system, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

While the new system sounds more convenient, it would mean another proprietary band attachment method. This would render the past decade’s worth of Apple Watch bands incompatible, and the magnetic method could face the same fate in another 10 years.

It would be great to see Apple make the Apple Watch X compatible with standard 20mm watch bands, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Watches. A standard and universal band system provides users with more options and ensures longevity and compatibility with future revisions of the watch band system.

… or a new proprietary band design

Apple Watch Ultra with the Ocean Band Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

However, given that this is Apple, it is highly unlikely that the company would adopt a universal band method. It took considerable EU regulations to convince Apple to transition to USB-C on the iPhone 15, after all.

According to Gurman, Apple may alter the band system of the Apple Watch X to utilize a magnetic attachment method. While it may render my current band collection useless, a magnetic system offers greater ease of use and fewer points of failure when changing bands compared to the current system.

Despite it being a proprietary method, the existing band system of the Apple Watch works well, with a few exceptions. It is expected that if Apple indeed makes changes, it will be to improve the system further.

Qi-compatible wireless charging

Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

Since the original Apple Watch, Apple has used a proprietary charging puck for its smartwatches, much like many other smartwatches on the market. I hope the Apple Watch X features Qi-compatible wireless charging, allowing for a more convenient charging experience without requiring a separate charging puck.

This might currently be wishful thinking, but it would be a welcomed feature if implemented.

Extended battery life

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

While the standard Apple Watch Series has historically offered around 18 hours of battery life, the Apple Watch Ultra delivers around 36 hours on a single charge. Given that the Ultra also features the largest case size at 49mm, it’s plausible that the extra space accommodates a larger battery, contributing to the improved battery life.

Rumors suggest that a potential shift to a magnetic band system could create more room inside the Apple Watch, thus enabling a larger battery and longer battery life.

While parity with the Ultra’s battery life may not be realistic, it would be beneficial to see a departure from the consistent 18-hour battery life offered by previous models.

Blood sugar tracking

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If the Apple Watch X is indeed in development, the time is ripe to integrate new health tracking sensors and capabilities. This is especially pertinent given the Apple Watch’s primary role as a health and fitness tracker.

I’m particularly keen on seeing non-invasive blood glucose monitoring, although I’m uncertain about the current state of Apple’s technology in this area. This development might still be some years away, but if the Apple Watch X is released in 2025, it could be within the realm of possibility.

Realizing that even if the Apple Watch were to include blood glucose monitoring, it might not be as precise as the traditional finger prick method. While I appreciate the convenience of monitoring my blood sugar levels throughout the day, I’m not fond of the need to prick my finger each time for this data.

If Apple were to incorporate such a feature, it could potentially be focused on monitoring prediabetic levels. Nonetheless, it would offer some insight into glucose levels without intrusive procedures, which would be a significant advancement. I hold out the hope for a means of tracking blood glucose without resorting to needles.

At the moment, the inclusion of this feature seems unlikely, but it’s a hopeful prospect.

Blood pressure monitoring

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