Apple Watch 7 hardware leaks point to even bigger updates coming in 2022

Apple Watch Series 6 watch face
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Watch 7 has seen a number of leaks already, but with the exception of some rumored design changes, it is unclear what Apple has in store for its market-dominating wearable this year.

A new report from Bloomberg offers a considerably clearer picture of what's coming not only for the Apple Watch 7, but for a number of new Apple Watches in 2022.

Apple Watch 7

Bloomberg offers a handful of details regarding this year's Apple Watch 7 that is expected in mid-September. This includes a faster processor, an updated screen, and enhanced wireless connectivity. 

There are no details offered on the processor, which at least seems to indicate that is going to be a minor improvement and not some kind of generational leap. The display update lines up well with some of the rumored design tweaks with a more minimal bezel and a "new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover." Surprisingly, they indicate that the Apple Watch 7 will be slightly thicker overall than its predecessor, but similar to the iPhone 13, it will apparently be almost imperceptible, hopefully, it means a slightly larger battery though.

Renders of Apple Watch 7 prepared based on alleged leaked photos of the device

(Image credit: Jon Prosser/@RendersByIan)

The final new detail offered is that it will include the updated ultra-wideband (UWB) functionality that we've seen with Apple's AirTag. The watch is a natural device to use for this functionality as well so this makes perfect sense. Given the relatively minimal updates that Apple had to show in watchOS 8, it's not shocking that the company doesn't have too much in store for the watch itself this year, but 2022 sounds a bit more exciting. 

Apple Watch 2022 models

Per the report, Apple has three Apple Watch variants coming in 2022. The standard Apple Watch (presumably 8), the Apple Watch SE 2 and a new sport model that will target "extreme sport athletes." 

The Apple Watch 8 could introduce a body temperature sensor, the report claims this was meant to come this year, but is believed to be pushed back to 2022. During the Covid-19 pandemic, this has proven a valuable capability and we know that Apple was looking into whether the existing Apple Watch could detect Covid-19, so it's no surprise that it is looking to address that gap. The oft-rumored blood sugar sensor is reportedly still years away.

A follow-up to last year's more affordable Apple Watch SE is also expected in 2022, but no other details are offered. Presumably, it would pick up some of the new features seen in the Apple Watch 7 like enhanced UWB, but it's unclear this far out from release.

Apple Watch SE features

(Image credit: Apple)

The final Apple Watch for 2022 is the most intriguing as it is a brand new model that some at Apple are reportedly calling the "explorer" or "adventure" edition. While you might remember the Apple Watch Sport, that model was just an aluminum version of the Apple Watch and the name was dropped after the 1st generation. 

This is apparently geared toward a much more rugged outdoor crowd and will seek to compete with fitness-focused wearables from Garmin, Casio and Polar to name a few. This was also originally slated for release in 2021, but is believed to be pushed back to 2022. No further features are offered, but it would be reasonable to assume that enhanced durability and battery life would have to be on the list given the intended audience.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.