Image source: Apple

A more pricey Apple Watch SE 2 to come with an always-on display, improved chip

Some more details have emerged on the rumoured Apple Watch SE 2 which should make a showing this September. It is expected to arrive with an always-on display and improved chip, but also a bigger price-tag.

Apple Watch SE 2 – what is known

It is widely expected we will get an Apple Watch SE 2 model this year. Its predecessor was released back in September 2020 as a version for those on a budget, as a mid-level option. The device borrows a lot from the Apple Watch Series 6 but omits some of its functions such as SpO2 and ECG. It also doesn’t support the always-on display option.

The fact that we didn’t see an SE 2 model in 2021 should come as no surprise. With the coronavirus crisis, supply chain disruptions, energy shortages in certain countries and other factors – it was not a normal year. But Mark Gurman from Bloomberg expects that we will see Watch SE 2 in September 2022 with a slightly tweaked design and a boost in health features as compared to its predecessor.

Adding their voice iDropNews which apparently has insider information. They also predict that the model with go ahead this year, but that not very much will change as far as design. So the same 40 and 44 mm options and display real-estate.

They say what will change is that the device will get a new chip which will allow for an always-on display, improved audio features and the addition of ECG sensors. It is also reasonable to expect SpO2 functionality.

No changes in battery life are expected although the always-on display could be accompanied by a bigger capacity battery. So you should still be able to get around 18 hours on a single charge. There’s also talk Apple might integrate fast charging technology which is currently only reserved for the Series 7 device.

The final prediction from LeaksApplePro is to do with price. In the US they expect a 20% increase as compared to the predecessor model. Which means the SE 2 should come in around $300.

A more rugged Apple Watch 8 Sports

Another novelty this year will reportedly be a “rugged” model of Apple Watch. Last Spring Mark Gurman from Bloomberg stated that unnamed Apple sources told him the company is looking at branching into other models to target different buyer types.

While the more robust model would retain the square look of the other iterations, it would be useable in extreme environments. To this end the timepiece will pack a sturdier design which offers more protection.

We have seen a number of companies offering such products. Garmin and Casio spring to mind with their wide range of sports watches. Another popular brand is Amazfit. They’ve launched a more rugged rugged T-Rex Pro earlier this year. There’s obviously a market for this sort of thing that includes athletes, hikers, mountaineers and others.

Which means the rugged Apple Watch would use existing technology – only things such as water-resistance and build would be upgraded. For example, Apple could use a rubberized exterior to make the device more shock resistant.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

All of this was expected in 2021. Unfortunately, the upgrades that came with Series 7 in September were miniscule. The most important is the slightly bigger display. And there was zero mention of a more rugged model.

Since then Mark Gurman has doubled down on his prediction. In one of his instalments of his Power On newsletter, he says the rugged version will still come. But that it will be in the form of an Apple Watch Series 8 sports model.

If you keep repeating something until it happens – is it really a prediction? Perhaps it is, perhaps it is not. In fairness, 2021 was not a regular year. Many companies postponed their launch plans due to the on-going chip shortage, never ending pandemic and energy shortages in certain Asian countries.

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