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Here’s why I won’t buy an Apple Watch Series 10 just for the redesign

Published Jul 8th, 2024 6:50AM EDT
Apple Watch Series 9
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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According to various reports, the Apple Watch Series 10 (Series X?) will get a major redesign this year. The latest such rumor details the same big design changes coming to Apple’s main 2024 Watch models. The Series 10 variants should get larger displays and a thinner profile than their predecessors.

But, as exciting as that redesign prospect might be, I won’t upgrade to a new Apple Watch Series 10 this fall if the feature I want from watchOS 11 isn’t ready.

I’m more inclined to swap my current Apple Watch SE 2022 for the cheaper 2024 variant that Apple is also developing, according to the same report.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman detailed the upcoming Apple Watch models in his new PowerOn newsletter over the weekend. He said the Apple Watch Series 10 is getting a major design upgrade. However, it’s unclear when Apple might choose to celebrate the Apple Watch’s 10th anniversary. It can happen this year or in 2025. The first Watch was announced in 2014, but it only hit stores in 2015.

Whatever the case, a redesign is happening for the 2024 series. The Apple Watch Series 10 models will look familiar, but they’ll be thinner than the Series 9 equivalents. They’ll also have larger displays.

Gurman does not mention screen sizes, but says the largest Series 10 variant will have a screen as large as the Ultra. That would be 49mm. It’s a size we saw in previous reports. The smaller screen would measure 45mm, according to those reports.

Furthermore, Apple will equip the Apple Watch Series 10 with a new chip that might be ready one day for AI features. That’s not happening this year. The unchanged Ultra 3 should get the same chip. According to Gurman, it’s not all good news.

Design aside, Apple has experienced some issues with the new health-related software features it wanted to debut this y: t’s blood pressure and sleep apnea monitoring.

I don’t have high blood pressure, but I’m preparing for that future. I can’t wait for the Apple Watch to monitor blood pressure and collect data, just like it does with other health parameters. Initially, the Watch won’t perform actual readings. Instead, it’ll give users a baseline reading and warn them if it’s high.

That would be a good start for me. It could also be a great feature to have on hand for people who already have high blood pressure. They could use a regular blood pressure cuff to take detailed readings when warnings come up.

However, the Apple Watch Series 10 might not offer the functionality. Apparently, Apple has had issues with it and might postpone the launch. A new Apple Watch design might be needed:

The technology that measures high blood pressure, or hypertension, hasn’t been as reliable as hoped during testing. That may force Apple to postpone the release beyond this year. There have been particular concerns about the blood-pressure feature working properly with the new Series 10 design.

Gurman says Apple is facing a different challenge regarding sleep apnea. For that algorithm to work, the Apple Watch needs to measure blood oxygen. That functionality is unavailable in the US, where Apple is engaged in a legal fight with Masimo. The feature would be available in Europe, but I’m not that interested in monitoring sleep apnea at the moment.

Apple Watch SE
Apple Watch SE lacks EKG and Blood Oxygen features. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Finally, Gurman also mentions Apple’s interest in giving the Apple Watch glucose monitoring powers. But that feature has been in development for about a decade, and it’s unclear when Apple will have it ready.

With all that in mind, I’m certain I won’t get an Apple Watch Series 10 just for the bigger screens. I do need a replacement for my Apple Watch SE 2. The battery will need replacing, so I might as well replace the whole thing.

The Apple Watch SE 3 might be the next wearable I choose if blood pressure support isn’t coming to Series 10. The new budget wearable might be made of rigid plastic instead of aluminum. That wouldn’t be a problem as long as the Apple Watch SE monitors basic health parameters and my fitness routines as reliably as possible.

On that note, a plastic Apple Watch SE might be cheaper than the current model, which starts at $249, but we’ll have to wait until the iPhone 16 event to see what Apple has in mind for the next budget Watch.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.