The new year is here, and that means a lot of tech to look forward to in the coming months, especially with wearables like smartwatches. And there’s going to be an exciting slate of smartwatches to come, which will pair especially well with the most anticipated smartphones of 2024.
So, what’s coming? Here are 5 smartwatches coming out in 2024 that you need to pay close attention to.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 7
There haven’t been too many rumors circulating around the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7, but there is one thing that is highly likely: there will be a Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 Pro.
Samsung told PCMag that it is planning to alternate between the Classic and Pro as the high-end premium watch offering for each generation. Since we had the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic last year, we should get a Galaxy Watch 7 Pro this year. After all, we had Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. Going with that pattern, a Pro model does seem likely.
Classic watches have a more traditional watch style and a rotating bezel that can be used to navigate through watch faces. The Watch 5 Pro doesn’t have the fan-favorite rotating bezel but does offer extra-long battery life, better durability, and more features that are aimed for intense outdoor activities.
Another big rumor is that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 will use a 3nm chipset, an upgrade over the 5nm Exynos W930 currently in the Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic. This would mean a potential increase in overall power and battery life.
There’s also a chance that Samsung is switching to microLED displays from AMOLED, though this rumor depends on whether the technology is ready by the time the Galaxy Watch 7 is supposed to be released. Based on historical records, the Galaxy Watch 7 will likely be announced around August.
One of the things I would love to see with the Galaxy Watch 7 is blood pressure monitoring. This feature is already possible with the Galaxy Watch 6 series, though the feature availability depends on your region; it’s not available in the U.S. I hope to see that change with the Galaxy Watch 7 though.
And while we’re at it, I would love it if Samsung could streamline the process so that it doesn’t need to be calibrated with a standalone blood pressure cuff, which it currently does with the Galaxy Watch 6.
OnePlus Watch 2
Though OnePlus’ first attempt at a smartwatch was not great, things look more promising with the OnePlus Watch 2.
From the looks of things, the OnePlus Watch 2 looks to be a more original design than competitors by combining a round dial and flattened right edge, similar to Casio’s G-Shock watches. The metallic lugs for the straps also extend a bit further away from the main body of the watch. The OnePlus Watch 2 could sport a 1.43-inch OLED display as well.
On the inside, the OnePlus Watch 2 may be going with a Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 chip and using Wear OS 4. This would make it easier for OnePlus by not having to manage an entire custom software experience, and users would have added convenience to an existing platform.
Apple Watch Series 10
The Apple Watch Series 10, or “Apple Watch X,” is likely to be a big one since it will coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Apple Watch. Because of this, we can probably expect some big changes coming.
Since this will be a milestone year, one of the big rumors circulating is that the Apple Watch Series 10 could have a major redesign. The plan is to make it thinner than we currently have, which means a slimmer casing.
To go along with a possible design change might be a new method of attaching straps. The rumors suggest a magnetic attachment system, which would make it easier to swap straps, but that means no more band cutouts. This means most current straps may end up incompatible with the Apple Watch Series 10 and later.
Apple is also in the process of switching to microLED displays instead of standard OLED. However, this might not happen until 2025.
As far as health features go, the Apple Watch Series 10 could have some new sensors for blood pressure monitoring and sleep apnea detection. While a lot of people are waiting for blood glucose monitoring to come to the Apple Watch (myself included), this may not be a possibility until the end of the decade.
I’m quite excited to see what Apple will do for the Apple Watch Series 10, or “Apple Watch X” if it’s going to be called that. I would love to see a new design just to shake things up, as the Apple Watch has looked the same for the past decade. I’m also interested in seeing a magnetic band attachment system, though I’m not thrilled I would have to replace my entire band collection if it’ll render old straps incompatible.
If the strap system changes and there’s no more cut-out for bands, that means more room internally for things like a larger battery. It would be exciting if the Apple Watch Series 10 has better battery life than its predecessors, and the idea of possible new health sensors is definitely enticing.
Apple Watch SE 3
In addition to a mainline Apple Watch Series, Apple has the more affordable Apple Watch SE. The first Apple Watch SE launched in 2020, and the Apple Watch SE 2 came out in 2022. It appears to be on a two-year upgrade cycle, which means we should expect the Apple Watch SE 3 this year.
Rumors so far suggest that the Apple Watch SE 3 will be the same size as the Apple Watch Series 8, which recycled the design and size of the Series 7. This means the Apple Watch SE 3 will have a bigger display with smaller bezels than its predecessor and come in 41mm and 45mm sizes instead of 40mm and 44mm.
For internals, the Apple Watch SE 3 could have the S9 chip that is currently in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. Apple could go with the next-generation “S10” chip that should be in the main Apple Watch Series 10.
Since the Apple Watch SE 3 would be the next generation of Apple’s budget option, it likely won’t get advanced health sensors like SpO2 and body temperature. But it might get ECG added since it originally debuted on the Apple Watch Series 4 in 2018.
I typically prefer the mainline Apple Watches, but the SE has been a great option for those who don’t need the extra health features or just want a basic smartwatch. It would be exciting to see the Apple Watch SE 3 adopt a slightly larger display, as I’ve learned from going to an Apple Watch Ultra that a large display is actually super useful.
Google Pixel Watch 3
But we can guess that the Pixel Watch 3 would have a round design like its predecessors. And since Google has its own Tensor chip for its Pixel phones, it’s a possibility that it can create an in-house chip for the Pixel Watch 3, though it could also keep using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon W5 instead. Again, it’s too early to tell right now as the rumor mill is mum.
I hope Google has learned from its first two attempts and rectifies some mistakes it has made. For one, it should definitely have two sizes to accommodate more users. And it really should make the bezels thinner, as they’re currently still pretty thick compared to the competition.
I also think it’s a little ridiculous that to get the most out of the Pixel Watch 2, you need Fitbit Premium, which is a subscription service on top of what you pay for the watch itself. Apple and Samsung don’t do this with their wearables, so it’s silly that Google does. You do get six months of Fitbit Premium for free with a Pixel Watch purchase, but still, that’s not enough.
2024 has just begun, but it’s already shaping up to be a very exciting year for the smartwatch. Especially if you’re an Apple user, as the Apple Watch’s 10-year anniversary is approaching, which means potential big changes.
Regardless of which smartwatch you’re interested in, they’ll all help you stay connected and keep track of your health and well-being.