Apple's upcoming Garmin rival might be a chunky beast of a watch – and that's great

Man and woman checking smartwatches after a run
(Image credit: Getty)

The overall look of the Apple Watch has changed very little since the first-generation device launched in 2015. It still has the same sleek metal case, square screen, and digital crown on the side. It's a design that's proved perfect for an everyday smartwatch, but it looks like the company might finally be ready to shake things up.

Although there's nothing concrete yet, it's widely believed that Apple is working on a rugged watch designed for outdoor sports, with the likes of Garmin and Coros squarely in its sights. Now, according to the latest insider info, it looks like the company is going to be deviating a long way from the slim timepieces its fans know and love – and I think that's a great call.

The classic Apple Watch form factor is just too limiting for a serious outdoor adventure watch. The company's industrial engineers have certainly proved that they can fit a tremendous amount into a tiny space, but even they can't do anything about the size of batteries, and battery life is where the classic Apple Watch struggles most against the best GPS watches.

Even in casual use, the Apple Watch 7 needs charging every single day, which just isn't practical a lot of the time - and if you forget, you either have to delay your workout, or go watchless and miss out on all the valuable data.

Good things come in chunky packages

As Notebookcheck reports, Apple expert Mark Gurman has just dropped a few new hints about the design of the device he's calling the Apple Watch Pro. Gurman, a reliable source for insider info, claims that the new watch will have a larger display  than the 45mm Apple Watch 7, and will have a case that's a "good bit bigger" as well.

Gurman worries that this chunkier design will  be "big enough that it might only appeal to a subset of customers" – but if Apple is aiming to appeal to those of us who'd happily strap a Garmin Fenix 7X onto our wrists, I don't think that's likely to be a problem.

For the Apple Watch Pro to be a convincing rival to the bigger names in sports watches, it has to be bigger. Gurman suggests that the new watch could offer "perhaps multiple days on one charge via the new low-power mode", but that's not nearly enough – it needs to last at least a week in standby mode to even get a look in, and the heftier build is a sign that it might offer exactly that.

Apple's 2022 product showcase is expected to take place in September, and I'll be very interested to see what CEO Tim Cook is sporting on his wrist. If only I didn't have an Android phone...

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.