Apple Watch 8 sports a familiar design in a leaked unofficial render

Apple Watch 7 on a bed of stones.
The Apple Watch 7. (Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch 8 isn't likely to land until September 2022, but we're already coming across leaks that detail Apple's next smartwatch – and the latest one takes the form of an unofficial render showing a design that's very familiar to its predecessor.

This comes via @LeaksApplePro, a source that has been accurate in the past, and apparently there's only going to be one "noticeable change" in terms of the aesthetics of the wearable: an extra speaker grille on the side of the casing.

There's nothing particularly wrong with the design of the Apple Watch 7, but it seems as though those hoping for a refresh in terms of the looks of the device are going to be disappointed by the updated model that gets pushed out later next year.

Changes on the inside

The rendering has been put together from CAD files and images sourced from Apple, apparently, so it's possible that the final design of the Apple Watch 8 is going to vary somewhat from the look that you can see in the tweet embedded above.

Another tidbit provided by the same source at iDropNews is that the Apple Watch 8 is going to come in a light green color, similar to the one available on the iPad Air. You can pick up the Apple Watch 7 in Blue, Midnight, Starlight, Green and Red.

Even if the design is more or less what we've seen before, the Apple Watch 8 could bring with it plenty of improvements and tweaks on the inside. Blood glucose monitoring has been rumored for the Apple Watch for a while now, and we could finally get it in 2022.

Analysis: what has happened to the flat design?

iPad Air 4 (2020)

The iPad Air... fairly flat. (Image credit: TechRadar)

You might remember plenty of reports ahead of the Apple Watch 7 launch about it coming with a strikingly different, flatter design. As it turns out, those predictions weren't accurate – and it doesn't look like the flat design will make an appearance next year either.

So what has happened to it? Of course it's always possible that the rumors were simply wrong – it happens. But there did seem to be quite a lot of momentum behind the idea that Apple was weighing up a refresh in terms of the aesthetics of its smartwatch.

It would have made the Apple Watch more like the iPhone and the iPad in terms of its design approach, and Apple will want to ensure that the look of its flagship wearable doesn't grow stale over time – so a redesign was definitely plausible.

Perhaps the powers-that-be at Apple simply decided that the new look wasn't an improvement on the old one, or perhaps the company needs more time to refine the manufacturing process before making the switch. Don't rule it out for 2023.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.