A 2-inch Apple Watch 8 sounds ridiculous – but it’s definitely the one you should buy

Watch displays are only going to get bigger

Get ready for bigger displays on your wrist: the latest rumor to emerge from the smartwatch world is that the forthcoming Apple Watch 8 will have a huge 50mm display (spotted by 9to5Mac, seeing it vastly increase in size over the original model.

That screen size would mean nearly two inches of display, and to many people, that will just be too much. 

I guarantee if you tell your tech-eschewing friend that the new Apple Watch is going to come at this size, they’ll scoff at the gargantuan nature of everything these days, from TVs to smartphones.

If you questioned them on what they use, you’d likely see them show a smaller-than-average smartphone. Perhaps it’ll even be something like an iPhone SE with a 4.7-inch display, which is tiny by modern standards.

But I vividly remember the days when the Dell Streak – one of the first smartphones to hit the five-inch barrier – was considered the equivalent of talking into a skateboard back in 2010. It was too big, too oversized… phones at that size would never sell.

Fast forward to 2022, and a phone with a 5-inch screen is seen as small – so an Apple Watch 8 with a 2-inch display would be seen as normal pretty quickly, I believe, and would definitely trouble our best smartwatch lists as soon as it was launched.

This news comes from well-connected analyst Ross Young, who took to Twitter to ‘confirm’ the new size of Apple Watch – and the responses online suggest that some people would welcome such a display increase.

Is a 50mm Apple Watch too big?

Of course, there are those that would balk at such a chunky design. After all, there’s a reason that Apple makes a 40/41mm version of its Watch, for those that don’t like the ‘heft’ of the larger Apple Watch. 

But the fashion world has been enamored with the oversized wristpiece for years, and I can fully see Apple promoting a large Apple Watch as an equivalent style icon. 

A 2-inch Apple Watch 8 might be a statement fashion piece, but it would also bring a whole heap of technological benefits as well. A frame that large would mean a bigger battery, and should equal even longer times between charges. It won’t come close to matching the best Garmin watches, of course – the Fenix 7 I wear can last three weeks without needing to be charged in smartwatch mode, and a slightly bigger screen on the Watch 8 wouldn’t get anywhere near that.

A larger display also, obviously, offers more screen to glance down at, and if an active-focused Apple Watch 8 Rugged Edition emerges to serve those users who want a watch that can keep up with their active lifestyles, a bigger display would make it easier to see the numbers flashing up on it.

Bigger displays are common in the world of elite activity-tracking watches – Apple could stand to add a few millimeters. (Image credit: Andrew Williams)

If you’re running as hard as you can, or in a situation like kayaking where you only get a beat to check your stats, a bigger display is far more useful so you don’t need to squint to see if you’re on course.

Of course, if a bigger Watch does come to pass, then Apple will be able to charge a pretty penny for this device. I’d estimate about $449 / £399 for a 50mm Apple Watch, based on previous RRPs.

And in years gone by, I would have assumed a higher price was the death knell for such a variant, but with the popularity of the biggest phones in Apple’s range (the iPhone 12 and 13 Pro Max models have sold well and still command high internet search) it seems that bigger is indeed better when it comes to Apple’s devices.

Whether we actually see the new Apple Watch 8 in a larger variant at the next Apple event remains to be seen – but if it does appear, I’m all for it, and you should be too.

By Gareth Beavis

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