Apple Watch X could be getting a better display for longer battery life — company taps new OLED tech as part of massive Watch redesign

Apple Watch Series 9 review
(Image credit: Future)

Apple Watch X is set to get a much-improved display that could bring better battery life to the wearable.

According to TheElec, the next Apple Watch, tentatively scheduled for the end of this year, will adopt a low-temperature polycrystalline oxide technology, known as LTPO, for its entire display. Existing Apple Watches use a mix of this and low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) to power their OLED displays, which can be a drain on battery life.

Essentially, this boils down to better battery life for the Apple Watch X, as it can use one type of display technology instead of two.

Over the years, the best Apple Watches have benefited from improved battery life as a result of newer chips managing power consumption, as well as bigger models allowing for slightly larger batteries. Apple Watch Ultra 2 can currently last for up to 36 hours, but with rumors of Apple Watch X’s major redesign, mixed in with this better display technology, we could see the new model last even longer.

What could ‘major redesign’ mean for Apple Watch X?

Rumors of a redesign began in August 2023, when Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, mentioned that big plans were afoot for Apple’s wearable. He’s since revealed little as to what this meant, but we can take some educated guesses, based on the iPhone X.

The iPhone X was rumored to be the ‘Anniversary iPhone’ in 2017 before it was announced, to mark ten years of the handset being on sale. 2024 also marks ten years since the Apple Watch was announced, but not released — that didn’t happen until April 2015. When you saw the iPhone X though, you knew it was a massive redesign of Apple’s flagship product with the introduction of Face ID, an almost bezel-free display, a different camera orientation, and a Chrome border around the device. The same could apply to an Apple Watch X. Perhaps we could see a thinner bezel with a brighter display, and the Action Button from the Apple Watch Ultra.

It's also worth mentioning that Apple Watch straps haven’t seen a redesign since the wearable arrived in 2015. A better way to snap these to your Apple Watch would be great, instead of pressing a button, followed by making sure the strap clicks into place. With rumors of a new magnetic band to free up space and make connection easier, this could be one of the Apple Watch X's biggest innovations. 

There’s a lot that can be improved — but it looks like we won’t have long to wait to see what the Apple Watch X will bring, rumored to debut toward the end of this year alongside watchOS 11.

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Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.