The Apple Watch Ultra is Apple’s first big upgrade from its watch lineup, delivering a totally new design, with bigger and more advanced features, mainly targeting outdoor activities, but does it cater to users who do not fall under that bracket, and just want an every day, normal usage watch?
The Apple Watch Ultra now features a new very durable design with a 49-millimeter case made from aerospace-grade titanium which rises around the display to protect the sapphire crystal display.
The 49mm case houses a flat Retina LTPO OLED display at 410 by 502 pixels, giving more or less around 27% more screen space than the SE. The display is capable to provide 2000 nits of brightness compared to its little sibling, the Apple Watch Series 8’s 1000 nits. This of course translates into a better readability in outdoor, sunny conditions, or even underwater. The Apple Watch Ultra is IP6X certified, and is dust resistant with water resistance up to 100 meters.
The digital crown is on the Apple Watch Ultra is larger, and sits with the side button in a protruding housing on the right side.
On the left side sits the new Action Button which can be customized to launch a range of activities, like immediately launching a workout function, dive function, shortcuts or flashlight.
Just above the Action Button, resides a new speaker grille, which provides an improved sound quality and can also transmit an emergency siren at 86 decibels, alerting anyone within 180 metes of the watch location. Apple also certified the Watch Ultra with EN13319 certification, an internationally-recognized standard for dive accessories.
There’s a new watch face made exclusively for the Apple Watch Ultra. The Wayfinder face is designed keeping in mind outdoor activities, taking advantage of the bigger display, with up to eight complications (four in the center and four in the corners). Additionally, the face can display elevation, or coordinates around the inner bezel. Rotate the crown upwards, and the face turns full red and black, which looks pretty cool, specially coupled with the Orange Alpine Loop!
Additional new features this year include a skin temperature sensor, a crash detection sensor and revamped compass app, which lets you save waypoints, or markers while hiking for example, and a trackback feature that helps you retrace your steps, if you ever get lost. There’s also a new dive app called Depth, that can automatically measure your dives and display essential info, which kicks in automatically when you start diving.
Battery life? Well this is probably one of the main reason I would get this watch! Since the first Apple Watch till series 7, batter life was never exceeding the 17 hours mark for me. The Ultra changes that, and can go up to 36 hours, and up to 60 hours when in low power mode.
GPS wise, Apple has added dual-frequency GPS to the watch with L1 and L5 algorithms. Apple says this allows the Ultra to “deliver the most accurate GPS of any Apple Watch to date”. We’ve compared the accuracy with a Garmin watch and found to be neck to neck.
Other available features include:
Heart health notifications
Should you buy it ?
Coming from a 45mm Apple Watch Series 7, everything here is bigger, brighter, and easier to access and use. If you are considering the upgrade, and you use the watch for your daily normal routines, don’t be scared by how rugged it looks or how most of Apple’s marketing is positioning it. In our opinion, The Apple Watch Ultra is just as suitable for a regular run / exercise and everyday use, as it would be for extreme sports or diving.
The Apple Watch Ultra is worth in any way you look at it! An amazing new design, display clarity, battery and overall performance.