Apple Watch Ultra Review: Large display and Longer Battery

Apple Watch Ultra

The Apple Watch Ultra isn’t like any Apple Watch you’ve seen every day. But it is like some of the best watches you might hear of, with its sound profile and all other exciting feature it includes. You can do whatever you want like running, mountain climbing, and diving.  

The smartwatch is quite large and comes with a price of $799 (AU$1,299). In addition, the smartwatch is mainly heavy-duty and offers an extra button for further action. The Apple Watch Ultra also promises a more real digital crown, selective watch bands, and a safety siren for security. The watch runs watchOS 9, has all sorts of health tracking, and can be used to speak. Let’s understand the watch better with this sort of review.

Price and availability

The Apple Watch Ultra costs $799 (AU$1,299). It’s a singular model, outfitted with cellular support. In other words, cellular connectivity isn’t optional the way it is for the Apple Watch 8, which starts at $399 (AU$649) for the GPS-only version.

The Apple Watch Ultra comes at a price of $799 (AU$1,299). It is a standalone model, equipped with cellular support. It can be pre-ordered now before its September 23 release.

Who should have to buy this Apple Watch Ultra?

  • Best for Athletes, with the most rugged and capable Apple Watch ever.
  • Apple watch lovers also buy this watch.

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What is the design of the Apple Watch Ultra?

Apple Watch Ultra

The Apple Watch Ultra is like an 8th wonder like you’ve never seen before. It’s really amazing, yes, the price is steep, but if you’re an Apple smartwatch fan, that shouldn’t bother you. The watch is sturdy and comes with a 49-millimeter titanium charging case. It felt quite natural on my wrist during a brief demo.

The smartwatch is large in size, which confused me, as to whether I’d be able to get safe with something so large strapped to my wrist at all times. Somehow, I manage this situation, on my Apple Watch Nike, which is a catchy experience. However, the large display helps to view metrics mid-workout and offers extra space for battery also.

The Watch Ultra comes with a sapphire crystal glass display, which is comfortably flat and flush with the edge of the chassis. The company claim that the display is probably two times brighter than any Apple Watch display before.

Apple Watch Ultra

On the left side of the Apple Watch Ultra is an added action button, which can be programmed as a quick-launch for an assigned purpose. Above the new button is a visible speaker grille, which serves two purposes: 1) it improves sound quality on phone calls, even in windy conditions and 2) it blasts an emergency siren of 86 decibels, letting your alert be heard up to 180 meters away. The siren would give me some peace of mind, and not just in remote locations.

The last thing to note with the Apple Watch Ultra design are the special watch straps. Unlike the best Apple Watch bands, the Ultra offers a choice of three straps suited to your preferred outdoor activity. 

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Apple Watch Ultra hands-on: Features 

The standout Apple Watch Ultra features should definitely be tested in the situations they’re intended for, not in an air-conditioned demo area, but I’ll run through them regardless. 

First, looking at the revamped compass app, the Apple Watch Ultra becomes a more capable navigation accessory. It lets you save waypoints, or specific markers when you’re somewhere you want flag. There’s also a track back feature that helps you retrace your steps, say, if you’re lost. 

The Apple Watch Ultra’s GPS is supercharged with the latest L5 frequency, which should result in the most accurate GPS system of any Apple Watch. The standard Apple Watch’s GPS has always been good, but not quite a precise as many of the best Garmin watches that serve a similar audience to the Apple Watch Ultra.

Apple Watch Ultra

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Along with all the watchOS 9 features coming to watchOS 9 supported devices, the Apple Watch Ultra has an exclusive Wayfinder watch face that packs all the outdoor sports-adjacent complications into a single face. When I rotated the crown, a spy-like red interface optimized the display for for evening conditions. 

A final thing I had no way of testing (and probably never will, truthfully) is the Apple Watch Ultra diving features. The watch has a new depth app that can automatically measure your dive while swimming, and you can go twice as deep in water as you can with the standard Apple Watch (rating = WR100). 

Apple is working with Huish Outdoors to turn the Apple Watch Ultra into an on-wrist diving computer. This is an extremely niche area for Apple to dive into (sorry) but I’m interested to see how it pans out. Any divers out there wanna work with me on some anecdotes for a full review? 

Apple Watch Ultra hands-on: Battery life

The 18-hour Apple Watch battery life is something I’ve long lamented even if I’ve grown used to it. So the Apple Watch Ultra’s 36-hour rated battery life sounds pretty spectacular. Apparently the Apple Watch Ultra can last up to 60 hours, leveraging a new low power mode coming to Apple Watch 4 and newer, including the new Apple Watch SE (2022).

Low power mode disables battery-draining features like the Always On Display and automatic working tracking, extending the Apple Watch’s stamina until you can get to a charger.

I must note that even at 60 hours, the Apple Watch Ultra battery life does pale to the 80 hours promised by the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, and the week-long (or longer) stamina’s of Garmin watches. For example, the Garmin Fenix 7 lasts 38 days with normal use.

Apple Watch Ultra hands-on: Outlook

The Apple Watch Ultra shakes up what I know of the Apple Watch, and I’m not sure yet whether that’s a good or bad thing. On one hand, the expansive display, added button, safety siren and battery life are things I’d probably shell out $799 for. On the other, the watch has several features only those who call themselves adventurers will benefit from. 

I’ve been known to dabble in outdoor sports for testing devices like the Apple Watch Ultra. I hope I’ll get to put this watch to the test where it’s meant to be taken, and see  if it’s a successful step for Apple into a new market. 

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