The Apple Watch Ultra is the company’s initial attempt at a rugged watch. A number of outdoor activities features make the watch seem right at home on the wrist of a runner, hiker, or ironman. It has a sturdy build, a big 49-millimeter display, an Action Button (here’s how to use and modify the Action Button), and many of these features. It also has the endurance to keep up with things, which has been lacking from the greatest Apple Watches for the previous several years, thanks to its 60-hour battery life.
On September 23, Apple Watch Ultra went on sale. It may be purchased there as well as at other stores like Amazon. If you know how to trade in your Apple Watch, you might be able to earn credit on a less recent device and use it toward the Apple Watch Ultra. Nevertheless, you are unlikely to discover any Apple Watch bargains on this new wristwatch.
Review of the Apple Watch Ultra’s design and display
It appears that nice things do not always come in little packages. The Apple Watch Ultra is enormous on the wrist and measures 49mm, so that’s the first thing you’ll notice about it. Compared to the 41mm and 45mm screens on the Apple Watch Series 8, it is noticeably bigger. Whether you find this to be a positive or bad thing depends on your particular tastes. The Ultra felt substantial on my wrists; the lugs were just wider than my wrist; nonetheless, it didn’t seem too weighty, and I quickly became accustomed to it. (But, I also enjoy donning hefty timepieces like the Garmin Fenix 7). But, if your wrists are really thin, I recommend trying before you buy.
The screen is twice as brilliant as the one on the Apple Watch Series 8 with a brightness of 2,000 nits. Even in bright sunshine, it is simple to read and has a lovely appearance. Moreover, the larger screen allows for seven data fields rather than six in training modes.
Also, Apple improved the Ultra’s toughness and ability to withstand bumps and drops associated with outdoor activities. With a lip around the screen for further protection, the bezel is constructed of titanium. The watch boasts enhanced water resistance of 100m and a sapphire glass display.
The side button and digital crown are integrated into a projecting ledge on the right side of the device. The side button is bigger and has deeper grooves. This is designed to make using the buttons while wearing gloves simpler. The Apple Watch Ultra has an additional action button on the left side that may be set up to launch quickly for a certain function.
A speaker grille that is clearly visible above the new button has two functions: In addition to improving call quality even in windy situations, it also emits an emergency siren that can be heard up to 180 meters (approximately 600 feet) away.
The emergency siren setting proved to be lower than I had anticipated during testing; for instance, the majority of hair dryers have a decibel range of 80 to 90. It is a siren, nevertheless, with two distinct rhythms that alternate and recur. Even though it isn’t deafeningly loud, you would never confuse it for a vehicle alarm (as soon as I turned it on my dog ran over, confused). Depending on your battery life, it may continue to ring for a number of hours.
It’s a great function, and coming from a woman who frequently runs alone, I think it ought to be made available on all Apple Watches. However it’s not as loud as a rape alarm if that’s what you were anticipating.
I enjoyed using the Action Button while testing exactly as much as I anticipated. I set the Action Button to launch the Apple Watch’s exercise app immediately. The button could have taken me directly to an outdoor run, but because I frequently use my Apple Watch to monitor bike rides, swims, and walks with my dog, I chose to go to the entire list of workout modes instead.
I also utilized the button to halt the activity mid-run since I found it much quicker to do so than to swipe the screen or try to press the side button and the Action Button simultaneously.
Review of bands for the Apple Watch Ultra
The Trail Loop band is the thinnest Apple Watch band to date and was created for endurance athletes and runners. The Ultra is available with three different bands to match your preferred sport. For adventurers, the Alpine Loop band has two integrated layers and a G-hook fastening, while the Ocean Loop is, you guessed it, made for diving and aquatic activities. You may purchase more bands.
Which band is best for you will mostly rely on your own preferences and the main activity you want to engage in. Nonetheless, it should be noted that size does play a significant role in this situation; the Alpine band is available in small, medium, and large sizes, while the Trail Loop is available in S/M, M/L. Get a measuring tape before you make an investment in case the band is too narrow and tight or you have too much strap to attempt and tuck in.
The Alpine Loop, which comes in orange, green alpine, and starlight, appears to be the crowd favorite. The G-hook on the strap makes it a bit tricky to put on and take off, especially if you’re taking it off every day to take a shower. This is something I really battled with during my first few days of testing.
This gets me to my second complaint: the Alpine band retains water for a time after a shower, swim, or even just washing the dishes, like other material bands do. Some people won’t find this to be a major concern, but I can’t handle the wet cloth around my wrist. The Ocean Loop has a strap that can be removed like a regular watch band, but it’s not your typical silicone watch strap. It is constructed of several tiny tubes, and it has an adjustable strap holder to keep the band from swaying while it is on your wrist. Being a runner, I more enjoyed wearing the silicone band and haven’t yet tried the Trail Loop, which appears more appealing to me. Here is additional information about the various Apple Watch Ultra bands.
Review of the Apple Watch Ultra’s features
The Apple Watch Ultra contains a skin temperature sensor and crash detection, just like the Apple Watch Series 8, but it also has a number of other capabilities that make it more suited for outdoor activities.
Starting with the updated compass app, the Apple Watch Ultra is now a more capable navigational tool. It enables you to store waypoints or particular markers when you are in a location that you wish to flag. Also, a track back tool allows you to go back and retrace your movements, for example if you get lost.
Ingenious features like Precise Start, which lets you start an activity without waiting for the 3…2…1 countdown to finish, are also available on the Ultra. It’s nothing new in the world of the finest Garmin watches, but it makes the Ultra a more dependable watch to put on your wrist on race day. Throughout testing, I was impressed with this function.
The Apple Watch Ultra offers a special Wayfinder watch face that condenses all the outdoor sports-related complexities into a single face, in addition to all the watchOS 9 capabilities coming to watchOS 9 enabled devices. The entire face may be completely personalized, and rotating the crown causes the face to become red for improved nighttime visibility.
The Apple Watch Ultra does not, in my opinion, have the fitness function of being able to download offline maps to the watch. The only method for doing this at the time is through a third-party app. We can only hope that Apple will include this in the future.
Review of the Apple Watch Ultra’s diving features
On November 28, the Oceanic+ software enabled the Apple Watch Ultra to function as a diving computer (opens in new tab). With a depth gauge and sensors for measuring water temperature, Apple has positioned the Ultra as a watch for recreational scuba divers. It can travel down to a depth of 40 meters.
The app keeps track of your temperature, heart rate (if you’re not wearing a wetsuit), depth, and time spent submerged. Also, it will provide you with crucial information like your maximum depth, decompression duration, dive time, and elevation. A professional diver who we sent out for 15 dives with the Apple Watch Ultra was impressed.
Review of the Apple Watch Ultra: GPS
Apple has integrated L1 and L5 algorithms into dual-frequency GPS for the watch. With the most precise GPS of any Apple Watch to date, the Ultra is able to “deliver,” according to Apple. I tested the Apple Watch Ultra’s GPS against my Garmin Fenix 7 and discovered that they were quite accurate. The results of a 12x400m track session are shown below.
Review of the Apple Watch Ultra: Health and sleep monitoring
Similar to the Apple Watch Series 8, from a health standpoint, the skin temperature sensor informs two features of Apple’s health suite: cycle monitoring and sleep tracking. The Apple Watch Series 8 will check your skin’s temperature every five seconds overnight using two built-in sensors.
When it comes to sleep, variations from the nighttime baseline temperature may aid you in monitoring the outside influences on your typical slumber. Consider going on a trip or staying up late drinking.
While configuring the watch, I enter the date of my most recent period and can see the days of the month when I am most fertile, which is helpful if I’m trying to become pregnant. Users of Cycle Tracking are notified if their reported cycle history reveals irregular or protracted periods or chronic spotting, as these might be symptoms of illnesses like fibroids or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Review of the Apple Watch Ultra’s battery life
The Ultra has a 12-hour battery life while everything is on. The Ultra still includes the same GPS and heart rate features and a 15–16 hour battery life in Apple’s new low-power mode. There is a third level that offers 60 hours of battery life and gives you the choice to lessen how frequently the GPS and heart rate are measured.
Even while this is excellent for an Apple Watch, many other running watches are still longer. For instance, the Fenix 7 can operate in GPS mode for up to 89 hours (or 122 hours with solar).
I ran for a total of 85 minutes on a 10-mile test run with the watch fully charged and out of low power mode. I had a 91% completion rate, which is approximately where Apple had predicted. After a week of testing, I discovered that the watch needed to be recharged around every 55 hours with everything switched on.
This is certainly remarkable for an Apple Watch, but not as spectacular as devices like the Garmin Fenix 7, which can go for approximately 11 days between charges with typical use, or the new Fitbit Sense 2, which can last for six days. There are far better watches on the market if battery life is actually important to you.
I’m still unsure if I’d trust the Apple Watch Ultra’s battery life for my next marathon; I’m not sure if 12 hours would be enough to get to the start, keep the watch connected to GPS for about 20 minutes at the starting line, then track my run for four hours, and still leave me with enough juice to have a functional watch for the post-run celebrations in the pub.
Judgment on the Apple Watch Ultra review
The Apple Watch Ultra is without a doubt the greatest Apple Watch for anyone performing rigorous training because to its Action Button, Precision Start function, and longer battery life. The new Apple Watch is the most intriguing in a while, but it still lacks some of the capabilities that companies like Garmin and Polar have nailed. For instance, there is no recovery data, and as of this writing, there is no way to transfer offline maps to the watch.
Except from Precision Start, the diving app, and the Way Finder face, all of the new and improved WatchOS 9 exercise capabilities are the same as those in the Apple Watch Series 8 if you’re purchasing an Apple Watch to check your texts and occasionally work out at the gym. The Garmin Epix 2 is your best option if you’re searching for a Garmin watch with a screen as brilliant as the Apple Watch Ultra but the battery life of a Garmin.
I’m not sure it exactly lives up to its Ultra moniker yet, but overall, this is a great watch if you’re jogging, swimming, or bicycling before work, then settling down for a day of emails. I would want a device with better mapping capabilities and a longer battery life if I were running an ultramarathon or went on an ultra expedition. But, Apple excels at releasing updates, and all of the watches’ current flaws may be easily resolved with a few adjustments in the future. Yet from a smartwatch and design standpoint, Apple has outdone themselves; this is a wonderful watch to wear all the time for your everyday excursions.