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The Latest Apple Watch Is Made For Explorers

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Apple introduced the Apple Watch Ultra in September 2022; it has been in development for years. The Apple Watch Ultra competes with Garmin’s more expensive fitness-focused smartwatches.

It’s for sports enthusiasts and athletes who need extended battery life and specialized device performance.

The Spot Light

Apple created the Apple Watch Ultra for endurance, exploration, and adventure. It measures 49 millimeters, 4 millimeters larger than the 45-millimeter Apple Watch Series 8 released alongside it. Apple says it’s made for this.

The Apple Watch Ultra sports an aerospace-grade titanium body, a flat sapphire crystal face, and a Digital Crown with bigger diameter, and deeper grooves. A side button housing, and an Action button on the left side. First, revamp in years.

The Apple Watch Ultra’s 2,000-nit display is easy to view in direct sunlight. International orange makes the Action button visible in the dark and underwater. It may be programmed to initiate workouts, mark portions, set Compass Waypoints, and more.

What’s New?

Beamforming technology collects voice while decreasing background noise, allowing it to work in busy areas like the outdoors. Three microphones improve the sound quality of the gadget. The 86-decibel siren has two SOS patterns.

The 49mm shell allowed Apple to fit a larger battery. The Apple Watch Ultra can last 36 hours on a single charge and 60 hours with the new low-power setting, making it suitable for multi-day trips. The battery is designed to endure through a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile marathon.

The Apple Watch Ultra has dual-frequency GPS and enhanced locating algorithms. It has the most accurate GPS of any Apple Watch, providing precise distance, pace, and route statistics for training and competing.

Apple Watch Ultra can tolerate a broader temperature range for severe conditions. It works from -4 F (-20 C) to 131 F (55 C). The watch meets MIL-STD-810H, a military, and rugged equipment metric.

What’s More?

Apple Watch Ultra can handle water sports like kitesurfing, wakeboarding, and recreational scuba diving. The Apple Watch Ultra is WR100 and EN 13319 certified. The Apple Watch Ultra’s Depth app displays current depth, water temperature (using the new temperature sensor), duration underwater, and max depth attained.

Apple produced a Wayfinder watch face for the Apple Watch Ultra featuring a compass and room for eight complications. The watch face can be modified for the mountain, ocean, or trail and becomes red at night. The Apple Watch Ultra includes Compass Waypoints for marking locations and a Backtrack feature that uses GPS to generate a path showing where the user has gone.

The Apple Watch Ultra contains all the Series 8’s functions, plus those for exploration and adventuring. It monitors heart rate, sleep, ECG, blood oxygen, and fitness. All Apple Watch Ultra variants have cellular connectivity, although a plan is required to use all functions.

Digging Into More Details

The Apple Watch Ultra contains the same Series 8 temperature sensor used for fertility planning. It helps track cycles and estimates ovulation.

Apple Watch Ultra motion sensors enable Crash Detection, alerting emergency personnel in a car crash. Apple Watch checks in with the user after an accident and phones 911 if there’s no answer after 10 seconds.

Trail Loop, Alpine Loop, and Ocean Band are new sport-focused bands for the Apple Watch Ultra, and 44 and 45mm bands fit the new model. Trail Loop is the thinnest Apple Watch band to date, while Alpine Loop is built with high-strength yarn with a woven design. The Ocean Band is made of flexible fluoroelastomer that can stretch over a wetsuit.

Apple Watch Ultra preorders began September 7 and launched September 23. $799 buys Apple Watch Ultra.

How to Shop

There is only one Apple Watch Ultra model, and it will go on sale this Friday, September 23, for $799. View pricing information from independent merchants in our compilation of Apple Deals.

Design

The Apple Watch Ultra sports the first significant design change since the device’s introduction in 2015. The rectangular shape is still rounded, but the casing design has been updated. The Digital Crown and side button are now in a raised location on the casing, and the cover has been extended to the borders of a new flat front crystal display to provide more protection.

The side button may also be accessed when wearing gloves thanks to Apple’s redesign of the Digital Crown, which now has a wider diameter and more distinct grooves for better access.

The largest Apple Watch to date is the 49mm Apple Watch Ultra, which is 4mm bigger than the 45mm Apple Watch Series 8—the second-largest Apple Watch currently for sale. The 49mm by 44mm by 14.4mm and 61.3 gram Apple Watch Ultra is heavier than even the 45mm Apple Watch Series 8 made of stainless steel.

An additional “Action” button on the left side of the Apple Watch Ultra can be customized by the user. The right side of the Apple Watch has long had a Digital Crown and corresponding side button. The Action button, which can be used to start Workouts and apps, is highlighted in a vivid orange hue to make it simple to see.

Materials And Colors

Lightweight, strong material with corrosion resistance for usage in water, aerospace-grade titanium is used to make the Apple Watch Ultra. Like the Series 8, the Apple Watch Ultra’s back is constructed of ceramic and sapphire crystal.

The Apple Watch Ultra is only available in a silver titanium tone and does not have any further color options. Apple previously offered titanium in black for earlier models of the Apple Watch Edition, but this is not an option for the Apple Watch Ultra.

Special Watch Face

The Apple Watch Ultra features a special “Wayfinder” face with a clock dial that doubles as a compass and space for up to eight complications. The built-in night mode on the Wayfinder face makes it red for enhanced visibility at night. The Digital Crown may be turned to enter night mode.

Durability

The Apple Watch Ultra can survive harsher temperatures than other Apple Watch models because it is designed to be used for traveling and adventuring. It functions at a wide range of temperatures, from -20°C (-4°F) to 131°F (55°C).

It is accredited to MIL-STD-810H, a specification used by makers of tough equipment and used to military hardware. According to Apple, this testing involves a variety of conditions, such as low pressure (at altitude), high temperatures, low temperatures, temperature shock, fluid contamination, rain, humidity, immersion, sand and dust, freeze/thaw, ice/freezing rain, shock, and vibration.

Unlike the Ion-X front glass used for the Apple Watch SE and metal Apple Watch Series 8 models, the display of the Apple Watch Ultra is constructed from a flat sapphire front crystal, which is more robust. The case’s flat form and raised edges are intended to shield the display from edge impacts.

Water Repellency

The Apple Watch Ultra was created by Apple with extreme water activities in mind. It can be used for recreational scuba diving down to 40 meters, wakeboarding, and kitesurfing, unlike ordinary Apple Watch models. It is more water resistant than other Apple Watch versions, with a total water resistance of 100m.

Additionally, the Apple Watch Ultra has received certification to WR100 and EN13319, a requirement for diving gear like depth meters.

Continuous Display

The upgraded Retina display on the Apple Watch Ultra has a resolution of 410 by 502 and can be as bright as 2000 nits, making it twice as bright as previous Apple Watch displays. Its 1164 sq mm display space is greater than the 45mm Apple Watch Series 8’s 1143 sq mm display area.

It has an OLED poly-silicon and oxide display with ultra-low power temperature that enables always-on display technology. When the Apple Watch is not in use, the screen does not dim and go dark thanks to always-on, which keeps the watch face and complications constantly visible. In order to conserve battery life, the display dims when the wrist is lowered, but important components like the watch hands are always illuminated.

S8 Chip

The Apple Watch Ultra, according to Apple, has a S8 chip with a 64-bit dual-core processor. Because the S8 is functionally identical to both the S6 and S7 processors that came before it, not much has been reported about it. Since the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch chip has not undergone a significant change.

Like other Apple Watch models, the Ultra includes 32GB of storage.

Health Attributes

Air In The Blood

The Apple Watch Ultra’s back has sensors that enable blood oxygen monitoring. A healthy person’s blood oxygen saturation ranges from 95 to 100 percent, therefore when it falls below that range, it may indicate a major health problem that requires quick attention.

ECG

The ECG app takes a one-lead electrocardiogram using sensors on the Apple Watch’s bottom and the Digital Crown. It can tell users if atrial fibrillation is present or if the heart is beating normally with a sinus rhythm. It also detects heartbeat and rhythm.

Two points of contact are used to measure the electrical activity of your heart with a single-lead ECG, like the one found in the Apple Watch. For greater accuracy, clinical electrocardiograms performed by your doctor can contain six to twelve leads, but the Apple Watch gives the convenience of being able to conduct an ECG whenever you want, wherever you are, in around 30 seconds.

Heart Rate Monitoring

The Apple Watch Ultra contains a set of optical sensors that can measure heart rate, much like all other Apple Watch versions. If atrial fibrillation is found, it can alert users to irregular heart rate and alert them when their resting heart rate is too high or too low.

Similar to the Series 8, the Apple Watch Ultra makes use of a third-generation optical heart rate sensor.

Sleep Monitoring

You can monitor your sleep at night by wearing the Apple Watch Ultra. It keeps track of when you’re awake and asleep and tells you how much time you spent in the REM, Core, and Deep stages of sleep. Additionally, it informs you of how frequently and how long you woke up during the night.

Detecting Falls

If there is no response after a heavy fall, the Apple Watch’s sensors can identify it and notify emergency personnel. Anyone can enable fall detection in the Apple Watch settings, however, it is turned on by default for older individuals.

Heating And Cooling

In order to reduce outside bias, Apple fitted two temperature sensors to the Apple Watch Ultra: one that measures the temperature at the wrist and one that measures the ambient temperature in the air.

Although the Depth app uses the temperature sensor, it is primarily intended to improve the health of women. When the wearer is sleeping, it can take temperature readings every five seconds and aggregate the information in the Health App. Temperature variations are useful for fertility planning as well as for providing information on general health.

Retrospective ovulation estimations can be provided by the Apple Watch Ultra, enabling users to better track their menstrual cycles by letting them know when they may have ovulated. According to Apple, temperature sensing will also help women who menstruate better predict their periods.

Activity Specifics

Like other Apple Watch models, the Apple Watch Ultra tracks movement throughout the day, keeping track of steps walked, calories burnt, and workouts. It delivers reminders to encourage users to move more frequently and includes exercise, movement, and stand rings in the Activity app.

Height App

For the Apple Watch Ultra, Apple developed the Depth app, which uses a depth sensor when submerged. The Depth app may show the time, current depth, water temperature (measured by the temperature sensor on the Apple Watch), time spent submerged, and the maximum depth attained.

Additionally, Apple and Huish Outdoors collaborated on the Oceanic+ app, which transforms the Apple Watch Ultra into a diving computer. It provides recommendations for safety stops, no-decompression limits, dive metrics, visual and haptic alerts, and dive planning. The Bühlmann decompression algorithm is used to run it.

Compass

In watchOS 9, Apple particularly updated the Compass app for the Apple Watch Ultra. The updated Compass app has an analog compass that shows the current bearing and direction digitally. An overview that displays bearing, elevation, incline, latitude, and longitude is displayed when the Digital Crown is scrolled.

A waypoint that displays on the compass face can be dropped to indicate a point of interest using the Action button or the Compass Waypoint option. The direction and distance of a waypoint are indicated by dynamic real-time updates that are based on the position of the Apple Watch.

A new “Backtrack” function also makes it simple to return to the beginning location if a user becomes lost or bewildered by using GPS to record their movement.

Charger And Battery

The Apple Watch Ultra’s larger case size allows it to fit a longer-lasting battery that can last up to 36 hours. A 542mAh battery powers the Apple Watch Ultra, which is far more powerful than the 308mAh battery found in the 45mm Apple Watch Series 8.

The Apple Watch Ultra’s battery can last up to 60 hours for multi-day expeditions with Low Power Mode and an additional power-saving option that reduces heart rate monitoring during workouts.

The Apple Watch Ultra comes with an Apple Watch charging puck that enables faster charging rates and supports fast charging technologies. Other Apple Watch models do not have the improved braided cable that comes with the charging puck.

The Speakers And Microphone

The Apple Watch Ultra has three built-in microphones, and according to Apple, these microphones are intended to improve call quality even in less-than-ideal weather.

The Apple Watch Ultra uses sophisticated wind noise-reduction techniques in windy areas to provide quality audio during calls. It also has an adaptive beamforming microphone that catches the user’s voice while reducing background noise.

Additionally, the Apple Watch Ultra has two speakers for better call quality and Siri interactions.

Connectivity

Cellular connectivity is a feature of all Apple Watch Ultra models, although using it necessitates purchasing an additional service package from a carrier. The Apple Watch does not support 5G like the iPhone and connects via LTE.

The Apple Watch can connect to LTE networks on its own and does not need an iPhone to access the internet. However, in order to use LTE through a carrier, you do need an iPhone because Apple Watch and iPhone cellular plans are connected.

With the introduction of international roaming in watchOS 9, Apple made it possible for models of the cellular Apple Watch to connect to cellular networks even while they are located abroad.

The Apple Watch Ultra includes LTE in addition to a W3 Apple wireless chip and an U1 Ultra Wideband chip for connecting to other devices that have an U1, such as the most recent iPhone models. It is the only Apple Watch model that has Bluetooth 5.3 and supports it as well.

The U1 processor offers extremely precise short-range wireless, according to Apple, supporting experiences like Car Keys, which lets an Apple Watch (or iPhone) be used in place of a traditional car key, as well as allowing the watch to follow AirTags.

SOS For Help

When the side button is pressed and held down, Emergency SOS, a feature that contacts the neighborhood emergency services, is supported by all Apple Watch models. Emergency SOS notifies the wearer’s location and lets the emergency contacts know where they are.

Siren

The Apple Watch Ultra has an 86-decibel emergency siren that can be used to alert others to a location in an emergency. The sound alternates between two patterns, one of which is a distress pattern and the other is the well-known SOS pattern.

According to Apple, the siren can be heard up to 180 meters or 600 feet away. Pressing and holding the Action button or the Side button will sound the siren.

Accident Detection

The Apple Watch Ultra can recognize a serious auto accident and inform emergency personnel thanks to updated motion sensors and a sophisticated sensor-fusion algorithm. The Apple Watch will check in with the user after detecting a crash and then call emergency services if there is no answer after 10 seconds. Also informed will be emergency contacts.

Bluetooth, Wifi, And GPS

In order to improve GPS accuracy, the Apple Watch Ultra incorporates dual-frequency GPS that combines the L1 frequency and the L5 frequency. It also has improved positioning algorithms.

The Apple Watch Ultra, in Apple’s opinion, offers the most exact GPS of any Apple Watch to date, allowing for more precise distance, pace, and route statistics for exercising and competition.

In metropolitan settings with plenty of trees and other obstructions, the L5 frequency is better able to operate. For more precise road, bike, and trail itineraries, Apple uses the GPS feature with Apple Maps.

Accessible Bands

Along with the Apple Watch Ultra, Apple also unveiled the Trail Loop, Alpine Loop, and Ocean Band.

The Alpine Loop is made of two integrated layers that are continuously wove together without the use of stitches to ensure long-lasting sturdiness. The top loops allow for adjustment and serve as a point of connection for the titanium fastener.

Apple’s thinnest band to date, the Trail Loop, is based on the Sport Loop. It has a pull tab that allows for quick and simple size adjustments, and it is made of a lightweight, soft, and flexible woven textile material.

The Ocean Band is designed for recreational diving and extreme water activities. It is made of a stretchable, flexible fluoroelastomer, and it features an additional long tail that enables it to fit over a wetsuit. The band features a spring-loaded loop and a titanium buckle.

The bigger Sport Bands, Sport Loops, Braided Loops, Solo Loops, and other bands that are currently available should fit the Apple Watch Ultra even though Apple intended these bands specifically for the 44mm and 45mm Apple Watch models.

Apple Watch SE And Series 8 Apple Watch

Along with the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch SE, the Apple Watch Ultra is available for purchase. The Apple Watch Series 8, which has a starting price of $399 and is available in aluminum or stainless steel, is nearly comparable to the Series 7 but has temperature sensing and accident detection. Sizes for the Series 8 include 41mm and 45mm.

The Apple Watch Series 8 is less water resistant, smaller, incompatible with diving and high-speed water sports, lacks a siren, has a lower battery life, and a less bright display than the Apple Watch Ultra.

watchOS 9

The most recent version of the Apple Watch operating system, watchOS 9, is available on the Apple Watch Ultra. New watch faces, improvements to the Workout app and many different workouts, a function for tracking medications, alerts updates, an AFib History option for people with irregular heart rhythms, and more were all included in watchOS 9. Our watchOS 9 roundup has all the information you need.