Apple Watch Ultra

Apple Watch Ultra – Rugged and Classy

Apple Watch Ultra – Rugged and Classy

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  • Post last modified:March 7, 2023
  • Post category:Tech
  • Post comments:1 Comment
  • Reading time:15 mins read
Apple Watch Ultra

During their annual September event, Apple introduced a totally new device in their lineup of watches; the Apple Watch Ultra. This device breaks almost every rule that Apple Watches are supposed to be. For example, Apple is known for making sleek and less bulky watches. But with the Apple Watch Ultra, it is every bit as bulky and rugged as a smart watch can ever be. At $799 it is not cheap by any means, but who is this watch meant for?

Well, clearly, it is not meant for the ‘common’ consumer. This watch was made for those who ‘dare’ and love outdoor activities. It has a depth rating of WR100 which is twice as capable when compared to its relatively affordable brother, the Apple Watch Series 8. In addition to this, it has diving certifications, making it a good option if you are starting out in your diving journey. Not into water sports, don’t worry. This watch covers many other different sports and outdoor activities.

Apple Watch Ultra on the ground

Aside from that, it comes with a dual frequency GPS which enables you to find your way even in the thickest of forests during your trail. All models of this watch also come with a titanium case for maximum durability even in harsh environments. In this article we are going to discuss its design language, its GPS features, its battery life, its water-resistant features, the new action button and I will lastly give you my final thoughts.


  • Build – Sapphire Crystal Front, Ceramic/ Sapphire Crystal Back, Titanium Frame
  • Display –1.92” OLED LTPO
  • Peak Brightness – 2000nits
  • Always on Display – Yes
  • OS – watchOS 9.0
  • Chipset – Apple S8
  • CPU – Dual Core
  • GPU – PowerVR
  • GPS – Yes Dual Frequency (L1+L5)
  • Storage – 32GB
  • Speaker – Dual Speakers (86-decibel)
  • Water Resistance Rating – IP6X, WR100, 40m (Swim Proof/ diving)
  • Sim – eSIM
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer, always-on altimeter, compass, SpO2, VO2max, temperature (body), temperature (water)
  • Battery Capacity – Li-Ion 542 mAh, non-removable
  • Wireless Charging – Yes
  • Colors – Titanium
  • Starting Price – $799
  • Availability – From September 23rd

Design Language.

Apple Watch Ultra  on a wrist

The Apple Watch Ultra is as rugged as they come. In addition to this, all models of this watch come with a Titanium frame which aside from being light, it is also quite durable especially when compared against Aluminum and Stainless Steel. Unlike in the Apple Watch Series 8, the titanium case in the Apple Watch Ultra extends to protect the screen from damages.

Speaking of displays, Apple is using Sapphire Crystal which provides high scratch resistance as well as durability. In fact, in Mohs hardness scale, sapphire ranks at number 9. To put this into perspective, Diamond which is the hardest natural substance ranks at number 10.

Since this watch is mainly targeted, towards outdoor activities, it would make sense to make the display as bright as possible. Well, Apple did not compromise here. The Apple Watch Ultra has a peak brightness of 2000nits which is unheard of in any other smart watch.

Apple Watch Ultra  on a rugged surface

To put this into perspective, both the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 have a peak brightness of 1000nits. Don’t get me wrong 1000nits is more than enough but 2000nits is on a whole other level. Apple has clearly raised the bar for ‘Ultras’. If you are going to name a device an Ultra in it, prepare to max out the specs.

The Apple Watch Ultra comes with two speakers and three microphones. The speakers have a peak volume of 86 decibels. This comes in handy when sending sound signals if you are in an emergency. Apple claims that with its integrated siren, the sound has a range of up to 180 meters (600ft) which is very impressive for such a tiny device. With the three microphones, they can provide clarity during calls even in the shakiest of conditions. In addition to this, the microphones work in collaboration with the gyroscope, barometer and accelerometer to determine whether you have been in a crash. More on this later.

Exclusive in this watch, we have the new action button. You can find this button on the left side of the device and it is in ‘International’ orange. This button can basically be configured to your liking in order to access a feature as quickly as possible. For example, you can configure it to open the compass app, start the 86-decibel siren, start the dive computer app and so much more.

Apple Watch Ultra night mode

The digital crown on the right side of the device is now larger in diameter and the grooves are coarser than before. It retains its basic functions but new for this year, is Night mode. You can rotate the digital crown to activate this mode. As the name suggests, night mode filters out blue light for maximum visibility in the dark. Once activated, the interface turns red.

It is also worth noting that the Apple Watch Ultra comes in only one color; Titanium. However, there are different bands for you to try out depending on the activity that you plan on doing with the watch. The first exclusive band is the Alpine Loop. This band is made primarily for explorers and people who love outdoor adventures. It comes with a Titanium G Hook which securely fastens through the reinforced top loops.

Yellow Apple Watch Ultra

The ocean band as you guessed it, is made primarily for water sports. It also comes with a titanium buckle making it suitable for high velocity water sports. The last exclusive band is the trail loop band. This one is made fundamentally for endurance sports. These include activities such as running. biking, orienteering, just to name a few. The trail loop band is light in weight and the textile used provides elasticity for a more comfortable fit.

Water activities and certifications.

Apple Watch Ultra being submerged in a pool

When it comes to water activities, this the Apple Watch Ultra smokes almost all smart watches out there. In addition to the ingress protection rating of IP6X, the Apple Watch Ultra also has the EN13319 certification. EN13319 is an internationally recognized standard for dive computers and gauges. This certification means that the device can be used for shallow water activities like swimming as well as high velocity water sports like kite surfing. In addition to this, with this certification, the Apple Watch Ultra can be used for recreational scuba diving up to a maximum depth of 40m which is very impressive.

I know some of you may be confused because in the release Apple claimed that the watch has a water resistance rating of WR100 which contradicts the maximum diving depth of 40m. Well, let me explain. The water resistance of 100m does not mean that you should immerse the watch in water. This is a very huge misconception which should be debunked.

Apple Watch Ultra being sprayed with high pressure water

The WR100 rating means it can handle water pressure of up to 100meters. But again, you don’t have to immerse the watch in water for it to handle this kind of pressure. Every day activities such as a garden hose spraying the watch or even a wave hitting the watch on the beach are more than enough to prove this theory.

See, when water splashes on the watch, a certain amount of pressure is exerted on the watch hence the rating of WR100. It does not stop there as the Apple Watch Ultra also has an ISO Certification of 22810:2010 which guarantees that the watch can handle depths of up to 40m or 130ft.

The Apple Watch Ultra also comes with a new depth gauge that launches automatically when submerged in water. The depth gauge can be used for measuring water temperature, water depth and also the amount of time spent under water. These metrics are very crucial to divers; Kudos to Apple for this.

Navigation and the new GPS.

Apple Watch Ultra maps

Of the many activities that you can do with this watch, Apple really seemed to push for outdoor activities such as orienteering and hiking during the release. One of the most frustrating things that can happen during most outdoor activities is losing direction, more so in places with no reception. Well, Apple came up with various solutions such as a new dual frequency GPS, an improved compass app and a new way point feature.

See, most devices with GPS use the L1 signal which is the oldest GPS signal. Despite it being widely available, it comes with its fair share of disadvantages such as a low frequency. Low frequency is disadvantageous because it cannot travel through obstacles and it is very slow.

There are other relatively newer signals; L2 and L5, however they have limited infrastructure. Apple came up with an ingenious solution of merging L1 and L5 for improved coverage. L5 is much faster and in addition to this, it has a very high frequency meaning it can receive signals even in dense forests. This is a huge leap for adventurers and it also raises the bar for equally priced smart watches.

Apple Watch Ultra  outdoors

Moreover, the compass app now features way points. Way points are just markings on a map on places you marked earlier. Let me explain. For example, you decide to go for a hike but before you leave, you mark the exact place of where your tent is. This is to ensure that even if you get lost, you can always find your way back to your tent. Speaking of getting lost, Apple also introduced back track. This feature runs in the background and tracks your path so that in case you get lost, you can easily find your way back by passing through the exact trail you used when hiking.

Battery life.

Apple Watch Ultra low power mode

Of all the watches Apple has ever produced, the Apple Watch Ultra definitely takes the trophy for the best battery life. Apple claims that it can run normally for up to 36 hours which is very impressive. Better yet, Apple will release a new low power mode which will enable the watch to last for up to 60hours. If this isn’t worth a pat in the back, then I don’t know what is.

In addition to this, the Apple Watch Ultra comes with a low power workout setting which significantly improves battery life. With this mode, Apple claims that you can complete a triathlon with accurate readings of your heart rate and a full precision GPS during your 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and then of course top it off with a marathon.

Final thoughts.

 Apple Watch Ultra  on a wrist

The Apple Watch Ultra is very impressive in many aspects, but the $799 starting price is where most people draw the line. But this proves the point that Apple is trying to make. This watch is just not for everybody. It will be most beneficial to adventurers, explorers, beginner divers; you get the idea. If you fit into any of these categories and you’ve got some extra cash, this watch could prove to be a very good investment. For the rest of the public, we are better off with the Apple Watch Series 8 or even the Apple Watch SE.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Carson Anekeya

    While the Apple Watch Ultra’s price may be a deterrent for many, for those who can fully utilize its specialized features, it could indeed prove to be a worthy investment, adding a touch of luxury to their tech-savvy adventures.

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