Apple Watch Ultra Reviews: Designed for Extreme Usage, Not for Everyone
Apple Watch Ultra will start arriving to customers and launch in stores on Friday, September 23. Ahead of time, the first reviews of the high-end watch have now been shared by select media publications and YouTube channels.
Inspired by the "most extreme activities" like hiking and scuba diving, the Apple Watch Ultra features a rugged design with a 49mm titanium case, a larger display with a flat sapphire crystal cover, new bands designed for the outdoors, water resistance up to a depth of 100 meters, a customizable bright orange "Action" button, up to 60 hours of battery life with an upcoming low power setting, and more.
We have rounded up both written and video reviews of the Apple Watch Ultra below.
The Verge‘s Victoria Song shared her overall impressions:
The Apple Watch Ultra is big, a lil’ chunky, and goes hard on features that the average joe won’t need in their everyday life. And at $799, it’s the most expensive watch in the current Apple Watch lineup (Hermès edition excluded). After a week of testing, I don’t think it’s going to bump Garmin, Polar, or Coros watches for the Ironman, thru-hiker, or deep-sea diving crowds, at least not yet. But it’s legitimately good for weekend warriors and intermediate athletes — and very tempting for folks who aspire to that status and a whole lot of people who just want the biggest, baddest Apple Watch they can get.
Song said in a week of testing the Apple Watch Ultra, she was "regularly blowing past" the device’s advertised 36-hour battery life in standard mode:
– This past weekend, I charged the Ultra to 100 percent. I then hiked for two hours and 15 minutes, used the compass and GPS extensively, and tracked my sleep that night. I woke up the next morning with 50 percent battery left.
– Another day, I went for a 30-minute GPS run and did another 20-minute rowing workout. I also took a short call on the watch and ended the day with 84 percent battery.
– Nilay, our editor-in-chief, managed to get 56 hours on a single charge and still had 14 percent left. He was mostly staying at home, so he wasn’t using cellular data or GPS. Still, that should give you an idea of what you’d get if you need a few rest days or aren’t interested in the Ultra’s fitness features.
CNET‘s Lexy Savvides on pricing:
Considering the $749 45mm Apple Watch Series 8 in stainless steel costs almost as much, I think the Ultra is a better overall value, given that you get additional hardware features like the Action button (which I’ve come to love), an emergency siren and extra microphones to boost call quality.
It’s also priced competitively with other sports watches that have a similar titanium construction and OLED screens, like the $999 Garmin Epix 2. The Apple Watch Ultra’s battery doesn’t last as long, and it doesn’t have anywhere near as many navigation features as the Epix 2. But it’s easier to use, has heart features like an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) app, cellular connectivity and seamless integration with the iPhone.
If you’re someone who wants a true hybrid smartwatch and sports watch, the Ultra is the one to beat.
CNBC‘s Sofia Pitt said the Apple Watch Ultra’s larger speaker is noticeable:
Aside from the larger battery, I really appreciate the larger speaker on the Ultra. The watch has two speakers that work together, which makes the Ultra 40% louder than the Series 8, according to Apple.
I often use my watch to pick up phone calls, especially while I’m cooking. I could hear the difference when using the Ultra compared with my Series 7. While this feature is really meant to be louder in extreme conditions for the outdoorsy type, I appreciated it for regular use, too.
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September 21, 2022 at 06:23AM