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Apple Watch Ultra: A more rugged Apple Watch is finally here

Updated Sep 27th, 2022 10:51AM EDT
Apple Watch Ultra: All features.
Image: Apple Inc.

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The Apple Watch Series 8 is finally here, but it’s not the only new smartwatch from Apple. As rumors suggested, Apple also unveiled an all-new Apple Watch model to sit alongside the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 8 — the Apple Watch Ultra.

The Apple Watch Ultra is meant to be the best Apple smartwatch you can get. It offers a more robust design compared to the standard Apple Watch Series 8 models, plus a number of features that you won’t get on the regular models.

Here’s you need to know about the new Apple Watch Ultra.

Apple Watch Ultra design

The Apple Watch Ultra is built for rugged use. The device offers a flat display on the top, with a heftier, protected case around the sides. It has a larger Digital Crown, and buttons that are built to be used with gloves.

The device has a new button too — the Action button. This button will do different things depending on what app you’re using, but it can particularly be helpful for tracking laps in a run, for example.

The device is certainly bulkier than the Apple Watch Series 8, but the result is that it’s also stronger. It has a 49mm titanium case, along with a sapphire crystal display covering that will better protect the display from bumps.

Apple Watch Ultra battery

The Apple Watch Ultra is bigger — and as a result, is able to offer a bigger battery. Apple says that the device will last up to an impressive 36 hours on a charge, which is far more than the Apple Watch Series 8 can deliver.

Not only that, but with a new battery-saving mode, the Apple Watch Ultra may be able to get an extended battery life of up to a massive 60 hours. Again, that’s far more than any other Apple Watch model ever released. According to Apple, the Apple Watch Ultra offers enough battery to complete a long-course triathlon.

Apple Watch Ultra features and fitness tracking

Speaking of triathlons, the Apple Watch Ultra offers some improved activity-tracking features, though they’re features that not everyone will need. Notably, the Apple Watch Ultra supports the EN13319 standard, which allows it to be used for scuba diving to up to 40 meters deep.

Apart from that, most of the fitness-tracking features are the same as the standard Apple Watch. That includes the new skin temperature sensor, which was announced for the Apple Watch Series 8. And, the previously available sensors like the heart monitor, SpO2 monitor, and more. Under the hood, the device runs on the same chip as the Apple Watch Series 8, which is called the S8 chip.

It’s possible that Apple will continue to differentiate the Ultra models for the Apple Watch over time. For example, next year, the Ultra model may get more features that don’t come to the Apple Watch Series 9. We’ll have to wait and see.

Apple Watch Ultra price and release date

The Apple Watch Ultra is more expensive than the standard Apple Watch Series 8. It comes at $799, and is only available in models with cellular connectivity — so you can’t get a GPS-only model.

The device is up for pre-order now and will be available for purchase starting on September 23.

Christian de Looper Senior Reviews Editor

Christian de Looper is based in sunny Santa Cruz, California. He has been expertly reviewing tech products for more than 8 years, and brings experience in deep technical analysis of consumer electronics devices to BGR's reviews channel.

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