During their ‘Far Out’ event today, Apple has officially taken the wraps off their Pro-focused Apple Watch Ultra aimed directly at extreme athletes. Featuring a larger display, dedicated action button, and a more rugged titanium casing, the Apple Watch Ultra is designed to take whatever you throw at it.
The most noticeable difference between the Ultra and regular Apple Watch models is a larger 49mm LTPO OLED display. “Apple Watch Ultra introduces a 49mm titanium case and flat sapphire front crystal that reveals the biggest and brightest Apple Watch display yet,” says Apple. The display features a much brighter Retina display that offers up to 2000 nits of peak brightness – over 2x brighter than the regular Apple Watch.
The titanium casing fully encases the flat sapphire crystal display making it more durable and less prone to damage. The enlarged casing also allows the Pro-watch to feature a dedicated ‘action’ button and a more rugged digital crown. “Apple Watch Ultra features a new customizable Action button in high-contrast international orange that gives users quick physical control for a range of functions,” says the press release. “The Digital Crown has a larger diameter and coarser grooves, while the side button stands proud from the case — both are designed to be used while wearing gloves.”
The new watch also features a three-microphone array that supports beamforming technology. This means that the watch is able to deliver crystal clear calls even in the harshest conditions. “An adaptive beamforming algorithm uses the microphones to capture voice while reducing ambient background sounds, resulting in remarkable clarity. In challenging windy environments, the high-end watch uses advanced wind noise-reduction algorithms, including machine learning, to deliver clear and intelligible audio for calls.”
Along with the new microphone array, the watch also features a significantly larger cutout for a new speaker system. The new dual-speaker system features a siren function that can achieve a volume of 86 decibels.
Powering the latest watch is Apple’s own Dual-core S8 SiP (System in a Package). While there isn’t anything new in terms of power compared to the previous S7 chip, the new S8 chip is still incredibly efficient. Apple Watch Ultra is capable of over 36 hours of battery life, and it is capable of reaching 60 hours with Low Power Mode engaged.
Apple Watch Ultra in Extreme Conditions
Apple Watch Ultra is designed for the extreme athlete and thrill-seeker. The durable titanium casing is only the beginning. Extreme athletes are pushed harder and higher every trip, so Apple Watch has to stay one step ahead. Apple Watch Ultra introduces a new precision dual-frequency GPS system with support for L1 and L5 frequencies and a new position algorithm to ensure Apple Watch Ultra is always precise.
Apple Watch Ultra is the first Apple Watch to be both EN 13319 and WR100 certified. This means Apple Watch can support both surfers and recreational scuba divers. This rugged watch can be submerged to 40+ meters and can alert the user when its max depth has been reached through a new Oceanic+ app.
“In partnership with Huish Outdoors, known for delivering innovative and reliable equipment for recreational diving, the new Oceanic+ app turns Apple Watch Ultra into a capable dive computer,” says Apple. “The app runs the Bühlmann decompression algorithm and includes dive planning, easy-to-read dive metrics, visual and haptic alerts, no-decompression limit, ascent rate, and safety stop guidance. Oceanic+ also offers a personalized user profile, reports on current and local dive conditions, and a dive logbook that can be shared with family and friends and automatically syncs to iPhone.”
Endurance and Hiking
For those who rely on an Apple Watch on land, this smartwatch introduces a slew of new features for endurance running, climbing, hiking, and everything in between.
A brand-new Compass app provides “more in-depth information and three distinct views. The app displays a new hybrid view that simultaneously shows both an analog compass dial and a digital view. Turning the Digital Crown reveals an additional view that includes latitude, longitude, elevation, and incline, as well as an orienteering view showing Compass Waypoints and Backtrack.”
Apple describes Backtrack as: “Backtrack uses GPS data to create a path showing where the user has been, which is useful if they get lost or disoriented and need help retracing their steps. It can also turn on automatically in the background when off the grid. With a single press of the Action button, users can quickly drop a Compass Waypoint or start or view a Backtrack.”
The smartwatch also features a new Night mode that makes the display turn red for easier viewing. “To optimize for evening conditions, users can turn the Digital Crown to activate Night mode, which makes the interface red for better visibility in the dark when using the Wayfinder face.”
Apple Watch Ultra is an impressive smartwatch that takes the Apple Watch branding to new heights. The product also gains the same great features as the Series 8 such as ECG, Heart Rate Monitoring, Blood Oxygen monitoring, cycle tracking, new temperature sensors, accident detection, fall detection, and so much more.
Apple Watch Ultra is available in Titanium with the option for three different band types: Alpine, Trail, and Ocean. Apple Watch Ultra will retail for $799 and will be available to order today and ship on September 23rd.