While the new iPhone naturally has a most people talking, Apple have also unveiled three new Apple Watches but one of these isn’t a simple iterative improvement. The Apple Watch Ultra was designed and created with the input of extreme athletes like ultrarunner, Scott Jurek. As a result, this is the most exciting Apple Watch release in quite some time.
Who is this watch for? The adventure market has been taken over by Garmin smartwatches and this seems to be Apple’s attempt to carve their own niche in that market.
The difference between this Ultra and the regular Apple Watch is its ruggedness. At 49mm, it’s a massive watch, Apple’s biggest in fact. It’s cased in titanium with sapphire crystal. It follows in the footsteps of most tool watches but because it’s a smartwatch, it has a few extra features that might make you pick this over, say, a Rolex Explorer (other than the massive price difference).
The Ultra has a dual-frequency GPS system to track your location no matter the environment, even in areas with heavy tree cover that can mess up your signal. The new orange action button is used to switch which activity or sport your tracking which seems like an unnecessary feature but for those who enjoy many different activities will likely find this feature a significant quality of life improvement.
What’s not great about the Ultra is the battery life. While it has been improved, the Ultra can only get 36 hours on a single charge and up 60 hours with the extended power mode. That doesn’t sound so bad, but when you compare it to the Garmin Instinct 2, it’s competition, which can go for around three weeks on a single charge, it isn’t great. If you were heading out on a hiking trip for several days, you’ll still have to bring a portable charger.
Three bands are available aimed at different activities. You’ve got the alpine, trail, or ocean options. Each are a different colour and have different textures.
The watch comes in at $1,299 AUD ($799 USD) and is available on September 23.
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