When Apple released the Apple Watch Ultra alongside the iPhone 14, the entire focus was on it being a fitness tracker for the adventurous and extreme. That’s not surprising with its incredible battery life and impressive durability.
The Apple Watch Ultra’s biggest problem is that it’s solely viewed as an extreme fitness tracker, and its marketing shows that. While it’s a solid niche for the device, a few surprising features can benefit anyone. The Apple Watch Ultra can represent your focus on fitness and improvement even if you aren’t an extreme adventurer.
The Apple Watch Ultra features up to 36 hours of battery life, which will soon be extended to 60 hours with a future watchOS update that will add low power mode. Compared to previous Apple Watches that sometimes cap out at 18 hours, the Apple Watch Ultra is an impressive improvement. While 18 hours is fine day-to-day, it still has limitations, particularly for users who want to use cellular connectivity.
I enjoy using my Apple Watch’s cellular connectivity when I go for a run or a walk. Like most people, my phone is attached to me 24/7. Except, when I work out, I enjoy not having my bulky phone with me. With previously Apple Watches, I felt severe battery anxiety, often making sure my Series 7 was charged to 100 percent before going on a two to three-hour walk. Cellular connectivity really ate at Apple Watch’s battery life.
The Apple Watch Ultra removes those concerns entirely. It’s fantastic to leave your phone at home or in your car and rely on cellular connectivity for hours without being concerned with battery life. Additionally, suppose you’re a person who forgets to charge their device or wants to explore sleep tracking with your Apple Watch. In that case, the Ultra’s battery life makes it a no-brainer wearable.
The Apple Watch comes in three materials: aluminum, stainless steel and titanium, and previously also offered gold and ceramic case materials. Each material has its pros and cons. For example, Aluminum is light and cheap but soft and easily damaged. on the other hand, stainless Steel is shiny and durable, making it a fantastic fashion piece, but it’s also heavy and expensive. Titanium, while also expensive, features incredible durability combined with impressive lightness.
The Apple Watch Ultra is built out of corrosive-resistant titanium with water resistance up to 100 metres, double the previous Apple Watch since the Series 2. Although previous Apple Watches are swim-proof, the Apple Watch Ultra is the first watch I feel entirely comfortable swimming with.
The titanium build of the Apple Watch Ultra makes it durable yet light, especially compared to an aluminum Series 8. When buying an Apple Watch Ultra, you can be sure it will not break easily. Whether you find aluminum watches chip and scratched or want a watch just as durable as the stainless steel models, the Apple Watch Ultra makes for a great choice.
The Apple Watch Ultra introduces a new 49MM 2000-nit display. Besides the Apple Watch Ultra, the largest and brightest display is the 45MM 1000-nit display on the Series 8. One nit is equivalent to a single lit candle. It’s surprisingly convenient to have a super bright flashlight attached to your wrist. Also, the large flat display makes for a surprisingly pleasant experience with large easy tap targets.
The Action button is a first on the Apple Watch premiering with the Apple Watch Ultra. The Action button is an orange button on the right side of the Ultra. What’s neat about the Action button is it’s customizable. Personally, I enjoy being able to press the Action button to start an outdoor walk. Pressing the Action button during a walk or run can mark segments, and tapping the Action button along with the side button pauses the workout.
When using non-segment-focused workouts like with Apple Fitness+, pressing only the Action button will pause the workout. Other possible apps that can be tied to the Action button are running Shortcuts, launching the workout or dive app, starting the stopwatch, and turning on the flashlight.
The Worst Part
Whether it’s the improved battery life or being able to start a workout immediately, the Apple Watch Ultra is a really nice wearable for anyone that finds regular Apple Watches miss the bar on one level or another.
Perhaps the most disappointing part of the Apple Watch Ultra is its aesthetics. I think it’s bulky and ugly compared to the Apple Watch Series 8. It’s also unfortunate that the Apple Watch Ultra only comes in a silver finish.
I previously owned Space Black Stainless Steel Apple Watches and the Graphite Stainless Steel Series 7. Stainless Steel watches, while durable, are also stylish. They look traditional and go great with a suit while still having the amazing features of watchOS. The Apple Watch Ultra misses the mark on aesthetics. It’s functional but far from fashionable.
I hope in a future Apple Watch, we get the improved battery life in a classic design or an Apple Watch Ultra in a darker finish.