Apple Watch Ultra says you are an extraordinary human

Apple Watch Ultra says you are an extraordinary human

Apple's most expensive smartwatch is the most "rugged and capable" yet - all the new Apple Watch Ultra features

by Kurt Knutsson and Nora Hogan

Three new Apple Watches were announced at the “Far Out” Launch Event on September 7th, and I was there to see everything in person to get a feel before the rest of the world.

While the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE were both unveiled, the Apple Watch Ultra steals the show as the toughest, most advanced sports watch ever created. Tech fans have their eyes on the Ultra edition of the smartwatch created for athletes and adventurers alike which comes with powerful health features we’ve never seen before.

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Let’s be honest.  Those rare extreme adventurers will love Apple Watch Ultra.  Apple is smarter than targeting just a narrow audience of extreme sports adventurers.  Think about it.  Everyday people like you and me might wrap the new Watch Ultra around our wrist to make the statement to others that we are unstoppable adventurers in life.  It’s a brilliant marketing angle that’s as smart as the Watch Ultra itself.

Apple Watch Ultra made for superheroes like you

I put the Watch Ultra on my opposite wrist to compare it to my existing Apple Watch Series 7.   Initially, it looked like the bulkier Watch Ultra would feel heavy.   In real life, it may look big and thick, but does not weigh you down.  It really is a brilliant piece of technology that takes Apple Watch to a whole new level and would be the device chosen by any Marvel superhero character to strap on their wrist.


What are the best features of the Apple Watch Ultra?

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The first-of-its-kind Apple Watch Ultra features the biggest and brightest screen yet and an all-new case made from aerospace-grade titanium. There’s a larger crown with coarse grooves which are designed to let you use it while wearing gloves, and there’s also a new button.


‘Action Button’ is Apple Watch Ultra’s customizable button

watch sideview

The Action Button is an international orange button, which is the ideal color to set it apart from its surroundings.  If you press and hold the Action Button, you’ll have quick physical control over features like controlling workouts, or new features like starting a dive, activating a Siren or starting Backtrack or the Wayfinder face with a compass and night mode. Wayfinder is the most technical face of an Apple Watch yet thanks to its GPS capabilities.


Apple Watch Ultra has a built-in compass which is ideal for mountains, oceans, and trails. You can even use the features in Night Mode and have your watch’s face turn a vivid red which is ideal for visibility in the dark.

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Compass Waypoints can help you backtrack when lost

Use Compass Waypoints to mark your location as you go directly on your map. You can edit Waypoints or use them to backtrack your steps if you get lost while on an adventure.

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‘Backtrack’ replaces breadcrumbs

Think of this as the new-fashioned Hansel and Gretel method. Using Waypoints on your maps and GPS signal, your Apple Watch Ultra can take you back the way you came if you’re ever lost. The Waypoints know where you’ve been so you can retrace your steps, and Backtrack even works when you’re off the grid.


The Apple Watch Ultra added a second speaker which gave the smartwatch the ability to add a Siren feature. If you’re ever lost, you can use the Siren which is 86 decibels and can be heard 600-feet-away in certain conditions.  86 decibels is the similar loudness of a food blender-crushing ice that’s too tough to talk over.  That’s loud.

Added microphones

With three microphones built in, you’ll have more voice clarity even in windy or loud conditions.  Apple has taken in consideration wild ambient conditions to allow your voice to be heard in extreme weather like howling wind.

Weather and temperature resistant

The Ultra is designed to work in temperatures up to 131° F and down to -4° F. It has been tested in many conditions like low altitude, high and low temperatures, contamination by fluids, rain, humidity, sand and dust, ice, and more.

GPS and Cellular as standard

While the Apple Watch Series 8 and SE both offer watches without cellular service, every Apple Watch Ultra has Cellular built-in. Precision dual-frequency GPS uses both L1 and L5, the most advanced, and latest frequencies.

Other health features

It was announced that Apple Watch Series 8 would introduce a groundbreaking cycle tracker for menstruation and ovulation. This new feature uses temperature-sensing capabilities to change the game for women’s health. Check out what the Apple Watch Series 8 debuted to see what else comes with the Ultra.

New watersport features

two apple watches

The Apple Watch Ultra is twice as water-resistant as past Apple Watches.

  • WR100 which means the watch is water resistant up until 100 feet below
  • Tested to engineer standard EN13319 for dive compliance recognized worldwide
  • Depth App makes finding information mid-dive easier and more convenient
  • Oceanic+ App launches with Huish Outdoors turning the Apple Watch Ultra into a certified dive computer
    • Use the dive planner, find your depth and time, check tides, visibility, and currents
    • All of your diving data saves to your iPhone through iCloud so you can find information more easily

New bands

three watch bands

Apple Watch Ultra offers three new specialty bands

  • Trail Loop – hikers
  • Alpine Loop – climbers
  • Ocean Band – divers (and people like me who love to speed at 65 knots plus on a SeaDoo and wipe out)

Each is designed for any terrain you face. For example, the Ocean Band is designed to comfortably fit over a wetsuit, while the trail loop is the thinnest band yet created to never break off your wrist.

Precise Location GPS Tracking: Great for athletes

The new GPS features have such precise location tracking that your Ultra watch detects when you arrive at a running track. It also works in all conditions no matter where you are – above or underwater – so you can complete a full triathlon with the Ultra GPS.  For the first time, a wearable like this jumps from just one GPS level L1, and adds in L5 to get a more accurate fix on you.

Life-saving abilities

The new Apple Watch and iPhone 14 both introduced life-saving features. The Apple Watch can now detect when you’ve been in an accident with Crash Detection, and can even contact authorities if you’re unable to or unconscious.

Battery life is boosted to 36 hours

The Apple Watch Ultra has a 36-hour battery life on a single charge and can last 60 hours using a battery optimization setting that’s coming later this fall.

How much does the Apple Watch Ultra Cost?

All of these high-tech features will cost a pretty penny, but also consider that Cellular is included with every watch price. While the Apple Watch Series 8 costs $499 for GPS + Cellular and the Apple Watch SE costs $299 for GPS + Cellular, the Apple Watch Ultra is selling for $799.


When will the Apple Watch Ultra be available?

You can pre-order the Apple Watch Ultra today, and it is officially available on September 23rd.


Other new Apple products and features

Click here for all the coverage on the September Apple Launch event, including details on the new iPhone 14 series, the second-edition AirPod Pros, and Apple Watch models.






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