Apple watch

Apple Watch Ultra review summary: A truly curious beast

Apple’s Watch Ultra went on sale this week, and a flood of reviews hit the internet, rating the company’s most expensive smartwatch. This follows the company’s release of the iPhone 14, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max and Apple Watch Series 8.

Awaiting our own review in the coming weeks, we’ve looked to our colleagues in tech, lifestyle and sports media to get a sense of the consensus that has formed around this watch.

A matter of weight

Apple

The biggest thing about the Apple Watch Ultra (other than its price) is that it’s big. It’s the largest Apple Watch by a wide margin at 49mm, and results on its size are mixed. Obviously, how you can wear the watch depends on the size of your wrists. There is also universal agreement that this is not a watch without substance.

“When you take the Ultra out of the box for the first time, I thought it was going to be too big and too heavy for my wrist. But it’s deceptively light to wear, thanks to its titanium construction. Even with the smallest watch strap that best suits my wrist size, I was able to get a comfortable and comfortable fit during the day. » CNET said Lexy Savvides.

Full Apple Watch Ultra review: It’s bigger, bolder and better

“If you’re used to the smaller Watch or are upgrading from the Watch 3, the Ultra will feel gargantuan and a little heavy at first. However, we got used to that extra size and weight so quickly, and the trade-offs are worth it,” by TechRadar wrote Gareth Beavis.

“For people with extremely small wrists (less than 130mm around), the Ultra may not be physically possible – and even some people with bigger wrists don’t want a huge honking watch,” The edge writes Victoria Song.

The best battery in an Apple Watch yet

Someone wearing Apple Watch Ultra while climbing.
Apple

The Apple Watch is not Fitbit or Garmin. It’s usually limited to around a day of battery life, but the Watch Ultra exceeds that. Apple says it’s rated for up to 36 hours of use (meaning you can use it all day and more), with a low power mode in WatchOS 9 to take that even further. Reviewers found that the Apple Watch Ultra met those expectations, but still paled in comparison to “good” hiking watches.

“Battery life, although boosted to 30 hours (and we got a lot more in testing), is still woefully short compared to the best Garmin and Coros have to offer – these watches can last for days in standby mode, where Apple’s push for functionality comes at a high cost for battery life.If Apple had managed to change the screen technology in some way to having a really low-power mode when not in use, and managed to get the Watch Ultra’s battery to last up to about a week, it would probably be a five-star device, even for the high cost. As things stand, this battery issue may not be insurmountable, but it is a disruptive one – you’ll still need to find a daily “charging dance” that allows you to use all of the battery tracking features. health and fitness without being shorn of your e Watch Ultra at a key moment. by TechRadar Beavis explained.

Apple Watch Ultra review: is it worth it or not?

“While many of the Ultra’s features are impressive, the battery rating of 36 hours (and 60 at low power), a huge step for an Apple Watch, is still low. Many peer devices have ratings of noticeably longer battery life – Garmin’s official social media channel apparently followed Apple when the Ultra’s specs were announced, tweeting that its devices measure battery life in “months, not hours – and the Battery life is among the most important features for outdoor devices,” Brett William wrote for Men’s Lifestyle magazine. men’s health.

“The Ultra will handle a weekend trip, but it won’t outlast a Garmin or Polar if you want to go on a week-long hike. Of course, you don’t need to justify of wanting better battery life. It’s just something to consider when deciding which watch to buy,” The edge Song wrote.

Apple did much better with the Watch Ultra than it did with the Series 8, of course, but it certainly still has room to grow in the battery department.

More suction than perspiration?

A person using Apple Watch Ultra while scuba diving.
Apple

So while the $799 Apple Watch Ultra is touted as a smartwatch for fitness and hiking enthusiasts, which most tech bloggers aren’t equipped to really test. RayMaker at DCRainmaker has a very in-depth review of the Apple Watch Ultra that I’m hesitant to truncate, but it did the hard work of taking it to the Alps to put it through its paces for an ultra-style adventure.

“Despite taking the Apple Watch Ultra on that great 14-hour adventure in the Alps yesterday, it didn’t really do much good. That means it wasn’t the one that got me drove to the finish line, which took me striding three-hour climbs or helping me find my way in total darkness. My Garmin Epix watch was. The Apple Watch was recording ( mostly) dutifully this hike, but it didn’t provide much actionable information Apple needs to find a way to make the Ultra the key to succeed in these kinds of adventures, and the primary route to achieving that is a robust navigation component,” Maker wrote.

Apple Watch Ultra in-depth review: the right tool?

He also identified the Apple Watch’s touch orientation, despite the Ultra’s action button, as a flaw. “Too many scenarios on the watch still require touch inputs, which is often not possible in rain, snow, cold, etc. I should never have a situation on the Ultra where my run/hike/adventure ends just because of a wet jacket briefly touching the screen for a second. It should be one button and confirmation via another button,” says Maker.

The wall street journal Nicole Nguyen also took the Ultra to the mountains, testing its battery claims as well as its outdoor prowess. “It’s not a Garmin killer. Besides navigation, Garmin watches support other important features for serious athletes that are missing in the Apple Watch, such as recovery measurements and the ability to broadcast frequency heart rate to training equipment via Bluetooth,” Nguyen wrote, adding, “I think it’s great for active athletes – but not the most extreme. Of course, it’s nice on a long hike. , but it can also unlock your Mac.

The Apple Watch Ultra is a possible game changer

A person's wrist showing Apple Watch Ultra and its compass mode.

Apple is known for changing the game, even if it loses that power somewhat. High-resolution cameras and always-on display introduced in the The iPhone 14 Pro is something Android phone owners would rather be jaded with. What’s different, then, is that the company often pushes the boundaries of what we can expect from a product and how much we can pay for it. Apple has opened the barn door to ultra-premium extreme smartwatches that rival regular watches in terms of price and functionality somehow wise too. Expect Samsung, Huawei and Oppo to also start working on $799 smartwatches. And now that we can expect watches to be bigger, you should also expect watches to be bigger in size.

The Apple Watch Ultra isn’t a perfect product – one of its flagship apps is a compass. This may well be appropriate, as it will ultimately tell us where the market is going next.

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