Apple Watch Ultra – release date, specs, features, price

Apple Watch Series Ultra isn't your typical smartwatch, as it's built or intense outdoor activities at a $800 premium

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Although the iPhone 14 might be the main highlight of Apple’s “Far Out” event, the Apple Watch Ultra proves to be just as exciting in its multitude of high-octane integrations.

Apple’s Jeff Williams took center stage atop a rock face to remark upon the years of work baked into the company’s new device. It features a multitude of new concepts tailored specifically for the rugged outdoors and high-intensity training types, all of which make it stand out from the likes of the Apple Watch Series 8 and contenders, such as Garmin.

This isn’t your everyday smartwatch, and the proof is baked into its enhanced build design, which can take more than a beating. Below, we’ll dive into all the impressive new gadgetry, pricing, and more underpinning the new Apple Watch Ultra.

Apple Watch Ultra release date and price

During its “Far Out” event, Apple announced that the Ultra will be officially released on September 23rd, with preorders kicking off as early as today, September 7th. The product can be purchased via Apple’s own store page and comes in several different band types.

Below are several shops where the Ultra can be preordered:

The Apple Watch Ultra has three specific bands tailored for activities such as hiking (Alpine loop), running (Trail loop), and diving (Ocean band). All three likewise come in their own varied color schemes.

Apple’s new wearable device will be priced at $799, which actually makes it quite affordable when compared to similar offerings in the space.

Apple Watch Ultra specs

Materials

  • Aerospace-grade titanium
  • Flat sapphire crystal display

Chips

  • Apple S8 chip – 64-bit dual-core CPU
  • Apple W3 wireless chip
  • Apple UI ultra wideband chip

Size and dimensions

  • 49mm x 44mm x 14.4mm
  • 61.3 grams

Display

  • 49mm Always-on Retina LTPO OLED Display 410 x 502 resolution
  • 1164 sq mm display area
  • Up to 2,000 nits brightness

Features

  • Compass
  • L1 & L5 GPS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou, and GLONASS
  • Always-on altimeter
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters
  • Blood oxygen sensor (requires blood oxygen app)
  • Electrical heart sensor (requires ECG app)
  • Third-generation optical heart sensor
  • International emergency calling
  • Emergency SOS
  • High-g Accelerometer with up to 256 g-forces with Fall Detection and Crash Detection
  • Ambient light sensor
  • High dynamic range gyroscope
  • A speaker that is 40% louder than Series 8
  • Three-microphone array with beamforming and wind noise mitigation
  • GymKit support
  • Apple Pay support
  • 32GB storage (GPS, GPS + Cellular)
  • Ceramic and sapphire crystal back (GPS + Cellular)

Much akin to a more sophisticated smartwatch out of Garmin, this rugged Apple Watch comes with a host of awesome features. For starters, it touts Apple’s largest and brightest display yet on a wrist-based product, utilizing a titanium frame to keep it safe from nasty weather conditions and underwater diving missions.

For the first time ever, Apple has integrated the wearable with a so-called Action Button, which is intended for specific use-cases, like timing runs, oceanic depth details, and so much more. The action button can be attuned by a user for whatever needs they deem necessary through the device.

The Ultra also boasts a 36-hour battery life, which will only be enhanced further down the line when Apple introduces its battery optimization parameter this fall. Following the update, Apple notes the Ultra will be capable of running for 60 hours, which is perfect for such athletes that never stop doing.

Additionally, the Apple Watch Ultra will leverage cellular plans across each model. This allows it L5 GPS, SOS capabilities, crash detection, and more. It also has IP6X dust resistance, in addition to the military standard grade 810 designation, meaning even the roughest environmental conditions won’t mean a thing to the Ultra.

Apple Watch Ultra battery life

Upon official release, the Ultra will feature a total battery life of up to 36 hours, with a potential for up to 60 after a later update is introduced in the fall. Apple measured this 36-hour window through the use of 180 notifications, 180 time checks, 90 minutes of app use, and a 60-minute workout with music playing over Bluetooth.

The Apple Watch Ultra is also capable of 28 hours of connection to an iPhone over Bluetooth and eight hours of LTE connection. Apple notes that cellular connections and any workouts going over 60 minutes will deplete the Ultra’s battery life far faster.

A battery optimization feature will be debuted in the fall for all watchOS 9 users, according to the company, which will allow the Ultra up to 60 hours of battery life via a Low Power Mode profile. This will disable specific features and limit other programs, like heart health notifications, always-on display, autostarting workouts, and more.

How deep can the Apple Watch Ultra go?

The device has been specifically tailored for divers, allowing it 100 meters of water resistance and even the EN13319 certification standard for diving computers. Given its extreme scuba-prioritized features, the Ultra according to Apple can hit depths as far down as 40 meters, which is the equivalent of 131 feet and 2.8 inches.

The device features a state-of-the-art depth gauge made in partnership with Huish Outdoors, as well as a new Oceanic+ app that integrates all diving necessities into one place. The additional Depth app also gives divers specific readings, such as maximum depth reached, duration underwater, water temperature, current depth, and more.

Is Apple Watch Ultra a dive computer?

Apple itself considers the Ultra a so-called “full-featured dive computer,” leveraging enhanced internals made in conjunction with one of the leading diving and scuba firms on the planet, Oceanic. As mentioned previously, the device is EN13319 certified, which is the European standard for diving equipment, gauges, and computers.

Additionally, the Oceanic+ app will assist in all things scuba diving and can be paired up with the iPhone for additional necessities, such as tides, community-fed information, currents, and much more. The app also comes equipped with a multitude of safety warnings and enhanced features to ensure dives are as safe as they are data-driven.

Will old bands work on Apple Watch Ultra?

Apple noted during its “Far Out” event that the Ultra will be compatible with all most existing band designs at 42, 44, and 45mm in length. The Ultra itself features a 49mm band that spans three varied types designed for specific outdoor recreational activities.

These newer Ultra band types include the Alpine loop for hiking and outdoor adventures, the Trail loop for endurance athletes and runners, and finally the ocean band for extreme water sports and recreational diving.

Does Apple Watch have cellular?

Apple will be providing two separate cellular models of the Ultra that feature both LTE and UMTS band coverage. This goes for the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 8, as well. The firm notes on its website that the models have been “optimized for use in the country of purchase, and not all models work in all countries or regions.”

Additionally, Apple announced amid the “Far Out” event that all new cellular Apple Watch models, and some older versions as well, will be treated with international roaming. From Series 5 and up, users will be able to utilize the international roaming feature, with up to 30 potential carriers being supported by the end of 2022.