Apple watches although not as popular as the brands other products such as the iPhone and Macbooks or ipads, the latest release of Apple watch Ultra was introduced with a massive marketing with attractive features targeted for sports athletes, on the road adventurers and explorers of sea alike competing other brands of sports watches.
Our review is based on both normal and sports/water athletes, tested the main features of the ultra. The article will feature Ultra watch’s specification and key features at marketed by the brand, going into the reviews based on the competency of the Ultra’s design and the key features performance.
One of the most striking features of Apple Watch Ultra is, it is EN13319 certified - built to withstand scuba diving, kitesurfing and dive deeper into the ocean.
We focused mainly on key features such as the outstanding battery performance, Screen size and it’s retina brightness when tested both on land and underwater, safety features such as the multi band GPS, GPS back-tracking, durability and it’s rugged built quality and the automatic activation of it’s features, reliability of Ocean+ App as claimed by Apple.
Consequently, we gathered reviews of the major review sites both sports and sea and combined them together below to get you everything in one place of the ultra features and it’s performance.
Thus, keep reading below on Apple’s Ultra Watch in one place. And if you decide to purchase one for yourself - hop into our store and make your choice of preference.
KEY FEATURES AT A GLANCE
Many reviews results in the Ultra's excellent performance for it’s built quality with titanium case
IS APPLE WATCH ULTRA
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS WATCH AS IT CLAIMS?
REVIEWS BASED ON ULTRA’S KEY FEATURES
The case size and weight of apple watch ultra is the largest size among the apple watches. Engineered to give the ultimate performance of a sports watch, apple markets the size as the biggest and brightest display built with the 49mm titanium case to give all the rugged and corrosion resistance making it ultra easy on the visibility and easy to use.
“The screen is super bright, in fact, the brightest we’ve seen in any dive computer. Comparing it to the Shearwater computers, the Apple Ultra is almost twice as bright at around 10 feet of depth. As we descended deeper, this leveled out more, but still, the Ultra kept being the brightest of the bunch.” divine.com
Whilst this being the marketing strategy, almost all reviews we researched weights on the positive side of having a bigger display - regardless whether the user has a petite to medium hand size, reviews suggests that due to the lightweight of the watch, it's comfortable on the wrist and the large size outweighs the performance it gives. For instance, the aptness easy texting, readability - especially for those who have a poor sight.
Apple Watch Ultra scores as excellent on it's rugged built quality for its Titanium case.
“ The larger screen is great for readability. I’ve got bad eyesight, and a big screen means I can crank up the font size so it’s easier to read. (Though with a screen this big, nosy friends might be able to read your texts from a decent distance away.) It also makes texting via the wrist so much easier, especially compared to the typo city I’m used to with swipe to type on the 41mm Apple Watch I typically wear. If those are meaningful features for you or if you like the look of an oversized watch, then the Ultra will be right up your alley.” the verge.com
Three band types are available - designed to apt for the performance the apple intends to give in this ultra watch.
Sporting a rugged and modern design in all three, the Alphine Loop according to apple is specialised for outdoor adventurers giving a comfortable and extremely rugged but secure fit. This is the most popular band among the reviews we assessed.
The Trail Loop is designed especially for endurance athletes for runners, sports personalities with a stretchy and thin and light band with pull-tabs to make it easy adjustments on the go.
For sea sports and swim or diving activities, the Ocean Band option is available when purchasing the watch. Ocean band is marketed to adhere to the water activities streamlining even to what over a wetsuit with flexibility and stretch on the band.
Most reviews on the rugged built titanium casing gives a total plus point for the watch’s endurance to withstand harsh and extreme conditions. Hence, on the design we conclude as a winner based on these reviews.
Another attractive feature is the specialised three types of band available for choice.
For divers, some reviews suggest, although the screen and case size is good, apple watch ultra is not the ultimate watch to rely on under water, due to the inconvenience with dive gloves to toggle through the screen without the back button.
As for testing the screen underwater - the reviews suggested Apple Watch Ultra as one of the best for it’s super bright retina display’s performance in the deep ocean. Reliable, easy to read at a quick glance were a must needed features when you are underwater - and the ultra delivered it all.
The Ultra watch has the Li-Ion 542 mAh battery which Apple claims to give upto 60 hour on low power settings on full adventure. While this may be a little hyped, the result of our research gives us that the battery performance is great and some reviews states the battery performance exceeds their expectation as the ultra watch gives them 48- 55 hours of battery life on regular use without low power settings. While this may be not the case for extreme users of sports and divers.
On our research based on the user reviews, was on two types of users. One for normal users and other for athletes, sports and water sports users.
Our take on the reviews based on for normal users, the upgrade of battery lasts for 2 days on minimal use. Hence for people who uses the workout app thrice a week and has the lifestyle of work to home - the battery of no daily charge was on the plus side as it lasts for more than 2 days.
In contrast to reviews such as marathon runners, the battery life and performance may not be this optimal, however ultra’s battery life reviewed as great for marathon runners to withstand a marathon on lower power mode - however this may also depend on the speed of your run. This being said, the estimate hours for apple watch ultra may give 6 - 12 hours of battery life for a marathon run.
“If you’re an elite athlete who can run 100 miles in 13 hours, then yes, the Ultra will get you there and you probably won’t need to enable the battery-saving features. If you’re more of a back-of-the-pack runner who runs that same race in 40 hours, you’ll have to futz around with battery settings and even then it depends on your usage during the race. In general, I’d say stick to 6-12 hour ultramarathon races if you don’t want to bother with enabling low-power modes.” the verge.com
Battery life tested by a diver suggests that the ultra may give at least 2 - 3 long dives without having to worry about running out of battery. Hence one of the key significant feature of the watch is battery life - although other sports brands such as Garmin watches out performes in this feature in comparison to apple watch.
GPS Back Tracking & Automatic Activation
Auto-activation of some features does not work - such as underwater or back track features. Image: theverge.com
Apple claims the new redesigned compass to give the user the ultimate functionality of a sports watch such as evolution incline, longitude, latitude or compass waypoint to mark the location of your interest. Not only it to deliver these features, but with the GPS backtrack feature, the ultra watch is claimed to help you return to where you came from with ease. But does these features work flawlessly as claimed? Let’s find out what the tested reviews say below.
The reviews tested on these were not favourable for the auto-start on the GPS backtrack feature or the compass guiding to the waypoint. Reviews indicated the features did not automatically activate t on it’s own but had to manually start thus, resulting unreliable. The compass map as well tested by reviews of the verge.com resulted to give inaccurate directions hence an offline map shall be always on hand in case of any glitches.
The GPS back-track feature was also not auto-activated, however, once manually start on the backtrack feature - it worked excellently. Therefore, these minor but very important miss are key when making your purchase since the Ultra watch does come with a price-tag.
On the positive side of the apple watch Ultra, Apple stepped ahead from most smart watches by integrating both L1 and L5 GPS for greater range and incredible power efficiency which is designed to provide better accuracy, distance and route calculations. This feature is apart from the battery performance is one of the best performed feature as almost all reviews indicates.
“…multiband GPS using both L1 and L5 frequencies is a big deal. Consumer GPS devices use the L1 frequency, but a handful of other rugged smartwatches like the Ultra, Coros Vertix 2, and the Garmin Fenix 7 lineup have also added the L5 frequency. There’s some neat science behind it, but the bottom line is that you’ll get better GPS accuracy in challenging environments like cities or in dense tree cover. One difference with the Ultra is that you don’t have to select multiband GPS in the settings. It just always uses it.” theverge.com
The reviews tested on these were not favourable for the auto-start on the GPS backtrack feature or the compass.
As for the features such as Ocean+App which was tested by a diver from The Verge the reviews once again were not so promising on the automatic activation at depth without manually setting with the action button. Hence, the auto-activation of these features lacks the promised performance as claimed by Apple although many reviews indicated apple watch to have great potential - perhaps in their future innovations.
However, basic other functions needed on a dive watch such as nitros, air or depth information and ascent alarm on the ascending speed performance were delivered as tested by the Verge. Hence, we ruled out that for basic snorkelling or diving, although with little glitches such as the difficulty in toggling through the screen with dive gloves on without a back button - apple watch ultra’s performance were good although not excellent.
All these features that delivers as a dive computer will only be accessible if you have the subscription for the App - hence its marked as a downside by some reviews.
“.. the Apple dive computer keeps things simple and accessible for a recreational diver that just wants to dive. In particular, a diver that’s part of a group and just wants to dive safely will find the Oceanic+ makes diving, well, easier.” divine.com
For Runners, Apple watch ultra although may not give the ultimate performance such as a Garmin, Apple Watch Ultra was indeed a unique and excellent watch to rely on giving a high performance with modern features and battery power.
“During testing, I loved the Action Button just as much as I thought I would. I programmed the Action Button to take me straight to the workout function on the Apple Watch. If I wanted to, the button could take me right to an outdoor run, but as I often use my Apple Watch to track hikes with my dog, swims, and bike rides, I opted to go to the full list of workout modes.” tomguide.com
For normal users, who would not rely on these pro features, our research indicated that features such as sleep tracker, Car App or the Alarm app and work out app were most popular and delivered excellent performance to it’s users.
APPLE WATCH ULTRA IS IDEAL FOR YOU IF..