Apple Watch Ultra boasts bigger, brighter display and 36-hour runtime
If you've been under the impression that your Apple Watch is as rugged and capable as a smartwatch can get … well, Apple has something to say about that. The company has just announced the Apple Watch Ultra, which offers "a wide range of features built for endurance, exploration, and adventure."
The Apple Watch Ultra introduces a 49-mm titanium case with a flat sapphire front crystal that reveals the biggest and brightest Apple Watch display to date. Its Retina display is in fact twice as bright as that of any previous Apple Watch.
The Ultra also boasts a customizable Action button which can instantly begin workouts and move users to the next interval of a Custom Workout or the next leg of a Multisport workout. The button can also be used to mark segments, complementing the new Track running experience, which automatically provides the ultimate pacing and distance estimates for runners at a track.
Battery life sits at an unprecedented 36 hours under normal use, plus a low-power setting can boost that figure up to 60 hours if needed.
The watch's new Wayfinder face includes a digital compass built into the dial, with space for up to eight complications. There are also three new bands – the ultra-thin woven textile Trail Loop, the tougher high-strength-yarn Alpine Loop, and the flexible, stretchable, water-sports-oriented Ocean.
When making voice calls, three built-in microphones are claimed to capture the user's voice while minimizing ambient background sounds. Special algorithms additionally reduce wind noise.
Another new feature is dual-frequency GPS functionality, which integrates both L1 and L5 frequencies. As a result, the Ultra offers the most accurate GPS positioning of any Apple Watch so far.
The Apple Watch Ultra is is powered by watchOS 9, which includes new advanced running metrics to measure performance, like Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, and Running Power. New Workout Views, such as Segments, Splits, and Elevation, provide important metrics at just a glance, and thanks to the larger display, Apple Watch Ultra is the only Apple Watch that can show six metrics at once.
The watch is capable of operating at temperatures ranging from -4º F to 131º F (-20º C to 55º C), and can be submerged down to a depth of 40 m (131 ft). The latter means it can be used by recreational scuba divers, with its Depth app displaying current time, current depth, water temperature, duration under water, and maximum depth reached.
New body-temperature-sensing capabilities allow the Ultra to estimate ovulation and predict menstruation in female users, plus a Crash Detection feature recognizes the sudden movements which are distinctive to automobile accidents. When such movements are detected, a 10-second countdown will begin before the watch sends an automated message to emergency responders and personal contacts.
The Apple Watch Ultra can be ordered now via the Apple website, and will be available in stores as of Sept. 23rd. It's priced at US$799.