Apple Watch Ultra: All The Specs And Rugged Features, Explained

The Apple Watch Ultra is the Apple smartwatch for extreme athletes and those committed to exploring the outdoors, but what rugged and advanced features does the device have? And more importantly, do the high-octane specs stack up well against those of industry competitors, like Garmin? The Apple Watch Ultra is a new take on the traditional Apple Watch, which has a square design and a fairly large form factor. It’s designed to be a smartwatch first, and that is noticeable in the Apple Watch’s appearance. It differs greatly from common digital and analog watches, but that can be a strength. To this point, standard Apple Watch models haven’t been able to keep up with extreme athletes — prompting Apple to design an all-new model.


Apple’s ‘Far Out’ special event, this year’s take on the company’s annual fall keynote, brought a slew of new products including iPhones, Apple Watches, and AirPods. Though many of the details were surprise announcements at the event, there was a pretty clear idea of what would be announced in the weeks leading up to the event. Specifically, leakers revealed that the company was working on a more rugged version of the Apple Watch that could cost as much as an iPhone. Apple holds a significant portion of the market share for affordable smartwatches, but they’ve rarely targeted the premium market. That all changed with the unveiling of the Apple Watch Ultra.

At first glance, the Apple Watch Ultra is a lot clunkier than previous Apple Watch models, with a larger form factor accentuated by a robust crown guard. But the Apple Watch Ultra doesn’t just look like a rugged smartwatch, it also has the specifications to back up the appearance. The casing is made up of titanium and the front glass is composed of sapphire crystals. That’s the perfect mix of durable materials, as the titanium shell will protect against cracking while the sapphire glass is strong enough to resist scratching. Apple Watch Ultra meets MIL-STD-810, a U.S. military durability standard. To meet this standard, a product must be able to withstand extreme temperature and pressure conditions, among other requirements.

A Watch Designed For Triathlons

The Apple Watch Ultra’s durability and extreme fitness features center around the Ironman Triathlon, a long distance race that includes three different sports. For a smartwatch to be able to track this type of race, it needs to be waterproof and have a long battery life. Previous Apple Watch models couldn’t even track a full marathon, let alone a triathlon that includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a marathon (26.2 miles). At the event, it was confirmed that the Apple Watch can track a full Ironman triathlon. That’s due to a battery that can last for 36 hours in normal mode, and up to 60 hours in a low power mode that reduces the frequency of advanced metric tracking — coming later this year.

A 49mm screen and an international orange-colored Action button make interacting with the device in gloves or extreme weather conditions possible. But the biggest testament to the Apple Watch Ultra’s durability is its EN13319 certification, a European standard for dive computers. It is water-resistant up to 100 meters of depth, and can be used for extreme water sports and recreational diving at up to 40 meters of depth. Apple Watch Ultra has a seriously strong build, a much-improved battery life, and better input methods than other models — making it the first Apple Watch that can actually be used for extreme sports and outdoor recreation.

Source: Apple

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