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Apple watch ultra feature

Apple Unveils 3 New Apple Watches Including $1,299 ‘Ultra’ in Titanium

Apple has unveiled three new Apple Watches, including a $1299 AUD ‘Ultra’ designed for exploration with a large 49mm titanium case. The changes to the Series 8 and new entry-level SE are kept rather minimal and extend to a new car crash detection feature and temperature sensor setup in the Series 8 that’s accurate to within 0.1° C. Check out all the new Apple Watch information in our article below.

Apple watch ultra on wrist

Image: Apple

Apple Watch Ultra

While nearly every Apple commentator on the planet expected an Apple Watch ‘Pro’ instead of an ‘Ultra’ it seems Samsung and the ol’ fruit company are still playing silly buggers with naming conventions. Need we remind you that the new Samsung Watch 5 ‘Pro’ was released only a few weeks ago? Hmm.

Naming aside, the news of a uber-expensive $1299 AUD Apple Watch Ultra with a gigantic 49mm titanium case with flat sapphire front crystal is enough to perk a few ears. Especially when you consider the iPhone changes were particularly incremental and ceased to even include a new chip on all but the top-tier iPhone 14 Pro. Apple COO, Jeff Williams, says the new Watch Ultra is targeted at explorers. Essentially, it’s going after Garmin.

“Inspired by explorers and athletes from around the world, we created an entirely new category of Apple Watch designed for new and extreme environments – it’s the most rugged and capable Apple Watch yet.” Apple Watch Ultra is a versatile tool that empowers users to push their boundaries with adventure, endurance and exploration,” he said.

Apple watch ultra on person

Image: Apple

Key features and changes on the Apple Watch Ultra

  • During normal use, Apple Watch Ultra can reach up to 36 hours of battery life with iPhone present.
  • The new Retina display is up to 2000 nits, which is 2x brighter than any Apple Watch display.
  • The new Action button in orange is customised for instant access to technical features.
  • Three built-in microphones to significantly improve sound quality in voice calls.
  • ‘Trail Loop’ band is the thinnest band to date/
  • There’s an ‘Ocean Band’ for watersports with a long tail for use over wetsuits.

The Watch Ultra is a great choice for athletes, powered by watchOS9 it features a host of new running metrics to measure performance, such as Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation and Running Power. New Workout Views, such as Segments, Splits and Elevation. The large screen makes this all possible and custom workout modes will be arriving later this year.

It’s also a great choice for adventurers with a redesigned Compass app, including longitude, elevation and incline as well as an orienteering view showing Compass Waypoints and Backtrack We’re particularly interested in Backtrack – it’s a feature we’ve practically used on numerous occasions on our Huawei watch – and the Apple product works almost identically, using GPS data to create a path showing where the user has been.

The Apple Watch Ultra is priced from a whopping $1,299 AUD. In short, this is going to be a dedicated device for outdoor explorers, and sadly, even with the increase in battery life to 36 hours, it’s still fairly limited in its application. We’d be surprised if this is enough to sway explorers away from the Garmin Fenix 7 which has up to 57 hours of battery life with GPS switched on and 73 hours with solar. Website suggests the Ultra will receive an update extending battery life to 60 hours by the end of this year.

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Apple watch series 8 and apple watch se

Image: Apple Watch Series 8 (Left), Apple Watch SE (Right) | Apple

Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE

In terms of the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE, we were hopeful that Apple would’ve addressed the most glaring issue with its smartwatch, battery life. Sadly, it’s still the same as the Series 7 and limited to a maximum of 18 hours (in our personal testing) which means you’ll be visiting the charger every night. This makes most of the sleep tracking features practically obsolete.

To their credit, Apple has introduced a new ‘low power mode’ to mediate some of the issues, but it disables or limits select sensors and features, including the Always-On Retina display, workout autostart, heart health notifications and more in an effort to extend battery life to 36 hours. Low power mode will be available on all Apple Watches from Series 4 and up.

The biggest change to the Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch SE is the introduction of temperature sensing with a two-sensor design – one sensor on the back of the watch, nearest the skin, and another just under the display – reducing bias from the outside environment.

New watchOS 9 incorporates new customisable watch faces like Lunar and Metropolitan, an enhanced Workout app, and a mode to detect car crashes by using the watch gyroscope and accelerometer. This combines with an advanced algorithm developed at crash test sites and has the capability to dial emergency services if the wearer is unresponsive after a 10-second countdown.

Apple Watch Series 8 Pricing

The Apple Watch Series 8 is available in aluminium and stainless steel cases in 41mm or 45mm sizing. Aluminium case colours include starlight, midnight, silver and (PRODUCT)RED while the stainless steel case offers silver, graphite and gold. With Apple Watch Studio, Apple Watch Series 8 can be paired with any available band in the same collection. Pricing for the Apple Watch Series 8 starts from $629 AUD.

Apple Watch SE Pricing

The Apple Watch SE is available in 40mm and 44mm aluminium case sizes. Colours include midnight, starlight and silver finishes, and are compatible with all bands. Pricing for the Apple Watch SE starts at $399 AUD.

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