Apple Unveils Apple Watch Ultra With Large-Screen Design for Athletes and Explorers
Apple at its "Far Out" media event today announced the Apple Watch Ultra, a new feature-rich smartwatch for athletes and explorers, coming with an all-new design, a large flat sapphire crystal display, an additional programmable Action button, and cellular as standard.
The 49mm titanium case has the brightest Apple Watch display yet at 2,000 nits – two times brighter than previous models – and a bigger Digital Crown that's more rugged and capable. It features 36 hours of battery life, and will be capable of up to 60 hours of battery life with a new low-power battery optimization setting coming later this fall. Apple says the Apple Watch Ultra has enough battery life for most users to complete a long-course triathlon, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and full marathon at 26.2 miles.
The new Action button in high-contrast international orange can be customized for instant access to a variety of features, including Workouts, Compass Waypoints, Backtrack, and more. For example, it can instantly begin workouts and move users to the next interval of a Custom Workout or the next leg of a Multisport workout. It 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.
The Apple Watch Ultra also features three built-in microphones to improve sound quality in voice calls, and new advanced wind noise-reduction algorithms to deliver clearer and intelligible audio for calls. There's a new Dark Mode, a Wayfinder watch face with a built-in compass and space for up to eight complications. The watch also has a built-in depth gauge, and a new dual-frequency GPS with custom position algorithms to receive GPS signals in hard-to-reach locations.
The Apple Watch Ultra also comes with the new Series 8 features including a new Low Power Mode for up to 36 hours of battery life, a body temperature sensor, advanced cycle tracking, international roaming on cellular models, and car crash detection. The latest watchOS 9 also brings new advanced running metrics to measure performance, like Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, and Running Power, while new Workout Views, such as Segments, Splits, and Elevation, provide important metrics, which can take advantage of the larger display on the Ultra by showing up to six metrics at once.
"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," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer. "Apple Watch Ultra is a versatile tool that empowers users to push their boundaries with adventure, endurance, and exploration."
Apple is also offering different bands aimed at hikers, divers and runners, with an Alpine loop band, Ocean band, and a super-thin Trail Loop, respectively.
The Apple Watch Ultra starts at $799 and pre-orders open today with availability set for September 23.