One of the first announcements made by Apple during its September 7 ‘Far Out’ event were the new Apple Watches, including the Watch Series 8, Watch SE, and the highly anticipated Apple Watch Ultra, known as the Pro version while it was still a rumor ahead of the official debut.
Apple Watch Ultra
The newly launched Apple Watch Ultra is a whole new category of smartwatch for Apple and stands out from all other Apple wearables with its huge 49mm case that houses the biggest and brightest display on an Apple watch yet, while the case is made of titanium with a raised edge to protect the screen.
The display sits under a flat sapphire crystal, which is commonly used by Apple on other products like the iPhone’s back camera, and the company claims that it supports up to 2,000 nits of brightness, which is really bright for any display. Furthermore, Apple has also created WayFinder, a larger watchface for the Watch Ultra’s larger display, which accommodates a lot more information and can be customized by the user based on different environments.
The Apple Watch Ultra houses an extra speaker on the left, which can be used to produce an 86-decibel siren for emergencies, as well as a new Action button painted in high-contrast international orange. You will be able to customize the button for instant access to Workouts, Compass Waypoints, or Backtrack, a feature that allows you to find your way back through a trail.
Meanwhile, the usual home button and digital crown are located on the right side of the Apple Watch Ultra and offer larger diameter and coarser grooves. There are three microphones as well on the Watch Ultra that Apple claims can help you be heard even in windy conditions.
Talking about the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra, it can go down to -20° C and as high as 55° C, while also being MIL-STD-810H compliant for Low Pressure (Altitude), High Temperature, Low Temperature, Temperature Shock, Contamination by Fluids, Rain, Humidity, Immersion, Sand and Dust, Freeze/Thaw, Ice/Freezing Rain, Shock and Vibration.
The Apple Watch Ultra can be used by professionals for water sports like kitesurfing and wakeboarding, and even some serious diving as it’s certified to WR100 and EN 13319 – the recognized standard for dive accessories. There’s a built-in depth gauge that along with the Depth app shows time, depth, water temperature, duration under water, and the maximum depth reached.
The Apple Watch Ultra comes in three bands, including the Trail Loop, Alpine Loop, and Ocean Band.
Moreover, all three variants of Apple Watch Ultra come with GPS and Cellular connectivity and are on sale today for $799 and start shipping on September 23.
Apple Watch Series 8
Apple also unveiled its new Watch Series 8, which is identical to the Series 7 but uses the new S8 chip, adds a temperature sensor, crash detection, and new Ultra low power mode, which is expected to help extend the battery life of the wearable.
The temperature sensor will scan your skin temperature every five seconds, using a combination of two sensors – one on the skin and another just under the display. It can detect changes as small as 0.1° C and will help with Ovulation predictions and cycle deviation tracking.
The crash detection works with the help of the 3-axis gyro sensor and a new High G-force accelerometer which can detect up to 256 G’s. This sensor samples motion 4 times faster than the old accelerometer and will be able to distinguish between a front or a side impact, a rear-end collision, or a rollover.
Upon detecting a crash, the Watch Series 8 will automatically notify the emergency services and your emergency contacts.
The Apple Watch Series 8 gets 18 hours of battery life with an Always-On Display, automatic activity tracking, and fall detection, but the optional low-power mode lets you get up to 36 hours by cutting some features.
The Apple Watch Series 8 comes in four colors, including Lunar, Astronomy, Metropolitan, and Modular, with a case made with 100% recycled aluminum, as well as three stainless steel models. Furthermore, the Apple Watch Series 8 is available to buy now for $399 (GPS only Model) and $499 (GPS + Cellular) and it will be shipped starting September 16.
Apple Watch SE
Lastly, Apple unveiled its new Apple Watch SE, which lacks the temperature sensor but offers the same S8 chip as the more expensive Series 8 and Watch Ultra. The Watch SE also supports new crash detection and uses a case of 100% recycled aluminum and a new, redesigned plastic back.
The Watch SE starts at $249 for the GPS-only version and $299 for the GPS + Cellular, with shipments starting September 16.
Read more: Apple Launches iPhone 14 Series.