After over a year of rumors, Apple has finally announced the Apple Watch Ultra — a rugged, premium smartwatch that now sits atop Apple’s smartwatch lineup. The watch introduces a new design with a bigger display as well as a new design for exploration and outdoors activity.
There’s a new button guard on the side, with a 49mm titanium case and redesigned digital crown. The buttons and crowns are also designed to work with gloves, which is a big concern for outdoor athletes. Each has cellular capability and gets up to 36 hours on a single charge. It also has an extended battery life of 60 hours.
The Ultra also has improved multi-band GPS, which includes the new L5 frequency. Something you only see on fitness watches like Garmins and Coros these days. The Action button also lets you transition from one leg of a triathlon to the next.
The Apple Watch Ultra marks a new chapter in Apple’s smartwatch journey. So far, Apple Watches have been more general use devices with great connectivity, smart features, and advanced health alerts. But the Ultra is an explicitly fitness-first device that’s meant to compete with the likes of Garmin and Polar.
It also comes at a time when the Android landscape is shifting — Google is launching its first-ever smartwatch, Samsung also just came out with a pro watch, and certain Wear OS 2 watches are slated for an upgrade to Wear OS 3 this fall. When you consider that, it feels like kismet that Apple is also embarking on something new in the wearables space now.
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