When I looked at the original Apple Watch Ultra, I tried to approach the task a little differently, rather than seeing it as a kind of Apple Watch Pro, a luxury product that undoubtedly offered very special and specific features, but at the same time it was time for an Apple Watch where every aspect was key. From brightness to battery size, it’s a little better.
Since then, I’ve learned more and experienced first-hand what it’s like to feel encouraged to use a smartwatch in multiple ways, all while relying on its water resistance, the readings it can give you, and its battery life. Below, you can see me using my Apple Watch Ultra in Preikestolen in Norway and on a ski holiday where I fell in love with an app called Slopes.
There’s now a new Apple Watch Ultra (Series 2) on the market, and while I haven’t yet had a chance to test it on the same cross-country terrain as the previous generation, it’s worth noting once again that Apple has managed to pull off the iteration and best Apple Watch Pro ever .
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But it is difficult to recognize at first glance, there is no doubt about that. The case itself hasn’t been touched, except that Apple is now offering it in another alternative colour, but I immediately think it will be ditched in favor of the good old Titanium variant.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” as the saying goes, and that’s true here too, but this is probably the only time Apple can reuse the same bezel without slimming down the watch case without sacrificing, say, the bezel. Battery size. Inside we find the new S9 SiP, a chipset that enables the new “double tap” feature released via WatchOS 10.1, where pressing your thumb and index finger together twice can activate a number of system functions. Let me be as clear as possible – it works brilliantly and points to the same functionality in the upcoming Vision Pro headset.
The new chip also enables precise search, and you can identify it through AirTag. Instead of “just” making a sound on your phone, the watch can intelligently guide you to your phone with direction and dials. Plus, there’s a new, brighter display that can reach 3,000 nits, the same 36-hour battery life (several days with battery saver turned on), new features for cyclists and better GPS.
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But like regular Apple Watch upgrades every year, they’re few and far between, and there’s no way around them. That’s not to say they’re not important upgrades in that way — the brighter display, the double tap, and some extensions to the watch’s training and diving functions are meaningful additions to a watch that got off to a very good start last year. But in case it’s not clear, I’ll emphasize it here; If you already have a Watch Ultra from last year, you don’t need it.
But if you’ve been waiting patiently to jump on the bandwagon, now is the time. The Apple Watch Ultra represents Apple building the best smartwatch possible, and when you hit the action button (which also has shortcuts functionality), use the watch in Night mode, or track moderately rigorous workouts or outdoor excursions, it’s something special . It’s still expensive, but I’ve never been as satisfied with the overall smartwatch experience as I am here.
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