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Apple Watch Ultra launches with a beefed-up case, new GPS specs and the series' brightest display yet

The Watch Ultra. (Source: Apple)
The Watch Ultra. (Source: Apple)
Apple has just unleashed the first ever Ultra version of its Apple Watch. It comes with the largest case known to its line to date, packed with what the Cupertino giant backs as features to boost endurance and performance in the new wearable. The Ultra comes in just one 49mm GPS and cellular-enabled SKU, and costs as much as some brand-new iPhones.

Few would have suspected that Apple's first use of the Ultra suffix for its mobile devices would fall to one of its wearables; however, this is exactly what has just happened during the Watch phase of the Cupertino-based behemoth's Far Out event. 

The first-gen Watch Ultra thus roundly flouts rumors of its launching as the Pro instead. Nevertheless, it has the new and wildly augmented case as indicated in previous leaks, made of titanium that extends upwards to form a protective frame around its up-to-2000-nit Retina display.

The new build is rated to render the Watch Ultra ready to handle any amount of exploration or extreme sports a user may aspire to, up to (non-professional) scuba diving to 130 feet, with double the weather resistance of a Series 8 and even an EN13319 rating for deep-sea resilience.

Its super-sized chassis packs all of the 8's health- and fitness-tracking specs, as well as a battery rated for up to 36 hours per charge under normal use, or as long as 60 hours under Apple's latest power-saving mode for its wearables.

The Ultra's version of watchOS 9 is also backed to turn the Ultra into the ideal computer for any kind of trip, to the extent that it has an Evening Mode that turns its UI red in low ambient light for easier readability.

A user can also further enhance their training or excursion by using the Ultra's new extra, orange and mappable button (the feature easily mistakable for a SIM card hatch in earlier renders) that can be set to easily start a workout or save a segment.

Apple has also outfitted the Watch Ultra with an advanced L1+L5 GPS, as well as a new Compass app with more detailed directions and a back-tracking route-logger on the off-chance the user loses signal while out in the wild.

On that note, the Apple Watch Ultra comes in just 1 SKU (with just 1 light gray case-color, apparently), although it has standalone connectivity as standard.

Despite alarming rumors of seriously tone-deaf pricing in this first-gen variant, it is not quite that expensive at US$799 - then again, one can buy a whole new iPhone 14 for the same amount of money.

It will be available with a range of new bands or loops (Trail, Alpine, or Ocean) specifically designed to keep Apple's first-gen swipe at the rugged smartwatch genre on the wrist under different conditions from September 23, 2022.

Keep an eye on the Series 7 for good deals that might show up on Amazon soon.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 09 > Apple Watch Ultra launches with a beefed-up case, new GPS specs and the series' brightest display yet
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2022-09- 7 (Update: 2022-09- 9)