Apple Watch Ultra: Everything you need to know about the explorer model - MrLiambi's blog


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Wednesday 7 September 2022

Apple Watch Ultra: Everything you need to know about the explorer model

Apple doubled-down on the Apple Watch at its 2022 Far Out September event, announcing an updated Apple Watch Series 8, a new Watch SE, and the watch that was the most anticipated, the Apple Watch Ultra.

This new version of the Apple Watch takes the family in a new direction, wanting to be the best sports watch there is, while retaining all those Apple Watch features you know and love. Here's everything you need to know about it.

Release date and price

  • Pre-order 7 September 2022
  • Available 23 September 2022
  • From $799 / £849 / €999

The Apple Watch Ultra was announced on 7 September and is available to preorder straight away. It will be available to buy from 23 September.

In terms of price, the rugged Apple Watch model is more expensive than the standard Watch Series 8 - double the price. It starts at $799 in the US and will be £849 in the UK. It is €999 in Europe.

Design and display

  • 49 x 44 x 14.4mm, 61.3g
  • Titanium body and bezel
  • Larger display, 49mm
  • Action button

The rugged Apple Watch model features a 49mm titanium metal casing and it features a slightly evolved design compared to the Apple Watch Series 8. The rectangular case with curved corners and rounded edges remains, but there is much more to the Apple Watch Ultra 

The display is completely flat, rather than slightly rounded like the Series 8, with the titanium forming a bezel around the display to protect it. On the sides of the Watch Ultra, the digital crown and button are in a raised element, while there's an orange Action button on the other side. They are designed to be easier to be used with gloves. 

The Watch Ultra is designed for extreme sports and features an enhanced WR100 rating - or waterproofing to 100 metres. It's also tested to MIL-STD 810H and has IP6X protection against dust. The Apple Watch Ultra also carries EN13319 certification, meaning you can use it as a dive watch.

The display is protected by a flat sapphire crystal, and it's the brightest display in an Apple Watch yet, peaking at 2000 nits. It's the largest at 49mm too, with a 410 x 502 pixel resolution so it's much larger than other Apple Watch models.

There are a range of bespoke straps for the Watch Ultra, including the Ocean Loop, Trail Loop and Alpine Loop, all designed to cater for specific sports - and to make sure the Watch Ultra looks great on your wrist. 


  • Dual-frequency GPS
  • Depth gauge and water temperature sensor
  • HR sensor, blood oxygen
  • Dual speakers and 3 mics
  • Crash detection

As well as offering the features you'll find on any other Apple Watch, there's a full range of additional functions to serve those in the great outdoors - or just with a penchant for sports. One of the big features is the dual-frequency GPS. This offers both L1 and L5 GPS, the former being what you'll find on other Apple Watch models. The aim of offering two bands is to boost GPs signal reception wherever you are, whether that's in open country or in city centres where GPS is less reliable. 

To support the Watch Ultra as a dive watch, there's an Oceanic+ app you can download so it can act as a dive computer, but there's also a depth gauge app that will automatically open up when you get into deep water - and a water temperature sensor.

Of course you get all the other sensors - heart rate, ECG, body temperature - but the Watch Ultra is also boosted with dual speakers and three beam-forming mics, meaning it can cope with calls in harsher conditions. There's also siren you can use for attracting attention. As another safety feature, it also features Crash Detection as found on the Apple Watch 8 and new SE.

All Watch Ultra models are LTE equipped, so you can always be connected.

Specs and hardware

  • S8 SiP, with W3 and U1
  • LTE, UWB
  • 36 hours battery life

The Apple watch runs on the S8 chip, with the W3 wireless and U1 UWB chips for connectivity. As we've mentioned, all models will have LTE, but the biggest thing here is the battery life. 

With a larger case you have the opportunity for more battery and that's what you get. The Apple Watch Ultra has the largest battery of any Apple Watch, so it offers the best battery life. It will give you 36 hours off a single charge, with Apple saying that you'll be able to do an Ironman distance event will full GPS tracking using this watch.

In power saving mode you'll get up to 60 hours of use.

Apple Watch Ultra rumours: What happened before launch? 

Here's a timeline of all the leak prior to the Apple Watch Ultra launch.

6 September 2022: Apple Watch Pro design revealed in great CAD images

91Mobiles published some CAD renders of what is claimed to be the Apple Watch Pro, featuring an exyra button on the left edge, said to be programmable.

5 September 2022: Apple Watch Pro details leak ahead of launch

Gurman mentioned a number of details surrounding the Watch Pro in his Power On newsletter.

24 August 2022: Apple confirms 7 September launch date

Apple has sent invitations to media for the launch event on 7 September. 

18 August 2022: Mark your calendars, Apple iPhone 14 likely to launch 7 September

Mark Gurman has reported that a reliable source has said the iPhone 14 will launch on 7 September, which is when the Apple Watch models are also expected. 

25 July 2022: Apple Watch Pro model will get a larger, 'fresh look'

Mark Gurman reported a number of extra details about the design expected for the high-end Apple Watch Pro model.

11 July 2022: Will Apple's extreme sports smartwatch be called Apple Watch Pro?

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg has the rugged Apple Watch could be called Appel Watch Pro and it will differentiate itself with a larger and more shatter-resistant screen, tougher body with a rugged case that isn't aluminium and longer battery life. He also says it will feature enhanced swim tracking and hiking.

7 July 2022: Apple Watch Series 8 rugged model to offer larger display, battery and stronger metal case

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported some more details about the rugged Apple Watch, claiming it would have a bigger display, tougher case and larger battery.

28 June 2022: Apple Watch Series 8 to be joined by new rugged and SE models

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported that the Apple Watch Series 8 is tipped to be joined by a new SE model, plus a rugged edition aimed at extreme sports fans.

26 March 2021: Apple considering 2021 launch for 'Explorer Edition' Watch designed for extreme conditions and athletes

A report from Bloomberg indicates discussions regarding a sports-focused Apple Watch have taken place - and point to a launch in 2021 or 2022.

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