In the realm of wearable tech, the match-up between the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra is a battle of innovation and specialization. The two timepieces are a testament to Apple’s enduring pursuit of excellence, each offering distinctive features tailored to diverse lifestyles and needs.
Launched at Apple’s “Far Out” event in 2022, the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra share the power of the S8 chip, the ingenuity of an Always-On Retina display, temperature sensing, Crash Detection, and IP6X dust resistance. However, each timepiece presents its unique persona in several aspects.
The Apple Watch Ultra steps up with a definitive focus on endurance, durability, and extended battery life. It’s engineered for the adventurous souls, featuring a host of tools for diving, exploring, and surviving the most challenging environments.
Even in physical characteristics, these watches present divergent personalities. The Series 8 maintains the traditional aluminum casing, while the Ultra showcases an aerospace-grade titanium frame, lighter and more corrosion-resistant. The Ultra also introduces a customizable Action button, adding an edge of adaptability.
Size and display-wise, the Ultra reigns supreme with a larger 49mm casing and a brighter display, pushing up to 2000 nits in brightness. A broader display area and increased pixel count make this a noticeable upgrade from the Series 8’s max of 45mm case and 1000 nits brightness.
In the auditory department, the Ultra outshines with dual speakers and a three-microphone array, a noticeable upgrade from the single speaker and microphone of the Series 8. Furthermore, the Ultra carries an exclusive Wayfinder face with a live compass and Night Mode for low-visibility conditions, precision dual-frequency GPS, and an 86-decibel Siren.
The Ultra also displays exceptional water resistance (up to 100m), and is tested to MIL-STD 810H and EN13319 certification. These, combined with the water temperature sensor, depth gauge, and dive computer app, make it a reliable companion for underwater exploration.
However, the Ultra’s standout feature is its astounding battery life – a monumental leap from the Series 8’s 18-hour duration to a remarkable 36 hours.
In terms of aesthetics, the Ultra strays from the colorful options of the Series 8 and sticks to a natural titanium finish. The utilitarian design of the Ultra might not appeal to fashion-forward buyers who have grown fond of the stainless steel elegance of the Series 8 and its compatibility with metal and leather bands.
The Ultra comes at a steeper price point starting at $799, compared to the Series 8’s price range of $399-$699. However, for those needing a timepiece to withstand extreme conditions, the additional investment may be justified.
In conclusion, the Ultra undeniably impresses with its durability, extended battery life, and enhanced features. However, the Series 8 still presents a compelling choice with its robust design, reasonable price, and more subtle aesthetic. If the size and price tag of the Ultra seems daunting, visiting an Apple Store to try out both options might be a wise decision.