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At its "Far out" event in 2022, alongside the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple announced the Apple Watch Ultra. The Apple Watch Ultra is a whole new kind of smartwatch from Apple with a focus on withstanding extreme environments, a high level of durability, extended battery life, and additional features to aid activities like diving and exploration.

apple-watch-ultra-snow.jpg

Both the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra feature the S8 chip, an Always-On Retina display, Crash Detection, temperature sensing, IP6X dust resistance, and more, but there are significant differences between the two devices.

With as little as $50 between the 45mm stainless steel Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra, some prospective customers will be weighing up whether it is worth spending a little extra to get the all-new 49mm model. While there is a $400 difference between the 41mm aluminum Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra, the new high-end model offers a whole new set of features to address specific challenges, so it may even be worth it for some of these buyers.

Key Differences

Apple Watch Series 8Apple Watch Ultra
Aluminum casingAerospace-grade titanium casing
Curved designLighter, corrosion resistant case with raised edges to protect the flat sapphire front crystal
Digital Crown with haptic feedback and side buttonDigital Crown with haptic feedback, side button, and customizable Action button
45mm or 41 mm case size (vertical)49mm casing size (vertical)
Retina displayAlways-On Retina display
10.7mm thickness14.4mm thickness
Weighs 32.0 grams to 51.5 gramsWeighs 61.3 grams
Ion-X front glass (aluminum) or sapphire crystal (stainless steel)Sapphire crystal front glass
Curved display with refractive edgeFlat display
904 sq mm (41mm) or 1,143 sq mm (45mm) display area1164 sq mm display area
352 by 430 pixels (41mm) or 396 by 484 pixels (45mm)410 by 502 pixels
Up to 1,000 nits brightnessUp to 2,000 nits brightness
-Exclusive Wayfinder face with live compass and Night Mode for low-visibility conditions
Single speaker and microphoneDual speakers, three-microphone array with beamforming and wind noise migitation
GPSPrecision dual-frequency GPS (L1 and L5)
-86-decibel Siren to attract attention
Bluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.3
Water resistant to 50mWater resistant to 100m
SwimproofSwimproof and recreational dive to 40m
-Tested to MIL-STD 810H
-EN13319 certification
-Water temperature sensor, depth gauge, and dive computer app
Up to 18-hour battery lifeUp to 36-hour battery life
Available in Midnight, Starlight, Silver, and PRODUCT(RED) (aluminum) or Silver, Graphite, or Gold (stainless steel)Natural titanium finish only
Starts at $399 (aluminum) and $699 (stainless steel)Priced at $799


The Apple Watch Ultra offers...

Full Article Link: Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Apple Watch Ultra Buyer's Guide
 
Last edited:

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,011
8,891
USA
The Apple Watch ultra looks really nice but no way when I go for such a big watch. That’s just my personal preference.

I kind of wish there was some other choice besides besides aluminum and stainless steel with the Series 8. I went with aluminum because I’m not too crazy about the polished stainless steel finish.
 
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colocolo

macrumors 6502
Jan 17, 2002
479
132
Santiago, Chile
Not a big criticism, but I would appreciate if the articles that have popped up lately comparing two devices would list a table, where you can see the same feature side by side.
When you look at the article (at least in desktop mode), the same feature does not match the same row between both devices. It only gets worse as you scroll down the list, and becomes difficult to really compare, which is the purpose.


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profets

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2009
5,108
6,135
Both nice options, and honestly its nice that there is a bit more choice, even if you aren't a fan of the Ultra.

I'm still surprised that the price is 799 (just $50 more than the stainless steel Series 8 with a more expensive band). Was the Edition last year also at the 799 mark?
 

centauratlas

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2003
1,811
3,750
Florida
The Apple Watch ultra looks really nice but no way when I go for such a big watch. That’s just my personal preference.

I kind of wish there was some other choice besides besides aluminum and stainless steel with the Series 8. I went with aluminum because I’m not too crazy about the polished stainless steel finish.

I can't wait to see one in person to compare it with the 8 on my wrist. It is difficult to tell how it would look in the abstract - at least for me.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,954
3,355
Really seems to depend on you either wanting one of the new Ultra features, the bigger watch itself or comparing it to a steel Series 8 (a big price increase over the basic 8). Once you go steel Series 8 it becomes hard not to see the Ultra as the better value.

But if you're looking at the base aluminum 8 and not wanting / needing the bigness or new features only on the Ultra it becomes a big financial stretch at almost double the price.
 
Last edited:

fwmireault

Contributor
Jul 4, 2019
2,154
9,148
Montréal, Canada
Not a big criticism, but I would appreciate if the articles that have popped up lately comparing two devices would list a table, when you can see the same feature side by side.
When you look at the article (at least in desktop mode), the same feature does not match the same row between both devices. It only gets worse as you scroll down the list, and becomes difficult to really compare, which is the purpose.


View attachment 2074344
View attachment 2074350
I agree, a comparative table would be more useful here
 

Mizouse

macrumors 6502
Nov 5, 2014
424
637
FYI the ultra isn’t on display yet in the Apple stores. I went yesterday thinking it was, but they told me starting Friday.

I’m currently debating between the SS 45mm S8 or the Ultra to replace my aging 42mm series 3. That said I did try on the SS S8 yesterday and it’s a chonker over my S3 which is kind of swaying me to the S8. But I still want to try on the Ultra.
 
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mansplains

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2021
846
1,302
Both nice options, and honestly its nice that there is a bit more choice, even if you aren't a fan of the Ultra.

I'm still surprised that the price is 799 (just $50 more than the stainless steel Series 8 with a more expensive band). Was the Edition last year also at the 799 mark?
The 41mm was $799, but the 45mm was $849. So the Ultra is even bigger than 45mm and is less expensive. Even though Ultra is just $50 more than SS, Apple will always take more! We perceive it as a better value to some extent.
 
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james2538

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2008
555
1,789
Similarly, the Apple Watch Ultra's look may not appeal to some buyers. If you prefer the stainless steel Apple Watch and are looking for a more fasion-focused smartwatch that pairs well with metal and leather bands, the more aggressive, rugged design of the Apple Watch Ultra may not be for you.
This is where I'm at, as the Ultra doesn't appeal to me outside of using it for workouts. The orange accents would look ridiculous for anything beyond a casual setting. I've got a large wrist but the size makes it difficult to use with long sleeves or for sleep tracking.

Here's hoping some of its features trickle down the Series 9 next year.
 

McKodiak

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2014
333
1,005
The Apple Watch ultra looks really nice but no way when I go for such a big watch. That’s just my personal preference.

I kind of wish there was some other choice besides besides aluminum and stainless steel with the Series 8. I went with aluminum because I’m not too crazy about the polished stainless steel finish.
I agree. Sizing should be:

Series 8: 41mm & 45mm
Series Ultra: 45mm & 49mm
 
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DarthDon

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2020
664
744
Wireless N is now 13 Years old. LTE since 2014. Plus that design of a quartz watch in the 70's... Innovation? Zero. True stand alone (no iphone needed) - non. Price: twice than the competition.
 
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CrazyMacUser

macrumors newbie
Jul 31, 2012
28
61
I think Apple should have just made another Apple Watch 8 with larger screen for $50 more. I would buy that one. I don't need all the "Ultra" features, just a larger screen.
 
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Manzzle

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2012
309
353
What I want to know is if the Ultra's prominent vibration setting is stronger than all the other watches.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
9,793
25,435
SoCal
I have the Ultra coming on Friday, very excited. No way I would have upgraded my S7 for a 8, but if you’re on a 4 or before, the 8 will be a nice upgrade. But, if you’re going SS I would seriously compare that to the Ultra as in 55 it’s the identical price
 

simidene

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2017
105
40
I have the Garmin Epix gen2 and love it. I purchased the Apple Ultra as well, and believe like many that is was about time that Apple got into this market..outdoor enthusiasts, racers, climbers etc.. I respect those that do not like bigger watches, phones, but that train has left the station and apple needs/ needed to keep up with what is a growing niche market especially with outdoor enthusiasts and deliver a watch that caters to that group.
 
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