We’re looking at watches that cost more than fifteen iPhones. They can’t brew coffee or mine bitcoins, but they are made of titanium and can be used to dive to the bottom of the sea. Let’s figure out why they ask for so much money for the Apple Watch Ultra 2.
A rich experience
The first Apple watches appeared more than 8 years ago: Series 1 was shown to the public in the fall of 2014 along with the sixth iPhone, and they went on sale in the spring of 2015. Back then it was a strange gadget with wide bezels around a tiny OLED screen, a ridiculous battery life (one daylight hours) and limited features. During this time, Apple doubled the display size (from 38 to 40/41 mm, from 42 to 44/45 mm), repeatedly increased SoC performance, added AOD, constantly increased the number and accuracy of medical sensors, and even made a version with support for mobile networks. The Apple Watch came in aluminum, steel and gold cases and outsold all watch brands combined in terms of units sold. Two things remain unchanged: the overall design of the case and compatibility with accessories. That is, the straps from the original Apple Watch fit the current ones and vice versa, and the concept of “Digital Crown plus button” has been living in watches since 2014, along with a rounded case and a sloping screen.
Over the years of evolution of the watches from Cupertino, not only the autonomy and coolness of the display have increased, but also the payload. The device has its own accurate GPS for plotting routes and monitoring sports performance, a set of highly sensitive accelerometers and gyroscopes, an altimeter, a heart rate sensor that can build an ECG and monitor the amount of oxygen in the blood, and much more. The software has also been significantly updated. You can’t yet put gypsy dials from any Vasyanov on your watch, but otherwise the set of capabilities of modern WatchOS exceeds those that were in smartphones released 10-15 years ago.
The library of applications for Apple watches is one of the most extensive, and the operating system itself is packed with functions for tracking the owner’s vital signs, many of which have received the appropriate certificates and, with certain nuances, can become a source of additional information. data for medical institutions.
Samsung watches also have ECG measurements, but will the hospital accept their data?
The modern Apple Watch is a full-fledged microcomputer on your wrist. Moreover, with its own cellular connection (not in the EU), applications, a keyboard for answering messages and a bunch of useful sensors. Well, what else can be improved here, besides the battery? As it turns out, almost everything can be improved.
The Apple Watch Ultra isn’t just a “bigger watch with better battery.” They are taken either by those who are seriously involved in extreme sports, or by those who want to get the best that they can buy. The topic of extreme sports is no joke, for that matter. Apple has made sure that the watch is truly durable. Watch Ultra is the first in the Apple product line to receive a titanium case. In addition, the manufacturer got rid of the gracefully curved protective glass. In “Ultra” it is sapphire, flat, slightly (fractions of a millimeter) recessed into the case. In general, it was made so that it would be as difficult as possible to get hit from the side. In addition, the design of the case itself differs from the classic “watch”: the “twist” and the button located on the right were moved to an additional island so that they were convenient to use with gloves, and there was more space in the case. battery case. In addition, the watch received another button on the left, on which the user can configure the function he needs: from a flashlight and route recording to an SOS signal.
“Ultra” received its own line of straps. With the release of the first Watch Ultra, three types of straps were introduced: Trail Loop, Alpine Loop and Ocean Loop. One is included, any other costs $100. The thinnest is Trail Loop. Suitable for runners and other athletes, made of woven stretch nylon. It fits magically on your hand, is very soft and securely secures the watch to your wrist with Velcro. The “Alpine” strap (the one in the photo) is also made of synthetics, but has a different type of fastener: there are loops on the outside of the strap, and at the end there is a special aluminum hook that fits into them. Adapts to almost any wrist, thick enough, comfortable for everyday wear. Ocean Loop – silicone, with a locking carabiner, allows you to securely fix the accessory over your wetsuit. This is probably the least relevant version for Europe.
Ocean Loop appeared for a reason: the watch received improved water resistance, a dive sensor and an underwater operating mode.
With Watch Ultra you can dive to depths of up to 40 meters. At the same time, the gadget knows the depth of the dive, the water temperature and the time since the dive. Of course, cunning Apple lawyers note on the website that the gadget is not a dive computer and cannot calculate the ascent rate, the amount of oxygen in the cylinders, etc. But it’s clear: the States. Who wants to sue the fool whose microwave says “Do not dry pets after washing”?
For lovers of tourism, the watch has added satellite communication, a signal for help and an ultra-loud speaker that can scream heart-rendingly from hundreds of meters in a completely vile tone. In addition to improved navigation, increased energy saving mode and the ability to call a helicopter with doctors (in the States, of course, and in a couple of other countries), the watch also helps to find a person lost in a group. We tried the siren mode: the sound is actually audible at a distance of 15-20 meters in a noisy metropolis. In the wilderness or other quiet place, the voice of someone crying flies even further. By the way, for some reason the alarm signal from the Apple Watch is very annoying to dogs (they come running to look for the source of the noise) and cannot be confused with either the hum of a microwave oven or a car alarm.
The hardware of the first “ultra” exceeded the capabilities of the regular Series 8. The screen was twice as bright: 2000 nits versus 1000 for a standard watch. Thicker battery: The Watch Ultra can last up to 15 hours in workout mode, lasts 1.5-2 days in normal use with AOD, and up to five days in power saving mode. The second generation was made even cooler: a display up to 3000 nits, a new SoC with an improved neural network unit and a more energy-efficient processor, which increased autonomy. Now in “city” mode the device works for 2-2.5 days, and with the energy saving option enabled – up to 72 hours. Such indicators are achieved by increasing the sensor polling intervals: the watch measures your heart rate less often and checks with GPS to save battery power.
The new processor and sensors in the watch allowed the system to accurately detect the double-pinch gesture.
You can attach a quick launch of any function to it. The function is promised to be launched later (at the end of this year or the beginning of next), it will work on Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9. To be honest, there is nothing new here: double pinch is available on all modern Apple watches in the “Universal Access” mode (that’s what they are translated as “Accessibility”, functions for people with disabilities). But the current implementation does not always work well: sometimes you have to repeat a gesture 2-3 times for the watch to understand it. And it will work on the first try. But after. And only on those devices that received the Apple S9 SoC.
When you work in a publication like w3bsit3-dns.com, wearable electronics cease to evoke emotions. A new model of a smart watch or fitness bracelet is rarely capable of surprising: everything is the same, the only difference is in the design and whose application is needed for work. Globally, the entire category of things on the wrist with a screen can be divided into three large groups. Small fitness bracelets (the watch is an additional function, not the main one, the emphasis is on activity tracking); fitness bracelets that look like watches (all the same, but with a large screen, sometimes with GPS and additional options like headset mode); just a smart watch. Outlandish hybrids in the spirit of HUAWEI gadgets with built-in TWS and Garmin sports equipment will remain behind the scenes.
So, if we take devices on Android Wear (Samsung, Pixel, Mobvoi accessories), then there are no direct competitors to Ultra either in price or format. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro costs three times less, but it doesn’t have any extreme features. It’s still one of the best Wear OS watches, but you probably won’t buy it for your iPhone. Garmin’s analogues are half the price of the Watch Ultra, theoretically better for sports, but they just have terrible software that is glitchy, loses data and slows down.
Compared to other Apple watches, the Ultra model seems huge.
But thanks to the titanium case, new straps and thoughtful design, after half a day you stop noticing the watch on your hand: it’s there. When you look at your wrist, you are amazed at how bright, clear and massive the screen is. The cover does not cling to clothes and does not interfere with usual activities. The difference between the first and second Watch Ultra is insignificant. Half a day of autonomy in power saving mode is not something worth upgrading for. The promised double pinch in gestures too. The trouble is that the retail price also differs slightly (by about 100 $). And when you pay more than $1,000 for a watch, for some reason you don’t want to save a hundred and buy last year’s model.
Apple Watch Rex
A year ago, with the help of “ultra,” Apple engineers set three important trends: satellite communications in watches, the use of titanium, and the rejection of non-environmental materials. Today, the Series 9 has the same bright screen, so the Watch Ultra 2 is a minor update that simply cements the gadget’s flagship status and brings it to the current hardware level. Unfortunately, most of the Watch Ultra features are useless in EU (MTS is launching e-Sim cloning for wearable electronics only in test mode, and satellite communications will not be available for many years). But even in this form, the model remains a very cool accessory for any user of the Apple ecosystem. Priced accordingly for premium technology: titanium, sapphire crystals, best-in-class medical sensors and excellent software and hardware integration.
A unique situation arises with Apple’s Tsar Watch: it can be difficult to buy in the EU.
Not only do they cost as much as a whole iPhone, but they are not sold everywhere. Because the thing is niche, unlike mainstream models. It is not profitable for small stores to carry expensive new goods, which can freeze working capital for a long time while sitting on the display window. But large network operators have no problems with this – the same MTS, which is now testing the redirection of SIM cards to watches, almost immediately delivered a new model to the European Federation, with different straps to choose from. This is a rare case when gray dealers lose to an official store, which provides both a warranty and accepts payment not only in cash.
Are the watches worth the money? In our opinion, yes. Because they have no competitors either in the world of Android (sorry, but it’s true) or among specialized sports equipment. Integration with iOS, fast and cool software, amazing quality of execution of every design element – Apple knows a lot about all this. And improved autonomy and the ability to engage in any active sport while wearing a watch are separate pleasant bonuses for which enthusiastic people will undoubtedly pay extra. In addition, the Californian IT giant supports wearable electronics with updates for a very long time, so the Ultra will live on your wrist for five years without any problems. You’ll change your iPhone before you change your watch. In this context, asking almost a hundred thousand for a wrist accessory is not the craziest idea.