Hello! We’re covering Apple’s traditional September event that debuted the new iPhone 14 and 14 Pro. Exciting news for sure, but Cupertino kicked off proceedings with the current worst-kept secret – the Apple Watch Ultra (no, not Pro). It’s billed as the biggest and toughest Apple Watch yet, and it has the specs to back it up.
Apple Watch Ultra Malaysia price and availability
There’s just one Apple Watch Ultra variant available – a massive 49mm model priced at RM3,799 with cellular, making it RM500 more expensive than the priciest Apple Watch Series 8. The device will be open for pre-orders in first-wave countries such as the US, UK, Australia and Singapore starting today, with sales kicking off on September 23. As yet, Malaysian availability has not been announced; we’ll update you as soon as we get it.
Apple Watch Ultra specs and features
The first thing you need to know about the Watch Ultra is its big, chunky case, made out of aerospace-grade titanium. It also has crown guards (incorporating the side button) that protrude outward to protect the Digital Crown, which also has a more gear-like design.
On the other side of the device is a new customisable orange action button, which Apple says can be used to mark new running segments, set compass waypoints and start a dive computer.
Yes, you read right – the Ultra can be used for diving as water resistance has improved to 100 metres, double the Apple Watch’s usual 50 metres. Its operating temperature range has also expanded to between -20 and 55 degrees Celsius. The buttons and crown are all designed to work with gloves.
As with the stainless steel Series 8 models, the Pro gets a sapphire crystal front that is more resistant to scratches. The screen itself is flat instead of being curved at the edges and sits within the case for better protection. It’s also two times brighter than before, with a peak brightness of a whopping 2,000 nits.
A new watch face, Wayfinder, takes advantage of the larger display, with a compass built into the dial and space for up to eight complications. A night mode turns the display red for better visibility in the dark.
The Ultra also comes with three new watch bands – a fabric Trail Loop (claimed to be the thinnest Apple Watch band to date), an Alpine Loop with a titanium G-hook fastener and an Ocean Band with a titanium buckle, a spring-loaded loop and a dive extension for wearing over a wetsuit.
Under the skin, the Watch Pro features the same S8 chip as the Watch Series 8. It also has a larger battery that can last up to 36 hours on a single charge – double that of the standard Series 8. A new battery optimisation setting, coming later in the autumn, will stretch battery life to 60 hours when needed.
Call voice quality has improved thanks to three built-in microphones, which work with an adaptive beamforming algorithm to reduce ambient background noises. A wind-noise algorithm also uses machine learning for clearer calls in windy conditions.
Elsewhere, a more precise dual-frequency GPS improves distance, pace and route data. The watch can also leave “breadcrumbs” to allow you to trace back your steps using the Backtrack navigation function. If you are truly lost, you can activate an 86dB siren with a unique sound signature (incorporating an SOS pattern) that can repeat for several hours.
The increased water resistance of the Ultra allows for recreational scuba diving up to 40 metres. To take advantage of this, there’s a new Depth app to track elapsed time, current depth, maximum depth reached and water temperature. Another new app, Oceanic+, incorporates a dive computer and will be available in the App Store later in the autumn.
As per the Watch 8, the Watch Ultra’s health tracking has been improved with the use of temperature sensors on the top and bottom of the device. This has allowed Apple to improve period predictions and ovulation tracking capabilities to its cycle tracking feature. Users will now receive a notification if a cycle deviation is detected.
A new crash detection function also uses the watch’s various sensors – including the more powerful accelerometer and gyroscope – to detect if you’ve been in a car accident and ring emergency services.