Apple Reviews

Review: Apple Watch Ultra

I’ve never been an Apple Watch fan, I didn’t like it when it came out, and I didn’t like it 5 years later. I didn’t like the way it looked or the fact I had to raise my wrist just to turn on the screen. I also hated the idea of having to remove my watch to charge or to shower, because I never remove my watches no matter if it’s a cheap Casio or an expensive AP, my watch is always on me no matter what. Then I saw the new Apple Watch Ultra being introduced during Apple’s Keynote event, it was the first time I actually saw an Apple Watch and actually cared for it. It looked great, had a large screen, and had great battery life. I wanted it.

Full disclosure, I have a long-standing relationship with Xcite who provided me with this watch to keep. They’ve been very supportive of the blog from the very early days and they’ve lent or given me a number of items over the years to review, as well as hooking me up with discounts. I’m a huge Xcite fan and they’re an Apple Authorized Reseller.

I picked up the watch a week ago from my friends at Xcite and ever since I got it, I haven’t removed the watch except occasionally to charge it. I really don’t have a lot of requirements from a watch, I need it to tell time (easily), show the date, look good on my wrist and I don’t want to have to keep removing it from my wrist. I’ve tried watches with leather straps or vintage Casios that weren’t water-resistant, I hated having to take them off before showering. Before Covid, I was mostly rotating between two of my expensive watches, one made out of titanium, and the other forged composite, both pretty large but both very light watches (same formula as the Ultra). During Covid, I got a Casio calculator watch, similar to the one Michael J. Fox wore in the movie Back to the Future. Ever since I’ve gotten it I’ve basically stopped wearing all my other watches. It’s such a simple watch that I think looks great with its 80s design, and it was very practical. I didn’t have to worry about scratching it or banging it around, and if something did happen to it I could just get another one without going broke. But, I did have two issues with it, the first being that to see the date I had to press a button, and the second was that it didn’t have a backlight. This meant I couldn’t read the time if I woke up in the middle of the night.

This is going to sound weird and obvious, but the Apple Watch Ultra is a better version of my 1980s Casio. The new Ultra although big is actually really light for its size because of the fact it has a titanium case. It has a beautiful large screen that can show me all the information I need at a glance, and at night when I fall asleep, I have it set up to change screens to a much simpler one that only shows the time in an x-large font and in red, to ease eye strain in the dark. So functionality, it does everything I need and more. But the regular Apple Watch has all this, what sets the Ultra apart is mainly that it looks way more interesting than the regular watch which to me always looked really boring. Most of my watches are either chronographs or dive watches, I’ve never been into simple clean-looking watches, even my first watch as a kid was a Snoopy watch that looked like a dive watch. If I’m going to be wearing and using something all day, I need to like the way it looks and feels, and for me, the Ultra is the first Apple Watch I want to wear.

Another big selling point for me is the battery life, even in the first few days of owning it when I was playing around with the watch non-stop, it lasted me two days on a single charge. The fact that I can use the watch all day and then go to sleep with the watch on my wrist monitoring my sleep and knowing that I’m still going to wake up and have more than 50% battery life is such a satisfying feeling. I don’t want to deal with another device in my life that I have to worry about the battery life. So now I’ve created a routine where every morning when I sit on my iMac to type out my blog posts, I put the watch on the charger. By the time I’m done with my posts, my watch is fully charged and goes back on my wrist until the next morning. I noticed it charges really really fast over USB-C.

One of the things I was worried about initially when I saw the watch was if it was going to be too big on my skinny wrists. It’s not. Even though the watch has a 49mm diameter case, it doesn’t look huge on my wrists and so most likely won’t look big on yours either. I’m wearing the watch with a medium-sized Green Alpine Loop strap which I think is the best-looking strap on the watch. I thought initially it might be a bit annoying to put on and take off, but after using it for a week now, I’ve found it not an issue. The only issue with the strap if I’m being picky is the fact that it does get wet when showering but tends to dry fairly quickly after so not too big of a deal.

I’m trying to think of a negative thing to say about the watch but I can’t seem to think of anything. Even if I’m trying to be extra picky, there doesn’t seem to be anything that I find really annoying about it. The orange action button doesn’t have a lot of customization options right now, I can just pick a handful of different things it can do and right now I have it set to turn the watch into a flashlight. Actually, since I’m being picky, the location of the action button is where I usually place my thumb when I want to click the crown with my other finger. So on more than one occasion, I’ve accidentally turned on the flashlight when I’ve just wanted to click the crown. Just a minor issue.

When I was growing up in the 80s, the Casio G-Shock was the watch I wanted because it looked rugged and had various features I would never use like a stopwatch or altimeter. To me, the Apple Watch Ultra feels like a modern-day G-Shock and I think a lot of people see it that way. It’s going to be really popular and you can already tell by how quickly they’re selling out.

If you’re looking to buy an Ultra there is only one model but comes with different strap options. My favorite strap is the alpine loop I have but I’ve tried the trail loop and found it really comfortable. The price of the watch is 290KD and here is a link to the watches on the Xcite website.

If you have any questions about the watch, let me know in the comments.

37 replies on “Review: Apple Watch Ultra”

I think a lot of people feel that way and I’ve been trying to put my finger on why exactly for the past week but only figured it out this morning with the G-Shock analogy.

This is one device that had me seriously consider jumping to the Apple Eco-system. The reason being this is the first dive watch rated to over 100 meters.
But then I found that the default app is not a dive computer – just shows the depth. A promise of a proper dive computer app is planned but it is subscription based. I can’t think of subscribing for something i use less than 10 times a year.

Thanks for the review, Mark. On a positive note, I think they finally got something out that’s credible and worth investing in. But I disagree on not having anything bad to say:
1) Its too expensive. Apple as usual is overpricing its goods especially when the market is competitive. 290KD is just too much and I dont want to pay for Apple to do its R&D for the next watch on my dime.
2) Battery life of less than a week is a joke let alone 2days! Garmin Fenix, Garmin Vivoactive, Fitbit Versa and Charge and the list goes on, all offer atleast a week – and they are older watches!
3) Its too uncomfortable to sleep with. Luckily I got it as a gift. I gifted it on and switched back to my Fitibit. Comfort over everything else, especially my sleep!

So nope. Not a perfect device by any standard. But I caught onto something you said and I think its a great piece of advice. Charge your watch while on your workstation! My quibble with Fitibit is its non-standard charger and inability to connect a usb-C to charge the watch. If I work this into my routine, I wont have to worry about a recharge for another week everytime in the least!

Not sure why you have an issue with the battery life. My Casios battery lasts a few years doesn’t mean the ultra has to compete with the Casio. The watches you gave as examples aren’t similar to the ultra other than they’re watches. The Fitbit is barely capable of doing anything, the fenix and vio active are outdoor or sports watches and not mini phones which is what the ultra is. So they will last longer because they don’t do anything.

So yes and no. Point taken that everyone has a different take on what they need from their watches.

I focus on my sleep tracking, EDR notifications and heart rate. For running I switch to my Garmin, the GPS is just phenomenally accurate. Fitbit are quite extensive in what they do and there are others I left out such as the Huawei GT3 which are competitive and have great battery life.

But if one is looking at the Apple ecosystem, there’s no discussion, its competing against what came before.

My issue stands, in terms of the inconvenience of having to worry about another device to recharge on top of my phone, portable router, buds. People like me who are sleep, workout and stress tracking, need consistent measurements through the week and if the damn thing runs about every 1-2 days that just sucks. And then to charge me 300KD on top. Nope.

But the Garmin Fenix is basically the same price as the Ultra and does so much less. Not only that but the Fenix has a plastic case while the Ultra is made of titanium. I’m surprised the Ultra sells only for $799 because it’s using titanium.

So you can complain Ultra is expensive if you want but there is no way the garmin is better value.

Garmin is expensive but it’s rugged and meant for the outdoors. But yes it’s price is through the roof but my point was just the battery life. (not a fan of its price either)

Value and feature wise with battery life though, Fitbit Versa 3 and Huawei GT3 beat the Apple hands down any day. Again, it’s too expensive and not worth it with the battery life indicated. Among the few I’ve heard say it’s worth it, it’s people who own an Apple watch two gens older and want to stick with the ecosystem

Dude you’ve made so many contradictory statements I no longer know what you’re trying to say. But from what I’ve gathered so far, you believe the Garmin even though is more expensive than the Ultra, has less features and is made of plastic is ok because the battery lasts longer. The fact that you have three watches that you rotate around depending on what you’re doing to fulfill your requirements instead of getting an Ultra which does everything your three watches do and is cheaper is really strange.

Lol, the issues with electronic communication!

Ok, let me clarify. I have two watches. The Garmin which I use only when I’m in Europe and trekking during the winter months (it was a gift and I would never pay that kind of money when I feel I’m getting a lesser/work in progress product – as is the case with the Ultra)

My watch 24×7 is the Sense 2 which is perfect in everyway because of the cost/battery life/feature set (60KD in the UK, 1 week battery) and all the measurements it does. Apple does not compare with this (5 times the cost and barely 2 day battery life!).

Yes Apple now has A-Fib, Titanium and a more accurate GPS. But once you turn these off (including steps!) to get the charge across for an extra day or two, it loses sorely to Fitbit and purpose of a fitness watch.

Also there are no mechanisms in Apple to do goal settings and reminders (for move-around reminders, activites and exercises, etc.) I gave it a shot but gave it away to another Apple fanatic so he didn’t have to shell out money unnecessarily. Its a good product but still work in progress.

I advise a buy at 100-120KD perhaps but again, it depends if the person is ok to do without many of the advantages Fitbit has (anyone can look these up online) or if they are hooked onto the Apple ecosystem and need features like browsing photos.

Bottom line – Mental health (stress) and Fitness activities with a lower price point and longer battery life- go for the Fitbit. Safety (noise monitoring, fall detection, and crash detection) – Apple. 60KD vs 290KD

Oh I’m going to sound silly here but another issue “I” had was sleep quality. Dont know if it was me since I just used it for a week. But the 40mm of the fitbit vs 45mm of the Apple made a difference in my sleep. I saw another person here mention it.

I found myself waking up and readjusting my arm for comfort quite often. Please try on the watch at a store and check your wrist comfort before splurging cash people. Of course if there were mattresses around in the store that are sanitized after each use, I’d recommend you lay belly and see if your wrist hurts as well 🙂

I have a series 4 apple watch and wear it all the tine while swimming in a pool and taking showers. Still working great.

Not taking off your watch during shower is a bit of stretch I think.
Any watch, even if it’s 30/40/50 ATM, will have an effect from the chemicals in the soap, shower gel, shampoo etc.

To each his own I guess. But to not remove the watch just because it’s waterproof sounds absurd. My glasses are waterproof, doesn’t mean I wear them while taking a shower. To get the skin beneath the watch clean don’t you have to remove the watch? And moreover you have a fabric strap, how does one be ok with a wet strap after a shower, for me personally I can’t stand it. It’s not like a piercing that requires a lot of work to remove. But anyway, to each his own. Peace!

How air tight is your watch to your skin that you think it’s not gonna get cleaned when you shower? I’d loosen the strap a bit so your hand doesn’t fall of one day.

Your example of taking your glasses off obviously is the same but a better example is the piercing, a watch is a Jewlery piece and you can shower with it. Removing a dive watch to shower to me sounds absurd especially when it’s the closest most people will be to any sort of diving.

And why are you worried about getting the strap wet? Do you remove your watch everytime you wash your hands? It’s not leather.

A dive watch example doesn’t make sense here. It’s purpose is to use it when you dive, obviously you wear it while diving. It’s like saying I won’t remove my spacesuit after I land back from my mission to Mars since the suit works on mars it will surely work on earth.

Now about removing the watch while washing my hands, I actually do remove it, so I guess it’s just me . Anyways peace!

So you’re basically saying everyone who has a Rolex should only wear it when they go scuba diving and your comparison is a space suit. Got it 👌🏻 and people with chronographs should only wear them when timing races and people with Casio calculator watches should only wear them in math class.

I work in the watches & jewelry industry and I think I know a thing or two on the subject.

There are no waterproof watches. At least not in the traditional watch industry. It’s a term used to market and comes with conditions. In reality, the watches are only water resistant but at different levels. That’s why you see watches like 3 ATM/ 5 ATM etc up to even 200 atm which defines the atmospheric pressure the watch can withhold.
Even in a 200 ATM watch, if the crown is not screwed in, it will spoil the movement the moment you put your hand in the water.

When we train our staff, we educate them on these things. We tell them to inform the customer that they can swim with a with 10/20 ATM watch but depending in the watch at time advise the customer against it. Specially if the strap material is non-metal or plated.

Coming to your point on soap and shampoo, the divers watches are meant for diving and an AP is meant for luxury, surely not to take a shower. If you use your casio calculator watch in the shower, it will 100% get damaged. A titanium on the other hand is one of the toughest metals used on watches but depending on whether the watch is plated or not, the chemicals in shampoo, soap and even the contents of perfume can and may lead to color fade and tarnishing.

P.S. I’m not sure why would you wear and AP in the shower, lol.

You’re technically not disagreeing with anything I’ve said because you’re talking about things nobody here brought up but I’ll answer your points individually anyway:

“In reality, the watches are only water resistant but at different levels”
– yes, we know that, its says under the watch 100m, 300m, 1000m etc..

“If the crown is not screwed in water will enter the watch”
– that’s obvious, nobody is arguing that an open watch will not let water in

“Specially if the strap material is non-metal or plated”
– again, nobody here is saying a leather strap won’t get damaged in water, i actually mention i don’t like leather straps

“When we train our staff, we educate them on these things. We tell them to inform the customer that they can swim with a with 10/20 ATM watch but depending in the watch at time advise the customer against it.”
– I have a JLC that is ISO 6425 certified and water resistant to 100 ATM (1,000m) and you’re saying if you’re selling the watch to the customer you would tell them not to swim with it? come on you’re joking right? or maybe things are lost in translation? Why would you tell your customer not to swim with a dive watch?

“If you use your casio calculator watch in the shower, it will 100% get damaged”
– As someone who has worn the calculator watch in the shower for 2+ years, it still looks brand new and runs fine because it’s water resistant. so your statement is false and if you’d like pictures of the watch as proof email me and I’ll send over some photos. no photoshop i promise.

“A titanium on the other hand is one of the toughest metals used on watches but depending on whether the watch is plated or not, the chemicals in shampoo, soap and even the contents of perfume can and may lead to color fade and tarnishing.”
– Not sure any watch using titanium isn’t plated, my titanium AP which I’ve owned for 8 years now and worn in the sea, pool, and shower over that period of time has no fading or tarnishing and still looks brand new except for scratches. My titanium panerai which I’ve owned for 10 years and has also seen the sea, pool and shower also has no fading or tarnishing just scratches.

I don’t understand why people are so afraid to wear their watches in the shower or pool, if they’re water resistant to 300m they’re not going to get damaged in the shower or while washing your hands.

I think part of my comments just got lost or I mistyped.

There’s no denying that divers watches are meant for water and there’s no risk in it. We have a lot of watches which have 10 – 30 ATM resistance but aren’t really dive watches or it’s not made with that intention. They come in different types of straps like leather, silicon, metal and even recycled bottle straps. It’s an added feature to better protect the watches. So we advise the staff to let the end customer know that it has XX ATM but don’t advise to use in shower, pool etc taking the other components in to consideration.

On the casio watch, I don’t own one but I believe you. My assumption was based on it has keys, so it is very likely the water may seep through the edges.

For the watches higher resistance, water isn’t the issue. I never said that. The chemicals however, can and may effect the watch, in cosmetics sense.

Most titanium cases/straps are polished or brushed (the ones that are usally in greyish/ dark greyish tone). The ones which are Gold, rose gold, blue IP etc plated run the risk of tarnishing with chemicals.

You could take any gold or rose gold plated jewelry and spray perfume or deo over it regularly and with time you will see the quality decline and formation of blackish spots.

If this hasn’t happened to you, then it’s really good. But that is how it is. I’ve seen so many customers come back with complaints of color fade and tarnish (not talking specifically about Titanium) and in most cases it’s a chemical reaction.

You could check with any jewelry stores, at times when the jewelry is kept on the display under the spotlights (which stores use in their cabinets), the jewelry would turn dark because of the heat from the light.

Nothing in nature is waterproof. With time, water will get into anything and ruin it, even if it takes millennia.

Having said that, watches that are water resistant, will resist water. But on very rare occasions, a rubber seal might become corroded, from chemicals in the soap, or hundreds of cycles of pressurization if one scuba dives in it, and then a tiny amount of water will get in, and rust will start to form and the damage will spread. This is a tiny chance, and watch companies will put a disclaimer about this in order to protect themselves from liability.

Other than than, the risk is so tiny that I do shower and swim with my water resistant watches.

Which model number for the Apple Watch Ultra will work with Ooredoo esim?

Apple Watch Ultra model A2622? Apple Watch Ultra model A2684? Apple Watch Ultra model A2859?

Which model number for the Apple Watch Ultra will work with Ooredoo esim? Apple Watch Ultra model A2622? Apple Watch Ultra model A2684? Apple Watch Ultra model A2859?

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