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Apple Watch Extremely assessment: Sure, it is actually definitely worth the $799

I’ll reduce to the chase: the Apple Watch Extremely is the very best Apple Watch you should buy proper now. In truth, it’s the very best smartwatch for somebody prepared to splurge, regardless of being outsized, chunky and significantly costlier ($799) than all the opposite Apple Watches, save for the luxurious Hermes Version.

Not solely does it supply a major battery life improve over the Apple Watch Sequence 7 and even the brand new $399 Sequence 8, however it additionally comes with more-precise GPS and options for outside fans like waypoints and an enhanced compass app. It even holds the tantalizing promise of changing your dive pc later this fall.

Whereas its lack of exercise restoration knowledge just isn’t going to problem Garmin for the intense sports activities fanatic market simply but, it ought to trigger its rivals to take be aware. If you happen to aren’t already on the bandwagon, and resolve it’s time to get in higher form or lastly need to deal with one thing like kayaking or scuba diving, the Extremely is right here for you.

Right here’s why I believe that is the Apple Watch to purchase for these with larger budgets, even if you happen to’re not able to paraglide off Mount Everest simply but.

Apple Watch Extremely assessment: Sure, it is actually definitely worth the 9

If you happen to’re a critical athlete or adventurer — or just prepared to pay up for essentially the most superior Apple Watch expertise on the market — the Apple Watch Extremely is definitely worth the cash. For everybody else, the Apple Watch Sequence 8 stays an excellent decide.

The Extremely is massive. But regardless of its measurement — at 49mm and 61.3 grams, it’s bigger than every other Apple Watch — it doesn’t really feel like an enormous, chunky watch. (The Apple Watch Sequence 8 is 45mm and 51.5 grams.) The silver titanium casing helps with the load, and its sleek curves and flat face assist offset the relative top (14.4mm).

The Apple Watch Extremely could goal adventurers and hardcore athletes, however its actual secret, and what I cherished about it, is that this “excessive” watch doesn’t really feel excessive. It’s massive however doesn’t relaxation closely on the wrist. Its vivid, always-on display is straightforward to look at after which dismiss. It’s the quiet skilled of Apple Watches.

It’s good-looking, with a muted silver end that can go a great distance in not making you seem like a jerk with an costly sports activities watch in your wrist. And Apple was sensible in ensuring you should utilize current 44mm and 45mm Apple Watch bands as an alternative of simply providing the extremely conspicuous bands designed for this watch. Mix a easy band with the Apple Watch Extremely’s potential to alter its face from a USS Enterprise-like data-dense show to a easy, fashionable California face, and you’ve got a chunky high-end watch that gained’t make you seem like a sports activities bro.

apple watch ultra review face

Christopher Allbritton/CNN Underscored

Talking of the face, it’s vivid. I had no hassle studying its 2000-nit show in vivid noon mild, and my ageing eyes appreciated its bigger sort. The blacks have been deep and inky, and whereas I wouldn’t learn a novel on the watch, taking a look at massive, daring notifications was a pleasure.

Along with the common digital crown and aspect button (which have been raised and ruggedized in order to be higher accessible when sporting gloves), there’s a world orange motion button on the alternative aspect, which might be personalized to begin and cease exercises or the stopwatch, set a waypoint when climbing, enable you retrace your steps if you end up misplaced, begin a dive (extra on that under), activate the watch’s “flashlight,” or run a Shortcut that you just’ve preprogrammed. I discovered it most helpful for beginning and stopping my regular outside stroll exercise. Throughout a run, you should utilize it to mark your intervals or laps.

And, as anticipated, this factor is hard. It has water resistance to 330 ft (far deeper than any leisure diver must be), IP6X mud resistance, and it’s examined to MIL-STD 810H specs. Its face is a flat sapphire crystal, which has but to indicate any dings or scratches in a month of trekking throughout Cappadocia, Istanbul and Japanese Europe.

The Apple Watch Extremely has the standard assortment of Apple Watch options launched on the Apple Watch Sequence 8, together with the brand new physique temperature sensor. All nicely and good. However extra importantly, it has crazy-accurate GPS — dual-frequency L1 and L5 GPS (the opposite Apple Watches solely use the L1 band.) The 2 bands of GPS imply it might probably maintain a robust sign even within the depths of skyscraper canyons or amidst tall bushes, an necessary consideration for marathon runners and hikers who have to ship their precise coordinates. In my testing, it was in a position to plot my strolls precisely amidst the twisty streets of Turkey’s largest metropolis when earlier Apple Watches would have had a tough time locking in on a sign.

Which brings up the Wayfinder face, which is exclusive to the Apple Watch Extremely. It’s a hyper-complicated face that features compass navigation, present climate situations, dawn and sundown, your exercise rings, elevation, longitude and latitude and your bearing. It’s rather a lot, however I rapidly received used to it. And I actually appreciated the fast entry to Waypoints and Backtracking straight from the house display when out in Cappadocia. You possibly can even scroll up on the Digital Crown to show the entire face crimson, the higher to see it at evening.

apple watch ultra review wayfinder

Christopher Allbritton

Alongside my many miles of travels in October, I dropped just a few waypoints: a cool bar right here in Budapest, a pleasant stream right here in Turkey, that type of factor — and you’ll program the motion button to do that rapidly. Then, the brand new compass app on the watch will present you the course and distance of all of your waypoints so you possibly can navigate again to them. Whereas I used to be utilizing it primarily to check the characteristic, it’s actually designed for marking campsites, trailheads or different landmarks you’d prefer to not lose observe of if you’re out within the wilderness.

Constructing on the waypoint characteristic is Backtrack, which makes use of GPS to create a visible path of your path and permits you to retrace your steps in case you get misplaced. Apple is fast to notice this can be a characteristic for distant settings the place there may be little to no Wi-Fi or mobile service and that it’ll robotically activate and run within the background if it detects you’re outdoors a densely lined space for Wi-Fi.

Including to that is the emergency siren, which can also be distinctive to the Extremely. By holding the motion button, you possibly can trigger an 86db siren to sound that ought to have the ability to draw consideration to your location if you happen to want help. I examined it in my condo, and whereas it didn’t sound overly loud to me, I might see how it will reduce by way of the comparatively quiet backwoods to any first responders.

I didn’t get to strive the depth gauge, however this new app enables you to set it to activate robotically if you happen to submerge the Apple Watch Extremely past about 3 ft. The show modifications to indicate the present time, depth, your most depth, the time you spent underwater and the water temperature.

What I’m actually  excited about, nonetheless, is the upcoming Dive Laptop performance. Later this 12 months, Huish Outside says it can launch the Oceanic+ app that can let the Apple Watch Extremely work like a full-fledged dive pc. The watch is already licensed as much as 130 ft deep and comes with EN13319 certification, an internationally acknowledged commonplace for leisure dive equipment. We’ll should see how the software program stacks up for this new performance.

Lastly, rounding out the distinctive {hardware} options, the Extremely has three built-in mics that use an adaptive beamforming algorithm for improved voice high quality and background noise suppression. In my testing, the folks I known as on the watch usually didn’t notice I used to be chatting with them on a Dick Tracy two-way wrist radio; one stated he thought I used to be utilizing earphones. The voice high quality was that good.

Battery life has been excellent for me. Even when climbing up and down hills and streets for hours at a time, monitoring my sleep and doing it over again, I by no means ran under 20% battery life. By the tip of the month, I used to be routinely exceeding the 36 hours Apple charges the battery for. There’s additionally a brand new low-power mode which Apple claims will present as much as 60 hours of battery life, however suffice to say, the battery is dramatically improved over the Apple Watch 8 and earlier fashions.

That stated, it nonetheless gained’t measure as much as choices by Fitbit or Garmin, which measure batteries in days or even weeks, not hours. Whereas the Apple Watch Extremely will serve you nicely on an all-day hike, you’ll need some option to cost it on a multi-day hike within the backcountry.

That is an effusive assessment as a result of Apple has put a number of thought into this watch and it reveals. However nothing is ideal and the Apple Watch Extremely nonetheless has room for enchancment.

One, it’s massive. Whereas that doesn’t personally hassle me, it is likely to be a dealbreaker for these with smaller wrists. Smaller wrists have much less space for the watch’s sensors to work with, so that you’re apt to get much less correct measurements. The decrease restrict appears to be a 130mm diameter wrist, as that’s the smallest wrist Apple’s Extremely bands are designed for.

Two, nearly as good as I imagine this watch to be, it nonetheless gained’t exchange a devoted health watch just like the Garmin Fenix 7 or Epix 2. For folk who use these health watches to measure extra actions in larger element, in addition they supply restoration metrics, which the Extremely merely can’t match. In truth, the built-in exercise app on the Extremely measures barely any restoration in any respect. The oldsters at Cupertino apparently don’t take relaxation days of their health routine, however actual athletes do.

Dimensions and weight

49mm x 44mm x 14.4mm, 61.3 g

47mm x 47mm x 14.5mm, 56 g

47mm x 47mm x 14.5 mm, 53 g


Flat sapphire entrance crystal
Ceramic and sapphire crystal again

Corning Gorilla Glass
Fiber-reinforced polymer with metallic rear cowl

Corning Gorilla Glass
Passivated chrome steel
Fiber-reinforced polymer with metal rear cowl


Wi-Fi – 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5GHz
Bluetooth 5.3
iPhone solely




IP6X mud resistance
Water resistance to 330 ft
Examined to MIL-STD 810H

Waterproof to 10 atmospheres
Examined to MIL-STD-810

Waterproof to 10 atmospheres
Examined to MIL-STD-810


L1 and L5 GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou

GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Satiq Expertise

GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Satiq Expertise


410 by 502 pixels – 1185 sq mm show space
At all times-on OLED
2000-nit brightness

260 x 260 pixels – 33.02mm diameter
Daylight-visible, transflective memory-in-pixel (MIP)

416 x 416 pixels – 33mm diameter
AMOLED (always-on)


Constructed-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
As much as 36 hours
As much as 60 hours in low-power mode

As much as 18 days in smartwatch mode
As much as 57 days in battery saver mode

As much as 15 days in smartwatch mode
As much as 21 days in battery saver mode





If you happen to can afford the upper value, that is the very best Apple Watch you should buy. It appears nice, it’s sturdy and the additional battery life and “excessive” options are value it.

If you happen to’re an intermediate athlete — otherwise you aspire to be higher than what you’ve been engaging in — the Apple Watch Extremely gives you what you want, together with extra handy smartwatch options, reminiscent of mobile connectivity. It lasts far longer than earlier than and would possibly simply encourage you to lastly get scuba licensed or take that climbing journey.

Nevertheless, if you happen to’re a top-performing athlete, its built-in exercise app doesn’t supply all of the deep-dive knowledge that extra devoted health watches do. Third-party exercise apps can go a great distance in filling that hole, however at its coronary heart, the Apple Watch Extremely continues to be an Apple Watch. It’s a rugged, sporty, smartwatch, not a health watch with some “sensible” performance added on. And on the flip aspect, if all you need is an effective smartwatch for staying on high of notifications and monitoring primary health metrics, the Apple Watch Sequence 8 is the best choice for the overwhelming majority of individuals.

However the Extremely can also be the primary departure from the Apple Watch design because the Sequence 4, when Apple settled into the present paradigm for this product line. There’s already a number of thought put into this system, and for a primary try, it’s a winner. What comes subsequent is likely to be much more fascinating.

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