As expected, Apple brought new versions of the Apple Watch and the cheaper Apple Watch SE to the stage in Cupertino. But not only that. Apple CEO Tim Cook had another watch up his sleeve. A watch for extreme sports enthusiasts.
The Apple Watch Ultra has the same features as the regular Apple Watch Series 8 that was launched. But with a titanium case and three different sports straps for running, climbing and diving respectively, it’s built to withstand extreme conditions. Including down to -20 degrees Celsius. “It’s also twice as waterproof as all previous Apple Watches.” Which probably means diving to depths of 100 metres. Apple Watch Ultra also has extra-large buttons that can be operated while wearing gloves. And a big orange “action button” that triggers functions appropriate for the sport.
Battery life is the Achilles heel of every smartwatch. And it doesn’t help much to have a compass, two-channel GPS and route guidance on your arm if the watch runs out before you reach base camp. That’s why Apple Watch Ultra has a bigger battery that promises 36 hours of battery life. Or up to 60 hours in battery saving mode. All versions of Apple Watch Ultra also have built-in mobile connectivity.
Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 was the least surprising news. Because, of course, this year also saw a new version of the world’s best-selling smart watch. The electronics are improved, obviously, and the watch face is now constantly displayed (unless the watch has gone into battery-saving mode to extend battery life). But the biggest act was the software. And more precisely the part about health. The watch now measures temperature every five seconds around the clock. It does this to provide health information to women about ovulation and menstrual cycles. And the diseases that can be detected as temperature changes in the cycle.
A new acceleration sensor is also built in, detecting up to 256G. It is used to detect traffic accidents and falls, after which the watch can call for emergency assistance.
Finally, a new version of Apple’s entry-level model, the Apple Watch SE, was also launched, with a slightly lower price point aimed at kids. Or, as Apple puts it: “The family members who don’t have an iPhone yet!“