Apple has unveiled three new Apple Watch models at its ‘Far Out’ event, while the Series 8 and SE are iterative updates of their predecessors, the Apple Watch Ultra is the one that takes the spotlight of the event, which is the company’s first premium and rugged smartwatch directed at the likes of Garmin and Suunto.
The Apple Watch Series 8 looks generally the same as its predecessor and changes are found under the hood, it now features a new temperature sensor that mainly benefits women health tracking, which can now help to estimate ovulation and cycle deviation. In addition, a new car crash detection feature can automatically notify emergency contacts and services when it detects you have encountered a car crash, which is enabled by a 3-axis gyroscope and high g-force accelerometer that measures up to 256G.
The Series 8 will continue to offer an all-day battery life that equates to 18 hours of use, a new Low Power Mode will however extend battery life to as long as 36 hours, which will also be supported on the Series 4 and later when they get updated to watchOS 9.
As for the second generation Apple Watch SE, it is now faster and shares the same S8 chip that powers the Series 8, it merely lacks the body temperature sensor but will still offer car crash detection, and unlike its predecessor, it now has a color matching nylon composite material and is available in color options of Midnight, Starlight and Silver.
The Apple Watch Ultra is the largest Apple Watch ever released with a 49mm titanium case, featuring a super bright display with sapphire crystal that goes up to 2000 nits, a larger and more rugged Digital Crown, the watch offers the longest battery life of any Apple Watch ever released at up to 36 hours, while a low-power battery optimization coming this fall will push the battery life even further to 60 hours.
As a smartwatch made for extreme activities, the Apple Watch Ultra has three microphones to improve sound quality in voice calls in any conditions, such as a storm or blizzard, it also comes with dual L1+L5 GPS frequency to deliver better location accuracy, and most impressively, it can withstand temperatures to as low as -20 degree Celsius and has a WR100 and EN13319 certification for diving.
Apart from having the new features found on the Series 8, the Apple Watch Ultra has more advanced running metrics to measure performance, such as Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation and Running Power, the larger display also enables it to show six metrics at once.
A new Wayfinder watch face complements the watch’s rugged hardware which includes a compass in the dial, and can be customized for the mountain, ocean or trail, it also supports up to eight complications that makes it the most comprehensive watch face of any smartwatch in the industry.
In terms of pricing and availability, the Apple Watch Series 8 and SE will be available at September 16 in more than 40 countries starting at RM1889 and RM1,199 respectively, the Apple Watch Ultra is only available in a GPS+Cellular model at 23 September onwards and will retail at RM3799 in Malaysia.