Apple Watch Ultra Vs. Apple Watch Series 8: Which Is Right For You?

The new Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Series 8 are both fantastic smartwatches, but which one of them is right for you? The Apple Watch Ultra is Apple's first rugged smartwatch, and it will be taking on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro as well as rugged watches from Garmin's extensive lineup. The new Ultra model is not only designed to take a beating but also has safety features built-in and impressive battery life. Unfortunately, it is also Apple's most expensive smartwatch to date.


On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 8 is practically a refined version of the Apple Watch Series 7. It comes in the same sizes as the previous generation, packs all of its best features and comes with a handful of new ones, such as temperature sensing, crash detection, and a low-power mode that extends battery life. In addition, both watches, alongside the more pocket-friendly Apple Watch SE 2, come pre-installed with the new watchOS 9, which brings multiple new features such as improved sleep tracking, international roaming and a new compass app.

RELATED: Apple Watch Low Power Mode: Supported Models & How It WorksThere is an unmistakable difference in terms of design between the Apple Watch Ultra and the Apple Watch Series 8, one that extends beyond their appearance but even to the choice of materials. The Ultra model has a flat sapphire crystal-protected display and a titanium case with raised edges to protect the screen. On the other hand, Apple Watch Series 8's screen is tapered at the edges to meet the curved aluminum or stainless steel case. The Sapphire crystal front is also exclusive to the stainless steel models. Furthermore, the Apple Watch Ultra is water-resistant up to 100 meters; has an IP6X dust resistance rating; is tested to MIL-STD 810H standards, and meets the EN13319 standard for dive compliance. In contrast, the Apple Watch Series 8 has a 50 meters water resistance rating and IP6X dust resistance. However, it is available to purchase in 8 different colors, including (PRODUCT) Red, whereas the Ultra model comes in only one color with the option of three special bands.

The Apple Watch Ultra Has An Additional Button

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Ultra comes in a 49mm case size with an Always-On Retina display with a brightness level of up to 2000 nits. This makes it bigger and brighter than the Apple Watch Series 8, which is available in 45mm and 41mm versions and has an Always-on Retina display that maxes out at 1000 nits. The same S8 System-in-Package dual-core processor powers both smartwatches; they have a U1 ultraband chip for precision tracking; and 32GB of onboard storage. Their similarities also extend to their health tracking features. They both have temperature sensing, heart rate monitoring, ECG, irregular rhythm notification, blood oxygen level monitoring, advanced cycle tracking and sleep tracking. Both watches also have fall detection, Emergency SOS, and the new crash detection feature, which works with the help of a high-g accelerometer.

Apple has also given the Ultra model a larger digital crown, a raised side button and an extra button called the Action button. This Action Button performs various functions, such as activating the 86-decibel siren that allows a wearer to be easily located during an emergency. Another key difference between both smartwatches is that while the Apple Watch Series 8 comes in Wi-Fi+GPS and Cellular+GPS models, the Apple Watch Ultra is only available in Cellular+GPS. Talking about GPS, the Apple Watch Ultra has dual-frequency GPS, a first for an Apple Watch, which gives it an edge in terms of location accuracy over the Apple Watch Series 8 or any other model. Still, on connectivity, the Apple Watch Ultra has Bluetooth 5.0 while the Apple Watch Series 8 has Bluetooth 5.0.

The Apple Watch Series 8 has improved battery life compared to its predecessor. According to Apple, the battery life on the Series 8 is up to 18 hours on a single charge and up to 36 hours in low-power mode. However, it pales in comparison to the Apple Watch Ultra, which has a battery life of up to 36 hours and goes up to 60 hours in low-power mode. Finally, the price will be a significant determining factor between the two watches. Apple has put a starting price tag of $399 on the Series 8, while the Apple Watch Ultra retails for $799. The Apple Watch Series 8 isn't a giant leap over its predecessor and will suit anyone who wants an Apple Watch with all the key health tracking features. However, athletes, adventurers, and those who want the Apple Watch with the best battery life will find the Apple Watch Ultra most suitable.

Source: Apple 1, 2