My upgrade to the Apple Watch Ultra

Greetings all, I hope this post finds you well.

Since July 2017, I’ve been tracking my fitness workouts with the Apple Watch. First starting with the Series 3, then continuing with the Series 4 (gifted to me). For all intents and purposes, the watch has proven to be a useful device for what I need, even with its many more features as an evolutionary medical device and companion to the iPhone’s features.

After doing two weeks of what I consider deep research online and talking the ear off of a recent Ultra owner, I lastly decided to determine what my best purchase approach would be. Applying for a brand new Apple Card vs Best Buy resulted in the former winning. This upgrade was also a milestone birthday gift to myself and I admit (although I’m not an ultra athlete by any stretch of the imagination), the tech that the Ultra offers, compared with its aesthetics and what Watch OS9, and beyond, will continue to offer for it, made it a compelling enough reason to upgrade. While my current Series 4 can make use of the WatchOS9 updates, and is still supported by Apple, I’m glad I made the jump. The whole experience thus far has been very nice.

While I won’t wax philosophically about its usual selling points (you can spend a short amount of time on YouTube to get your fill of a diverse set of opinions), I do enjoy the extended battery life between charges. While that is a good thing, I’m used to going to bed at with a minimum of 30% – 40% of battery life, so nightly charging has never been a issue, especially because I don’t track sleep metrics. What I do enjoy about it are along the lines of its aesthetics – particularly its 49mm size, sapphire flat glass bevel and titanium case. Outside of a new $750 MacBook Air I purchased for a family member, and M1 Mac Mini for my studio last year, this has been the most expensive Apple product purchased since 1991, the year I purchased my first ever Mac, a Mac Classic II.

As mentioned above, WatchOS 9 provides many of the software features across the Ultra, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch SE 2, however the Action Button is a handy feature that will become even more useful as developers create more apps that can take advantage of it. The Wayfinder watchface, in conjunction with the Compass app and backtrack features is also a nice edition. The Ultra, as many articles and YouTube posts talk about, is hardly a “Garmin killer”. I constantly state that if Apple and Garmin remain on their respective evolutionary paths, Garmin will remain king in the realm of fitness tracking watch devices, especially for the ultra athlete. The reason is simple – Garmin fitness watches are dedicated to fitness and ultra-athlete activities, while employing smartwatch features. The Ultra, while being a first real entry (level) introduction into outdoor extreme athletics, is still a smartwatch with upgraded fitness tracking/outdoor athletics features – it lacks many of the things that Garmin is superior for, especially battery life (there is no real comparison between the two).

That being said, I anticipate the Ultra serving my needs for years to come, and believe future WatchOS updates will make it shine even more.

Thanks for read.

Oceans of rhythm/peace and blessings.


About Fresh

Mac Fan/Sys. Engr - NASA planetary missions. guitarist/producer/AFOL/fitness fan/film+TV+sndtrk composer/podcast host/Python newbie coder. Music by me: Mellowly Cool. Find me on X and Bluesky
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6 Responses to My upgrade to the Apple Watch Ultra

  1. Soulcruzer says:

    I’m an Apple fanboy, but the Apple Watch has never been able to lure me away from my Garmin Fenix.

  2. Fresh says:

    I totally get it. One key thing users need to understand, no matter with which direction they may switch, is that Garmin fitness watches are dedicated fitness trackers with some smartwatch features. If Garmin and Apple stay on the respective evolutionary paths, Garmin will always remain superior in the battery life and ultra-athlete realms. The Apple Watch Ultra, on the other hand, is a superb smartwatch/medical device with some souped-up fitness tracking features. Its battery life will always be less and it still (as this version of the OS) lacks a lot of ultra-athlete feature integration that Garmin has had for awhile. The Garmin vs Ultra comparisons are mostly funny to me for these very same reasons. Cheeers!

  3. darrenkeith3 says:

    That has always been the trick (and I mean that in good way) of Apple. From afar certain devices/gadgets I shrug my shoulders saying to myself, “I don’t need that device” but when it get it in my hands it’s like, “Okay, take my money NOW.”

    I have to admit, the Ultra is a beautiful piece to tech, that’s for sho’.

  4. Mr. Tramuel says:

    I’m on week 3 with mine, chose the midnight ocean band. I’ve hiked, swam, ran, walked, slept… all that’s left is a bike ride. I absolutely love it, while I’m not an ultra athlete in any of those categories the BIG form of the Watch and connectedness with my iPhone serves me perfectly for my needs. I’m still using Gyroscope and they play very well together for a complete picture.

  5. Fresh says:

    Nice. I still remember Gyroscope very well.

  6. Fresh says:

    Yes it is, definitely enjoying it!

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