Apple Finally Made a Watch for Serious Athletes
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At today’s Apple event, the company finally dropped a device made with the endurance athlete in mind. Meet the Apple Watch Ultra, meant to stack up against dedicated sports watches from companies like Garmin and Coros—with a price tag to match.
Better Tracking and a Bigger Battery
The main thing a sports watch needs to do these days is track your workouts without running out of battery. And until now, dedicated workout-tracking watches have been just a bit better than the jack-of-all-trades watches from Cupertino.
But the Ultra features improved GPS, complete with the new L5 frequency, which will really help when running city streets where connection glitches are common. It also features a much larger battery, big enough for 36 hours of normal use or up to 10 hours of GPS tracking. (Earlier models would quit after 5 GPS-connected hours or so.) It’s finally powerful enough to track your trail marathon, in other words.
A New Button (!)
This might not seem like much, but compared to other fitness watches, the button situation on Apple Watches of the past left something to be desired. The touchscreen is nifty—but not super practical when you’re pawing at the lap button at full speed in the middle of a track workout. Enter the Ultra’s new Action button, which is entirely customizable and can give the user speedy control for a slew of things—including segmenting and starting and stopping your workouts. Of particular note: This is made to be accessible while wearing gloves.
It’s The Biggest Apple Watch Ever
At 49mm, this is the biggest Apple Watch to date—the screen is just shy of two inches. It’s also the company’s brightest display ever, mean to be easy to read even in full sun. The whole thing is made of aerospace-grade titanium that’s also corrosion-resistant. It’s certified to go on scuba dives. Translation: This is going to scream “yeah, I work out,” so you might want to have the Strava numbers to back it up.
Cutting-Edge Safety Features
An 86-decibel siren that can help others find you if you run into trouble, and a safety trackback feature can help you retrace your steps should you get lost in the backcountry. And every model comes standard with cellular, so (as long as you have service) you can get in touch with someone if you need help—or your bike’s chain broke and you just need a ride home.
How Much Will It Set Me Back?
The Apple Watch Ultra is available to order now, starts at $799, and will ship September 23.
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