Fitness enthusiasts and hardcore outsiders are buzzing at Apple’s advanced smartwatch — even if the tech giant’s new line of iPhones fails to create much of a stir.
Many enthusiasts said the Apple Watch Ultra was the most innovative product unveiled on Wednesday during the company’s much-anticipated annual event. It goes on sale on September 23 for $799.
The sleek, titanium-designed watch will get up to 36 hours of battery life on each charge – or up to 60 hours under a new Battery Optimization feature. By comparison, the current generation Apple Watch Series 7 has a battery life of 18 hours.
Outlining its pitch for extreme athletes, Apple said the Ultra also includes a more accurate GPS and a new app called Backtrack that helps hikers trace their steps. According to Apple, if gadget enthusiasts wander too far or find themselves trapped, they can activate an 86-decibel siren that can be heard up to 600 meters away.
“It’s honestly pretty impressive,” said iJustine, a YouTube star who tested Turn out the device at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. “It is designed with the action sports person in mind, but who can say that the everyday person cannot enjoy the Apple Watch Ultra.”
For divers, the Apple Watch is water resistant to 100 meters and comes with a new depth detector and an app that can help guide their ascents and descents.
The device also comes with three built-in microphones aimed at improving sound quality and helping users take calls in windy environments.
It comes in three different textures and color bands for climbers, hikers and scuba divers.
The Ultra and new $399 Apple Watch Series 8 also have advanced fertility and period tracking features for women. Both the watches also come with a feature that can detect car accidents
Apple’s rollout of the Ultra marks the company’s attempt to compete with Garmin, which currently dominates the market for pricey, outdoor smartwatches.
Garmin offers more than two dozen smartwatches, some of which sell for up to $1,500. The relatively low price point of the Apple Watch Ultra gives the company the flexibility to introduce special, pricey versions in the years to come.
While the Ultra was the apple of the enthusiasts’ eye, the new lineup of the iPhone 14 was largely restricted to incremental improvements like upgraded cameras. Pro and Pro Max iPhone 14s main innovation was a redesigned notch at the top of the screen.
Even the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs poked fun at the lack of change in the new iPhone lineup with an Instagram meme on Wednesday. Eve Jobs posted a photo of a man in a striped shirt opening a gift with what appeared to be a similar shirt.