Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Apple Watch Ultra: Should you spend $399 or $799?

Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Apple Watch Ultra: Should you spend $399 or $799?

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Apple unveiled the iPhone 14 bid earlier astatine its Far Out event, on with a fistful of different products. The institution updated its wearable lineup with the latest Apple Watch Series 8 and besides launched the caller Apple Watch Ultra — its biggest and astir rugged smartwatch yet.

The Apple Watch Series 8 offers a fistful of caller features implicit the Watch Series 7, similar crash detection, amended menstrual rhythm tracking, and tegument somesthesia tracking portion you sleep. The Watch Ultra, connected the different hand, brings a caller design, amended artillery life, and ruggedness that we’ve not seen connected immoderate different Apple Watch before.

If you’re eyeing a caller Apple Watch oregon reasoning of upgrading from 1 of the erstwhile models, the Watch Series 8 and the Watch Ultra are the champion smartwatches the institution offers. In lawsuit you’re wondering which 1 you should spell for, we’ve compared these wearables caput to caput to assistance you take the ticker that suits you better.


Apple Watch Series 8
Apple Watch Ultra
Display size 41mm: 1.53 inches

45mm: 1.78 inches

49mm: 1.92 inches
Body size 41mm


Resolution successful pixels 41mm: 352 x 430

45mm: 396 x 484

49mm: 502 x 410
Touchscreen 41mm: LTPO OLED Retina

Always-on display

45mm: LTPO OLED Retina

Always-on display

49mm: LTPO OLED Retina

Always-on display

Storage 32GB 32GB
Wireless interface Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC, LTE Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC, LTE
Case materials Aluminum, stainless steel Titanium
Blood oxygen sensor
Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
Ambient airy sensor Yes Yes
Heart complaint sensor Yes Yes
Barometer Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Compass Yes Yes
Water/dust resistant IP6X IP6X
Battery life Up to 18 hours (36 hours successful Low Power mode) Up to 36 hours (60 hours successful Low Power mode)
Price From $399 From $799
Availability Apple Apple
DT review 4.5 retired of 5 stars 5 retired of 5 stars

Design and display

Apple Watches, implicit the years, person rocked a precise akin design. The Apple Watch Series 8 carries the inclination forward, featuring aesthetics reminiscent of its erstwhile iterations. You get a rectangular dial with a rotating Digital Crown connected the right. The Apple Watch Ultra, however, tries to beryllium a small antithetic with insignificant changes present and there.

Talking astir the sizes, the Apple Watch Series 8 gets 41mm and 45mm lawsuit options, akin to the Series 7. It’s disposable successful aluminum and stainless alloy variants. The cheaper aluminum variants travel successful Midnight, Starlight, silver, and Product Red colorways; the stainless alloy versions connection gold, Graphite, silver, and Space Black colour options.

The Apple Watch Ultra's Action button.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

In contrast, the Watch Ultra is some bigger and thicker, having a size of 49mm. It lone comes successful a titanium casing with a metallic shade. It adjacent gets an further programmable fastener connected the near side. However, if you person slim wrists, getting 1 of the Series 8 models would marque much sense, as the Watch Ultra would look pretty big.

The 41mm sized Series 8 ticker gets a 1.53-inch display, portion the 45mm mentation has a bigger 1.78-inch screen. The Watch Ultra, successful comparison, is Apple’s biggest smartwatch yet, with a 1.92-inch display. It gets much surface existent estate, and the brightness goes each the mode up to 2,000 nits — doubly that of the Series 8. The show connected the Watch Ultra is flat, dissimilar curved screens connected each Watch Series 8 variants. Always-on show enactment is besides disposable connected them both.

The Apple Watch Ultra gets a bigger and brighter display, an other programmable button, and is overmuch much durable. It wins this circular with ease.

Winner: Apple Watch Ultra

Fitness and wellness tracking features

An Apple Watch Series 8 moving  the Activity app.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Apple smartwatches connection fantabulous fittingness and health-tracking features. The caller Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra are nary exception. Both these watches person a big of sensors. You get an electrical bosom complaint sensor to grounds an electrocardiogram, a SpO2 sensor to measurement humor oxygen levels, a bosom complaint sensor to way pulse rate, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer.

Moreover, you get a caller somesthesia sensor this time. It tracks adjacent the slightest of somesthesia changes done your wrist each 5 seconds overnight. This would assistance with amended ovulation tracking, arsenic assemblage somesthesia changes during a menstrual cycle. The watches besides notify users of irregular, infrequent, oregon prolonged periods.

Using the Depth Gauge connected  the Apple Watch Ultra.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Apple Watch Ultra has immoderate much features to offer. It comes with dual-frequency GPS to way your determination precisely. There’s besides a Depth app that opens automatically erstwhile the ticker is submerged to a extent of 1 metre oregon more, allowing you to measurement information similar h2o temperature, underwater duration, etc. In addition, different exclusive app, Oceanic +, lets you usage the Watch Ultra arsenic a dive computer.

Overall, some the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Watch Ultra connection plentifulness of health-tracking features. But the victor present is the latter, acknowledgment to the other features it comes with.

Winner: Apple Watch Ultra

Performance, artillery life, and charging

Apple Watch Series 8 showing however  overmuch  artillery  is remaining.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Both watches diagnostic Apple’s newest S8 chipset and execute similarly. From opening apps and starting workouts to managing notifications and more, some the Series 8 and Ultra person each the powerfulness you need.

There’s a large quality successful the artillery beingness of the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra. While the erstwhile delivers the aforesaid 18 hours of artillery beingness arsenic the Series 7, the second doubles it to 36 hours — the champion connected immoderate Apple smartwatch truthful far. A caller Low Power mode helps the artillery past adjacent longer by disabling immoderate features similar the always-on display, inheritance bosom rate, SpO2 monitoring, etc.

To foodstuff up the battery, Apple uses its ain proprietary charging tech and misses retired connected Qi wireless charging support. Thankfully, determination is enactment for accelerated charging, and filling up the artillery from zero to 100% should instrumentality astir an hr oregon so.

The Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra execute astir arsenic successful this round. But, owing to amended artillery life, the second secures a win.

Winner: Apple Watch Ultra

Software and peculiar features

Night mode   connected  the Apple Watch Ultra's Wayfinder ticker  face.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both smartwatches tally Apple’s latest watchOS 9 software. Four caller ticker faces, improved slumber tracking and moving mode, medicine tracking, and a revamped compass app marque for immoderate notable changes to the operating system.

Talking astir peculiar features, determination are rather immoderate of them connected connection this time, particularly connected the Watch Ultra. The Watch Series 8 is water-resistant up to 50 meters, whereas the Watch Ultra tin beryllium submerged up to 100 meters. For particulate resistance, they’re some IP6X certified.

Two large features debuting with these wearables are car clang detection and a somesthesia sensor. They usage gyroscopes and accelerometers to observe a clang erstwhile you’re wrong a vehicle. If a clang is detected and you don’t respond to a notification successful 10 seconds, your ticker volition telephone 911 and notify selected exigency contacts with your location.

Ovulation alert connected  Apple Watch Series 8.Apple

The Apple Watch Ultra is simply a rugged smartwatch aimed astatine athletes and sports persons and has definite features for the same. You get a much precise dual-frequency GPS that should springiness you a much close awesome erstwhile running, cycling, hiking, etc.

There’s besides an Action Button connected the Apple Watch Ultra, which works with immoderate apps and tin beryllium programmed to execute a circumstantial action. It tin besides beryllium utilized to play an 86-decibel siren connected the ticker successful lawsuit of an emergency. According to Apple, the high-pitched siren tin beryllium heard up to 600 feet away.

The Watch Ultra has 3 built-in microphones to seizure clearer dependable with lesser inheritance noise. It has grabbed MIL-STD 810H certification arsenic good and tin withstand harsh climates and temperatures. With plentifulness of further features to offer, the Watch Ultra triumphs successful this round.

Winner: Apple Watch Ultra

Price and availability

The Apple Watch Series 8 is disposable for acquisition successful the U.S. and different countries. The 41mm variant with GPS connectivity starts astatine $399, and the 45mm variant is priced astatine $429. Models with LTE connectivity commencement astatine $499 for the 41mm variant and $529 for the 45mm. The rugged Watch Ultra costs astir treble astatine $799.

Overall winner: Apple Watch Ultra

The Apple Watch Ultra connected  a man's wrist successful  a pocket.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Apple Watch Series 8 is an fantabulous smartwatch and has a batch to offer. For astir users, it should beryllium the champion choice, arsenic it checks each the close boxes with nary large drawbacks. Certainly, the Watch Ultra is simply a batch better, but each those other features travel with treble the price. And, if you person tiny wrists, it’s going to look humongous.

Having said that, if you’re a sports enthusiast oregon an athlete, oregon you conscionable privation the champion Apple smartwatch careless of its price, prime the Apple Watch Ultra. From the rugged plan and outstanding artillery beingness to the adjuvant Action fastener and more, it’s the astir awesome Apple Watch to date.

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