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Series 8, Ultra and SE: Apple unveils three new smartwatches

Apple introduces a rugged version to its watch range for the first time: the Apple Watch Ultra. In addition to the star of the show, the Series 8 and a new SE version of the smartwatch were also presented.

Apple is staying true to the rounded edges design this year - at least on the Apple Watch Series 8 and the SE version of the smartwatch. Slightly sharper edges can be seen on the new version for extreme athletes, the Apple Watch Ultra.

Bigger, Rugged, Ultra

At 49 millimetres, this rugged version has the largest display on an Apple Watch to date. There are no other sizes. There is also only one choice of colour and material. The case of the Apple Watch Ultra is made of titanium and shines in a silver colour.

New, bigger and can take more: the Apple Watch Ultra has a titanium case and a sapphire crystal display.
New, bigger and can take more: the Apple Watch Ultra has a titanium case and a sapphire crystal display.

The Apple Watch Ultra is meant to be especially helpful in extreme conditions - diving in the dark ocean or running a marathon through the pitch black. That's why its
display is made of shatterproof sapphire glass and shines with 2000 nits of brightness.

New button and bigger battery

The most noticeable features of the Apple Watch Ultra are the new Action Button and the newly larger Digital Crown. The orange Action Button is located on the left side of the Watch, which is empty on previous models. The new button starts and changes workouts with one click and marks segments of a triathlon as well as important points for the compass. The action button can also be personalised for other functions. Thanks to the larger and easier-to-grip buttons, you should also be able to operate the Apple Watch Ultra while wearing gloves.

The Apple Watch Ultra is now available in a new design.

The Apple Watch Ultra comes with cellular connectivity and dual-frequency GPS. Three built-in microphones are said to help you be heard in windy and noisy environments. At the same time, the watch itself is supposed to be louder. That's because the Ultra is equipped with an 86-decibel siren. So if you need help in a dicey situation in the wilderness outside, the smartwatch's alarm is supposed to be heard within a radius of 180 metres.

Runners should be able to complete an entire Ironman with the Apple Watch Ultra. That's why it runs for 36 hours on one charge. If the low-power mode from WatchOS 9 is activated, up to 60 hours should be possible. Three straps have been designed for the Apple Watch Ultra: Trail, Alpine and Water - designed to work best in their namesake environments.

There was a special segment on the keyword "water" in the presentation. This is because the Apple Watch Ultra is supposed to be specifically useful for divers. On the hardware side, the watch is water-resistant to a depth of 100 metres and certified according to the international standard for diving accessories EN13319. However, you should not dive with it further than 40 metres below the water surface. In conjunction with the Oceanic Plus app, the Watch is said to act as a dive computer, displaying relevant information on the water's current and temperature, as well as being able to track dives.

Trail, Alpine and Water: the wristbands are designed to match the environment
Trail, Alpine and Water: the wristbands are designed to match the environment

. On the software side, the Apple Watch Ultra brings a new Watch Face called Wayfinder and a redesigned compass. When it gets darker, you can turn the Digital Crown and the display will jump into Night Mode. .

When diving, the Apple Watch Ultra is said to glow extra bright...
When diving, the Apple Watch Ultra is said to glow extra bright...
..when climbing in a dark cave, Night Mode comes into its own.
..when climbing in a dark cave, Night Mode comes into its own.

In addition to all the new features, the Apple Watch Ultra has all the measurement capabilities of the basic Series 8 version - including the new temperature sensor. That the price of the watch is significantly higher than the base model is not surprising. The Apple Watch Ultra retails for 849 Swiss francs or 999 euros and will be available from 23 September.

Apple Watch Series 8 new with temperature sensor

The new basic version of the Apple Watch mainly brings familiar functions - but there is still one central innovation. The Apple Watch Series 8 can now measure body temperature on the wrist. This is done via two temperature sensors built into the watch. One is located on the underside of the watch and one under the display. Thanks to these sensors, the Apple Watch Series 8 can detect temperature differences of up to 0.01 degrees Celsius.

This should make the cycle log more accurate. Specifically, users should be better informed about their fertile days. The temperature measurement should also help menstruating persons to recognise any irregularities in their periods. Nevertheless, the Apple Watch is not intended for medical diagnoses.

With its temperature sensors, the Apple Watch Series 8 is supposed to help detect irregular periods
With its temperature sensors, the Apple Watch Series 8 is supposed to help detect irregular periods

. Furthermore, the health measurement remains the same as its predecessor. This means that with the Series 8 it is still possible to measure blood oxygen, heart rate and heart rhythm or to take an ECG. . The Always-On Retina display with a brightness of 1000 nits also remains unchanged. What is new, however, is the S8 chip inside the Watch and no longer the S7. The battery life remains the same at 18 hours, but in combination with WatchOS 9, this is supposed to be able to be stretched to 36 hours. In return, the low-power mode puts the watch on the back burner at desired moments - for example, by deactivating the always-on display. With a software update, the low-power mode can be used up to the Apple Watch Series 4.

The Apple Watch now responds to car accidents

A new feature highlighted by CEO Tim Cook at the keynote is Crash Detection for the Apple Watch Series 8. Thanks to a new accelerometer and an adaptation of the existing gyro sensor, the Watch Series 8 with watchOS 9 can detect car accidents - and automatically dials 911 - unless you respond within ten seconds.

The Series 8's two display sizes of 41 and 45 millimetres are also familiar from the previous version. What is new, however, are the wristbands from Apple, Nike and Hermès. There are slightly different colour options: The cheaper aluminium case comes in Midnight, Polaris, Silver and Product Red and is available for 429 Swiss francs or 499 euros. The stainless steel variants come in graphite, silver and gold and cost 749 Swiss francs and 849 euros respectively. The Apple Watch Series 8 will be available from 16 September.

Apple Watch SE: New chip, no temperature measurement

The budget version of the Apple Watch has also received a new processor. Inside the Apple Watch SE is the same S8 chip as in the Series 8. Last year's SE model still had the S5 chip from the Series 5 installed.

But it also has a new processor.

However, the display area of the current SE version is also slightly smaller than that of the basic version, at 40 and 44 millimetres respectively. The black edges are also still slightly wider. The fact that it is a Retina display with 1000 nits of brightness remains the same, however.

The Apple Watch SE gets the same chip as the Series 8.
The Apple Watch SE gets the same chip as the Series 8.

The current Apple Watch SE still can't measure blood oxygen or take an ECG. The budget Apple Watch is also denied the new wrist temperature measurement. However, heart rate and heart rhythm can still be measured. Emergency calls, fall detection and also the new accident detection are, however, possible.

The Apple Watch SE is only available with an aluminium casing. Here you can choose between the colours midnight, polar star and silver. The Apple Watch SE costs 269 Swiss francs or 299 euros and will also be available from 16 September.

In addition to the Smart Watch, the Apple Watch SE will also be available with an aluminium case.

In addition to the smartwatches, Apple also unveiled the iPhone 14 range and the new AirPods Pro. You can find the posts about them here:

  • News + Trends

    iPhone 14 Pro with 48 megapixels and Dynamic Island instead of notch

    by Samuel Buchmann

  • News + Trends

    Double the Active Noise Cancelling: that's what the new AirPods Pro are.

    by Livia Gamper

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«I want it all! The terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles!» – these words spoken by an iconic American TV celebrity could have been mine. It's a take on life I also apply to my job. What does this mean in concrete terms? That every story has its charm; no matter how small, large, exciting or trivial. The more eclectic the mix, the better. 


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