Speaker 1: Apple Watch Ultra or Apple Watch series eight. These smart watches look completely different on the outside, but you might be surprised how similar they are inside. I like to think of the Apple Watch Ultra as a soup up series eight with the real differences coming down to battery life price and of course the design. We're comparing absolutely everything there is to know about these two watches to help you decide and if you know exactly what section you wanna jump to, feel free to skip ahead with chapters linked in the description. You can [00:00:30] also check out the latest pricing and any deals there too. So should you spend more for the Ultra or can you get away with less cash for the series eight? Let's dive in.
Speaker 1: We can't start this comparison without talking about the literal elephant in the room. The Apple Watch Ultra has a 49 millimeter titanium case with a flat display and there's just no two ways around this. It's chunky, it's designed for action, endurance athletes and outdoor pursuits, but don't [00:01:00] let that fool you because I really think you can look at the Ultra even if you don't do any of those things on the regular. Now, depending on your personal style and the size of your wrist, the ultra is either gonna look and feel great or it's gonna be a little bit too big for you. My wrist is 152 millimeters, so relatively small, but I've had no issues wearing the Ultra and it is much lighter on the wrist than it looks. Then again, I like big watches and I cannot like, but I still don't find it comfortable for sleep tracking even [00:01:30] after a month or so wearing it and for the most sleek look and if I really love to track my sleep, I would probably pick the series H just for comfort because it has a curb display that cascades down to the case and it comes in either a 41 millimeter size, which looks kind of absolutely tiny compared to the ultra or a 45 millimeter case size.
Speaker 1: Now let's pull out the trustee scale and do a bit of a weight comparison. Here is the ultra versus the 41 millimeter series eight versus the 45 millimeter series eight with a series eight. [00:02:00] You can also choose between an like I usually say or aluminum finish like you might say, or a stainless steel case regardless of size. Now, naturally the steel version does cost more and if you are even thinking about getting the 45 millimeter size in the stainless steel option, let me save you some time. It's only $50 less than the ultra in the US so I would definitely choose the upper watch Al in this specific situation. Well, I guess that's the video done then. Thanks so much for watching and I'll see you next time. [00:02:30] What do you mean? I have to keep going?
Speaker 1: Both the ultra and stainless steel version of the series eight have sapphire crystal glass, but thanks to the flat display and extra raised edge protection, the ultra is definitely more rugged. It's also twice as water resistant and it's the one to pick if you wanna go scuba diving, so which one's easier to see while the Apple Watch Ultra screen does get twice as bright than the series eight at 2000 knits versus 1000 knits and it really does [00:03:00] give it a massive leg up, but I guess in real world situations, as long as you're not really in a blizzard or a really high glare environment, you won't have any troubles seeing this series eight. Then again, the ALT is of course designed for these kind of adventurous extreme situations, so that automatically might also help you make up your mind if you are an athlete or an outdoors person.
Speaker 1: Now text is super legible regardless of the watch that you choose and both automatically adapt the screen brightness to the ambient light. They also have always [00:03:30] on displays, so the time or your workout stats are always visible on your wrist and the functionality there is no different. The next question you might ask is there actually that much more screen on the ultra compared to the 45 millimeter series eight? Well, not really in a practical way. Now it is physically a hair bigger, which to me doesn't really make a huge difference overall, but I do think the flat screen on the Ultra gives you a little bit of an optical illusion and it does definitely feel a lot bigger when reading things on your wrist. [00:04:00] Of course, you can make the font size bigger or smaller regardless of the watch sizes that you choose, which might also help with legibility, but if you are comparing the 41 millimeter series eight with the Ultra the screen difference and size look, it's just night and day.
Speaker 1: One more thing we have to talk about on the Ultra is this big orange button around the side that immediately sets it apart from the series eight. I absolutely love this action button because you can program it to start any number of different tasks. You can quick launch your [00:04:30] favorite workout type. You can mark a segment, you can add a way point to a map, you can even launch the flashlight app, but my favorite thing of all to do with the action button is to use it to trigger a shortcut. Now, if you don't know what that is, it's essentially a quick way of accessing a favorite feature or tasks in an app. Say like you just wanna quickly navigate to work from wherever you are or turn on all the lights in your home with one press of a button. Now all is not lost on this series eight.
Speaker 1: If you do like shortcuts, you can set a complication on [00:05:00] your watch face. Look, it's just not as cool as having a physical button you can hit without even needing to look at the screen. Diving into those smart watch features. Now both work with iPhone only. Hopefully you know that, but it does warrant saying just in case now you're gonna have an almost identical experience using either of these two watches. The interface looks pretty much the same. You're gonna get the same selection of watch faces and apps on both. For the most part, they each have a full sized query keyboard for [00:05:30] text input as well as speech to text dictation. You can also ping your phone from the watch to make it ring if you happen to lose it somewhere around the house, and one exception is the Ultra does have an exclusive watch face called Wayfinder that has room for up to eight complications and on the topic of making calls, both can do that when you're away from your phone with built in lte.
Speaker 1: Now it's there by default if you buy the Ultra, but you do need to pay more if you want that feature on this series eight, and you'll also need [00:06:00] to pay a fee to your wireless provider, something like 10 to $15 a month on top of your existing phone plan to activate LTE connectivity from the watch. These watches are also both super similar on the sensors and health tracking front. Now they each have a temperature sensor for tracking things like ovulation, but it's also a useful tool to see your temperature fluctuations overnight when you sleep track with the watch. And here's a hint, everybody who wears this watch can see the [00:06:30] specific readings of your temperature data in the settings menu on the watch after you wake up from a sleep. Now, they also have the same blood oxygen sensor and ECG or electrocardiogram app as well as the option to give you high and low heart rate alerts and irregular heart rhythm alerts.
Speaker 1: And a quick note on that heart rate sensor itself. They're also exactly the same on each of the watches and if you're looking for the best heart rate accuracy during workouts, while the good news is the Apple Watch is excellent, this is what it looked like for a three hour outdoor bike ride when I compared [00:07:00] the upper watch Ultra against a chest strap almost beat for beat exactly on the topic of working out. These watches are also pretty much identical when it comes to fitness tracking features. That's all handled through either the first party workout app or you can also download third party apps like say Strava or Nike Run Club if you prefer to track workouts that way. And you can also keep track of your progress using the ring based system. You also get a Compass app, backtrack and Waypoint functionality on both, plus [00:07:30] crash detection, fall detection, and emergency sos.
Speaker 1: So you're thinking Lexi, what on earth is different between these two? Well, the Ultra does come with a custom depth app you won't find on the series eight, and that will give you information on your depth underwater as well as things like water temperature. It also has an 86 decibel siren. GPS performance is also slightly different with the Ultra using both L one and L five bands and the Series eight just using L one Now, acronym [00:08:00] Super site, all you need to know is the Ultra is definitely more accurate at tracking distance and route information in built up areas. Thanks to that Jewel Band gps, there's no two ways about this. The Apple Watch Ultra absolutely smashes the series eight when it comes to overall battery life, regardless of how you use the watch, that's just because it's a much bigger battery overall. And even with the brighter screen and things like Jewel Bat and gps, you can go much longer between charges sometimes two or more days.
Speaker 1: Now that [00:08:30] might not sound like a lot, but considering the series eight has had the same battery life as earlier Apple watches, it does generally mean you need to charge this one every day and it's officially rated for around 18 hours of run time. So with the always on display active, a one to two hour GPS workout, sleep tracking, and regular notifications from your phone, expect anywhere between one and a half to two full days from the Ultra before you need to charge With a series eight, that's about 18 to 20 hours. [00:09:00] You can get to technically one full day or 24 hours on this watch if you turn it off overnight or don't wear it to bed to track your sleep. Now, both watches also have a low power mode to extend the battery life even further, and the Ultra now has a new battery optimization mode that takes fewer GPS and heart rate readings to stretch the battery even further.
Speaker 1: So if you're doing something like an Ironman or extended workout outside, that can get up to 60 hours of run time. Both also support Fast wireless [00:09:30] charging as long as you have the 18 wat or higher adapter but allows, you can't get him in the box because again, we're not allowed to have nice things and they both use the same processor so they feel as snappy and responsive as each other. All right, so now you know pretty much everything on how these two compare. Which one are you picking? For me, this one is easy. I can't go past the Upper Watch Ultra for all the different reasons that I mentioned, but mostly it's things like the longer battery life and that [00:10:00] action button that I really love. If it fits your wrist and it's within your budget, I really think the Ultra is way more than the sum of its parts.
Speaker 1: It's also just so much more fun to use, even if you don't consider yourself an athlete or outdoor adventurer. But at its heart, it is an Apple Watch series eight in Wolf's clothing. So if you don't mind charging your watch a little bit more often and want something that's, you know, let's be honest, a little bit more incognito and understated, you're getting most of the same features for a lot less [00:10:30] cash. Thanks so much for watching. I hope this video was super helpful for you. If it was, please give it a thumbs up and make sure to subscribe for lots more smart watch comparisons here on cnet. As always, you can leave me a comment or find me in your favorite social media platform with any questions you might have about the Ultra or the series eight. I'll see you next time. I'm off on a hike.