Apple Watch Ultra – First Impressions

Apple Watch Ultra
Photo By Jessica Bryson

So I said I wasn’t going to break and buy the new Apple Watch Ultra but you guessed it I have in fact bought the watch. I have had it on my wrist now for about 3 days solid, only taking it off to charge it. So why did I cave and decide to buy the watch well I am an Apple Fan girl for one, I like a big watch and I wanted more battery life. 

So now that I have it and have used it for a few days let me give you some of my initial thoughts. 


Now there is no hiding from it. This is a big watch, the display is a whopping 49mm compared to the 45mm display of the series 8 or 7. This gives you a lot more screen real estate so everything looks a lot bigger so there is no issue with viewing notifications, mail or messages.

I am a sucker for a large watch face so this for me is a thing of beauty. Although I don’t have the biggest of wrists I don’t think it looks ridiculous. 

No considering the size of this I haven’t found that it is heavy, in fact, it’s a lot lighter than I was anticipating it to be. It is heavier than the series 7 but that is to be expected 

Battery Life:

This was one of the main features that attracted me to the watch. I wanted a watch that I didn’t have to charge every night (I want to be able to use sleep tracking) and Apple claims that you can get 36hrs worth of battery. Now this will be dependent on what you are using on your watch e.g. always on display. I have been getting just over 2 days of battery so far but I do have the Always on Display turned on and it’s new so I have been playing around with it a lot. 

The watch chargers pretty quickly compared to my series 7 so I only have it off my wrist briefly whilst it’s charging. I also really like the charging puck (is that what we call it) it comes with a braided cable which feels premium compared to the other charging cables that I have had. 


I have talked a bit about the size of the display but I want to touch on the other things that this display brings to the table. The display is Sapphire Crystal so it’s a lot tougher than the other Apple Watches, the case is slightly above the screen to provide that extra protection. This is great for me as I have a small human who likes to play with my watch and also I worry less about the everyday bumps that happen. 

This screen also goes up to 2000 nits which is very bright and makes looking at the display outdoors no issue at all. I also feel that the display is a lot crisper than the others, it’s just lovely to look at, and nothing looks cramped on it. 

Design Changes: 

I have already touched on the bigger size of this beast but there are some other changes to the design. We have a flat screen whilst still having a round look below the screen so it still looks like an Apple Watch. The Digital Crown is encased with what looks like a raised bar around it which houses the side button as well. 

or The ultra also has a new button called the action button. You can configure this to open a certain app/actions, so it effectively is given you quick access rather than going into the app itself. I have set my action button to open a workout so it’s really quick and easy to start a workout useful for when you have your hand full. 

The one thing that I had to get used to was when I was pressing the digital crown I would accidentally press the action button because of where I used to put my thumb on the series 7. It was annoying to start with but after a day or two, you get used to putting your thumb a bit lower. 

We also have the introduction of a new Wayfinder watch face which is a lovely watch face. This is more a watch face for the adventurer out there but it looks lovely. Another added feature with this watch face is that it has a night mode so by turning the digital crown it turns red. This makes it super easy to see at night. 

New Apple Watch Ultra action button
Photo By Jessica Bryson


The Apple Watch Ultra comes with a choice of 3 straps which are the Alpine Loop, Trail Loop and Ocean band. I decided to go with the white Ocean Band when I bought this watch. I did look at the Orange Alpine Loop but when I saw it close up in the store I wasn’t keen on the hook that you use to fasten the strap. 

I have found that the Ocean band is nice and comfortable to wear. The rubber that it’s made from is soft and I don’t find that it rubs at all. It is also a bit stretchy as well which I guess is useful in some instances. The adjustable loop is pretty cool as you can move it up and down the strap to where it best fits your wrist. 

Although the watch is bigger you can still use the straps that you have from your previous Apple Watches which I am pleased about as I was expecting that you would need specific straps for the Ultra.  This for me means that I can use the different straps that I have bought from Nomad which are great quality straps.

Ocean Band for Apple Watch Ultra
Photo By Jessica Bryson

Sleep tracking:

I am trying more and more to track my sleep as it is so essential to our overall health. This is really why I wanted better battery life as with my Apple Watch Serie 7 I needed to charge it by the time bed came. Now I can go a couple of nights before I need to charge my watch so it makes it that much easier. I was worried about the size but as mentioned already I haven’t found it an issue with it annoying me whilst sleeping.   


There are a number of other features that I am not really going to touch on in this post as they are not ones that I am going to be using much if at all. I am not a diver or adventurer so I am afraid you will need to head to another blog like macrumors to find out more as they do a great round up on all things Apple Watch. 

I may not be the target market for this watch but I have found more than enough in the above for me to not regret splashing out the cash. I wanted the bigger screen, better battery life and maybe above all something a bit different from an Apple Watch. 

I would say if you are not fussed about the above then go for the series 8 or even the Series 7 (check out my post on the series 7) as it will give you all the features that you would want and you will save a fair bit of cash.


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