I have used a number of smartwatches over the past year or so from the Samsung Galaxy 4 and TicWatch 3 Ultrato the Google Pixel Watch but for me, none of these come close to beating out the Apple Watch Ultra. Don’t get me wrong all of the aforementioned smartwatches are great watches and offer a lot of the same features. However, I feel that Apple has implemented them better and they fit seamlessly into dare I say it the Ecosystem.
So in this article, I am going to go through the 4 key areas where for me the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Ultra, in particular, keep me well and truly welded to Apple.
Now I really like the circular design of the other smartwatches out there like the Samsung galaxy watches, for instance, it is the shape I have always associated with a watch. But I do enjoy the more square design but there are other bits of the design that I really like as well above that of the other smartwatches mentioned:
The Digital Crown
This is not just a nice-looking addition to the Apple Watch but it’s also functional. I love how it resembles the crown on a watch and how smooth it feels when you turn it. It makes it quick and easy to access the app view and also zooms in and out to find the app that you want.
Watches like Samsung galaxy watches have buttons which are just as useful but don’t feel as premium as those on the apple watches. The Google Pixel watch however has gone down the same road and has its own crown but it is not quite as smooth as the digital crown of an Apple Watch in my opinion.
This is only on the Apple watch Ultra and is an additional side button that can be customised to start a number of activities such as starting an exercise. This provides quick access and provides less fiction when starting an exercise or turning on the torch for instance. Useful to have when you are in a rush.
Bit of a random one but although there are so many choices of watch faces in the WearOS world I still think that Apple’s Watch faces are nicer and more functional in terms of the complications that you can have on there. I always find the apple watch a lot nice to look at.
We have talked about the shape of the Apple Watch but there is more to the display than just its shape. I love looking at this display, it’s so crisp and clear and with the Apple Watch ultra, you get a 49mm screen. With the Ultra you also get up to 2000nits of peak brightness compared to 1000nits on others so there is no problem with seeing everything on this display outdoors on a sunny day.
I find that with the increased screen size I do a lot more with the Apple Watch Ultra than with the other smartwatches that I have owned including other apple watches.
Samsung does also have the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro which itself has a nice 45mm display but for me, this is where the Pixel Watch lets itself down with just 41mm and just in one size.
The haptics on the Apple Watch Ultra are really nice, they are not too aggressive but strong enough to not miss any notifications that come through. I have found that on other smartwatches such as the TicWatch that the haptics/vibration was too strong and anyone that is sat close to you would also know when you had received a notification.
The Pixel Watch, however, is really good in this space with their first generation watch but for me it’s still Apple Watch Ultra that wins out here.
WatchOS vs WearOS:
This for me is where Apple are streets ahead of its competitors their WatchOS is just so smooth and user-friendly. WearOS for me is more clunky and I don’t find it as easy to navigate as the Apple Watch. Then there are also the features that come with watchOS that make using the watch such a nice experience. Below are just a few of the features that I love in the WatchOS that you don’t get with other Smartwatches.
I really like this addition alot. I take tablets every day and it’s surprising how easy it can be to forget to take them. With this, I get notifications on my iPhone and also on my Apple Watch. You can add the name and the dosage.
Focus modes are not new and android users also have this feature but what I love about WatchOS or Apple OS is that when you have your focus mode set on one device it is applied across all your devices.
Find my iPhone
I think this is a firm favourite amongst most apple watch users. We have all had those moments (some of us more than others) when we put our phone down and forget where we have left it. Well if you have an Apple Watch never fear as you can just swipe up from the bottom of your display to access your quick settings and ping your phone.
This has come in useful so many times, especially when you are rushing to get out of the door.
Apple has introduced a number of SOS Emergency Services to the Watches in their WatchOS releases. The newest of these features is Crash Detection, which uses sensors in your Apple Watch and Machine Learning to detect whether you have been in a crash and contact emergency services.
Fall detection has been about for a while and is a great feature, your Apple Watch will be able to detect if you have fallen and if you are unresponsive it will contact the emergency service. This is great for people who suffer from seizures or falls and provides peace of mind.
For me, a smartwatch is an extension of your phone that allows you to check for key notifications and applications such as email quickly without having to get your phone out of your pocket. The experience that I have with the below features just seems more fluid and easy with Apple Watch than with the other smartwatches I have tried.
The way that Notifications are delivered and appear on the screen is more aesthetically pleasing than on other smartwatches. With the Ultra’s bigger screen, it makes them a lot easier to read and I actually find myself responding on the watch itself because the keyboard is so much more useable.
Taking phone calls
This is not one that I would say I use a massive amount but like all smartphones, you can take a call on your watch. The difference I have found is the call quality on the Apple Watch Ultra. I can clearly hear the person on the other end of the call and more importantly, my voice come through loud and clear at the other end.
Being able to check your emails on your watch is also something that I find useful and have come to use more with the larger display available. Again nothing new in the world of smartwatches as most of these are not, it just seems that bit more seamless.
Reminders (Calendar & To Dos)
Having the Apple reminders and calendar apps on the watch is something that I find to be really helpful. I don’t need to download a thirty party and I can easily add to my lists (or mark them done) in the reminders app or equally set up a new event in my calendar and it will seamlessly appear on all of my other devices.
I think we all agree that Siri is not the best when it comes to voice assistants but it still works well when it comes to setting timers, adding to my to-do list or adding a note. So when you don’t have your phone to hand or your they are full you can easily use the watch to capture those quick thoughts so you don’t forget something later.
Health and Fitness Features:
All of the above are great but this is where I feel that the Apple Watch comes into its own (health and Fitness tracking with the Apple Watch Ultra). It seems silly to say but for me, it’s those dam activity rings. I love and hate them at the same time, a constant motivation and reminder that I need to be more active to get them closed.
Being able to share your activity with your friends with an apple watch or an iPhone is a great way to stay connected and help motivate each other. You can also share your health trends and notifications which other apple watch users if you want to give them more detail than just sharing your activity rings.
All of the Apple Watch series will provide you with sleep tracking and it is much improved with WatchOS9 in terms of sleep stages etc. However, I do think that there is more that Apple can do here by adding a sleep score and also a readiness score which you get with the likes of Google and Samsung.
There is an extensive list of workouts to choose from in the latest OS you get more information available in terms of your training zones. The Apple Watch can also detect when you are switching disciplines in triathlons and also when you are running on the track and which lane you are in.
The health app is not capturing anything really different from other health apps that you get on android phones but it seems easier to consume. I like being able to tag favourites and easily get into my trends, it’s also already there and there is no need to download any additional app onto your phone to get it up and running.
There are some other things like the improved battery life with the Apple Watch Ultra that adds to its appeal even though it’s still, not the best in this department when it comes to smartwatches. But it’s good enough for me to not get anxious about running out of battery before hitting the hay.
Specifically, with the Apple Watch Ultra you also get cellular connectivity as standard but for the price, I think you could say that you should. For the other Apple Watch Series you will have to select the LTE version which is the same as with the other smartwatches such as the Samsung galaxy watch and google pixel watch.
These are some of the reasons for me why I love the Apple Watch Ultra and the Apple watches before it. There is something though about these watches that I can put my finger on as to why I can’t seem to switch for long to another. Is it the beautiful design, the seamless integration across all apple devices, or the ease of use? I am putting it down to its as just an enjoyable device to use that suits and serves all my needs.
The other smartwatches out there are all great in their own ways but for me, the Apple Watch Ultra remains the king.
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