Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra hands-on preview: A very blatant homage to the Apple Watch Ultra

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Watch Ultra preview

Galaxy Watch Ultra Intro

The Galaxy Watch Ultra is now official, unveiled alongside the new Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6. Samsung's answer to the Apple Watch Ultra 2 oozes with potential for a pretty heated clash of titans in the high-end smartwatch market.  

It appears that the Galaxy Watch Ultra matches its popular rival in pretty much every aspect. We've already compared the Galaxy Watch Ultra and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, but now it's time to dive deeper into the upcoming Samsung smartwatch and explore its potential selling points. 

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The Galaxy Watch Ultra is here! You can get the exciting wearable for up to $350 with eligible trade-ins. The smartwatch features 4G and Bluetooth on deck.
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Get your Galaxy Watch 7 and save up to $250 with eligible trade-ins. This is the smaller version of the timepiece (40mm) with 4G connectivity.
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What’s new about the device

  • New squircle titanium design with 47mm size
  • Circular display w/ 3,000 nits of peak brightness, sapphire screen
  • New 3nm Exynos SiP 
  • Large 590mAh battery
  • A customizable new button 
  • IP68 + 10ATM water-resistance

Table of Contents:

Galaxy Watch Ultra Specs

The Galaxy Watch Ultra shapes up to be a pretty decent wearable, here are its full specs:

Galaxy Watch Ultra Design & Sizes

A new direction for the Galaxy smartwatch

The new Galaxy Watch Ultra features a pretty distinct design. Unlike previous Galaxy Watch devices, which have always utilized mostly circular cases, the Galaxy Watch Ultra boasts a squircle case paired with a circular screen. Imagine a mix between the Apple Watch Ultra and the Galaxy Watch 6, and you'd be on the right path. 

The case of the Galaxy Watch Ultra is made of titanium, while the screen is protected by sapphire crystal. This combination is synonymous with super premium smartwatches these days, and while the sapphire crystal ensures your screen will remain scratch-free for a long time, the same can't really be said about the titanium case, which will most likely attain a scratchy patina with longer use.

The Galaxy Watch Ultra is an IP68-rated device, but is also rated for 10ATM. This means the watch and its wearer could dive in up to 100 meters of water, though is more than most people will ever dunk it that deep. 

Like the Apple Watch Ultra 2, the Galaxy Watch Ultra has a customizable button situated on the right side of the watch. It's called the Quick Button, and allows you to map different functions, like initiate workouts, open certain apps, and so on. One feature that taken straight from the Apple Watch Ultra is the Emergency Siren. So is the new Night Mode watchface mode, which is also inspired by the Apple Watch Ultra and will automatically reduce the brightness for optimal night-time viewing. 

The display, a 1.5-inch AMOLED with a 480x480 resolution, also delivers an outstanding maximum brightness of 3,000 nits, which should boost legibility in bright daylight, just like the Apple Watch Ultra. 

However, one signature feature of Samsung smartwatches, the hardware rotating bezel, seems to be missing from the Galaxy Watch Ultra. The reason could be the enhanced water resistance of the smartwatch, which could be compromised if such a large rotating element is included in the mix. 

The device is available in a single 47mm size. Fortunately, there are no versions with different connectivity setups: the Galaxy Watch Ultra comes in a single version, which is LTE-enabled. 

Galaxy Watch Ultra Bands

We don't know if Samsung will unveil new bands with the Galaxy Watch Ultra, but the company usually does this with new smartwatch releases, so the chances are pretty high. 

One thing we are mostly certain of is that the Galaxy Watch Ultra will use Samsung's new One-Click band latch mechanism, which makes it oh-so-easy to switch bands on the go. This system was unveiled last year with the Galaxy Watch 6 generation, so it's going nowhere. 

Galaxy Watch Ultra Software & Features

Wear OS 5 on board

The Galaxy Watch Ultra comes with Google's Wear OS 5. In it, an optional new grid-based app launcher is available. Users will also be able to select their media output device using Wear OS 5. Additionally, there will be enhancements to watch faces, including new themes, updated complications, a new heart rate data source, and more.

A new Multi-sports tile will probably be highly valued by those who partake in triathlons. A new Functional Threshold Power (FTP) feature for cycling will allow you to measure your maximum cycling power. New personalized HR zones are also on board. 

Double Pinch Gestures, like on the Apple Watch Ultra, are also coming to the Galaxy Watch Ultra. 

The smartwatch comes with the same roster of health features and functionalities as the Galaxy Watch 6 generation. This means the watch will possibly come with sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring with irregular rhythm detection, BMI body measurement, blood oxygen, and many more. 

Galaxy Watch Ultra Battery and Charging

Potentially great

The Galaxy Watch Ultra comes with a large, 590mAh battery, which could potentially make it one of the longer-lasting proper smartwatches. Samsung says that the watch can last up to 100 hours in power-saving mode and 48 hours in exercise power-saving. 

A lot of that energy efficiency can be traced to the new 3nm Exynos chip on deck, which surely helps a lot in the way of energy efficiency.

Indeed, Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in 2022 also came with a 590mAh battery, but it features a less efficient 5nm Exynos W920 chipset. So, the potential for superb battery life is definitely here on the Galaxy Watch Ultra.   

Charging-wise, the smartwatch comes with 15W charging on deck, which should be enough to fully juice up the smartwatch in an hour and half or slightly more.

Galaxy Watch Ultra Models and Prices

As mentioned, the Galaxy Watch Ultra is available in a single size version (47mm). It's LTE-enabled, so don't expect to find the Galaxy Watch Ultra in a Bluetooth-only variation.

Galaxy Watch Ultra Voice Calls and Haptics

Surely, you will be able to take or make calls with the cellular-enabled version of the Galaxy Watch Ultra, similar to previous Samsung smartwatches. The same should apply to the Bluetooth-only version of the device, but you will have to keep your phone nearby.

Haptics-wise, Samsung watches have historically had great haptic feedback, with precise and strong vibration. No reason to think the Galaxy Watch Ultra will be worse in this aspect.

Galaxy Watch Ultra Competitors

It's as clear as day that one of the main competitors of the Galaxy Watch Ultra is the Apple Watch Ultra 2. It goes for $799 and has mostly the same features, though it's larger and with a slightly smaller battery. 

Another rival could be Samsung's own Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, a similar watch that boasts a smaller battery, but still has the hardware rotating bezel and likely the same health and fitness features.

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Galaxy Watch Ultra Summary and Final Verdict

The Galaxy Watch Ultra is shaping up to be Samsung's answer to the Apple Watch Ultra and Watch Ultra 2. It shapes up as a super-premium offering that will definitely make it one of the best smartwatches for Android

Here's to hoping that Samsung will be able to enrich the experience with a number of exciting features and wouldn't rely on the premium design alone. The higher price will somewhat limit its potential adoption, but hey, if it's good, we'll be happy. 

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