For the asking price, you’d expect A LOT from the Apple Watch Ultra, including excellent battery life. So how long does the Apple Watch Ultra battery last?

The Apple Watch is now essentially the most well-known wearable/fitness tracker on the planet and, while it still pales in comparison to more advanced fitness trackers from Garmin, Apple seems keen on closing this gap with its latest watch, the Apple Watch Ultra.

But here’s the thing: the same issue that has affected every Apple Watch to date is still present on the Apple Watch Ultra – I’m talking, of course, about its battery life and the need to charge it every damn day. With a Garmin watch – like the excellent Fenix 7 – you do not have to do this. Plus, you get insanely detailed feedback on your workouts too.

I’m not an exceptional runner but I do run almost every day, sometimes far, sometimes for an hour or so, and I have tried to switch to Apple Watch multiple times. I always end up going back to Garmin. Why? Battery life, for one. But also Garmin Connect – it just has way more actionable data than Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Ultra Battery Life

With a full charge, Apple says you’ll get “up to” 60 hours of battery life from the Apple Watch Ultra. That’s a hell of a lot more than any other Apple Watch released to date. Apple did this by packing in a much larger battery than usual, a feat it was able to achieve by making the Apple Watch Ultra larger than its standard Apple Watch models.

But in order to “achieve” this 60-hour number, you will have to use its Low Power Mode which kind of weakens the “better battery life” claim because what’s the use of more battery life if you cannot use the Apple Watch Ultra’s myriad features? Again, Apple has an answer for this:

Apple Watch Ultra has the best battery life of any Apple Watch, reaching up to 36 hours during normal use. Additionally, a new low-power setting, ideal for multi-day experiences, can extend battery life to reach up to 60 hours. The Wayfinder watch face is designed specifically for the larger Apple Watch Ultra display and includes a compass built into the dial, with space for up to eight complications. Apple Watch Ultra also brings three new bands — Trail Loop, Alpine Loop, and Ocean Band — offering unique design features that provide a secure and comfortable fit for every adventure.


It’s a decent point too, I guess. But it is contingent on the watch not having any competition in this niche. And that just isn’t the case. Sure, for an Apple Watch it is outstanding because Apple Watch, historically, has always sucked in this context but for an actual, dedicated fitness tracker, it is still very much below average. Hell, even Samsung’s new smartwatch will do 80 hours.

Apple Watch Ultra Price

Apple Watch Ultra Battery LifePin

People have been harping on about how “affordable” the Apple Watch Ultra is, based on what it can do. It does have some nifty features, such as its ability to be used as a proper diving watch, but it is still £849 which is insanely expensive for a smartwatch, especially since you could get two for that price if you looked elsewhere.

The Apple Watch Ultra does have a few cool tricks up its sleeve, of course, and if it were cheaper – say, £400 or £500 – I probably wouldn’t be so harsh on it. I love its new temperature sensors, for instance; it is a useful addition with plenty of medical applications beyond extreme, outdoor activities. But almost a thousand quid for a smartwatch is still a thousand quid for a smartwatch.

And for the price you’ll pay for the Apple Watch Ultra, as a runner, I’d argue you would be far better off with the Garmin Fenix 7; it has outstanding battery life (up to a month), more advanced tracking, data, and metrics, and it is used by plenty of professional athletes, including iron men and women, marathon runners, and ultra runners.

Given the choice, even if I were offered either device for free, I’d still go with the Fenix 7. And the reason is simple: it costs less and what it does, with respect to exercise tracking, it does better than Apple Watch. Not that any of this will matter, though. People will buy this thing by the boatload but if you’re reading this and you’re thinking of doing the same, I would implore you to first check out the Garmin Fenix 7.

And check out How To Customize The Apple Watch Ultra Action Button.

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