Compared: Apple Watch Series 8 vs. Apple Watch Ultra

Apple took the smartwatch community by storm on Wednesday after not only introducing the next series in the original Apple Watch lineup known as the Apple Watch Series 8, but also by introducing a rugged and capable alternative that the company is calling Apple Watch Ultra.

As there’s quite a price difference between the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra, we’re sure you’re probably wondering what the major differences are. Fortunately, iDB went through the differences with a fine-toothed comb so that we could bring you this content you’re about to read today. We hope it helps you make the right decision for your wallet.

Apple Watch Series 8 vs Apple Watch Ultra

Color & material

| Image: Apple

Unlike the Apple Watch Series 8, which comes in not only different metal choices (aluminum or stainless steel), but also different color choices, such as Midnight, Starlight, Silver, or (PRODUCT) RED in aluminum and Graphite, Silver or Gold in stainless steel, the Apple Watch Ultra only comes in naturally-colored aerospace grade titanium. Nope… no dark color option for the titanium as has been offered in previous titanium Apple Watch offerings…

Both The Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra sport a durable sapphire crystal display, however the Apple Watch Ultra sports a new flat display style with a titanium ridge that surrounds the edge to make it more resistant to bumps and shock. While the Apple Watch Series 8’s sapphire crystal display won’t be easy to break in the first place, we have a feeling you’re going to have a harder time breaking the one on the Apple Watch Ultra.

Case size & weight

The Apple Watch Ultra is notably much bigger and heavier than the ordinary Apple Watch Series 8. That’s to be expected when you cram so much more tech into a smartwatch. As for the numbers, here’s something to reference and compare:

Apple Watch Series 8

  • 45mm case:
    • 45mm x 38mm x 10.7mm
    • 38.8 grams (aluminum) or 51.5 grams (stainless steel)
  • 41mm case:
    • 41mm x 35mm x 10.7mm
    • 32.0 grams (aluminum) or 42.3 grams (stainless steel)

Apple Watch Ultra

  • 49mm case:
    • 49mm x 44mm x 14.4mm
    • 61.3 grams


| Image: Apple

The Apple Watch Ultra gets a rather significant display bump over the Apple Watch Series 8 as well. While both displays are powered by Always-On LTPO OLED technology, the Apple Watch Ultra’s display is capable of 2,000 nits max brightness, while the Apple Watch Series 8 is only capable of 1,000 nits max brightness.

The larger 49mm case of the Apple Watch Ultra also provides for a larger display, which sports 410 x 502 pixels in a 1164 sq mm display area compared to the Apple Watch Series 8’s 396 x 484 pixels in a 1143 sq mm display area for the 45mm case or the 352 x 430 pixels in a 904 sq mm display area for the 41mm case.

Battery life

The Apple Watch Ultra trumps the Apple Watch Series 8 all day long in battery life. While the Apple Watch Series 8 can manage up to 18 hours of use on a single charge, the Apple Watch Ultra doubles the aforementioned battery life at 36 hours of use on a single charge, or 18 hours while connected to 4G LTE.

Performance features

The Apple Watch Ultra is built for high performance that athletes and risk-takers are going to need a lot more than the average Joe just wearing their smartwatch into the office. For this reason, Apple Watch Ultra is equipped with the following performance features that Apple Watch Series 8 doesn’t have:

  • An 87-decibel emergency siren that can be heard from up to 600 feet away
  • Cellular connectivity comes standard for universal connectivity
  • A new Action Button that can be customized to perform certain actions based on the needs of the user
  • Precision dual-frequency L1 & L5 GPS to ensure you can find your way back home from an extensive hike
  • A depth gauge that can help divers safely monitor their depth and the temperature of the water around them
  • Enhanced dual-speaker design that’s up to 40% louder than the Apple Watch Series 8 & enhanced three-mic array with beamforming and wind noise mitigation
  • Enhanced 100-meter water submersion resistance
  • Support for the Bluetooth 5.3 standard


The Apple Watch Ultra is a serious departure from the ordinary Apple Watch lineup that we’ve been using for so many years. Its rugged and capable design make it the ideal technological tool to have on your wrist if you’re an adventurer and want to remain connected even in the harshest of environments.

That said, the Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 and is still a great upgrade if you don’t need everything that the $799 Apple Watch Ultra provides in your daily life…

Also see: Apple Watch Ultra tech specs

What are your thoughts about the differences between the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra, and have you decided which smartwatch you’ll be getting this year? Share in the comments below.