Everything about the Apple Watch Ultra is bigger. It has a larger and brighter display than the Apple Watch 8, a larger battery, larger (and more) buttons, and has more capacity to deal with the tough and collapsing world of outdoor activities.
He can also take a blow, or at least a series of blows, with a small hammer. In a recent video spotted by MacRumors, YouTuber TechRax (opens in a new tab) happily smashes the new Apple Watch Ultra worth $ 799 / £ 849 / AU $ 1,229. It’s a rather unrealistic test of the endurance of a mighty 49mm wearable, but if you watch it from start to finish you’ll get some hard (in a good way) truth to the Ultra.
It would be unfair to call the Apple Watch Ultra a boosted version of Apple Watch 8 (or really any generation). It is not only a reinforced housing. It’s a completely redesigned Apple Watch. At 49 mm, it is 5 mm larger than the largest Apple Watch 8. Of course, it is also heavier. The titanium case helps to apply an additional 23 grams compared to the aluminum 45mm Apple Watch 8. The Ultra even surpasses the stainless steel Apple Watch 8 by almost 10 grams.
Unlike the curved glass dial of the Apple Watch 8, which blends seamlessly with the aluminum case, Apple gave the Ultra a pointless, all-flat sapphire crystal display surrounded by a solid titanium lip.
The watch looks and feels strong, and it clearly is.
TechRax begins its test by dropping the watch from four feet up onto concrete, which as you’d expect the Apple Watch Ultra does well. Sure, there were some minor scratches on the titanium body, but I hadn’t seen a scratch-resistant Apple product yet.
Testing continues in a similarly less-than-scientific fashion with TechRax dropping the Apple Watch (he must have suspected something wrong so far) into a jar of screws and nails. TechRax then shook the jar, and the watch came out mostly unscathed, though the orange strap did get dirty.
Perhaps frustrated that he had achieved nothing, TechRax took out a small hammer, set the watch on the pristine white table, and hit it hard three times.
Nothing happened. No scratches. No cracks. No failure.
It is worth stopping at this point to consider what that might mean in the real world of using an Apple Watch Ultra.
A while back, I wore an Apple Watch 7 clearing the crawl space. I was lifting heavy wood and other debris from what was essentially a pit filled with coarse sand and earth. At one point my watch got stuck between a wooden support beam, a bit of sand and a heavy beam in my hand. The Ion-X glass screen ended in a huge, disfiguring gouge.
Based on what I saw in this video, I think the Apple Watch Ultra can withstand a lot better in similar conditions or, for example, when you’re climbing a mountain and your wrist hits a rock wall.
TechRax, however, was not satisfied. Then he struck his watch 12 more times. The table under the watch broke, but the watch remained intact. Mostly. Unfortunately, even without any visible damage to the outside, the Apple Watch Ultra stopped working.
Then TechRax went into town, repeatedly hitting the dial of the watch until it shattered. He then flipped the watch over and slapped the filled sensor back until it burst as well.
With each hit, I grimaced a bit as unnecessarily TechRax ruined a perfectly good and usually very durable Apple Watch Ultra.
Perhaps the TechRax left happy, but I was a bit sad about the Watch Ultra surviving what should have been the worst beating, only to get the sadist back at it and beat the watch to submission.
Potential consumers of the Apple Watch Ultra should take an indisputable fact from this: it is one very durable smartwatch.
You can find a list of all our favorite smartwatches here.