The Apple Watch Ultra is more similar to a Series 7 Edition than you might think

The Apple Watch Ultra is a very good smartwatch. It’s packed with features, a very long battery life, a titanium casing and a distinctive design. You can read all about how good it is in my colleague Victoria Song’s review from earlier this fall. Be sure to check out the full-length video review we recently posted that delves into Apple’s unique claims for the Ultra.

But as good as the Apple Watch Ultra is, it’s not the Apple Watch for me. I’m not an adventurous athlete and have no aspirations to be, but I am a devotee of smartwatches and an appreciator of fine mechanical watches (which, let’s face it, I’ll never be able to afford). the ultra should I was drawn to it based on those merits: After all, no one goes diving with a Rolex Submariner on their wrist, even though it’s considered a “diver’s” watch in the mechanical world. The Ultra’s high-end status, larger-than-average design, and larger-than-life capabilities speak to many of the same factors that big, flashy dive watches are popular for.

I had a chance to demo the Ultra this fall, and while there are certain things I certainly like about it, a month on my wrist wasn’t enough to convince me to buy it. What he did convince me to do is find a used Series 7 Edition and buy it instead. This is why.

There were three things about the Ultra that I really liked: the large screen, the titanium frame, and the long battery life. During the time I wore the watch, I could easily go two and a half days without charging it, even when I wore it overnight to be woken up by its silent alarm feature. The screen is big, bright and easy to read; The larger, more ridged Digital Crown is fun to twist and click, and I had no problem accidentally pressing the other buttons when I flexed my wrist, as I know others have run into. The matte finish on the titanium frame looks better than the glossy finish on Apple’s stainless steel models and feels better and sturdier than the aluminum on the standard Apple Watch. It’s a nice balance between the other two metals that Apple uses.

An Apple Watch Ultra on a flower-patterned surface.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 text-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray”>Photo by Victoria Song/The Verge

What I didn’t like about the Ultra was how big it sat on my wrist. There’s no hiding this watch: it’s big, chunky, and it stands out. Although it wears lighter than I thought it would, it’s not the kind of watch I can put on and forget I’m wearing half the time. I can’t easily get it under a shirt or jacket cuff, and I’m constantly worried about bumping it into door frames and such when wearing it. The Ultra is also impossible to wear; It doesn’t matter if I outfitted it with a leather strap or a metal bracelet, it still looks like a rugged action sports watch.

You can’t hide the size or appearance of the Ultra

I’m also not a big fan of the flat screen. Swiping and interacting isn’t as nice as the curved glass on standard Apple Watches, and the way it stabilizes on top of the watch makes it look disconnected from the rest of the design.

The Ultra’s other features also fell short in my day-to-day use. It’s great to have another button on the side of the watch to do things; It’s a shame how little I can do with it. (As my colleague Vjeran Pavic pointed out in our ultra review videoIt would be great if this watch would change its function based on the focus modes, just like the watch face can change automatically). I don’t get calls from my wrist, so the louder speaker didn’t come into play either. .

So the Apple Watch Ultra didn’t work for me. But it inspired me to find something that did, and I found it with the Series 7 Edition 45mm. This watch has a screen that’s almost as big as the Ultra, but it keeps the curved sides that are easier to swipe and look better on my wrist. It has a titanium frame which, while not quite like the Ultra’s shot-blasted finish, is close enough for my eyes. It’s smaller, sleeker, and more comfortable to wear than the Ultra, and I can easily dress it up for different outfits.

A 45mm Series 7 edition on a man's wrist.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 text-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray”>Photo by Dan Seifert/The Verge

A Series 7 Edition watch seen from the side.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 text-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray”>Photo by Dan Seifert/The Verge

The main thing I’ve given up on is the Ultra’s battery life – the Series 7 is an all-day charge device, no matter what. But my personal routines have adapted in a way that’s not really a problem for me: I charge it to full for an hour or so each night before bed, then put it back on the charger when I wake up and shower at night. maximum. off for the day. I have yet to run into a problem with the S7 battery dying before I am ready to charge it.

You might be wondering why I’m referring to the Series 7 here, the watch Apple released over a year ago, and not the new Series 8, which shares its design and features. Well, the problem is that Apple discontinued the Edition version of the Series models when it released the Ultra, so I can’t get a Series 8 in the titanium I like. The upside to this is that to get a Series 7 Edition, I had to buy secondhand, and I was able to get one in excellent condition for less than half the price of an Ultra (and half the price of the Edition when new). .

Bring back the Edition models please

After a month or so of using the Series 7 instead of the Ultra, I’m pretty happy with where I landed. I have a “nice” Apple Watch with many of the same features that the Ultra offers, without the drawbacks that come with it.

I guess what I’m taking 1,000+ words to say is: bring back Edition watches, Apple.

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