Everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra

Galaxy Watch Ultra in white
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra in white Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

After several months of rumors, Samsung finally announced the Galaxy Watch Ultra at its Galaxy Unpacked event on July 10. This new wearable device is designed to compete with the Apple Watch Ultra series and offers numerous features that should please Android users looking for a rugged smartwatch.

But what exactly do you get with the Galaxy Watch Ultra? What makes it interesting? Here’s everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra, including its design, features, availability, and pricing.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra: price and release date

A person wearing the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch Ultra costs $650. It’s quite a bit more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7, though it undercuts the Apple Watch Ultra 2 by $100. It’s an expensive smartwatch, no doubt, but it’s also not the priciest we’ve seen.

If you’re interested in getting one for yourself, the Galaxy Watch Ultra is available for preorder as of July 10, with regular sales for the smartwatch beginning on July 24. You can buy the Galaxy Watch Ultra from Samsung’s website and retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and others.

For a limited time, preordering the Galaxy Watch Ultra will also get you a free additional watch band. It’s not the craziest deal we’ve ever seen, but it does help make the $650 sticker price sting a little less.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra: specs

Display

47mm
1.5 inch 480 x 480 Super AMOLED w/ full color always on display
Sapphire Crystal

Processor

Exynos W1000 (4 Core, 3nm)

Battery

590mAh battery, fast-charging compatible

Storage

2GB memory, 32GB storage

Required mobile device

Android 11 or higher with more than 1.5GB of memory

Dimensions and weight

47.4 x 47.4 x 12.1mm, 60.5g

Software

Wear OS Powered by Samsung (WearOS 5)
UI: One U1 6 Watch

Sensors

Samsung BioActive Sensor (Optical Bio-signal sensor + Electrical Heart Signal + Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis)
Temperature Sensor
Accelerometer, Barometer
Gyro Sensor
Geomagnetic Sensor
Light Sensor

Connectivity

LTE
Bluetooth 5.3
Wi-Fi 2.4+5GHz
NFC
GPS

Materials and colors

Titanium Silver, Titanium Gray, Titanium White

Durability

10ATM + IP68

Price

$650

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra: design and display

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra in black with an orange strap.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Samsung describes the Galaxy Watch Ultra as its “toughest Galaxy Watch yet,” thanks to a build featuring aerospace-grade titanium. It features a proprietary “cushion design” to protect the display in extreme situations. There’s also a dynamic lug system for improved comfort.

The watch has a 47mm Super AMOLED display that has sapphire crystal glass covering it and measures 1.5 inches (480 x 480). The always-on display provides full color. The watch’s peak brightness is 3,000 nits, meaning it should be plenty bright in outside conditions.

It’s water-resistant up to 100m and carries an IP68 rating, which means it’s completely dust-tight and can withstand being submerged in water for extended periods. It includes a titanium-grade 437 frame. The Galaxy Watch Ultra is operational from 500 meters below sea level to 9,000 meters above. This wide range makes it possible to track advanced fitness activities such as swimming, cycling in high altitudes, and everything in-between.

The Galaxy Watch Ultra is available in three titanium colors: silver, gray, and white. The Apple Watch Ultra is currently only available in silver titanium.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra: health and fitness tracking

The new strap system on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch Ultra offers top-notch health and fitness features. It is the first smartwatch with Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved technology to monitor sleep apnea. To initiate sleep apnea monitoring, the watch must be worn for two consecutive nights.

The Galaxy Watch Ultra also introduces a new racing feature that allows users to compete against their previous runs on the same route and measures anaerobic and aerobic threshold zones. There’s also a new multi-sports tile that will enable users to track multi-course workouts.

Also included is a new Functional Threshold Power (FTP) feature for cycling that accurately measures maximum cycling power in just four minutes. It uses AI-powered FTP metrics to unlock your full potential based on unique indicators. The Galaxy Watch Ultra also provides an advanced personalized HR zone that can run at optimal intensity levels based on your physical capabilities.

The Galaxy Watch Ultra also includes a Quick Button to initiate and control workouts and assign other functions to suit your needs. For added safety, you can activate an Emergency Siren. It’s essentially Samsung’s version of the Action Button on the Apple Watch Ultra.

Seven built-in sensors power the watch’s health and fitness capabilities, including the Samsung BioActive Sensor, which is comprised of an optical bio-signal sensor, electrical heart signal, and bioelectrical impedance analysis. The watch also features temperature, accelerometer, barometer, gyro, geomagnetic, and light sensors.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra: performance and battery

A person using the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch Ultra is equipped with Samsung’s first 3nm processor, the four-core Exynos W1000, for a smooth and efficient user experience. The same chip is also in the Galaxy Watch 7.

Samsung says the Exynos W1000 chip is up to three times faster than the previous-generation Exynos W930 chip in the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

The built-in 590mAh battery is fast-charging compatible and offers up to 48 hours of battery life in “exercise power-saving” mode. In “standard power-saving” mode, you can expect up to 100 hours of usage between charges.

During exercise power-saving mode, some features, such as network and Bluetooth connections and IoT control, may become inaccessible, according to Samsung.

The new watch has 2GB of memory and 32GB of available storage for apps, music, and other files.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra: software

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra and Galaxy Watch 7, alongside the Galaxy Z Fold6.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 (center) Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch 7 and Galaxy Watch Ultra are the first Android smartwatches to use Wear OS 5, which provides improved performance and power efficiency compared to Wear OS 4. They also include Samsung’s One UI 6 interface, offering a unique Samsung watch experience. The watches come with various apps, including ones specific to Galaxy services, those from Google, and third-party options.

The new watch has familiar connectivity options, including LTE, Bluetooth 5.3, and Wi-Fi (both 2.4 and 5GHz). It also includes GPS capabilities.

To use the Galaxy Watch Ultra, you need an Android-based device with at least 1.5GB of memory and Android 11 or later installed. You can’t use the new Samsung watch with an Apple iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra: Apple Watch comparison

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 laying on the ground, showing the Modular Ultra watch face.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

In the coming days and weeks, many people will debate how similar the Galaxy Watch Ultra is to the Apple Watch Ultra series. It’s indisputable that Samsung looked to Apple for inspiration, whether for better or worse.

The available bands for the Galaxy Watch Ultra are named Marine, Trail, and Peakform, which resemble the bands Apple offers. The watch also features new faces that automatically switch to black and red at night, similar to those for the Apple Watch Ultra.

Samsung has overtaken Apple regarding the Galaxy Watch Ultra’s sleep apnea tracking. Its lower price is also impressive, although you can now find the Apple Watch Ultra 2 at some third-party locations at a similar price. Because Apple’s and Samsung’s watches only function within their respective ecosystems, their differences and similarities are significant only if someone is willing to switch to the other brand entirely.

Along with the Galaxy Watch Ultra, Samsung also recently announced the Galaxy Watch 7, the Galaxy Z Fold 6, the Galaxy Z Flip 6, and the all-new Galaxy Ring. We’ll be reviewing each of these new products in the near future, so stay tuned for a lot more coverage coming soon.