If you’re deciding between buying the Apple Watch Series 8 or the Apple Watch Ultra, I’m here to tell you that although the Apple Watch Ultra might be twice the price, it is 10x better than the Series 8.

This applies to everyone, not just the “extreme” sports athletes – I don’t do any extreme sports or outdoor fitness but the Apple Watch Ultra has made a signifiant improvement to my life.

This review is for people like me, the non extreme athlete. Below are 3 reasons why for the regular drivers of life, the Apple Watch Ultra is at least 10x better than any Apple Watch Series alternative:

1. Battery life has improved my quality of life

The battery is 76% bigger than on the Watch Series 8, and lasts 2 days & nights – this is huge! As for me, I’m now consistently sleeping with my watch which not only allows me to track my sleep, but I actually sleep better too.

Why? If you’re like me and often wake up in the middle of the night, I can now simply glance at my watch to check the time and decide if it’s close enough to my alarm to get up and go to work, or, if it’s still 2am and I should go back to sleep.

I didn’t realise how disruptive this pattern was to my sleep before the Apple Watch Ultra. When this would happen before, I’d reach for my phone on my bedside table to check the time, this would require more body movements and further waking up of my brain, making it hard to go back to sleep if it was in fact way too early to get up.

A quick glance at my watch in the middle of the night means my brain can stay in a sleepy state.

Love Tech?

Get the latest Tech news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

This battery life has improved my quality of life.

2. Screen size means less screen time

I was worried about how the big screen would look and feel on my skinny wrist, but the Apple Watch Ultra is a lot lighter than you’d expect and it actually looks a lot better on my wrist than the smaller versions.

Functionally, the bigger screen size and brighter display means I am using my watch a lot more. For the first time, I now actually use different watch faces for different purposes (golf, weekend, work, exercise, etc.). Due to the extra real estate on the screen, I get more functionality and buttons on each watch face which makes it more practical for every environment I’m in.

I also find myself picking up my phone less. The bigger screen means reading messages and checking my calendar on my Apple Watch Ultra, which is far more inviting and user friendly than the smaller versions.

3. Action Button

This is something that I didn’t expect to like, but I do.

Apple is better known for taking buttons away, however, adding an extra button was not a gimmick as I expected, but something I used a lot on my recent trip around the USA.

I programmed my action button to mark a waypoint. So whenever I parked my car, or went for a walk around NY, I’d mark a waypoint and simply follow it on the campus app when I needed to return. Super cool and very convenient.


Apple Watch Ultra is not just for extreme athletes, I’m proof of that. It’s twice the price but I believe it is 10x better than the Apple Watch Series 8. If you aren’t cost sensitive and use your Apple Watch every day, I highly recommend the Ultra.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine