How does the Apple Watch Ultra rank among other rugged fitness trackers?

The new Apple Watch Ultra is a miracle for most consumers. After all, it has several features that only serious athletes and adventurers use, such as recreational diving, which have not been seen before in the Apple Watch or even Samsung Galaxy Watch wearables.

However, professionals who rely on technology during intensive activities are no strangers to these features. For example, Garmin, one of the leading navigation companies before the dominance of Google Maps, has been providing intelligent and durable wearables to athletes and other professionals since 2012.

So, how does the Apple Watch Ultra compare to other smartwatches of its caliber? Let’s take a look at them below.

Robust Smartwatch Model Comparison

While there are many smartwatches on the market today, we’re only looking at those at or above the Apple Watch Ultra price. We’re also only looking at wearables with a similar purpose, so there won’t be any luxury smartwatch models here.

This comparison includes these smartwatches:

  • Apple Watch Ultra
  • Casio G-Squad Pro
  • Garmin Enduro 2
  • Garmin Epix (Gen 2)
  • Garmin fēnix 7

Discover the best features of the Apple Watch Ultra, see what other models they have, and compare their prices to determine which models offer the best value for money.

Use for sports and extreme activities

The Apple Watch Ultra is primarily designed for activities such as long-distance running, mountaineering, water sports, and diving. Apart from that, it is also equipped to follow less demanding sports such as cycling, swimming and indoor workouts.

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Casio’s G-Squad Pro is also designed for most of these activities, plus other sports such as fishing, sailing, kayaking and snowboarding. Garmin also sells its smartwatches for most of these activities. The built-in dive computer is Apple’s only feature above the Casio and Garmin offerings.

fall detection

Since the Series 4, Apple Watches have been known for detecting if its wearer falls, making the Apple Watch ideal for emergencies. This is a handy feature, especially if you have an accident on an outdoor track. However, this is not exclusive to the Apple Watch line. All Garmin models included in this comparison also have this feature, which Garmin calls Incident Detection.

The only advantage the Apple Watch has over Garmin devices in this regard is that it connects you directly to emergency services. Garmin only sends a message with your location to your contacts. That means your contacts should pay attention to their phone.

Dive-ready water resistance

There is a difference between a device that is water resistant and “dive ready”. Water resistance means that a smartwatch can keep out water for a short period of time at the specified depth, while “dive-ready” watches can withstand water for hours.

The Apple Watch Ultra is ready to dive for 40 meters – that’s about 5 ATM, according to EN13319 technical standards. On the other hand, all Garmin offers are suitable for 10 ATM, for dives to about 100 meters deep. Finally, the Casio G-Squad Pro is listed at 20 ATM, which makes it able to withstand depths of up to 200 meters.

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While the Apple Watch Ultra is the only dive-certified device in this comparison, the 10 and 20 ATM ratings of the other smartwatches are nothing to sneeze at.

EKG and blood oxygen level

ECG and blood oxygen detection features are some of the reasons why you should choose the Apple Watch Series 8 or Ultra over their competitors. While Garmin also has blood oxygen sensors in the Enduro 2, epix (Gen 2) and fēnix 7 smartwatches, they do not have an ECG sensor. Finally, Casio’s G-Squad Pro has neither an ECG sensor nor a blood oxygen sensor.

Screen size

One of the most critical things in a rugged smartwatch is the display size. That’s because it’s the primary way to easily interact with your wearable device on the go. And if you compare all the smartwatches we’re looking at, the Apple Watch Ultra easily comes out on top.

The Apple Watch Ultra has a display of 49 mm with a brightness of up to 2000 nits. While all the other competitors don’t list their screen brightness, they do disclose their dimensions. The Garmin Enduro 2 has a significantly smaller display at just 35.56mm, followed by the 33.02mm fēnix 7 and the 33mm epix (Gen 2). Finally, Casio’s G-Squad Pro has a screen size of just 30.48mm, making it the smallest of the bunch.

Price and compatibility

The Apple Watch Ultra isn’t the most expensive device on our list. The Casio G-Squad Pro is the most affordable option, but also the smallest. In contrast, Garmin offers the three most expensive smartwatches.

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Here are the list prices of the wearables we compared:

As you can see, the Apple Watch Ultra is at the cheaper end of the list. The Casio G-Squad Pro runs on Google’s Wear OS and the Apple Watch runs on WatchOS. Garmin, on the other hand, uses its own Garmin Watch OS.

If you want an Apple Watch Ultra, you need to pair an iPhone with it. But if you choose one of the other wearables, you can choose between iOS and Android phones.

The Apple Watch Ultra offers great value for money in a rugged fitness tracker

Unless you’re looking for something niche, like a watch designed for fishing, the Apple Watch Ultra can do just about anything offering more expensive options and then some. It also has some extra features that the other wearables don’t, such as a larger screen and EKG.

And for the other features not available by default on the Apple Watch, you can probably download them from the App Store. If you use an iPhone, the best smartwatch from Apple is the best option. But if you’re using an Android phone, it might be time to switch to the dark side.

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