Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra preview: An Apple Watch Ultra for Android


Galaxy Watch Ultra Intro

This July, Samsung is announcing a host of new devices: not only are we getting the new Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6, but also new smartwatches as well. Chief and most intriguing among these is the so-called Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra, which will directly clash with the Apple Watch Ultra 2, Cupertino’s latest and greatest top wearable.

Judging from all the rumors, the Galaxy Watch Ultra will match its popular rival in pretty much every aspect. We’ve already compared the Galaxy Watch Ultra and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, but now it’s time to dive deeper into the upcoming Samsung smartwatch and explore its potential selling points. 

What’s new about the device

  • New squircle titanium design with 47mm size
  • Circular display w/ 3,000 nits of peak brightness, sapphire screen
  • New 3nm Exynos SiP 
  • Large 590mAh battery
  • A customizable new button 
  • IP6X + 10ATM water-resistance

Table of Contents:

Galaxy Watch Ultra Specs

Although not official, the Galaxy Watch Ultra will likely boast the following specs:

Galaxy Watch Ultra Design & Sizes

A new direction for the Galaxy smartwatch
The upcoming Galaxy Watch Ultra will feature a pretty distinct design, Unlike previous Galaxy Watch devices, which have always utilized mostly circular cases, the Galaxy Watch Ultra will have a squircle case paired with a circular screen. Imagine a mix between the Apple Watch Ultra and the Galaxy Watch 6, and you’d be on the right path. 

Our expectation is that the smartwatch will use lots of titanium and sapphire in its build. This combination is synonymous with super premium smartwatches these days, and while the sapphire crystal ensures your screen will remain scratch-free for a long time, the same can’t really be said about the titanium case, which will most likely attain a scratchy patina with longer use.

The Galaxy Watch Ultra will most certainly be an IP68-rated device with possible water resistance of up to 10ATM. This means the watch could dive in up to 100 meters of water, which is more than most people will ever dunk it that deep. 

Like the Apple Watch Ultra 2, the Galaxy Watch Ultra will have a customizable button situated on the right side of the watch. Possibly carrying the “Quick Button” name, this one will possibly allow you to map different apps and shortcuts for quick access. 

The hardware rotating bezel seems to be making a return on the Galaxy Watch Ultra, which is something we are thankful for. This is a signature feature of Samsung smartwatches that sets them apart from the competition. It’s also quite useful!

The device will be available in a single 47mm size. The OLED screen will reportedly feature a maximum brightness of up to 3,000 nits, which will greatly help with outdoor legibility (and match the Apple Watch Ultra 2).

Galaxy Watch Ultra Bands

We don’t know if Samsung will unveil new bands with the Galaxy Watch Ultra, but the company usually does this with new smartwatch releases, so the chances are pretty high. 

One thing we are mostly certain of is that the Galaxy Watch Ultra will use Samsung’s new One-Click band latch mechanism, which makes it oh-so-easy to switch bands on the go. This system was unveiled last year with the Galaxy Watch 6 generation, so it’s going nowhere. 

Galaxy Watch Ultra Software & Features

Wear OS 5 on board

The Galaxy Watch Ultra will come with Google’s Wear OS 5. In it, an optional new grid-based app launcher will be available. Users will also be able to select their media output device using Wear OS 5. Additionally, there will be enhancements to watch faces, including new themes, updated complications, a new heart rate data source, and more.

We expect that the smartwatch will come with the same roster of health features and functionalities as the Galaxy Watch 6 generation. This means the watch will possibly come with sleep tracking, heart-rate monitoring with irregular rhythm detection, BMI body measurement, blood oxygen, and many more. 

Galaxy Watch Ultra Battery and Charging

Potentially great

As per the rumors, the Galaxy Watch Ultra is coming with a large, 590mAh battery, which could potentially make it one of the longer-lasting proper smartwatches. We say that because the chip that will be powering the smartwatch is reportedly a new and improved 3nm Exynos chipset, which could greatly increase the overall efficiency. 

Indeed, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in 2022 also came with a 590mAh battery, but it features a less efficient 5nm Exynos W920 chipset. So, the potential for superb battery life is possibly here on the Galaxy Watch Ultra.   

Charging-wise, the smartwatch will come with 15W charging on deck, which should be enough to fully juice up the smartwatch in an hour and half or slightly more.

Galaxy Watch Ultra Models and Prices

As mentioned, the Galaxy Watch Ultra will likely come in a single size version (47mm), but two connectivity variants. There will be a starter $699 Bluetooth-only version and a more expensive Bluetooth+cellular version. 

Galaxy Watch Ultra Voice Calls and Haptics

Surely, you will be able to take or make calls with the cellular-enabled version of the Galaxy Watch Ultra, similar to previous Samsung smartwatches. The same should apply to the Bluetooth-only version of the device, but you will have to keep your phone nearby.

Haptics-wise, Samsung watches have historically had great haptic feedback, with precise and strong vibration. No reason to think the Galaxy Watch Ultra will be worse in this aspect.

Galaxy Watch Ultra Competitors

It’s as clear as day that one of the main competitors of the Galaxy Watch Ultra is the Apple Watch Ultra 2. It goes for $799 and has mostly the same features, though it’s larger and with a slightly smaller battery. 

Another rival could be Samsung’s own Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, a similar watch that boasts a smaller battery, but still has the hardware rotating bezel and likely the same health and fitness features.

Galaxy Watch Ultra Summary and Final Verdict

The Galaxy Watch Ultra is shaping up to be Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch Ultra and Watch Ultra 2. It shapes up as a super-premium offering that will definitely make it one of the best smartwatches for Android. 

Here’s to hoping that Samsung will be able to enrich the experience with a number of exciting features and wouldn’t rely on the premium design alone. The higher price will somewhat limit its potential adoption, but hey, if it’s good, we’ll be happy. 

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