You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out where Huawei got the inspiration for its recent announcement Watch Ultimate. It’s clearly Huawei’s not-so-subtle answer to the Apple Watch Ultra, and now, we know the similarity extends to the price as well. Starting tomorrow, the Ultimate will be sold in the UK and Europe for €749 / £700 for the colored Expedition Black and €899 / £800 for the Expedition Blue version.
If you missed the Watch Ultimate news, it’s likely that the company is not currently planning to launch the device in the US. (Huawei’s ban is still ongoing in 2023.) While the company once had a decent foothold in the wearable market, the ban has since limited its reach to American audiences for all but the most dedicated users. However, here’s a quick summary of the features.
Each of these is a feature that Apple introduced over the Ultra, but to be fair, Ultimate is different enough that you can’t call it that. complete Stop working or be killed. This is evident at least in the design, which is very similar to traditional mechanical watches. There are differences in specifications and materials as well. For example, the Watch Ultimate uses a “zirconium-based liquid metal case” that it claims is 4.5 times stronger and 2.5 times stronger than stainless steel. It’s not titanium, unlike the Ultra, but the effect of extreme hardness is the same. (Also obviously not liquid). Both have ceramic nano bezels and sapphire glass on the LTPO OLED screens.
Huawei is also keen to outpace Apple in some areas. Like the Ultra, the Watch Ultimate is EN13319 certified, a standard for diving equipment. But while Apple doesn’t recommend diving more than 40 meters, Huawei says the Watch Ultimate can go down to 110 meters and supports technical and free diving as well as recreational diving.
Battery life is longer too. Huawei claims the Watch Ultimate can get up to two weeks from a single charge, though it didn’t factor in the benchmarks it used to reach that estimate. As always with smartwatches, battery mileage will vary with use. However, Huawei has indicated that users can go from zero battery to 100 percent in 60 minutes and 25 percent in 10 minutes.
Huawei’s proprietary operating system doesn’t have the strongest app ecosystem, but there is some improvement on that front as well. Huawei says users will now be able to use third-party integrations Strava, Komoot, and Runtastic. it’s not completely It’s like having the app on your wrist, but it makes sharing data between those services much easier.
No matter how you feel about Huawei, the Watch Ultimate is the Apple Watch Ultra’s closest competitor in a single smartwatch — on paper, at least. Garmin has a few options, like the Epix 2 and Fenix 7 lineup, but those are more solid fitness watches than ambitious luxury smartwatches. It would be nice if everyone had more options in this area, but if you’re in the US, there’s no official way to get the watch through US retailers. Otherwise, you’ll likely have to wait and see what Samsung and other Wear OS watch makers do.
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