Apple officially unveiled the iPhone 14 this month and, with it, came three major updates to its wearable line. Not only did we see updates to the Apple Watch and Apple Watch SE, but the event also brought the launch of the Apple Watch Ultra. 

But, how does it compare to Samsung’s most premium smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro? Here are the biggest differences between the two wearables based on our experience with the Galaxy Watch and everything we know about the Apple Watch Ultra so far. 

Make sure to check back soon for our in-depth review of the Apple Watch Ultra. 

The Apple Watch Ultra can be taken diving 

Both the Apple Watch Ultra and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro have rugged designs that make them well-suited for fitness tracking as well as everyday smartwatches. 

The Galaxy Watch has a 45mm titanium case and a sapphire crystal display, while the Apple Watch has an even larger 49mm titanium case and a sapphire glass screen. Both watches are also designed to meet MIL-STD 810H military durability standards. 

That said, the Apple Watch has a design that is better suited to more extreme activities and weather conditions. 

The Apple Watch is water resistant at depths of up to 100m, meaning you can take it diving. The watch is also IPX6 dust resistant and can survive at temperatures from “below zero” up to 130 degrees. These are specs we typically see reserved for ultramarathon and extreme race trackers. 

The Galaxy Watch, meanwhile, is dust-resistant up to IP68 and water-resistant at up to 50m, but is not suitable for diving or high-pressure water activities. 

The Apple Watch also features an 86db emergency siren that can be heard up to 180m away and there are three mics for clear calls even in windy conditions. Finally, the Apple Watch is available with three strap options with different options depending on if you like to hike, run or dive. 

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has a longer battery life 

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro packs a longer battery life with a large 590 mAh battery Samsung claims can last you up to 80 hours with typical use. 

We found the watch lasted 2-3 days with moderate use in our testing. While this is significantly shorter than the multi-week battery life you’ll find on fitness trackers from Garmin and Polar, it’s still longer than Apple’s claims for the Apple Watch Ultra. 

The Ultra has a battery life of 36 hours, which can be extended to 60 hours with low power settings activated. 

This is a substantial upgrade from the standard Apple Watch and the SE, but still half of what Samsung claims its own premium smartwatch can do and less than what we recorded during our time with the 5 Pro.

You’ll have to wait for our in-depth review of the Apple Watch Ultra for our final verdict on the wearable’s battery life and how it stacks up to the Galaxy Watch. 

The Apple Watch Ultra has better app support 

There’s a reason the Apple Watch typically comes out on top in our best smartwatch list despite not offering full compatibility with Android phones, and a major contributor to this is its app store. 

Apple’s watchOS has a much more developed app library when compared to that found on the Google Wear OS-powered Galaxy Watch, including a wealth of fitness and music streaming apps. 

We assume these will all be available on the Ultra, as it’ll be running the same watchOS operating system as the standard Apple Watch. 

Wear OS, meanwhile, still lacks a few popular apps. In our review of the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, for example, we noticed that Tidal and the Met Office weather app didn’t offer optimised apps for the wearable. 

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is significantly cheaper 

One of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to buying a smartwatch – aside from smartphone compatibility – is price. 

The Apple Watch Ultra is almost twice as expensive as the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro at $799/£849 to the 5 Pro’s $449/£429. That’s a $350/£420 saving if you opt for the Samsung watch, which certainly isn’t a small difference.

If you don’t need some of the Ultra’s more extreme design features, you might be better off saving your money and opting for the Galaxy Watch instead.

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