Apple Watch Ultra 3 release date predictions and its pricing, features, and specs

The Apple Watch Ultra 3 is going to look a lot like Ultra 2 (pictured above) | Image credit – PhoneArena

Apple’s next maxed-out, high-end smartwatch – the Apple Watch Ultra 3 – is not yet released and won’t be for several months to come; its nearing premiere, however, means that we’re going to hear more and more about this elite wearable.
The fact that we’re getting closer and closer to the official unveiling doesn’t mean that there’s awfully lot to learn about the Apple Watch Ultra 3 right now. In fact, the rumor mill has been suspiciously quiet about it with a few notable exceptions.

The information is scarce because the Cupertino giant hasn’t prioritized its Apple Watch Ultra 3… for the moment. This is set to change as the summer slowly rolls past us (here in the Northern Hemisphere, at least).

The best tip on the Apple Watch Ultra 3 so far comes from the prominent Apple supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. At the very beginning of May, he stated that we should expect the Apple Watch Ultra 3 with “almost no” hardware upgrades from the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

According to the information, this should result in a new Apple S10 chip, but otherwise the smart timepiece is to inherit the rest of its hardware specifications from the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

That means we’re about to get a very potent Apple Watch Ultra 3: a massive 1.92-inch OLED touchscreen display that offers 3,000 nits of brightness, a customizable Action Button and double tap gesture cleverness, plus a bunch of sensors and premium features.

Prior to Kuo’s claims, there was a wild rumor that said the Ultra 3 was actually going to be delayed until 2026. Also, this particular rumor stated that it would cost $1,500 because the display was claimed to be a MicroLED one – something that was going to give a great boost to the Apple Watch line battery life and display brightness. This rumor, at least for the moment, is off the table. But, then again, it’s Apple we’re talking about here, so releasing a $1,500 smartwatch will not be a surprising move for the Cupertino giant.

Let’s delve deeper!

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Apple Watch Ultra 3 release date

Based on Kuo’s predictions (mentioned above), the Apple Watch Ultra 3 is to be expected in the Fall of 2024. This translates to an unveiling parallel with the iPhone 16 line presentation. 

Until the day comes, everything date-related (and specs-related, too) is a speculation, but chances are pretty good that this is exactly how it’s going to be.

*Expected dates

Apple Watch Ultra 3 price

Not to jinx it, but so far, the rumors about the Apple Watch Ultra 3 do not mention anything about the price going up in comparison to the starting price of its predecessor(s). This equates to $799 – not an easy sum to swallow (heck, there are flagships that cost less than $799!), but you’re getting a lot of goodness for the price.

The Apple Watch Ultra 3 rumor from months ago – the one that said a $1,500 with MicroLED is coming in 2025 – is at this point off the table.

*Expected prices

Apple Watch Ultra 3 design

No design changes are expected – why bother perfecting the already (almost) perfect smartwatch? The Apple Watch Ultra 3 will most probably remain 49mm in size with the same titanium build and sapphire glass as the previous generation. The oversized digital crown and customizable Action Button are easy to use, even with gloves on.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 could be water-resistant up to 100 meters (10ATM), making it suitable for recreational divers.

The third generation, like the second – and the first, by the way – is to be available only in a single 49mm size, which is larger than a regular Apple Watch and fits best on larger wrists. 

Apple Watch Ultra 3 display

The improved screen on the Apple Watch Ultra 2 (it’s much brighter, capable of reaching 3,000 nits compared to the previous 2,000 nits on the first-gen Apple Watch) is expected to arrive on the Ultra 3 as well. This makes it readable in any environment, even under bright sunlight.

However, you can’t manually set the brightness to 3,000 nits. The feature activates automatically in strong ambient light, enhancing visibility based on your surroundings, even if you’ve set the brightness lower. That’s the way to do it on the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Apple Watch Ultra 3 battery

The Apple Watch Ultra 3 will retain the same 564mAh battery found in the Apple Watch Ultra 2. This battery capacity, slightly larger than the 542mAh battery in the first-generation model, ensures that the watch maintains its impressive battery life.

Users can expect the same reliable performance, with the watch easily lasting up to three days with moderate use, including time checks, notifications, message responses, sleep tracking, and occasional walkie-talkie usage.

Charging the Apple Watch Ultra 3 will be consistent with the Ultra 2, or so it appears.

It will take around 90 minutes for a full charge, but users can achieve an 80% charge in about an hour, making it convenient for everyday use. This means you can charge the watch every other day without worrying about running out of power. Nice!

Apple Watch Ultra 3 features and software

The Apple Watch Ultra 3 is the perfect device to come with the brand-new, the announced-yet-unreleased watchOS 11 that is expected to bring lots and lots of goodies to Apple’s recent timepieces. 
Key features of the watchOS 11 include:

Training Load exertion ranking: Assesses effort based on heart rate, elevation, pace, and physical traits, providing a 10-point effort score to help athletes optimize their training.
Vitals following app: Tracks health metrics like sleep and heart rate, offering weekly reports and alerts for abnormal data.
New SmartStack predictions: Enhances app suggestions and user experience.
Check-in feature for friends: Allows users to stay connected by sharing status updates.
Dynamic Watch faces: Automatically selects watch faces from user photos.

Apple Watch Ultra 3 hardware

Although the Watch Ultra 3 is expected to inherit almost all of its hardware from its predecessor(s), the next-gen flagship smartwatch is set to be different by packing Apple’s yet unreleased (and unannounced) next-gen S10 chipset.

At this point, everything about its potency is a pure speculation, but the S10 chipset should be at the very least a bit faster and more power-efficient than the S9.

Other than that, the two watches are to be identical with the information available so far.

Should I wait for Apple Watch Ultra 3?

Nothing is clear at the moment, but if the rumors turn out to be true and the Apple Watch Ultra 3 is a slightly better variant of the Ultra 2, then it’s fair to say that if you already own the second Apple Watch Ultra, there’s no need to upgrade to the third generation. While the new chipset could mean a slightly better overall experience, this doesn’t make a compelling case for upgrading.

However, if you’re looking to upgrade from an older Apple Watch in late 2024, the Apple Watch Ultra 3 is an excellent introduction to the top-tier Apple Watch lineup.

  • You should wait for the Apple Watch Ultra 3 if you’re after the next best thing, you’ve got money to spend and… large wrists.
  • You should not wait for the Apple Watch Ultra 3 if you’re on a tight(er) budget, or if you already own an Ultra from Apple – have fun with the money that you saved!

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