Review Apple Watch Ultra - A week in Bonaire

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parzdiver

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Good morning and happy Monday.

I spent the last week in Bonaire and used my new Apple Watch Ultra throughout the trip. Of course, I don't have the Oceanic dive computer software yet, but wanted to post my thoughts with the watch.

Outside of dive capabilities, I like the watch. Big screen, but doesn't feel as big on my wrist as I thought it would. I did have a strange issue with charging the watch. I had two different magnetic chargers for it, including the original Apple charger. Neither worked when connected to a power adapter plugged directly into the wall. It would show charging briefly, then stop. Had no problems on the same power bricks charging my iPhone or other items. I was able to use a battery brick and the watch charged without a problem. I don't know if it had anything to do with Bonaire power (50 Hz) or if I did something strange that first night, but I didn't spend much time messing with it. I simply charged my battery during the day and used it to charge my watch at night.

While I am talking about charging, I started most days with a full charge and was able to do four dives a day, about an hour each, and still had around 40-50% charge at the end of the day. The first day of diving, since the watch had not charged overnight, I did hit the lower battery warning on the second dive. When the charge hit 30%, it displayed on the watch and continued to show on the dive screen as it dropped a few more percentage points during the dive.

Underwater, the screen was bright and easy to read. The time and depth were consistent with my Shearwater Perdix. Most of the time, I put the watch into "dive mode", but the few times I forgot, it switched automatically and was consistent on the readings. The band was comfortable on my wrist. I did not push the watch - no dives to 130+ feet.

Overall, I like it. I want to try the software when it is released to have it as a backup. I am not crazy about the subscription model, but since I don't dive all the time, being able to activate it when I need it, it won't cost much. But it is a hassle having to activate it when going on trips.

One item to note. The Apple Watch Ultra has the capability to connect to cellular directly without the phone. This did NOT work in Bonaire. My cell phone worked without a problem (AT&T with International Day Pass), but when the phone was off or I was away from the phone, the watch was not connected. I would assume the Bonaire wireless network is older tech (was connecting at 3G) and isn't compatible.




StJohn2022--101.jpg
 

z28lt1

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Appreciate you sharing your experiences.

International roaming capabilities on Apple Watches had not been supported until the release of Watch OS 9, so only a a month or so ago, and now carriers have to implement it (and figure out a pricing model for it). ATT has not yet implemented roaming on the watch, but they were announced as a partner for it, so I think the feeling is likely by the end of the year.
 

Norwegian Cave Diver

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Nice display. To understand the display...
56 feet max depth?
83 degree water temp
Currently 53 feet deep
Time of day 9:07?
Dive time 10 minutes 15 seconds?

Thanks
 
OP
parzdiver

parzdiver

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Nice display. To understand the display...
56 feet max depth?
83 degree water temp
Currently 53 feet deep
Time of day 9:07?
Dive time 10 minutes 15 seconds?

Thanks

See how intuitive the interface is? :D You got it in one.
 

brucesnell

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I'm really looking forward to the Oceanic+ app so I can use my Apple Watch as a backup to my Shearwater. In all honesty though, with how easy the screen was to read underwater, it may actually be the one I look to first during a dive.
 
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parzdiver

parzdiver

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I'm really looking forward to the Oceanic+ app so I can use my Apple Watch as a backup to my Shearwater. In all honesty though, with how easy the screen was to read underwater, it may actually be the one I look to first during a dive.
I did find myself glancing at the Apple Watch for quick depth and time checks more than the Shearwater. But that is probably because the Shearwater is on the right wrist, not my normal watch wrist. If Oceanic keeps the display uncluttered, it will probably be my primary check, while relying on the Shearwater as the final arbiter of NDL and deco.
 
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parzdiver

parzdiver

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Another interesting thing I forgot to mention. The watch registered dive time in the Activity rings. Gave me full time for "exercise" and a lot of calories in the "move" ring.

For example, on Thursday with four dives, I had 250 minutes of "exercise" and 2,673 calories in the "move" ring. I know that I probably didn't burn that many calories, especially since these were casual dives.
 

brucesnell

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Another interesting thing I forgot to mention. The watch registered dive time in the Activity rings. Gave me full time for "exercise" and a lot of calories in the "move" ring.

For example, on Thursday with four dives, I had 250 minutes of "exercise" and 2,673 calories in the "move" ring. I know that I probably didn't burn that many calories, especially since these were casual dives.
Yeah, I liked that aspect as well. I’m a bit of a stat junky when it comes to fitness, so having the calorie and heart rate tracking is great. I do wonder how they are calculating calorie burn, I mean you do burn more calories when you are in water colder than your body temp.
 

Sebs

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See how intuitive the interface is? :D You got it in one.
I don't know if your comment was tongue in cheek but how is that more intuitive than any other dive computer?
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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