How Apple Watch Ultra compares against the Garmin Epix 2

As Apple sets out on a new journey with the Watch Ultra, reigning Garmin won’t let its crown go so easily  

September 12, 2022 11:03 am | Updated September 13, 2022 11:48 am IST

An image comparison showing the Apple Watch Ultra on the left and the Garmin Epix 2 on the right

An image comparison showing the Apple Watch Ultra on the left and the Garmin Epix 2 on the right | Photo Credit: via Garmin and Apple

Apple unveiled a new smartwatch dedicated to outdoor fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and workaholics. It goes by the name of Apple Watch Ultra. The most expensive watch coming out of Apple’s stable features a 49mm titanium case and claims to be the brightest Apple watch ever produced. Just for clarity, the Apple Watch Ultra costs ₹89,900 in India.

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Similar to the Apple Watch Ultra, we have Garmin, which makes some serious and accurate smartwatches. Garmin has a wide portfolio of smartwatches that starts at around ₹15,000 and goes beyond ₹1,00,000 from the Indian perspective. Now, the pricing of the Apple Watch Ultra pits it against the Garmin Epix 2 smartwatch which has similar features and targets a similar group of buyers. 

The Apple Watch Ultra has a customisable Action button, apart from a touch feature, which provides instant access to features including Workouts, Compass Waypoints, Backtrack, and more. 

The Watch Ultra claims to have 36 hours of usage under normal conditions. It has got a new low power feature that can stretch its use time for up to 60 hours. However, the GPS lifecycle can be determined only after reviewing the device. The Apple Watch Ultra uses dual-frequency GPS and integrates both L1 and the latest frequency, L5. 

The Apple Watch Ultra is also powered by watchOS 9, which includes new running metrics to measure performance, like Stride Length, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, and Running Power. The Apple Watch Ultra can show six metrics at once. 

The Watch Ultra claims to withstand temperatures as cold as -4° F (-20° C) and as hot as 131° F (55° C). The Apple Watch Ultra also includes all of the connectivity, activity, and health features like heart rate monitoring and ECG and blood oxygen, along with additional health, safety, and navigation features. 

Similarly, the Garmin Epix 2 has an AMOLED display of 47mm, compared to the Watch Ultra’s 49mm dial size. The Garmin Epix 2 has both the touch feature and five physical buttons, unlike the Watch Ultra. The Epix 2 screen uses the same Sapphire glass as the Apple Watch Ultra. It makes both watches scratch-resistant. The difference here is that Garmin goes for a circular dial while the Apple has used a semi-rounded rectangular style. 

The Garmin Epix 2 has a resolution of 416 x 416 whereas the Apple Watch Ultra features a resolution of 410 x 502. In this case, the Watch Ultra oozes more vibrancy than the Garmin Epix 2. 

The Garmin Epix 2 battery life goes up to 16 days in smartwatch mode, 42 hours in GPS mode, and lasts 21 days if the power manager is activated. Even the numbers suggest that the Apple Watch Ultra cannot match the Garmin Epix 2 in terms of battery performance. 

The Garmin Epix 2 uses the multi-band GPS having more accuracy and precision while the Apple Watch Ultra gets a similar feature - with the precision level yet to be calculated in real world scenarios. 

Both watches have blood oxygen level sensors. Apple has now added the temperature sensor that Garmin already had. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch Ultra can also tell the water temperature. Coming to heart rate monitoring, Apple has the ECG feature built-in while Garmin offers alerts for varying heart activities. There are other features like compass, altimeter, accelerometer, tracking, music, SOS, etc., that are common across both smartwatches. 

Despite the above features, Garmin remains a dominant player in the smartwatch category whereas Apple has just started to become more adventurous and sporty. The Garmin Epix 2 starts at around ₹89,990.

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