Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra, have we met before?

Is it wrong that the Galaxy Watch Ultra looks eerily similar to the Apple Watch Ultra? I don't think so.

EMBARGO 2PM BST 10/07/2024: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024 official images
(Image credit: Samsung)

As is very sadly the case these days, every intricate detail about the new Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra has been leaked ahead of its launch. If you’ve been following the news as closely as I did, you might have noticed that the new rugged wearable bears a striking resemblance to Apple’s top watch, the Watch Ultra.

For a long time, I thought the leaks were wrong. Surely, Samsung wouldn’t name its new top-tier wearable exactly the same as Apple? The naming convention is intriguing, to say the least, echoing Apple's rugged watch branding.

Things don’t stop there, either. Many of the Galaxy Watch Ultra’s specs are carbon-copy of Apple’s. From 3,000 nits maximum brightness to the operating altitude of -500 to 9,000 metres, it feels like Samsung’s designers were on a mission to mimic the Apple Watch Ultra 2’s every feature to the letter.

Of course, it’s very possible (likely, even) that Samsung went with what’s technically achievable at the moment, which happens to coincide with the specs of the Apple Watch Ultra. After all, who needs a broader operating altitude than 9,000m? The top of the Himalayas is 8,849 metres.

Tech specs are one thing; physical attributes are another. Adding another, customisable button to the Galaxy Watch Ultra is also reminiscent of the Apple Watch Ultra. The button's positioning is different, though—it’s above the watch crown, whereas on the Apple Watch Ultra, it’s on the other side of the case.

I guess there will always be so much room on a watch to add buttons. Also, you don’t necessarily want to go down the Garmin watch route, having five physical buttons. Yet, it’s hard not to see the influence of the Apple Watch Ultra on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra’s design.

One area where the Galaxy Watch Ultra truly shines is its battery life, surpassing that of Apple’s wearable. Mainline Galaxy Watches already outlasted most Apple Watches, but the new Ultra takes it to a whole new level with its up to 100-hour maximum battery life in battery-saver mode, a feat that is sure to impress and satisfy users.

Another key difference is the Galaxy Watch Ultra’s workout prowess. Samsung seems to be taking the multisport watch route rather than Apple’s outdoor watch approach, which makes sense for the South Korean company.

The Galaxy Watch Ultra can not only track triathlons without button pressing, but it will also be able to estimate functional threshold power for cyclists when coupled with a power meter. FTP is not a beginner metric, so clearly, Samsung is after the hard-core athletes with the new watch.

The main question to ask: is it an issue that the Galaxy Watch Ultra is so similar to the Apple Watch Ultra? If I were a Samsung user, I would be absolutely thrilled to start using the new watch.

Knowing full well how seamlessly Samsung’s smartwatches integrate with their smartphones, it’s an exciting prospect to have a rugged wearable added to the tech arsenal.

We have to wait and see how the watch performs under real-life circumstances. I’ll be the first one in the queue to get my Ultra on 24 July, though, that’s for sure.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.