Apple Watch Series 8 does this one thing better than Apple Watch Ultra

Apple Watch 8 vs. Apple Watch Ultra
(Image credit: Future)

In a little over three weeks, the Apple Watch Ultra has become one of the year’s hottest fashion accessories — Apple’s first adventure watch, with its traffic-cone orange ‘look-at-me’ wristband and its huge 49mm display has caused a stir in the market. Yet after having it on my wrist for the past few weeks, alternating with the Apple Watch Series 8, there’s one thing I think the big, bold, sports watch could do better. 

It’s pretty simple really. While I’ve grown used to the huge display of the Ultra, I miss the sleek starlight finish of the Apple Watch 8. Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the Ultra is by no means an ugly watch, but in the office, or on a night out with friends, I feel like it looks like a sports watch, and this is partly down to the titanium bezel.

While Apple gives you the option to choose between bands, there’s only one option for the bezel of the new adventure watch. 

A photo of the Apple Watch Ultra with the Ocean Loop band

(Image credit: Future)

Of course, this is done deliberately. Apple designed this watch to be tough on the side of a mountain, and not to look cute with my new Monica Vinader bracelet on a night out. “Titanium strikes the perfect balance between weight, ruggedness, and corrosion resistance,” Apple writes about its Ultra watch. And it is tough — check out what happened when the Apple Watch Ultra’s durability was tested. If you plan on going out on an adventure, this watch will cope with knocks and drops far better than the Series 8. 

I wear a smartwatch constantly — weddings, nights out, family occasions, I’m still closing my rings. So I wish Apple had given users a little more choice when it comes to the Ultra.

On the other hand, if I’m spending $799 on a watch, I want to be able to wear it 24/7, especially when said watch is designed to track my steps, calories, time standing, sleep, heart rate, and more. Heck, it’s even telling me when to expect my next period (read more about the skin temperature sensor on the Apple Watch here).

I wear a smartwatch constantly — weddings, nights out, family occasions, I’m still closing my rings. So I wish Apple had given users a little more choice when it comes to the Ultra. 

A photo of the Apple Watch Ultra and the Garmin Fenix 7

(Image credit: Future)

This isn’t to say that Apple won’t make this change later down the line. There are two case materials, and seven different case finishes for the Apple Watch Series 8, so it’s likely that Apple will expand the offerings of the Apple Watch Ultra in the future. If we look at similar products, such as the Garmin Fenix 7 (read my Apple Watch Ultra vs Garmin Fenix 7 face-off here), which offers users silver, rose gold, and cream gold bezels amongst sportier-looking options, it’s clear that I’m not alone in my wish for my sports watch to look beautiful on my wrist when I’m not playing sports. 

I’m very aware I’m straying into spoiled brat territory here. The Apple Watch Ultra is an excellent watch (read my Apple Watch Ultra review here), and it’s by no means ugly. I just hope in the future, I’ll be able to customize it that little bit further. Until then, I’ll be that girl in the wedding photos with the huge watch on her wrist. 

Looking to read more about the Apple Watch Ultra? Here’s our Apple Watch Series 8 vs Apple Watch Ultra face-off, our guide to using the Action Button on the Apple Watch Ultra, and our review of all of the Apple Watch Ultra straps.

Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.