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Apple Watch Ultra teardown reveals a battery replacement problem

The new Apple Watch Ultra has received the full YouTube teardown treatments, where it’s been discovered that replacing its battery is a bit of an ordeal.

Apple’s new premium ruggedised smartwatch has been put through the wringer by the iFixit team, with some clear points of contention.

Things start well with the news that the Ultra is the first Apple Watch to places screws on the back of the device. You’ll be able to access the innards of the watch a little easier – with the appropriate Apple-specific tool, of course. On the downside, removing the next layer will completely destroy the gluey gasket that holds this section in place.

It seems accessing the Apple Watch Ultra’s battery is actually a bit of an ordeal, requiring you to remove the display. That’s not great news given this is the one big component you’re likely to want to replace several years down the line. Sure enough, the screen cracks while the tester is trying to scoop it out.

This tester also claims that the Ultra’s raised lip is an oversold feature, as it does little to protect the display. The Apple Watch Ultra might be well protected from side impact, but it’s very vulnerable to impacts from any other angle.

Apple announced its new rugged smartwatch at the iPhone 14 launch event a few weeks ago. For an eye-watering £849/$799, it’s offering a larger, tougher Apple Watch with chunkier controls and a bigger, brighter display.

MIL-STD 810H military ruggedisation ensures that it can stand up to more abuse than previous App Watch devices, and it also has the ability to survive in below zero temperatures. Divers can take it 100 meters depth, and Apple has provided them with the Oceanic Plus app for in-depth insights on things like depth, pressure, location and safety warnings on things like decompression rates.

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