Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra vs Galaxy Watch 7: Which upgrade to get?

Samsung’s just pulled back the curtain on the new Galaxy Watch 7 and the high-end Galaxy Watch Ultra. Here’s how the two wearables compare.

For the last few years, Samsung has held on to a fairly traditional update cycle for its wearable range, debuting two watches each year that differentiate on either style or fitness tracking features, but for 2024, the company is charting in entirely new territory.

We already know about the recently unveiled, budget-friendly Galaxy Watch FE, but now we have the anticipated Galaxy Watch 7 and the all-new Galaxy Watch Ultra in the mix. While there are now three new Galaxy Watch options to choose from this year, this article will focus on the two latter wearables given that they’re debuting at the same time.

With those two devices being aimed at very different user bases, here are the key differences you need to know between the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 and the new Galaxy Watch Ultra.

The Watch Ultra is all about the outdoors

As you might expect given that this thing is designed to compete directly with the Apple Watch Ultra 2 – the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra is ready to withstand the elements. Made from a grade 4 titanium chassis and boasting 10ATM water resistance with an official IP68 rating.

While the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 has the same IP rating, it can only be taken to depths as low as 5ATM, making the Ultra better suited to divers. You are getting the same durability where the screen is concerned however, with Sapphire Crystal being used on both.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra on wrist in white and silver app gridSamsung Galaxy Watch Ultra on wrist in white and silver app grid

There’s a new button on the Watch Ultra

Because the Galaxy Watch Ultra has been designed more with workouts in mind, it’s been afforded some extra functionality in the way of a new ‘Quick Button’, which, much like the Apple Watch Ultra’s ‘Action Button’, can let you access a chosen feature more quickly.

Two examples Samsung provides is the ability to initiate a workout immediately, or open up a navigation app to get your bearings. This won’t be enough of a game-changer on its own to get the Ultra over the Watch 7, but it will be appreciated in those moments when you don’t want to sift through menus to find your desired app.

The Galaxy Watch 7 has more size options

Samsung has gone for a ‘one-size fits all’ policy on the Galaxy Watch Ultra, with a single 47mm option on sale. That might be fine for some, but if you prefer to have a smaller watch on your wrist then you’ll probably feel more at home with the Galaxy Watch 7.

Just like the Watch 6 before it, the Galaxy Watch 7 comes in two size options: 40mm and 44mm. This offers more flexibility to consumers to find a watch that best suits their tastes, or complements their style.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 7Samsung Galaxy Watch 7

Battery is king on the Galaxy Watch Ultra

Because the Galaxy Watch Ultra is designed with hikers and marathon runners in mind, its been given a sizeable 590mAh battery in order to take on the demands of those users, which puts it at quite an advantage where longevity is concerned.

By comparison, the Galaxy Watch 7 has either a 300 or a 425mAh cell, depending on whether you get the smaller 40mm or larger 44mm option. While we won’t exactly how long either can last on a single charge until we get them in for testing, it’s safe to say that the Galaxy Watch Ultra should come out on top here.

There’s a big price difference

In spite of all the features mentioned thus far, the price of these watches is probably going to be the determining factor for most people when deciding which one to buy. In this department, the Galaxy Watch 7 is far more affordable with a starting price £289 that can rise depending whether you want a larger chassis or LTE connectivity.

The Galaxy Watch Ultra on the other hand has a much higher price tag of £599 which, while cheaper than the competing Apple Watch Ultra 2, still makes it the most expensive Galaxy wearable by quite a wide margin.

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