Apple Watch Extremely overview: More durable than a Robust Mudder


execs and cons


  • Giant vibrant 49mm show
  • Durably constructed
  • Further buttons and twin audio system
  • Wonderful battery life
  • Built-in cell service for monitoring

  • Costly at $799
  • Too giant for smaller wrists
  • No offline mapping
  • Restricted metrics for athletes

extra shopping for selections

Editor’s be aware: This overview was initially revealed in September of 2022 however has been up to date a number of instances since.

Apple advertises the brand new Watch Extremely as its most rugged and succesful smartwatch ever. Naturally, as a sports activities watch fanatic and proprietor of some too many wearables, I used to be intrigued by the corporate’s foray into the area of interest however vital phase and purchased one for myself. 

That mentioned, the purpose of this overview is to not let you know whether or not or not the Apple Watch Extremely can maintain the everyday jog on the park. As a substitute, for a watch so wealthy in sturdiness and health options, I figured, “Why not deal with it with the last word sturdiness take a look at?” 

The annual Robust Mudder 15K occasion pushes you to hurdle, climb, swim, duck, and dive by way of a collection of ruthless challenges, together with an ice-cold water pool stuffed with stunning “Electrical Eels” and mountains of mud-filled barricades. It is an ultra-level marathon for an Extremely smartwatch.

Additionally: The 5 finest Apple Watch fashions

After all the things was mentioned and achieved, I may barely make it up and down the steps and the cuts and bruises all through my physique have been unrelenting. As for the Apple Watch, you will wish to learn on to see the way it held up. 



49mm 410×502 LTPO OLED sapphire glass touchscreen


Titanium casing and three band choices




IP6X mud resistance and 100 meters of water resistance


LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, ANT+, muilti-band and twin frequency GNSS


Optical HR, barometer, compass, altimeter, Pulse Ox, pores and skin and water temperature, depth gauge


As much as 36 hours


49 x 44 x 14.4mm, 61.3g



A brand new Apple Watch design

The Apple Watch Extremely has a titanium case with a flat sapphire crystal glass show and ceramic again cowl. That is a recipe for a sturdy and rugged smartwatch. The digital crown is bigger than ever and is part of the watch that bulges from the fitting aspect. It, too, is a brand new side of the Apple Watch design and one that’s a lot wanted for the tactility and suggestions of the buttons. 

Additionally: How one can change your Apple Watch face

The left aspect has a further Motion button you could customise to your most well-liked perform. I ran the Robust Mudder with gloves and was in a position to function the watch with out eradicating them. This stage of entry and management is essential when cooler temperatures, moist situations, and different environmental components happen.


The suitable aspect of the Apple Watch Extremely, with the accented Digital Crown. 

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

There are two new audio system constructed into the body of the watch which saved me up to date on one-mile splits through the 15K. (Fortunately, I by no means needed to take a look at the siren characteristic.) I did, nonetheless, obtain a warning after a few arduous falls whereas leaping over deep mud pits, however I used to be in a position to clear that each time and let the Apple Watch know that I used to be OK. 

Additionally: That is the last word use of your Apple Watch Extremely’s Motion button

I’ve by no means had the fall detection go off on me earlier than, however these jumps and landings have been fairly forceful, and one even took away my breath for a number of seconds, so it was truly nice to see this perform work — although I by no means supposed to see it in motion.


The White Ocean band seems to be nice and is ideal for aquatic actions.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

I had fairly a routine through the 15K. First, I locked the Apple Watch’s show due to the extent of exercise and wrist motion. After I did want to make use of it, I would push the Digital Crown to clear water out of the watch and unlock the show. There have been moments once I’d miss-tap and by accident cease a exercise, however I would chalk that as much as the Apple Watch being a number of days outdated on the time. 


Apple’s watch faces are getting higher at displaying vital info. 

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The Apple Watch Extremely is examined to MIL-STD 810H, with IP6X mud resistance and 100-meter water resistance. I examined the primary two sturdiness options, however solely went down about 5 toes within the water through the 15K. That mentioned, I’ve learn accounts by fellow journalists concerning the diving expertise with the wearable and the sentiment is mostly optimistic.

Additionally: How one can clear your Apple Watch in 5 steps

Apple Watch Extremely vs. Robust Mudder 15K

The Robust Mudder 15K consists of 30 obstacles, with names like Mud Mile, Lumberjacked, Electrical Eel, Arctic Enema, and Ladder to Hell. These obstacles embody muddy ditches, darkish culverts, ice water, 10,000 volts of electrical energy, staff workout routines, and far more. Mainly, it’s extremely taxing on the physique. 

Let us take a look at a few of the environments and situations that the Apple Watch Extremely took on:

Path working

Whereas it was marketed as a 15K, each the Apple Watch Extremely and COROS Vertix 2 I wore plotted out my complete distance at about 8.5 miles (or 13.68K). The run concerned grassland and closely wooded areas, however the GPS monitoring was nearly precisely the identical for each watches, which is nice. One new characteristic on the Apple Watch Extremely that ought to be extra current on different fashions is Precision Begin. This easy characteristic permits you to affirm {that a} GPS repair has been utilized to your run previous to beginning any countdowns.

Wall climbing

The White Ocean band was snug and versatile sufficient that it didn’t trigger any binding or discomfort whereas climbing over partitions. Higher but, it did not present any put on from rubbing in opposition to the perimeters of rocks and sharp edges. 


There have been a number of obstacles the place I needed to crawl on my fingers and knees over rocks, in mud, and thru the water. One included a chamber with extraordinarily robust mentholated vapor that made my eyes water. I assumed for positive the rocks and dust would trigger scratches everywhere in the Apple Watch Extremely, however the show and the perimeters ended up wanting flawless, with simply a few very minor scratches in a single entrance nook. 


The Apple Watch Extremely is elegantly rugged

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Water submersion

There have been a number of obstacles with water — some with very chilly ice water — and the Apple Watch Extremely’s self-cleaning characteristic labored completely. A press-and-hold on the Digital Crown triggered the audio system to sound, vibrate, and shake out any water that seeped into the wearable. 

Additionally: 9 methods to get extra out of your Apple Watch

A lot of the water occasions within the race have been dyed, so there was little to no visibility once I sunk in. Thus, I used to be not in a position to take a look at (or see) any of the water depth options of the Apple Watch Extremely. My GoPro truly fell off my head in a single impediment and I dove with my eyes closed for greater than 30 seconds earlier than I recovered it. Fortunately, each the Apple Watch Extremely and GoPro have been nonetheless functioning.

Overhead swinging

Much like wall climbing, I anticipated my wrist to be affected by the watch when grabbing and swinging on varied types of monkey bars. Sometimes, with rugged-style watches, the bulkier {hardware} can jab into your pores and skin in case your fingers are angled. Whereas I fell off quite a few instances through the obstacles, the trigger had extra to do with my energy and grip, and fewer with the watch.


  The beginning of the race (high) versus the tip (backside).

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Electrical shock

Crawling by way of the water with 10,000 volts of hanging cables wasn’t one thing to stay up for and I used to be undoubtedly rocked by the costs. Fortunately, the Apple Watch Extremely appeared unaffected by the shock remedy and saved on monitoring my coronary heart fee — because it was spiking left and proper. Maybe there is a shock-resistance issue that Apple is not telling us about?

Coronary heart fee monitoring

The Apple Watch Extremely captured my coronary heart fee all through the occasion and, in comparison with the COROS Vertix 2, averaged 3-5 bpm extra. I didn’t have a chest monitor to match the measurements, however the Apple Watch was definitely dependable sufficient to trace my progress all through the 15K and may maintain properly for much less hectic situations.

Ocean band

By the point I accomplished the 15K, the white Ocean band was caked in mud (see earlier than and after under) and I needed to run a probe by way of the holes within the band to get all of it out. Nonetheless, the band fared usually a lot better than I anticipated, and after utilizing it for this occasion and sporting it round, I might order this model once more — even when I am not diving.


It took a little bit of scrubbing to get the band to be white once more

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Battery life

My Apple Watch Extremely arrived the day earlier than my Robust Mudder occasion so I set all of it up after which began the subsequent morning with 100%. I drove simply over half-hour to the occasion website after which had about 45 minutes earlier than the begin to park, check-in, stretch, and speak with my staff.

I began the 15K occasion with GPS working, a T-Cellular mobile sign lively for staying in contact with my household, and the guts fee monitor within the background. 


Finishing my third Robust Mudder with the Apple Watch Extremely and a COROS Vertix 2.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

After two hours and 40 minutes, the Watch Extremely was all the way down to 76%. This works out to 9% consumption per hour, which is fairly excessive. Usually, you possibly can anticipate 4-6% battery loss per hour, based on a fellow journalist, Ray Maker’s overview, however the lively mobile connection certainly elevated my consumption fee. In all honesty, I used to be nonetheless impressed that an Apple Watch may final so long as it did.

Since that is such a brand new unit, it can take a while to completely consider the anticipated battery lifetime of the watch. It’s clear that GPS sports activities watches will final for much longer. I had a COROS Vertix 2 on my different wrist to function an ordinary to measure by and it solely misplaced 5% of its battery over this similar 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Apple Watch Extremely vs. GPS sports activities watches

Apple is clearly going after the rugged sports activities watch market with the Extremely, however I do not assume it is almost nearly as good, but. GPS sports activities watches final for weeks — not days, have a plethora of metrics out there to trace through the exercise, embody offline mapping so you should utilize them for route steerage, and are simply as rugged because the Apple Watch Extremely for much less. 

One different space that I discover missing with the Apple Watch Extremely when put next with GPS sports activities watches designed for athletes is the shortage of web-based or desktop entry to the Apple Watch information. You’ll be able to export the information right into a third-party app, however Garmin, Polar, and COROS have glorious web sites the place you possibly can dive into the small print of the information, create and sync coaching plans, and develop studies that will help you practice and excel in your exercise — from nearly any gadget.

Backside line

I used to be fairly nervous about taking my $800 Apple Watch Extremely out on this grueling Robust Mudder occasion, given the entire crawling, climbing, and different bodily obstacles I needed to sort out. To my shock, it held up rather well and I nonetheless can not imagine that the show is flawless. I tip my hat to Apple for making a rugged gadget with premium supplies that really does maintain up properly underneath powerful situations.

Assessment: Garmin’s Enduro 2 is the extremely sports activities watch to beat

What I like quite a bit concerning the Apple Watch Extremely is that whereas it is highly effective sufficient to get by way of probably the most intense environments, it is simply as dependable as an ordinary smartwatch. This duality is ideal for people who need the most effective of each worlds. As for me, I am fairly pleased with GPS sports activities watches just like the Garmin Enduro 2 and COROS Vertix 2, so the Apple Watch is unlikely to knock them off of my wrist. 

Options to think about

The Apple Watch Extremely is a stable smartwatch, however there are different choices on the market too. If you do not have an iPhone, the Watch Extremely is not an choice, so listed below are options for Android customers in addition to for iPhone customers.


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