Can the Apple Watch Ultra conquer the Comrades Marathon? With a 12 hour GPS battery life that matches the Comrades’ cut off time, we thought this would be the perfect race to test the staying power of Apple’s top endurance watch. So is it up to an ultra? And how does the GPS, heart rate and performance fare against the big beast running watches, the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro and the Garmin Enduro 2. Run Tester Kieran took on the Comrades Marathon to find out. Hit play for our Apple Watch Ultra vs Garmin Fenix 7 Pro and Garmin Enduro 2 race test.

0:00 – Intro
1:39 – Comrades Marathon Race Day
4:06 – Post race reaction
5:19 – Battery life, GPS and Heart Rate Performance
8:46 – Apple Watch Ultra an option for ultras?

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Hey people welcome to the run tests it's Kieran here I'm actually in Durban in South Africa tomorrow we're going to be Doing the comrades Marathon for the First time and it's a great opportunity To do a race test I've wanted to do for A long time I'm going to be looking at The Apple watch Ultra 12 hour GPS Battery life Versus the comrades Marathon which has a 12-hour cutoff you don't finish in 12 Hours you're done so this is kind of the Perfect race to test the battery life For this watch I'm going to be putting That up against the Garmin Enduro 2 and Also the Garmin Fenix 7 Pro the new Watch from Garmin I'll be testing the GPS I'll be testing the battery life Overall will it survive I'll be seeing If I can survive as well I'll also be Looking at the heart rate up against the Fourth Frontier chest strap as well so We'll be comparing all of those watches Seeing how they get on can the Apple Watch Ultra last or trying to find out [Applause] Thank you So for context the comrades Ultra starts At 5 30 is a pointer point so what you Have to do is get a bus out to the start And then run back to where you're Finishing if you're doing the way I'm Doing it is where I'm staying in Durban To finish in Durban so we go to Peter's

Marricksburg but that means I have to be Up at one o'clock I'll be leaving the Hotel about 2 30. so I'm gonna have to Take my watch off charge probably at the Latest maybe around 2 30. the race Starts at 5 30. so not only have I got 12 hours run time GPS time of the Apple Watch Ultra but there'll be that block Beforehand so a proper proper test to See if this watch battery could last an Ultra like that it's the kind of thing That if you're running 100K Ultra in the UK you had a 12 hour Target this would Be an equivalent good Ultra test so the Race is going to be excellent let's go And find out how we get on Thank you [Music] Foreign [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Music] Foreign [Music] Foreign [Music] [Music] [Music] Thank you So I obviously race tested the Apple Watch Ultra against what could have been

A 12 hour Ultra we took it off charge Around 2 30 this morning and it's gone Down to 31 now after the race finished So it lasted nicely the Garmin Enduro is Only down to 86 percent And the Phoenix 7 Pro and 73 so that's The difference but the Apple watch I think I did nine hours just under nine Hours for the comrades so Plus the bus ride it's worked for that You might have managed to get in at 12 As well if you extended it we'll go Through all of the other data heart rate Uh GPS all of those stats back in the Office of the studio or whatever because I'm tired Got myself a Phil Rowan sub nine first Comrades and I think I've earned myself A beer so and also out there thank you To everybody who came and said hello Watchers of the Run testers Magic to meet you so many of you out There is absolutely fantastic really Really made my race So yeah thank you for watching [Music] So I'm back in the office fully Recovered from my comrade adventure and I wanted to get a little bit deeper into The other data from the race test with The Apple watch Ultra so let's start off By confirming those battery life results Then when I cross the finish line after 8 hours and 48 minutes the Apple watch

Ultra battery was down to 35 that 60 Battery used during the nine hours of Running that's the GPS track time that's Burning an average of around 6.5 every Hour now for a single stint that's Actually a strong performance really Particularly when it comes compared to Other Apple watches and you're probably Looking at happily getting around 14 Hours of GPS tracking from the Apple Watch Ultra provided you're not using Music or making a lot of calls or using A lot of the other smarts of the smart Watch now if I'd needed another three Hours to complete the race within the 12 Hour cutoff the Apple watch Ultra Probably would have lasted the distance And still had enough juice to cool the Family after to hail and Uber or to pay For a celebratory beer now to put that Into context you'd have enough staying Power to run 100 kilometer Ultra eight And a half minutes per kilometer or 13 And a half minutes per mile now no Previous Apple watch or other Smartwatch Would cover that kind of race time or Distance classic running watches though Are a totally different story of course And by comparison the Garmin Enduro 2 Burned just 14 from taking off charge Right to the Finish Line while the new Phoenix 7 Pro burned 27 so the Apple Watch Ultra battery life isn't yet Anywhere near those two endurance beasts

When it came to GPS performance I set up All three watches to use the more Accurate dual frequency multi-band GPS Tracking smarts so they're all in high Power mode and the results were Impressively consistent actually the Apple watch ultra's overall distance Across the 55 miles of South African Countryside was just slightly higher Than the Enduro 2 and the Phoenix 7 Pro But we're talking about 0.4 percent Difference which is insignificant I Think over such a long distance so Pretty good performance across the board And when you look at the GPS traces as Well from all three they all follow Similar lines there's no significant Deviation through buildings Or Meander's off-piste that would cause Alarm they all wandered slightly at Times but not enough to affect the Overall accuracy We are running in quite clear open Skies Though so that's one thing to consider There now while that overall Race Distance tracking was reliable the Real-time pacing did what real-time Pacing does on most watches all three Watches took turns to kind of flicker up And down around a bit and they rarely All agreed at the same time when I Looked down so I wouldn't say the Apple Watch Ultra was any better or worse than The two garments when it came to

Real-time pacing they both had those Fluctuations or all three did so onto Heart rate performance now the comrades Is a hot and very very hilly race well You might expect some heart rate Trackers to actually struggle with the Shifts in intensity but I was impressed To find the watch's average heart rate Readings all in agreement at the end of The race that rarely happens they also Matched the 450 pound fourth Frontier X2 Chest strap really closely the chest Strap but my average BPM 140 compared to The 141 BPM on all the watches there was A little less consensus when it came to The max heart rate the Enduro 2 clocked The highest at 171 beats per minute the Phoenix 7 Pro the lowest 165 the Apple Watch Ultra came in the middle at 100 169 beats per minute the chest strap Peaked at 164 beats when it's a slightly Lower but overall those higher reads Tended to be momentary Peaks when you Look into the data and for large parts Of the race the sensors were really kind Of closely matched across the board so Again I wouldn't say there's any Standout top performer when it comes to The optical heart rate performance at Least during this race where the pacing Overall I tried to keep it as Consistency as possible [Music] Foreign

So would I choose the Apple watch Ultra To run an ultra well when I saw the Apple launch the watch Ultra with photos Of desert Runners and that Ultra tag in The name I was kind of the first to Question this long call endurance Credentials but this comrades tests I Think has convinced me that we're Getting much closer to having an Apple Watch that's Ultra ready it'll certainly Do a job for well-marked Road Ultras up To 100 kilometers for faster Runners However even with that longer GPS Battery life and this more rugged build That you get and some improved Navigation I still think there's a way To go before the Apple watch Ultra is a Genuine like conquer them all ultra Running tool that battery life still Isn't there for multi-day or 24-hour Races for example and the native Navigation I think remains somewhat Limited but my comrades test has Convinced me that for race is up to kind Of 14 or 15 hours on a marked course Apple finally has a watch that you can Rely on to at least last a distance and Track with good accuracy And plus you get all those extra smarts That you get from the Smartwatch that You won't necessarily find on Garmin Chorus or polar [Music] Foreign

Test at the comrades marathon of the Apple watch Ultra hope you enjoyed it if You have any questions hit me up in the Comments below don't forget to like And Subscribe check out some of the other Content around the comrades kit tests All those kind of things that I've done On the channel or actually in fact check Out our Apple watch Ultra review which Should be appearing on the channel just About now Otherwise it's been a pleasure to talk To you and we hope to see you again soon On the Run testers