The Apple Watch Ultra is a groundbreaking device in many regards, and one of its more impressive features is its powerful and large screen. But what is it that makes the screen of the Apple Watch Ultra so robust, and is it really as impressive as everyone says it is?
The Apple Watch Ultra has an impressive screen made of sapphire crystal glass, one of the hardest materials on earth. It is incredibly scratch resistant and very tough, but it’s not indestructible or completely immune to scratches, though it should handle most activities with ease.
The screen is one of the Apple Watch Ultra’s most significant selling points. Most of Apple’s marketing materials mention it, and users rave about it in online forums. Let’s look at everything you need to know about the impressive new Apple Watch Ultra screen.
What Is The Apple Watch Ultra Screen Made Of?
The screen of the Apple Watch Ultra is made of sapphire crystal glass, the same substance used in many other adventure watches.
Even though the name includes the word “glass,” sapphire crystal glass is not actually a type of glass. It is a synthetic material that’s made of aluminum oxide. The manufacturing process involves placing aluminum oxide and uncrystallized sapphire in a furnace, heating it to approximately 3,992 degrees Fahrenheit, then letting it cool for two weeks.
The fact that the Apple Watch Ultra’s screen is made of sapphire crystal glass is significant since the material is known to be nearly indestructible. However, it’s also unbelievably expensive, which is why very few wearable devices use it, and smartphones mainly use it to protect their sensitive camera lenses.
But this means that the Apple Watch Ultra’s screen is made of one of the hardest substances possible, which adds a significant amount of protection.
Is The Apple Watch Ultra Screen Scratch Proof?
Though the Apple Watch Ultra screen isn’t entirely scratch-proof, it is highly scratch-resistant. Because it’s made of sapphire crystal glass, it should take a lot of effort to scratch it.
As a demonstration, the YouTube channel TechRax performed an extensive series of tests that I personally found painful to watch.
First, the user dropped the Apple Watch Ultra face-first onto a concrete surface to see what it could handle. The watch’s screen didn’t even have a light scratch, though there were some scratches in its titanium casing.
The second test involved placing the Apple Watch Ultra in a jar full of screws, which the user then shook vigorously to try and scratch the watch’s screen. Even after this level of abuse, the screen was still unscratched and in perfect condition. The rest of the watch didn’t look good anymore, though much of that was just dirt, not damage.
The third test involved a hammer. The user started by hammering the Apple Watch Ultra’s screen quite gently, then increased the intensity of their hits. After quite a significant number of beatings, the screen switched off (probably due to the failure of internal components), but the screen still showed no signs of damage.
However, as incredible as this demonstration is, we should remember that it is not scratch-proof, and some users have had different experiences. For example, Reddit user AdmirableDeparture33 noticed his Apple Watch Ultra’s screen had a very long, noticeable scratch after what they claimed was three days of “casual wear.”
The user claims they don’t know what caused the scratch since they didn’t do any hard work or anything intensive while wearing the watch. We don’t know how factual their statements are, but this is not the only claim of its kind on the internet, so I always say it’s best to take care of your Apple Watch Ultra’s screen as if it were a regular screen.
How Tough Is The Apple Watch Ultra Screen?
The sapphire crystal glass doesn’t only make the screen scratch resistant but very tough and robust, too. As mentioned in the example of TechRax’s “tests,” the screen could withstand even a heavy beating with a hammer.
However, as the intensity of the hammer blows got worse, eventually, the table underneath the Apple Watch Ultra started to crack, and the user had to move the watch before battering it even more. Eventually, after about 15 very intense hits, the screen eventually shattered.
People often believe that hardness is the same as toughness, but that’s not always the case. Sapphire crystal glass has a hardness rating of nine on the Mohs scale, which means it’s just slightly softer than diamond (the hardest material on earth), which is rated at ten.
This should mean the Apple Watch Ultra’s screen is almost as tough as a diamond. However, softer materials can be tougher if they are more flexible, and since sapphire crystal glass is not flexible at all, there is a point where the pressure will become too much, and the screen will break.
In summary, the Apple Watch Ultra’s screen is tough enough to handle just about anything that your adventurous lifestyle can throw at it, just as well (or even better) than other sports watches, but it is not indestructible. So, the same advice about scratches also applies here: you should take care of your Apple Watch Ultra’s screen as if it was just a regular screen.
Are Apple Watch Screens Interchangeable?
Apple Watch screens are not interchangeable. You need to get an exact replacement part to replace the screen on any Apple Watch, including the Apple Watch Ultra. That’s because all Apple Watch models have different screen sizes.
There are even different screen sizes within each generation of the Apple Watch. For example, in both the Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8, you have a choice between the 45 mm screen and a 41 mm display. The two aren’t interchangeable in any way since one won’t fit inside the casing of the other.
The Apple Watch Ultra only has one size: 49 mm. It has the largest screen of all Apple Watch models, so the rule is still that it’s impossible to replace the Apple Watch Ultra’s screen with that of another Apple Watch model.
However, the one exception is that it is possible to replace the Apple Watch Ultra’s screen with a screen from another Apple Watch Ultra, as you can with other models of the Apple Watch. So, if your Apple Watch Ultra’s screen was somehow damaged, and you find another Ultra that doesn’t work but has an intact screen, you can replace the broken screen with the working one.
The Apple Watch Ultra’s screen is impressive. Made of one of the toughest (and most expensive) materials possible, it can withstand an intense beating and lots of abuse. It is possible to damage it, but not easily. However, as always, you should take the best care of your Apple Watch Ultra’s screen and treat it as if it’s just a normal screen to ensure it lasts as long as possible.