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UAG mobile accessories: Rugged Apple Watch straps and Z Fold 4 case

Urban Armor Gear is known for making mobile accessories that are built to protect your devices in all situations. New Apple Watch bands and a case for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 were recently released.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on
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Rugged Apple Watch Ultra watch bands and a case for the Galaxy Z Fold 4

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

UAG has long been one of my favorite brands for mobile accessories and it continues to release functional gear that protects your expensive mobile tech. We spent a couple of weeks with a few Apple Watch Ultra straps and a protective case for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.

The Apple Watch Ultra is an amazing smartwatch with a $799 price while the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 starts at $1,799. Both of these investments deserve to be worn with quality watch bands and protected by rugged cases. Urban Armor Gear has several products available to help you achieve these goals with reasonable prices and cool color options too.

Also: I put the Apple Watch Ultra through a Tough Mudder: Here's how it held up

Active Watch Strap

When I purchased my Apple Watch Ultra, there were limited options for bands in order to get a watch on my wrist as quickly as possible. Since the launch, I have been looking for watch straps that match the rugged style and colors of the Apple Watch Ultra. The UAG Active Strap is available in Rust, Graphite, and Foliage Green. With the safety orange highlights on the Watch Ultra, I selected the Rust color and have not been disappointed.

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Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The Active Strap is available now for $69.95. While it is advertised for the Apple Watch Ultra, it also fits the larger sized Apple Watch models. It is clearly not going anywhere once you secure it to your wrist.

The band is made with elastic webbing material so it stretches a bit to make it comfortable throughout the day and easy to mount on your wrist. This material also allows the strap to dry out if it gets wet and the stainless steel hardware means it will not rust, even though that is the name of the color I tested.

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The Apple Watch Ultra safety orange works well with this strap

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Multiple rows of Velcro secure the strap to your wrist. The tension lock slider hardware is a bit bulky, but it is also angled so it fits well around your wrist. The band is well constructed with tight stitching and superb fit and finish.

NATO ECO strap

The NATO ECO strap is available for $49.95 in Foliage Green, Graphite, and Dark Earth. We tested the Foliage Green color.

The NATO ECO strap is made from RPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) so buying this band helps keep plastic water bottles out of landfills and the oceans. The nylon weave material is durable and very well sewn together.

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UAG branding is prominent on the strap

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The band hardware is made of recycled stainless steel with two additional pass-throughs on the band to keep the bitter end secured against the strap when you wear it. I was surprised to find this band ended up being my favorite and it worked very well while exercising and while working.

The watch band is designed for wrists from 125-208mm in circumference with 11 openings to secure the latch to fit your wrist. The band is comfortable and light weight so it doesn't add much to the overall Apple Watch Ultra package. The strap fits into the Apple Watch lug system quickly and easily too.

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It's great to see UAG using recycled plastics and stainless steel in its products

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Civilian strap

Not every strap hits it out of the park and I have to say that the Civilian strap was my least favorite of the three that I tested. The band is very light holds the Apple Watch Ultra in place well, but the soft silicone material collects animal hair, lint, and dust to a very high degree and it's tough to wipe it all off easily.

I am personally also not a fan of the tuck closure system, common on default Apple Watch straps, and with the soft silicone material it took a bit of effort to tuck in the bitten end of the strap. The Civilian strap is available in Mallard (blue) and Black for $49.95.

The stainless steel hardware is great and the openings along the entire length of the strap keep air passing through the strap and making the strap adjustable for any size wrist. The silicone material is antimicrobial so it also helps keep things clean and fresh.

Also: Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a high-priced ticket to productivity heaven

Galaxy Z Fold 4 Civilian case

Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 4 remains my favorite phone of 2022 and I appreciate cases that protect this expensive investment. The UAG Civilian Series case offers solid protection for the back, front, and even the hinge on the Z Fold 4 with a light weight design and perfect fit. It has material that makes it easy to hold onto with adhesive stripe stickers to hold the case on the phone.

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The back is well protected

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

While the front is well protected, the edge around the front display is raised a bit too high for me to reliably swipe in from the edges with my finger. I don't use the Cover Display that much so this isn't too much of an issue, but you should know the front is raised quite a bit above the display.

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The raised edges help protect the front, but make it a bit tough to swipe from the edge

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The back fits well and has openings for the camera, mics, speakers, and USB-C port with a cool back UAG logo. The volume button design is a bit unusual and not my favorite either. The spine/hinge of the Z Fold 4 is protected a bit with light material that covers the hinge when in the closed position and slides behind the back panel in the open position.

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There is a bit of protection for the hinge when closed

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The case is certified as a Designed for Samsung product with MIL-STD 810G-516.6 drop test approval. Wireless charging and Samsung Pay work just fine with the Z Fold 4 in the case too. There is no storage option for the S Pen.

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