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Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2: Which one should you buy?

Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 at their Wonderlust event. Now, you might wonder if the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is worth it or Series 9 is a better choice. In this article, I’ll do a detailed Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2 comparison so you can understand the key differences between them.

Specs comparison: Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Watch Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are launched with some unique features and upgrades. I’ve made a detailed specs comparison table below to get a quick overview of their differences.

SpecApple Watch Series 9Apple Watch Ultra 2
DisplayCurved display with refractive edgeFlat
Display typeAlways-on Retina LTPO OLEDAlways-on Retina LTPO OLED
Screen size45mm or 41mm49 mm
Storage64 GB64 GB
GPSYesPrecision Dual -Frequency + GPS
CaseAluminum or stainless steelTitanium
Weight38.7 grams to 51.5 grams depending on the model61.4 grams
Battery lifeNormal use: 18 hours 
Low-power mode: 36 hours
Normal use: 36 hours 
Low-power mode: 72 hours
ProcessorS9 SiPS9 SiP
Brightness2000 nits3000 nits
Water resistance50 m100 m
Color optionsAluminum: Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Pink, (Product) Red
Stainless steel: Graphite, Silver, Gold
Titanium: Natural
Customizable Action buttonNoYes
PriceStarts at $399 (aluminum) and $699 (stainless steel)$799

So, you may notice that the physical specs of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 are similar to their predecessors. Only the processor is upgraded to the S9 SiP with a 2nd Gen Ultra-wideband chip, and the watch case and bands are carbon-neutral. Also, both received some unique tech features like:

Now that we’ve got the lowdown on the fresh stuff in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 let’s compare to see what differences make each of them stand out.

Design and display – Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 can be your choice if you want a watch with a larger screen. Its roomy 49-mm titanium case and 3000 nits peak brightness make it easy to read even in direct sunlight. Moreover, it has features to detect low light and adjust to Night mode

Besides, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a rugged design with raised edges to protect the flat sapphire front crystal from shock impacts. Also, it houses a customizable Action button and an 86dB siren that can be heard up to 180 meters away. However, it weighs 61.4 grams and feels a little heavy.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 9 can be a perfect pick for you if you don’t like big, bulky watches and would rather have something lighter. You can choose different case size and build for a preferred weight. Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 have an Always-on Retina display and can dim to 1 nits brightness.

Battery life – Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Series 9 performs admirably, lasting 18 hours or up to 36 hours on Low Power Mode. Even though 18 hours might seem sufficient, it might be less if you frequently use specific apps that run in the background. If so, you can enable Low Power Mode to use your watch further.

However, if you’re looking for a clear winner, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is your best option for longer battery life. It can last up to 72 hours in Low Power Mode and up to 36 hours in everyday use, even with the brightest display.

Features – Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is your ultimate buddy if you love adventures and sports. It is tested to surpass MIL-STD 810H protection. Besides, the Always-on altimeter is upgraded to operate from −500 m to 9,000 m altitudes and -20° C to 55° C on-wrist temperature. Also, the dual-frequency GPS helps you navigate accurately.

With this watch, you can dive into waters as deep as 100 meters without worrying and may go down to 40 meters below the surface. Plus, it’s officially certified to meet EN13319 standards and comes packed with depth gauge and water temperature sensors. Also, you may take advantage of the Depth app.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 9 is more like your reliable everyday companion. It has 50 meters of water resistance, not as extreme as the Ultra 2. It’s also got the same IP6X dual dust resistance certification, so it can handle the occasional dusty situation.

But here’s the thing: Series 9 doesn’t have those fancy depth sensors or water gauges that the Ultra 2 flaunts. So, if your adventures often involve water, this watch might not be your best buddy.

Speaker and microphone

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 packs a punch with its double speakers and a trio of microphones. Apple has incorporated beamforming and wind noise mitigation to make your voice sound sharp and crystal clear.

Now, if you’re eyeing the Apple Watch Series 9, it has a simple yet decent second-gen speaker and microphone combo that does the job for your regular chit-chats.

Color options

Color options
Image Credits: Apple

Don’t worry about a rainbow of colors with the Apple Watch Series 9, as it offers two material options. If you prefer a textured look, opt for the Stainless Steel version, available in Gold, Silver, and Graphite. Meanwhile, the regular Aluminum model gives you even more color options, including Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Pink, and Product (RED).

In contrast, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 keeps it simple with just one Titanium version, and it’s only available in one color: Natural.

Price – Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2

When you’re thinking about which product to choose, your budget is a crucial factor. If you’re eyeing the Apple Watch Ultra 2, you must pay a pretty hefty price tag of $799.

On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 9 starts at a more affordable $399 for the basic GPS model. But remember, if you want extra bells and whistles, that cost can go up. Check out the table below for a better picture.

TypeSeries 9Watch Ultra 2
GPS Only$399
GPS + Cellular$499$799
Stainless Steel$699 (Starting)

Who should buy Apple Watch Series 9?

If you already have an Apple Watch Series 8, it might not be the best move to upgrade to the Series 9. But if you’ve got an older version and want to improve your game, the Series 9 could be a good choice. Additionally, if you’re new to the Apple Watch world and have a decent budget, I suggest you go for Series 9.

However, if you’re on a tighter budget, the Series 8 is still a great smartwatch, and its price might drop over time. Also, you won’t be missing out on much, except for the double-tap feature with Series 8.

Who should buy Apple Watch Ultra 2?

If you are an adventure and sports enthusiast or want to stay on top of the latest trends, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is right up your alley. I’ve talked about all the cool new stuff it can do in this article, and it’s a no-brainer for folks who aren’t pinching pennies and seeking the most rugged watch with a bigger display and longer battery life.


Which Apple watch is best for your daily activities?

The daily rigors can be handled by both watches. With a more compact and lightweight design, the Apple Watch Series 9 is affordable. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is your solution if you want a watch that can last all day and withstand some rough handling.

Which Apple Watch is best for outdoors and fitness?

Both watches are fitness-savvy, but the Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a few perks. Its screen shines brightly, so you can check your sports activity stats even in broad daylight. Plus, it packs a spot-on GPS for tracking distance and speed.

Are there different versions of the Apple Watch Series 9?

Apple teamed up with Hermès to drop a special Apple Watch Series 9 Hermès edition. And if you’re into sporty vibes, you can also snag the Apple Watch Series 9 with some slick Nike Sports bands.

Which one should I go for?

When deciding between the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, it all comes down to what you want it for. If you want a watch for a fashion statement and don’t want to make a hole in your wallet, you can go for Series 9.

On the other hand, if you prioritize fitness and outdoor activities and don’t mind investing a bit more, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 emerges as the undisputed winner. So, which one will you be acquiring? Feel free to share your decision in the comments section below.

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  • Bhaskar

    Bhaskar is a tech guru who turned wordsmith. Hiding his B.Tech degree in a closet, he ditched the corporate path to simplify tech for everyone. For the past 5 years, he's been dishing out how-tos, reviews, and sharp insights. But there's more! He's a witty interview champ and has been sharing his wisdom for 3 years. Furthermore, he has honed his editing skills for 1.5 years and is now delving into marketing to assist newcomers. When not jamming his fingers on those mechanical keyboards, you may find him on strings or engaging in sports. And by evening, his quotes will be appearing on your Instagram feeds.

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