back to top
iGBApple WatchApple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Ultra: Should you upgrade?

Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Ultra: Should you upgrade?

The Wonderlust event went pretty much as we had expected it to go. Alongside the iPhone 15 models and AirPods Pro 2 case with USB-C ports, Apple also launched the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 with powerful specs and new features.

Although Apple’s premium rugged smartwatch got renewed, it still seems pretty similar to its predecessor. This naturally raises the question if it’s worth considering Watch Ultra 2. Thus, in this post, I’ll be comparing the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 with the first-generation Apple Watch Ultra and helping you make a purchase decision.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Ultra: Key specs

Apart from a better display and new chipsets, the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 features mostly the same specifications as its predecessor. Here’s a table comparing both before we delve into the juicy details of this comparison.

Apple Watch Ultra 2Apple Watch Ultra
Display410×502 LTPO OLED
3000 nits peak brightness
410×502 LTPO OLED
2000 nits peak brightness
ChipsetsApple S9 SiP / W3 / U2Apple S8 SiP / W3 / U1
SensorsOptical heart rate, Pulse Oxygen, skin temperature, depth gauge, compass, altimeter, barometerOptical heart rate, Pulse Oxygen, skin temperature, depth gauge, compass, altimeter, barometer
ConnectivityLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.3, ANT+, multi-band and dual-frequency GNSSLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.3, ANT+, multi-band and dual-frequency GNSS
Storage64GB32GB
BatteryUp to 36 hours
Up to 72 hours in Low Power Mode
Up to 36 hours
Up to 60 hours in Low Power Mode
Dust & water resistanceIP6X up to 100 metersIP6X up to 100 meters
Dimensions49 x 44 x 14.4mm
61.3 grams
49 x 44 x 14.4mm
61.3 grams
Price$799$799

Design, display, and bands

As far as the design and overall build of both smartwatches are concerned, Apple hasn’t made any changes to it. The only change on the exterior of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is that it now features a new display that can deliver up to 3000 nits of peak brightness, compared to 2000 nits in last year’s model.

Apple watch ultra 2 800x300 1

While 2000 nits of peak brightness should be sufficient for most people, the brighter display makes the Apple Watch Ultra 2 easy to look at under direct sunlight or when it’s used underwater. Apart from that, Apple also says that the newer display on the Ultra 2 can go as dim as 1 nit for longer battery life.

Coming to the watch bands, Apple still offers three options, which include an Alpine Loop, a Trail Loop, and an Ocean band. However, this time around, all the bands will be available in new colors. Moreover, the Alpine Loop and the Trail Loop will now be made out of over 30 percent recycled materials.

Processor and other hardware specs: Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Ultra

The most notable difference between the Apple Watch Ultra and the Ultra 2 is their internals. Instead of S8, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 features a new S9 SiP. The S9 offers 60 percent more CPU transistors (5.6 billion to be exact) and a 30 percent faster GPU. Moreover, the S9 even features an upgraded 4-core Neural engine that can run machine learning tasks up to 2x faster.

Apple watch ultra 2 s9 sip

Apple’s S9 SiP (System in Package) is further paired with a newer ultra wideband chip. This enables the Apple Watch Ultra 2 to offer several new features, along with responsive performance and smoother animations.

In case you’re curious about their battery life, both watches are still rated to deliver 36 hours of battery life on a single charge. However, the Ultra 2 can extend up to 72 hours in Low Power Mode, compared to the Ultra’s 60 hours.

Features: Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Ultra

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 offers several new features that you won’t find on the first-gen Ultra. For starters, the newer 4-core neural engine allows the Apple Watch Ultra 2 to handle Siri requests on-device, without the internet. Plus, you can now also access your health data with your voice using Siri.

Anyways, one of the most exciting new features of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 would easily be the new double tap gesture that allows you to control your watch by double-tapping your thumb and index finger together. This can be especially convenient in situations where your other hand is occupied, and you need to pick up calls, launch widgets, or trigger other actions.

Apple watch ultra 2 features

Apart from that, the newer ultra wideband chip allows the Apple Watch Ultra 2 to support even more useful features. For instance, you can now use Precision Finding right from your wrist to locate your iPhone. And now, when you get close to a HomePod, media suggestions will automatically appear at the top of the Smart Stacks, so you can quickly play a playlist or podcast.

Last but not least, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 also offers a new Modular Ultra watch face, which can display real-time depth and altitude data. There are even more features for runners and cyclists, along with the updated depth app that can now log each diving session so you can review them later on.

Pricing and availability: Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Ultra

Undoubtedly, the Apple Watch Ultra offers the most pleasing Apple Watch experience you can get and comes with a matching price tag. Just like its predecessor, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is only available in one 49mm GPS + Cellular configuration that will cost you $799, which is quite good to hear.

As far as its release date is concerned, you can preorder the Apple Watch Ultra 2 today for $799, with general availability beginning from September 22nd. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to buy the first-generation Ultra, you will have to rely on other third-party resellers, as Apple has already delisted it.

Verdict – Should you buy Apple Watch Ultra 2?

Whether or not you should upgrade to the Apple Watch Ultra 2 depends entirely on your individual needs and preferences. If you already have the first-generation Apple Watch Ultra and are happy with it, there is no need to upgrade to the Ultra 2. The upgrades that the Ultra 2 offers are relatively minor, and the overall performance and feature set are significantly similar.

However, if you are planning to buy your first Apple Watch that delivers the latest and greatest Apple Watch experience, the Ultra 2 is one of the best option available out there. It has a brighter display, a faster processor, and a few new features, such as Precision Finding and the Double Tap gesture.

Explore more…

  • Ayush

    Ayush is a writer with a keen interest in consumer technology and the Apple ecosystem. He has over three years of working experience at several big-name publications, including Guiding Tech, TechPP, and MobiGyaan. Here at iGeeksBlog, he specializes in crafting how-to guides, buying guides, and editorials related to all things Apple.

    View all posts

🗣️ Our site is supported by our readers like you. When you purchase through our links, we earn a small commission. Read Disclaimer.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles