The new Apple Watch Ultra 2 is here, featuring a new processor and exciting tracking capabilities. Discover the differences between the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Watch Ultra. Particularly in terms of operation, Apple has introduced a feature that could either be revolutionary or a complete miss.
|The 2023 model||The 2022 model|
Table of Contents:
- Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Watch Ultra: prices and availability
- Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Watch Ultra: Design and screen
- Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Watch Ultra: SoC and performance
- Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Watch Ultra: Sensors
- Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Watch Ultra: Features
- Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Watch Ultra: Battery and fast charging
- Outlook: Is the Watch Ultra 2 worth it?
Those who bought the Apple Watch Ultra did not have to worry much about the design. There is exactly one size, and it comes exclusively in titanium silver and exclusively with LTE. The whole thing does not get more complex with the Apple Watch Ultra 2. Apple still only offers the bulky 49 mm version—and it is also only available in silver.
|Model||Apple Watch Ultra 2||Apple Watch Ultra|
|Size||49 mm||49 mm|
With the start of pre-orders for the Watch Ultra 2, Apple will probably remove the old Ultra from the official Apple Store soon. Of course, you can still buy the smartwatch from third-party retailers like Amazon, Otto, MediaMarkt & Co. where the prices for the old model should drop quite a bit relatively quickly.
You've just read it: The Apple Watch Ultra comes in exactly one variant, just like the Watch Ultra 2. On both the old and new models, there is a prominent bulge on the right side, where Apple accommodates the digital crown as well as the classic Apple Watch button.
On the left side of the case, both Ultra watches have the distinctive holes for the speaker and the action button, which can be assigned almost completely freely.
We also find the Always-On display of the Apple Watch Ultra in the new model. It is an LTPO OLED display with a resolution of 410 x 502 pixels. Apple has only increased the maximum brightness a bit further—from 2,000 nits to 3,000 nits. The case itself is still waterproof up to 100 meters (40 m diving depth) and offers IP6X dust protection.
The Watch Ultra relies on the same S8 chip as all Apple smartwatches from 2022, plus there's the U1 chip with UWB. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 uses the S9 chip, for which Apple promises more GPU performance and more power for machine learning applications.
This means that you can now use Siri not only via the cloud, but also locally on the smartwatch - for example, if you are stuck somewhere in the wilderness like in the Apple trailer.
In addition, the new Ultra smartwatch replaces the U1 with the U2, which is also in Apple's XR glasses called Vision Pro and in the new iPhone 15 models. This means that it is now possible, for example, to locate your iPhone via the smartwatch, precisely with direction and distance. This should enable you to free your expensive titanium iPhone from the darkest corner of the sofa.
The Apple Watch Ultra comes with a few unique sensors in the Apple Watch universe: With its various temperature sensors, it not only measures skin temperature, but also water temperature, which is exciting for divers.
It also features an extremely accurate PPG sensor and supports super-precise dual-band GNSS. For both heart rate measurement and GPS tracking, the Apple Watch Ultra is on par with Garmin's flagship sports watches, and that's really impressive.
While the Apple Watch Ultra 2 itself doesn't bring any new sensors, there's still some exciting news for cyclists. The Apple Watch now supports cadence sensors, speed sensors and power sensors with Bluetooth. Fittingly, you can also train in different performance zones.
- Related topics: How to use the SOS emergency call on your iPhone
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 gets a few new features with watchOS 10. In the near future, more health functions will be available via Siri, which you can access directly on the wrist. For example, you can ask, "How long did I sleep last night?". Alternatively, you can also log certain values directly via Siri in Apple Health, such as your weight, if you do not have a smart scale.
Finally, there is a very exciting new function in the operation: Thanks to acceleration and position sensors as well as a heart rate monitor, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 (and the Watch 9, by the way) should be able to recognize when you tap your thumb and index finger together. You can then trigger the main action of the active app with a double tap, for example, accept or end a call or start or stop music playback.
- You can read more features of the new OS version in our detailed overview of watchOS 10.
Nothing has changed in terms of battery life on the Apple Watch Ultra 2. The manufacturer still states a runtime of 36 hours in standard mode, and 72 hours in energy-saving mode. Unfortunately, Apple did not reveal whether the smartwatch charges faster. However, if you have one of these modern iPhones with a USB-C port, you can also charge the Apple Watch Ultra and Ultra 2 via your phone in the future.
Honestly, it's still pretty hard to say at the moment. The location function and the Double Tap function are still extremely difficult to judge in terms of their usefulness. And unless you're an avid cyclist or Siri power user, there's not an overly big reason to switch when it comes to features—or not to grab a real bargain on the old Apple Watch Ultra anytime soon.
You can find more information about the old Ultra model in our review of the Apple Watch Ultra. But you are still not sure if you really want an Ultra model? Then take a look at our Buying guide for the Apple Watch with all Watch models