Considering upgrading to the Apple Watch Ultra 2? In this article, we break down the differences between the Apple Watch Ultra—one of the bestselling smartwatches in 2023—and its predecessor—the Watch Ultra 2, including the specs, features, and pricing.
You might have known by now that there are not really many improvements to Apple’s latest premium smartwatch. Right off the bat, I will tell you that you don’t really need to get the latest smartwatch if you are currently using the Watch Ultra. However, the Watch Ultra 2 is worth considering if you are looking for upgrades in certain departments.
Before diving deeper, here’s a quick side-by-side look at Apple’s most rugged smartwatches:
Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Series 8 Comparison Summary
|APPLE WATCH ULTRA||APPLE WATCH ULTRA 2|
|1.9” Retina OLED up to 2ooo nits||DISPLAY||1.9” Retina OLED up to 3ooo nits|
|502 x 410 pixels||RESOLUTION||502 x 410 pixels|
|32 GB||STORAGE||64 GB|
|Li-Ion 542 mAh (up to 36 hours of regular use)||BATTERY||Li-Ion 542 mAh (up to 36 hours of regular use)|
|IP6x water-resistant up to 100m/Swim and dive-proof up to 50m/MIL-STD 810H certified||PROTECTION||IP6x water-resistant up to 100m/Swim and dive-proof up to 50m/MIL-STD 810H certified|
|FIND APPLE WATCH ULTRA DEALS!||FIND APPLE WATCH ULTRA 2 DEALS!|
Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Watch Ultra: Specs and Features
Looking at the comparison table above, you will see that nothing much has changed between these devices. The most significant upgrade you get with the Watch Ultra 2 is the S9 chip, dubbed the most powerful smartwatch chip ever. This chip is based on Apple’s A15 Bionic chip having 5.6 billion transistors or 60% more than the S8 chip, which was based on the A13 Bionic chip. What this means for the Watch Ultra 2 is a faster and more intuitive performance as well as support for more sophisticated tasks and apps.
The new functionalities that rely on the S9 chip include the double tap control and apps that depend largely on accurate location tracking like the Find My app. Thanks also to the new ultra-wideband chip integrated into the S9 chip to make location tracking more accurate. If you are someone who needs more accuracy in location, the Watch Ultra 2 is definitely a good upgrade. Do note that the Find My app and the new HomePod integration are only applicable to the iPhone 15 lineup. If your watch gets within 4 meters of your playing HomePod, it will launch Now Playing to enable you to control it. If nothing is played, your watch will pull up media suggestions right at the top of the Smart Stack. If you are not an iPhone 15 user or you have no plans to get one, it’s a moot point.
New features you will get with the Watch Ultra 2 that won’t be available on the first-generation Watch Ultra include the double tap gesture. This feature lets you tap your fingers together twice to trigger a desired action. It could be to start/stop a timer, snooze an alarm, play/pause music, accept/end a phone call, or even take a photo with the Camera Remote.
Another feature is the on-device Siri dictation. With the Watch Ultra, you can now ask Siri to do some basic tasks without being connected to the internet, whether you want to begin a workout session or set an alarm. Thanks to the four-core Neural Engine, Siri dictation becomes 25% more accurate. And with it, you can ask Siri to do more advanced tasks like logging in your health data.
Finally, the precision finding feature allows the new smartwatch to find any misplaced iPhone 15 variant. But, due to antenna limitations, only the iPhone 15 family can be used for this specific feature.
In terms of specs, the Watch Ultra and Watch Ultra are the same—the 1.9-inch Retina OLED touchscreen display with 502 x 410 resolution. The difference lies in the brightness with the Watch Ultra 2 which is twice brighter at 3000 nits. In terms of battery, they are both the same with up to 36 hours of regular use per charge. The same goes for protection as both are certified to IP6X standards, meaning they are duster-proof, water resistant up to 100 meters, and swim/dive-proof up to 50 meters.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Watch Ultra: Pricing
The launch price for both devices is the same at $799. Of course, the first-generation Watch Ultra now costs around $600 since it’s an older device. Both models are available in 49mm with the Watch Ultra available in 32GB while the Watch Ultra 2 in 64GB.
Is It Worth Upgrading to Apple Watch Ultra 2?
All in all, I don’t see the need for you to upgrade to the Watch Ultra 2 if you are using the first-generation model. However, if you think the faster and more intuitive Watch Ultra 2 is worth spending a premium on, then, by all means, go for it. Also, if this is your first time getting an outdoor smartwatch or you are currently using other brands like Garmin and Fitbit and looking to make a switch, the Watch Ultra 2 is definitely a worthy consideration.