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Apple Watch Ultra 2 has an identical physical design to the original Ultra and many of the core features and capabilities remain the same. But what sets them apart? Read along for a look at what’s different between Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs 1.
But how meaningful those differences are in real-world use could end up feeling inconsequential for many people.
We’ll dig into all the nitty gritty details below. And to give the best perspective on the differences between all the recent models, we’ve included Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs 1 as well as Series 9 and 8 in all the charts.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs 1 and more
Processor, storage, more
Last year, Apple used the S8 64-bit dual-core processor in the Ultra and Series 8 which wasn’t that different from the S7 or S6 in the previous Apple Watches.
But with Series 9, Apple says the S9 SiP brings notable improvements across the CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine.
Apple didn’t share a specific measure of how much faster the CPU of the S9 is compared to S8, but it features 5.6 billion transistors – up 60% from S8.
For the S9 GPU, Apple says it’s 30% faster than the S8 and the Neural Engine is twice as fast.
Another benefit if you’re coming from a previous generation Apple Watch is a boost to 64GB of storage.
Case and display
Apple Watch Ultra 2 has the same 49mm case as its predecessor with an identical 410 x 502 display resolution. Apple says it’s 27% bigger than the display on Series 4-6/SE. However, now it’s 50% brighter at an impressive 3,000 nits.
Meanwhile, Apple Watch Series 9 carries on with the same sizes that launched with Apple Watch Series 7. That’s 45 and 41mm cases and a larger display that’s 20% bigger than Series 4-6/SE and 50% larger than the Series 3 display.
Apple Watch band compatibility
When it comes to bands, any of them designed for 49, 45, and 44mm Apple Watches will work with Apple Watch Ultra 2 and vice versa.
With no changes to the band connection, that means all previous and new bands work with Series 9 and all older Apple Watches.
Battery life and charging
A major change with Apple Watch Ultra 1 was the biggest battery ever for the lineup. That was 36 hours of standard battery life and up to 60 hours of extended use with Low Power mode.
While Apple Watch Ultra 2 delivers the same 36 hours of standard use, it can give up to 72 hours with Low Power mode.
Notably, the Low Power mode is also available for Apple Watch Series 4 and later and doubles the battery life from 18 to 36 hours.
First introduced with Apple Watch 7 and continued with Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9 is 33% faster charging than Series 6 and earlier. That means going from 0-80% in 45 instead of around 60 minutes for the other models.
If you’re interested in using Apple Watch Ultra 2/Ultra, Series 9, 8, or 7 for sleep tracking, you also get 8 hours worth of use from an 8-minute charge.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs 1 – Key features
The main new features you get with Ultra 2 are:
- Double tap gesture support
- On-device Siri with health access
- Precision finding for iPhone
While the new Double Tap feature for Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9 is neat, it turns out a similar capability is available for Series 3 and later.
- Apple Watch Ultra 2 is priced from $799 (Apple and more)
- Series 9 starts from $399/$429 and up (Apple and more)
Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs Ultra 1 wrap-up
While Apple Watch Ultra 2 is an incredible wearable, it’s probably not different enough to be enticing for those who already have the predecessor.
However, if you’re thinking of upgrading from an Apple Watch Series 8 or earlier that may be a different story. You get a larger display, on-device Siri, the longest battery life in an Apple Watch, all of the latest and greatest health features, Action button, Double Tap gesture, and more.