The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is here. And it builds on the original model in all the right ways.
Announced today during Apple’s “Wonderlust” event, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 packs a faster S9 chip, a newer Ultra Wideband chip and longer battery life.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 is more of the same but better
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 does not introduce any radical changes. This makes sense, especially since the wearable debuted just last year. It continues to feature a rugged titanium chassis with an Action Button on the right. But this time around, the titanium is made from 95% recycled materials.
The front is dominated by a 1.92-inch LTPO OLED panel that now gets brighter than before. It can now reach a peak brightness of 3,000 nits, an increase of 1,000 nits from the first-gen Ultra. Sapphire crystal glass protects the OLED screen to ensure it can withstand rugged terrain.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 specs and new features
Most of the changes in the Apple Watch Ultra 2 are on the inside. Gone is the S8 SiP; instead, there’s now a new S9 chip that delivers better performance and efficiency. Packing 5.9 billion transistors, the S9 SiP packs a 30% faster GPU. It also ships with a four-core Neural Engine that’s twice as fast as the previous Apple Watch SiP. This allows the watch to process most common Siri requests on-device, allowing for faster response times.
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 launches with watchOS 10 onboard. It is the biggest update to the OS since its inception, bringing redesigned system apps, stacked widgets and more. Just like the Apple Watch Series 9, you get a new double tap gesture on the Apple Watch Ultra 2. This enables you to trigger some common actions by double-tapping your thumb and index fingers.
Apple says double tap controls the primary button in an app. So, you can use the gesture to stop a timer, accept or end a call, play/pause music, and snooze an alarm.
Thanks to the second-gen Ultra Wideband chip, you can use Precision Finding on the Apple Watch Ultra 2 to find your iPhone. You will get an estimate of how far you are from your iPhone and which direction it is in.
Despite the brighter display and faster SiP, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 offers a claimed battery life of 36 hours. And with low power mode, you can extend the runtime to 72 hours.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 price and availability
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 starts at $799 for the GPS + Cellular variant. It’s available for preorder starting today, with retail availability scheduled for September 22. If you are a first-time Apple Watch buyer, you’ll get three months of Apple Fitness+ access for free.
Alongside the Apple Watch Ultra 2, Apple also unveiled the new Trail Loop and Alpine Loop bands. They are carbon neutral and use over 30% recycled content. The new band color options include blue, indigo, and olive for the Alpine Loop, Trail Loop in orange/beige, green/gray, blue/black shades, and Ocean Band in blue and orange.