Apple Watch Series 9 vs Ultra 2: Hands on Experience

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Ultra 2 Hands on Experience

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Ultra 2: This year, Apple unveiled the iPhone 15/15 Pro series. They also introduced two new series in the watch category: the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Apple Watch Series 9. The most significant change is in the design of the S9 SiP chip and its added features. One exciting highlight is a new gesture! Now, by double-tapping with two fingers, you can remotely control the watch.

Given the hype around these releases, it’s essential to provide a clear breakdown of their features. In this article, we will explore the unique features, differences, and potential applications of both watches.

Specifications: Watch Series 9 vs Ultra 2

Watch Series 9Watch Ultra 2
Size41 and 45 mm49 mm
Weight31 to 51 grams61 grams
BatteryUpto 36 hoursUpto 72 hours
CaseAluminum, Stainless steelTitanium
Water resistance50 meters100 meters
Action buttonNoYes

Apple Watch Ultra 2: What Sets It Apart?

First lets talk about the Apple Watch Ultra 2! This watch comes with a shell made of 95% recycled titanium. It has a screen size of 49mm and cool action buttons. Plus, it’s super tough! It’s waterproof up to 100 meters, has MIL-STD 810H military certification, and is IP6X dustproof. Most functions are like the older models, but here’s a cool update: thanks to the S8 SiP processor, its brightness can go up to 3,000 nits from the older 2,000 nits. And guess what? It can also go as dim as 1 nit!

Apple watch Ultra 2
Apple watch Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 continues the rugged outdoor style of its predecessor. But to be carbon neutral, Apple made it from recycled materials. The real standout features of this watch include its bright screen, the built-in S9 SiP chip, and its ability to locate objects. It also boasts an upgraded second-generation ultra-wideband chip.

When you directly compare the Apple Watch Ultra’s two generations, you’ll see they look pretty much the same. The action buttons, the prominent digital crown, and the side buttons haven’t changed. But there’s one cool difference: the Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a titanium case made of 95% recycled titanium. And for watchOS 10? Both versions can do about the same things after updating.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs Apple Watch Ultra
Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs Apple Watch Ultra

The basic specifications are as follows:

・49mm screen size, equipped with action buttons
・100m waterproof, MIL-STD 810H military certification, IP6X dustproof
・S9 SiP chip
・Dual-frequency GPS positioning
・Dual speakers and 86 decibel siren

Advanced Display

The Ultra 2 boosts its display capabilities, offering a luminous 3000 nits of brightness. This ensures clarity even under harsh lighting conditions, like midday sun.

This time, Apple didn’t just stick with the previous generation’s Pathfinder. They’ve added the Modular Ultra face too! What’s cool about it is that its outer ring can show info like how high up you are (altitude) or how deep underwater you are (water depth). It really makes the most of the big 49mm screen! And guess what? I’ve got pictures of different styles of the Modular Ultra face to show you.

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Modular Ultra face too
Apple watch Ultra 2 Modular Ultra face

Apple added three special straps to the Apple Watch Ultra 2 for different sports: off-road, mountain, and ocean. Each strap now comes in new colors. The alpine/off-road strap is made up of 43% and 32% recycled content. Also, to lower its carbon footprint, Apple used electricity in its making and shipped it without using planes.

Apple also introduced new color options for the special marine, mountain, and off-road watch straps

On the other hand, the Ocean Watch Band and the older Apple Watch Ultra’s Alpine and Off-Road bands didn’t reach carbon neutrality. They didn’t use recycled materials or other green methods. But if you look at their designs, they really differ from the new ones.

The off-road strap I checked out is orange mixed with beige. It really reminds me of the cool sports style from the 1980s.

Gesture Controls

The biggest feature of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 is the “Double Tap” each other with two fingers gesture. This means when you look at the watch face or use the screen, just tap your thumb and index finger together twice, and the watch will do something special.

The biggest feature of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 is the Double Tap

On the home screen, if you “double tap with two fingers“, it will open the smart stacking widget page of watchOS 10. If you have a timer on, this tap can start or stop it. Plus, you can even use this gesture as a remote control to take pictures with your mobile phone.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a cool hardware update: a flashlight function. Just like the older model, it lets you pick from three modes: steady white, red light, and flashing white light. What’s new is that on the Apple Watch Ultra 2, you can change the brightness of the red and white lights. All you have to do is spin the digital crown to choose from three different brightness levels.

flashlight function
flashlight function

Performance Upgrades

The Apple Watch Series 9 comes with a new processor, the S9, offering a 30% faster GPU. This enhancement ensures more fluid interactions and smoother visuals. However, battery life remains unchanged.

What’s the best thing about this new chip? It makes Siri, the voice assistant, work even better on the watch. Now, you don’t need a phone to talk to Siri on the watch. Siri can understand you more accurately and responds 25% faster. And guess what? You can now ask Siri about your health stats directly on the watch, something you couldn’t do before!

Siri, the voice assistant

Modular Web Space

This new space permits users to see more sensor data directly on the watch face. For night users, there’s an automatic night mode that transforms the standard dial to a softer, red hue to be less intrusive in the dark.

Improved Altimeter

Taking a cue from Suunto watches, the Ultra 2 can measure altitude both above and underwater. This is a boon for divers, though Apple hasn’t specified the maximum depth for this functionality.

Battery Life

The Ultra 2 offers up to 36 hours of battery in normal mode and can stretch to 72 hours in low-power mode.

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Emergency Satellite Function

Tying in with the new iPhone 15, both watch models now support the emergency satellite function. This feature is invaluable for adventurers. If they find themselves in emergencies without phone coverage, they can send out an SOS via satellite.

There’s also a cool update in the “Oceanic+” diving app for the watch. Before, it only worked for regular water diving. Now, it has a new option for free diving. So, no more problems if you’re diving without tanks or just snorkeling!

Apple Watch Series 9: New and Noteworthy

The Apple Watch Series 9 comes in two materials: aluminum and stainless steel. You can choose from two screen sizes: 41mm or 45mm. Thanks to the new chips, the screen can shine super bright at 2,000 nits or go very dim at 1 nit. This is more than twice as bright as the older model!

The Apple Watch Series 9 has some cool changes from the older version. It has a new S9 SiP chip, a brighter screen, and a second-generation ultra-wideband chip that’s even better at finding objects.

Color Options

The Apple Watch Series 9 offers eight colors across aluminum and stainless steel. The aluminum version is available in five colors: pink, midnight, starlight, silver, and (PRODUCT)RED. The stainless steel version comes in three colors: gold, silver, and graphite.

Apple Watch Series 9 offers eight colors across aluminum and stainless steel

For the Apple Watch Series 9, the stainless steel version has three colors: gold, silver, and graphite. On the outside, it looks just like the older model. The big changes are inside, with a new chip and the updated watchOS 10 features.

Display and Visibility

The new display offers up to 2000 nits of brightness, ensuring that users can easily see the screen under various lighting conditions. A bonus feature allows the watch to dim to a mere single nit, significantly conserving battery life.

The Apple Watch Series 9 has the same S9 SiP chip as the Apple Watch Ultra 2, and its screen is much brighter too. The dimmest setting is 1 nit, just like the Ultra 2, and the brightest goes all the way up to 2,000 nits. That’s twice as bright as the Apple Watch Series 8! Also, let’s check out the two new watchOS 10 designs. They come with fun color options and animated Snoopy characters.

Apple Watch Series 9 the stainless steel
Apple Watch Series 9 with stainless steel body
Apple Watch Series 9 aluminum body
Apple Watch Series 9 with aluminum body

New watch Strap

For the first time, the Apple Watch Series 9 and the SE series are carbon neutral. Apple is also thinking about the environment: they won’t use leather for accessories anymore. Instead, they’ll use a special twill cloth strap that feels like leather.

This time, they’ve paired it with a new sports strap made from 45% recycled materials, including 82% recycled nylon. This helps it meet carbon neutral standards.

The new watch strap is called the magnetic chain strap. It looks a lot like the old leather strap, but it’s made from eco-friendly materials. As the name suggests, you use magnets to put it on or take it off. It’s a good idea to test if it stays on during heavy exercise. There’s another strap made of a fine texture, which might be a stylish choice for women.

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The new watch strap is called the magnetic chain strap

Enhanced Siri Functions

One of the standout features is the improved Siri functionality, which enables users to access health data by merely asking questions like “How many steps have I taken today?” or “What’s my heart rate?”. Currently, this feature supports English and Mandarin Chinese.

Nike version Apple Watch

Apple also released a special Nike version of the Apple Watch. Besides its unique design, it comes with two types of straps: both called sports straps. These straps are made from some recycled materials.

Nike version Apple Watch
Nike Apple Watch

Apple Watch Hermès

Let’s talk about the fancy Apple Watch Hermès next. Besides its unique concentric circle design, it has four brand-new watch straps. These include the woven Toile H strap, a high-end sporty Kilim rubber strap, and a special sports strap. The standout strap? It’s the Single/Double Tour strap, inspired by horse-riding. This strap has a cool 3D herringbone pattern made with a special knitting technique.

Apple Watch Hermès
Apple Watch Hermès

How can you tell the difference between the Single and Double Tour straps? Easy! Just see if the strap wraps around your wrist an extra time. This woven-like strap by Apple Watch Hermès is different than their usual leather ones.

You can get the Apple Watch Hermès in two sizes: 41mm and 45mm. Prices starts from $1249 for 41mm. If you choose the Double Tour strap, the price jumps to 6000 USD. And just a heads up, you can only get the Double Tour strap for the 41mm size.

Ultra Wide Technology

Found in the new iPhone 15, this technology enables users to locate devices, providing the device’s distance and location. It’s an evolution of the existing Airtags system, leveraging Bluetooth.

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Ultra 2

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Ultra 2: While both watches come with their fair share of upgrades, it’s clear that Apple has put more emphasis on refining existing features rather than introducing groundbreaking ones. Whether you find these watches up to your expectations or not, it’s undeniable that they’ll find their audience, especially among Apple’s loyal fan base.

This time, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9 both have the new second-generation ultra-wideband chip. It’s not just for ringing your iPhone anymore. Now, it can show you exactly where your iPhone is and how far away it is. But from my tests, it looks like it only works well with the iPhone 15 series that has the same chip. When I tried it with the iPhone 14 Pro, the phone just kept ringing.

There’s also a new two-finger tap gesture, and another cool feature: even if your phone isn’t connected, you can still use Siri and ask for health info. But, these two big features won’t be available until October.

From what I’ve seen with the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9, there aren’t many big hardware changes. The screen is brighter, which is nice. But most of the big changes come from the new watchOS 10. And two really big features won’t be out until October.

If you’re not too worried about having a brighter screen or some new Siri tricks, and if you know someone who has the Apple Watch Ultra or Series 8, maybe wait till next year to get a new watch. With all the changes in watchOS 10.