If you have on your wrist a Apple Watch Ultra, which was announced and released in 2022, there is not much more to say. He ultra 2 It’s a relatively minor iteration of the device that offers little new. But if you’ve been wondering for a year when is the right time to buy this version of the company’s smartwatch, this is your sign.
He Apple Watch Ultra 2 is practically identical to Apple Watch Ultra. All the things I wrote and explained last year during my in-depth analysis of the smartwatch hold true this year. But a lot of things have changed in a year, and I’m not just talking about the improvements to the device. I explain:
He Apple Watch Ultra 2 comes with three key improvements:
- New S9 chip: makes it up to 30% faster and we now have Siri on the device
- New brighter screen, up to 3000 nits
- New ultra-wide band chip
In my review of the 2022 Apple Watch Ultra I focused on the device itself. Especially for those people who want to use it, but do not necessarily do extreme sports, where a more resistant Watch, with a larger screen, comes in handy. But as I mentioned before, a lot of things changed in one year, besides the device itself. And it has to do with me. A week after I started using the Ultra, I started an extremely strict training regimen, focused on strength and functional exercise, with a personal trainer in a 1:1 method that I have maintained throughout the year — and will maintain. rest of my life.
This has put me in a prime position to test the device—both the previous generation Apple Watch Ultra and the Ultra 2—in a sports or exercise environment. Because the two devices are quite similar in day-to-day use, everything I said last year is still valid, but now I will tell you more about their use in my training.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is not for those people who already have a previous generation Ultra. It is the best smartwatch for sports on the market and is especially aimed at those who have never had one of these Apple wearables or who already need to update. It’s faster, with a very bright and ultra-resistant screen.
Why the big screen of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is important when you train and its titanium case too
My past self, before starting training, considered that a large screen for training did not make much difference with a smaller one, like the Apple Watch Series 9 or Series 8. “What difference does it make?”, I thought. Well, I couldn’t be more wrong.
When you’re constantly on the go, the larger screen makes perfect sense. Not only to observe training information, but to interact with the interface. Especially in times when you have to press things while exercising, where every tap on the screen it is very inaccurate.
And when you train almost every day, activating the training app from the action button also makes a lot of sense. Although it is programmable for many other things, I keep it with the default settings.
To that we add a fairly robust and very light titanium case. Do you accidentally hit the watch on a dumbbell or kettlebell in the middle of training? You don’t even consider the possibility that the Apple Watch Ultra 2 has suffered. And yes, it is big, but so light that you don’t feel it on your arm, neither while exercising, nor during day to day life.
A much brighter screen
The brightness of the screen Apple Watch Ultra 2 It is one of the most important changes of this generation of the device. Up to 3,000 nits in bright sunlight. It is, in fact, the brightest screen of any device made by Apple.
I have tested it in the most unfavorable conditions possible: at 3:00 p.m. with the Madrid sun directly over my head, in a 400 square meter parking lot, with that asphalt that reflects the light and leaves you half blind.
But is it noticeable? Yes, it is noticeable. The screen will not always be at those 3,000 nits and will only increase the brightness to the maximum if necessary. For those people who exercise outdoors and in the past had difficulty reading the information on the screen, with this generation of the Watch Ultra.
Much more autonomy
He Apple Watch Ultra 2 It has an approximate autonomy of 36 hours, according to Apple. They have done the calculation this way: 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of using apps and a 60-minute workout with Apple Watch music playing via Bluetooth.
Of all these activities, the one that requires the most energy is training, as it constantly monitors movements and heart rate. During my review of the previous generation Apple Watch Ultra, I mentioned that the battery lasted much longer than those 36 hours, even exceeding 48 hours.
But of course, with almost daily training things change significantly. In my testing, over the past few days when I’m training, I end the day with about 60% battery, and I sleep with the watch to monitor my sleep. I charge it—almost never to 100%—when I get in the shower, usually reaching between 80 and 85%.
This guarantees that I can use the watch all day, exercise without worrying about the battery, sleep with the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and have enough autonomy the next day to exercise again and last until night.
For those people who do not have a charger, the device has a low consumption mode that can extend the battery life up to 72 hours.
Siri on device and gestures
He Apple Watch Ultra 2 It includes a new chip—technically it is a SiP or System in Chip—called S9. Using two cores, it processes machine learning tasks up to twice as fast. With that comes the ability to run Siri on the device.
Some of the most common tasks, such as starting a countdown, or starting some type of physical activity, are done completely locally. Previously, processing had to be done on the associated device or in the cloud.
Another change that comes with the new S9 is the gestures for certain frequent tasks. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 detects when you double-tap your index finger and thumb, allowing you to answer a phone call, reply to a message, or pause a timer. Finally, there is no more need to use my nose to interact with the watch, in those moments when my other hand is busy. Classic situation when you are carrying shopping bags. This is not available yetand will arrive later with a software update.
Search with precision
The other improvement that comes with the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a new ultra wide-band chip. One of the things I do most with the smartwatch is use the find my iPhone function, making it emit a tone.
This feature has now been significantly improved and is now similar to when you search for an AirTag. Pressing the button to make the iPhone make a sound activates an interface that tells you the approximate distance the device is. As you get closer, it shows you with an arrow where it is.
Under ideal conditions, the Apple Watch can detect the position of the iPhone within about 20 to 25 meters. In places with many walls and obstacles, the distance decreases.
For all this to work, the iPhone has to incorporate the new ultra wide-band chip as well, that is, it is limited to the iPhone 15 onwards. Otherwise, it works as usual, simply making a sound.
An almost imperceptible design change, but welcome
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is practically the same as the first generation Apple Watch Ultra, but there is a slight design change, practically imperceptible. The crown is now a little further away from the arm, that way, when handling it, it doesn’t get tangled with our hair.
The change is welcome, but I would have liked them to do the same with the action button. Making it more prominent or changing its position. Because when I press it I do pull some of the hair on my arm.
Is the Apple Watch Ultra 2 worth buying?
Like any new Apple Watch, the Ultra 2 isn’t meant to be upgraded from the first-generation Ultra. The idea is to attract new customers who have not yet used the device.
In fact, according to official Apple figures, two out of every three people who buy an Apple Watch have never owned one before. The company still has a lot of field to cover and opportunities to take advantage of in the world of wearables.
For its price, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is not for everyone. The main reasons why I would recommend the watch are: resistance, autonomy, screen – especially its size – and functions for exercising. If any of those four pillars are very important, it will be a great purchase. Otherwise, the Apple Watch Series 9 is the right smartwatch.
But whether you choose an Apple Watch Ultra 2 or an Apple Watch Series 9, Apple’s smartwatches remain unrivaled and are still by far the best on-arm products you could buy.
Of course, I miss more colors, and not just limited to the natural titanium color. A dark gray Apple Watch Ultra should look spectacular. Maybe it will come next year. At the moment, we only have one color available.