Apple Watch Ultra 2: Upgrades, release date, and more

Apple Watch Ultra 2 on orange background with yellow text
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is here! The update to Apple's best Apple Watch includes performance upgrades, a new way to use the Watch, and a focus on carbon neutrality.

While the upgrade to the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a little underwhelming, it goes to show how great the Apple Watch Ultra was to begin with. With its large display, stellar battery life, and rugged case, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is the flagship Apple Watch for anyone who wants not only the best smartwatch but also a beautiful timepiece.

Here's everything you need to know about the Apple Watch Ultra 2

Apple Watch Ultra 2: The headlines

  • What is it? An updated Ultra model.
  • Release: September 22, available to purchase now
  • Price? $799
  • Headlines: S9 SiP chip, double tap gesture, carbon neutral

Apple Watch Ultra 2: Release date

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 will be available from September 22. You can purchase yours now from the Apple Store Online.

Apple Watch Ultra 2: Price

Apple Watch Ultra 2 side view

(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 will remain the same price as the previous model. That means you'll find everything great about the original Apple Watch with the new added features, all for that same $799 price.

Apple Watch Ultra 2: Design

Watch face ultra 2

(Image credit: Apple)

There are no design changes to report on this year's Apple Watch Ultra 2. We were expecting to see a new darker titanium color, but that didn't come to fruition. The major change to the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is when the smartwatch is paired with the new Apple Watch Trail Loop or Alpine Loop, which are carbon neutral and contain over 30 percent recycled content.

There is also a new Apple Watch Ultra face called the Modular Ultra Watch Face, which gives you more information than any other Apple Watch face. It takes full advantage of the 49mm display on the Ultra. That said, the Modular Ultra Watch Face also works with the first generation Ultra running WatchOS 10.

Apple Watch Ultra 2: Features

Apple Watch Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 comes with watchOS 10, bringing a big redesign to how you use the operating system. watchOS 10 will be made available for other Apple Watch models, too, from Series 4 and above. WatchOS 10 will be available on September 18.

Additionally, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Apple Watch Series 9 have a new double-tap gesture that allows users to easily interact with their watch by simply double-tapping their index finger and thumb. This works by looking at the blood flow in your hand and determining when your index finger makes contact with your thumb.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 has the brightest screen on any Apple product, with a display that can reach up to 3,000 nits for those times when you're in direct sunlight and need to be able to see your Watch.

Apple Watch Ultra 2: Processor

Apple Watch Ultra

(Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore)

The Watch Ultra 2 boasts a new upgraded processor called the S9 SiP, which has "a new 4-core Neural Engine that can process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast as the original Apple Watch Ultra."

The S9 SiP is at the heart of the Ultra 2 and allows features like Double Tap to work seamlessly alongside faster on-device Siri and general usage improvements. 

Apple Watch Ultra 2 and watchOS 10

watchOS 10

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple announced watchOS 10 during the WWDC 2023 event in June and it will be available on September 18.

New watchOS features include updated apps as well as a redesigned Smart Stack feature that makes quick-access information more easily accessible. New watch faces are also coming, as are improvements for cyclist workout tracking and more.

Is the Apple Watch Ultra 2 worth getting?

Due to its incredible durability, greater size, and bigger battery life, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a great choice for those looking for the absolute best smartwatch on the market. 

Will Apple Watch Ultra 2 be better?

With a brighter screen, a new S9 SiP processor, and a useful Double Tap feature, there's plenty to justify it as being 'better.'

When does the Apple Watch Ultra 2 come out?

Pre-orders start on September 15, and it's going to be made available a week later, on September 22.

Will the Apple Watch Ultra 2 have a leather band?

Nope - it's due to Apple's commitment to helping the environment. No leather at all, even for its iPhone cases.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

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