The Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a bigger battery than the old one, but you'd never know it

Apple Watch Ultra and MacBook Pro
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

After all the rumors and guesses Apple announced the Apple Watch Ultra 2 on September 12 before making it available to buy on September 22. But at no point did Apple say anything about a change that we're now only able to confirm after someone took the thing apart.

That change is the addition of a new, larger battery when compared to the one that previously powered the Apple Watch Ultra. The new battery isn't a huge one — it's only around 4% larger than the one it replaces — but it's an increase in capacity nevertheless.

However, where that extra battery goes isn't really clear. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is rated for the same 36 hours of battery life as the outgoing model.

More power to you?

The new Apple Watch Ultra ships with an upgraded 564mAh battery as confirmed by the teardown and repair experts over at iFixit. That battery is slightly larger than the outgoing 543mAh part and it's absolutely fair to say that a circa 4% increase was never likely to have a huge impact on battery life.

One potential explanation for where the extra battery goes is the brighter display used in the Apple Watch Ultra 2. It tops out at a peak brightness of 3,000 nits which is a big leap over the Apple Watch's 2,000-nit limit.

Wherever the battery goes, this is undoubtedly the best Apple Watch ever made. It comes with a fast S9 SiP inside and has the largest display of all models. And that's before you get into things like its ability to act as a dive computer and more. The titanium construction also makes it more rugged than other models, too.

The new Apple Watch Ultra is now available for $799 and comes with cellular connectivity as standard, although you'll still need to add a data plan of your own.

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.