Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Series 9

Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Series 9: Should Ultra And Series 8 Users Upgrade?

In September 2023, Apple unveiled its latest additions to the smartwatch market, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Apple Watch Series 9. These watches promised significant improvements over their predecessors, with brighter displays, new processors enabling innovative features like on-device Siri, and a unique double-tap interface feature.

In this comprehensive comparison, we will delve into the differences between these two cutting-edge timepieces to help you determine which one suits your needs. Check out the latest price here>> Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Apple Watch Series 9.

Who Should Consider Upgrading?

Before we dive into the detailed comparison, it’s essential to clarify the target audience for these new Apple Watches. If you already own an original Ultra or Series 8, the upgrades, while impressive, may not warrant an immediate switch, unless you’re a tech enthusiast seeking the latest and greatest. This review is primarily geared toward those with a Series 7 or older model considering an upgrade, as well as those contemplating their first Apple Watch purchase.

Ultra 2 vs. Series 9: Cost vs. Features

One of the first considerations when comparing the Ultra 2 and Series 9 is the price. The Ultra 2 comes with a premium price tag, approximately twice that of the Series 9. However, does paying twice the price equate to twice the features? Not necessarily.

Both watches share around 95% of the same features, making them among the best smartwatches available. They seamlessly integrate with your iPhone and other Apple ecosystem devices and offer an extensive range of sports tracking capabilities, including the latest features introduced with watchOS 9 and watchOS 10.

Size and Weight: Personal Preferences

The size and weight of these watches are subjective factors that may impact your choice. The Ultra 2 features a 49mm case, while the Series 9 offers two size options: a 45mm version and a 41mm version.

The Series 9 is also lighter, making it more comfortable for many users. Personal wrist circumference and comfort preferences play a significant role here, as the Ultra 2’s one-size-fits-all approach may not suit everyone.

Durability: Ultra 2 Takes the Lead

In terms of durability, the Ultra 2 has the upper hand with its titanium case and sapphire lens. Additionally, it boasts a button guard around the digital dial and side button to prevent accidental presses.

The digital crown on the Ultra 2 is more substantial and features a textured surface for improved usability, especially with gloves. For those who engage in rugged activities or have a propensity for accidents, the Ultra 2’s superior durability may be an appealing feature.

Display: Ultra 2’s Larger and Brighter

The Ultra 2 offers a larger display with a resolution of 4110 by 502 pixels, surpassing the Series 9’s 45mm version with a display resolution of 396 by 484 pixels. This larger display provides more screen real estate, enabling certain watch faces to display additional complications.

However, it’s important to note that the Series 9’s display is still exceptional, and the size difference is a matter of preference. Both watches have upgraded their displays, with the Ultra 2 reaching a peak brightness of 3000 nits compared to the Series 9’s 2000 nits. This increased brightness is especially advantageous in direct sunlight.

Battery Life: Ultra 2 Offers Longer Usage

When it comes to battery life, the Ultra 2 has a clear advantage, offering approximately 36 hours of typical use, compared to the Series 9’s 18 hours. While both watches support fast charging, the Ultra 2’s longer battery life may be more convenient for those who prefer to recharge less frequently. However, some users appreciate the daily charging routine, which can become a habit with the Series 9.

Outdoor Activities: Ultra 2’s Dual Frequency GPS

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Ultra 2’s dual-frequency GPS chipset presents a potential advantage. This technology enhances GPS accuracy, especially in challenging environments with tall buildings, canyons, or heavy tree cover.

Although the Series 9 utilizes a single-frequency GPS chipset, it still delivers accurate results in most scenarios. However, if precise tracking in challenging conditions is crucial for your activities, the Ultra 2 may be the preferred choice. Check out the latest price here>> Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Apple Watch Series 9.

Recording Outdoor Activities: Ultra 2 for Extended Sessions

The Ultra 2’s larger form factor allows it to record longer outdoor activities without running out of battery life. If you plan on extended outdoor adventures, such as ultramarathons or multi-day hikes, the Ultra 2 could be the better fit. The Series 9, while still capable, may require more frequent recharges during extended outdoor activities.

Wearability: Comfort and Aesthetics

Wearability encompasses both comfort and aesthetics. The Series 9 excels in comfort, especially during sleep tracking, thanks to its smaller and lighter design. It’s ideal for users who prioritize comfort and require a watch that doesn’t interfere with their nightly routine.

In terms of aesthetics, the choice between the Ultra 2 and Series 9 is subjective. Some users prefer the rugged, distinctive look of the Ultra 2, while others may favor the more traditional appearance of the Series 9.


In conclusion, the decision between the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Series 9 boils down to your individual priorities and preferences. The Ultra 2 offers enhanced durability, longer battery life, and a larger, brighter display, making it an excellent choice for users who prioritize these features. On the other hand, the Series 9 shines in terms of comfort and aesthetics, making it a compelling option for those who value wearability and a more traditional appearance.

Ultimately, both watches are exceptional additions to the Apple Watch lineup, sharing the majority of their features and functionality. Whichever model you choose, you’ll be equipped with a top-tier smartwatch that seamlessly integrates with your iPhone and offers a comprehensive suite of health and fitness tracking capabilities.

Your decision should align with your specific needs and preferences, ensuring that your Apple Watch enhances your daily life and style. Check out the latest price here>> Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Apple Watch Series 9.


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Simon is a technology writer and researcher. He's also an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the FCB. When not working, you can usually find him tweaking his Android devices or reading political news.