Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Apple Watch Ultra: Comparing Each Rugged Watch

Apple's sturdy smartwatch gets a few useful updates over the original.

Mike Sorrentino Senior Editor
Mike Sorrentino is a Senior Editor for Mobile, covering phones, texting apps and smartwatches -- obsessing about how we can make the most of them. Mike also keeps an eye out on the movie and toy industry, and outside of work enjoys biking and pizza making.
Expertise Phones, texting apps, iOS, Android, smartwatches, fitness trackers, mobile accessories, gaming phones, budget phones, toys, Star Wars, Marvel, Power Rangers, DC, mobile accessibility, iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, RCS
Mike Sorrentino
Apple Watch Ultra 2

The Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Lexy Savvides/CNET

Apple debuted the Apple Watch Ultra 2 ($799, £799, AU$1,399) at the company's iPhone 15 event in September 2023. The rugged new watch replaces last year's Apple Watch Ultra

While the new Ultra looks similar to the original, there are a number of improvements inside the watch that are worth noting. The Ultra 2 has a 3,000-nit screen, which should be noticeably brighter than the original Ultra's 2,000-nit display. The Ultra 2 also includes the new Double Tap gesture, which lets you activate certain controls by tapping your thumb and index finger together without touching the watch's screen.

Watch this: Apple Watch Ultra 2: First Look

Otherwise, this year's Ultra includes many of the same features as the first. This includes a new Night mode that will be on a Wayfinder watch face, which uses an ambient light sensor to activate. Both watches also continue to have an estimated 36-hour battery life.

To highlight the differences between the original Apple Watch Ultra and the new Apple Watch Ultra 2, we've outlined each watch's specs in the chart below.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs. Apple Watch Ultra

Apple Watch Ultra 2Apple Watch Ultra
Shape SquareSquare
Watch size 49mm49mm
Materials, finishes TitaniumTitanium
Display size, resolution 1.91-inch, 502x410-pixel OLED1.91-inch, 502x410-pixel OLED
Dimensions 44x49x14.4 mm49x44x14.4mm
Weight 61.4g61.3g
Colors Natural titaniumNatural titanium
Always On YesYes
Interchangable bands YesYes
GPS Yes (L1 and L5)Yes
Automatic workout detection YesYes
Compass YesYes
Altimeter Yes (operating range: -500m to 9,000m)Yes
Water resistance 10ATM (100 meters) and recreational scuba diving up to 40 metersYes, up to 100m
Calls YesYes
Microphone Yes (3-mic array)Yes
Speaker YesYes
Voice assistant Yes (Siri, on-device)Yes (Siri)
Mobile Payments Yes (Apple Pay)Yes (Apple Pay)
Sleep tracking YesYes
Period tracking YesYes
Sensors SPo2 (blood oxygen), ECG, optical heart, ambient light, high dynamic range gyroscope, high-g accelerometer, water temperature, depth gauge + appSPo2 (blood oxygen), ECG, optical heart, ambient light, high dynamic range gyroscope, high-g accelerometer, water temperature, depth gauge + app
Emergency features International emergency calling, Emergency SOS, crash detectionInternational emergency calling, Emergency SOS, crash detection
Compatibility iOS 17iOS 16
Software WatchOS 10WatchOS 9
Processor Apple S9S8 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor
Connectivity LTE and UMTS, Wi-Fi 4, Bluetooth 5.3LTE and UMTS, Wi-FI
Memory and storage 64GB64GB
Power USB-C magnetic fast chargingUSB-C magnetic fast charging
Battery life Up to 36 hours; up to 72 hours (low power mode)36-hour battery life, 18 hours on LTE
Battery capacity UnavailableUnavailable
Price (USD) $799$799
Price (GBP) £799£849
Price (AUD) AU$1,399AU$1,299