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In 2023, Apple rolled out its Apple Watch Ultra 2, following the successful launch of the Apple Watch Ultra a year before. With the new watch’s debut and the previous model’s discontinuation, potential buyers are now contemplating if they should opt for the latest Ultra 2 or snatch a deal on the discounted first-generation Ultra.
While both models possess many similar features, let’s dive deeper into their primary distinctions and determine which offers better value.
- Apple Watch Ultra: Retina display with up to 2000 nits of brightness.
- Apple Watch Ultra 2: Apple’s brightest ever Retina display, reaching up to 3000 nits of brightness.
Features and Control:
- Apple Watch Ultra: Comes with a flashlight feature.
- Apple Watch Ultra 2: Features flashlight amplification via Digital Crown and introduces a double-tap gesture, providing many controls without needing to touch the display.
- Apple Watch Ultra: Powered by the S8 chip (based on A13 Bionic) and features a Neural Engine.
- Apple Watch Ultra 2: Utilizes the more powerful S9 chip (based on A15 Bionic: 60% more transistors, 30% faster) and boasts a 4-core Neural Engine that’s twice as fast.
- Apple Watch Ultra: Siri operates over the internet and can access health and fitness data.
- Apple Watch Ultra 2: Siri processes non-web-related requests directly on the device, making for quicker and more consistent responses. Dictation is also enhanced, being 25% more accurate.
- Apple Watch Ultra: Features the first-generation ultra-wideband chip.
- Apple Watch Ultra 2: Comes with an upgraded second-generation ultra-wideband chip, offering accurate search for iPhone 15 models with more enhanced cues for a misplaced iPhone.
- Apple Watch Ultra: Provides 32 GB of storage.
- Apple Watch Ultra 2: Doubles the storage with 64 GB.
The Apple Watch Ultra 2, while carrying a few noteworthy enhancements over the first-generation model, is a relatively modest upgrade. Key improvements include the S9 chip, the innovative “Double Tap” gesture, and enhanced search capabilities for iPhone 15.
For existing Apple Watch Ultra users, upgrading to Ultra 2 may not be compelling. However, for those with older Apple Watches or without any, there are valid reasons to consider the latest iteration, especially if they intend to use the HomePod actively, purchase an iPhone 15, require more storage, or wish to explore new gesture controls.
Considering the Apple Watch Ultra 2’s price tag of $799, those indifferent to the new features might find better value in purchasing the discounted original model if it’s priced below $650.