Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2: key differences Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2: key differences

Apple Watch wasn’t the first smartwatch ever. As a matter of fact, smart devices carried on a wrist have been with us for a long time now. In 1976, Pulsar Time Computer Calculator hit the market, with its top-shelf 18-karat gold version bearing the price tag of US$2,100, which is a whooping US$11,500+ in today’s dollars. Since then, there has been a steady flow of watches capable of something more than showing time. 

Fast forward to present, where we have Apple, one of the most innovative companies around, designing watches, too. In its latest release iteration, they gave us two options, Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2. We’ve let the matter mature for a couple of months; now’s the good time to look into the real reasons why you might prefer one over another.

What is Apple Watch Ultra 2?

For those not in the know (many aren’t!), Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a more rugged version of the device, with added robustness and a number of features designed for those living a more active life than an average Joe. We’ve examined the specs of this model, and while many do not really make much difference, there are some that can change the game in the conditions the device has been made for, including:

  • extremely precise dual-frequency GPS (L1 and L5), 
  • titanium case, 
  • battery that can last up to 36 hours,
  • night mode lighting,
  • a much better microphone (wind noise cancellation, directed beam),
  • water temperature sensor, depth gauge, an app for all your diving needs,
  • 86-decibel siren, loud enough to attract attention to you in dire situations.

We’ve put this on the backburner because in many cases, reports of this or that defect or malfunction that turns the most touted features meaningless typically appear a month or two into their actual commercial availability. So far, we’ve heard nothing of the kind.

So, Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2?

Apple Watch Ultra 2 in natural habitat. Snapshot from Apple websiteApple Watch Ultra 2 in natural habitat. Snapshot from Apple website

Apple Watch Series 9 has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a next-gen wearable by the Cupertino company, so if the features above do not resonate with your lifestyle, and you see no need for this sort of redundancy, opt for the usual thing, which retails for US$399 (entry-level aluminum casing Apple Watch Series 9 with Ion-X glass). If, however, you prefer the US$ 699 stainless steel and sapphire glass model, and for good reasons, you may consider ponying up another hundred and buying yourself the rugged Ultra 2, just in case. Plus, you get a bigger battery, which is always a good thing.

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