Comparing Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 with 25 Key Differences

At the 2023 ‘Wonderlust’ event, alongside the Apple Watch Series 9, Apple introduced the Apple Watch Ultra 2. Both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are extremely popular, but with a price difference of $50, which product should you choose?

Both the ‌Apple Watch Series 9‌ and ‌Apple Watch Ultra 2‌ feature the S9 chip, second-generation Ultra Wideband chip, always-on Retina display, IP6X dust resistance, and more, but there are significant differences between the two devices.

With just a $50 gap between the stainless steel ‌Apple Watch Series 9‌ 45mm and the Apple Watch Ultra, some potential customers may consider whether it’s worth spending a bit more to get the 49mm Ultra model. Despite the $400 difference between the aluminum ‌Apple Watch Series 9‌ 41mm and the Apple Watch Ultra, this premium model offers a set of features to tackle specific challenges, making it potentially worthwhile for some buyers.

FeaturesApple Watch Series 9Apple Watch Ultra (2nd generation)
CasingAluminum casingAerospace-grade titanium casing
Front Crystal CurvesCrystal curves on the top edges of the aluminum casingLighter casing, corrosion-resistant, raised edges to protect the flat sapphire glass
Digital CrownWith haptic feedback and side buttonWith haptic feedback, side button, and customizable Action button
Case Sizes45mm or 41mm (vertical)49mm (vertical)
Weight31.9g – 51.5g61.4g
Front GlassIon-X (aluminum) or sapphire crystal (stainless steel)Flat sapphire crystal front glass
DisplayCurved displayFlat display
Display Area904mm² (41mm) or 1,143mm² (45mm)1,164mm²
Resolution352 x 430 pixels (41mm) or 396 x 484 pixels (45mm)410 x 502 pixels
BrightnessUp to 2,000 nitsUp to 3,000 nits
Special FeaturesExclusive Wayfinder face and Ultra Module, Night mode, Dual speakers
SpeakerSingle speakerDual speakers
MicrophoneSingle microphoneArray of three microphones with beamforming and wind noise reduction
GPSGPS (L1)Dual-frequency GPS accuracy (L1 and L5)
Water ResistanceUp to 50m depthUp to 100m depth, suitable for swimming and recreational diving at 40m depth
CertificationsTested to MIL-STD 810H standard, EN13319 certification
SensorsWater temperature sensor, depth gauge, and dive computer app
Battery LifeUp to 18 hours, up to 36 hours in Low Power modeUp to 36 hours, up to 72 hours in Low Power mode
ColorsBlack, Starlight, Silver, Pink, and PRODUCT (RED) (aluminum) or Silver, Graphite, or Gold (stainless steel)Available only in natural titanium finish
Starting Price$399 (aluminum) and $699 (stainless steel)$799

The Apple Watch Ultra offers specific capabilities to address the needs of those requiring an Apple Watch to support challenging environments. If you need a more durable Apple Watch with features such as a brighter display, larger speakers, more reliable GPS, better water resistance, etc., the Apple Watch Ultra is undoubtedly the best choice.

The Apple Watch Ultra is also the largest and most feature-rich Apple Watch to date, not to mention it provides a truly redesigned look for the device since its introduction in 2015. For tech enthusiasts, the Apple Watch Ultra represents a way to experience a new Apple Watch with top-notch specifications. Features like longer battery life and a larger, brighter screen are easily accessible and will benefit all users. Therefore, some customers may still tend to choose the Apple Watch Ultra 2 over the Apple Watch Series 9, even if they don’t necessarily need it for use in challenging environments.

As the largest Apple Watch model to date, the size of the Apple Watch Ultra may not be suitable for everyone. If you prefer the 41mm Apple Watch case size, the Apple Watch Ultra might be too large for you. If in doubt, you may want to visit the Apple Store and try out the Apple Watch Ultra in person to understand the size and determine if it is too large and cumbersome for you.

Similarly, the interface of the Apple Watch Ultra may not appeal to some buyers. If you prefer the stainless steel Apple Watch and are looking for a fashion-focused smartwatch, paired well with premium bands, then the robust and sturdy design of the Apple Watch Ultra may not be suitable for you.

If the Apple Watch Ultra is beyond your budget but you still want to use an Apple Watch in challenging environments, it’s worth noting that the Series 9 still provides a durable design with a solid front face, water resistance, and many other features among the software features of the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a lot to offer, especially for a small group of users who can take advantage of all its capabilities, so it’s certainly worth considering when purchasing a new model. However, the Apple Watch Series 9 remains an attractive product with many options available at a lower price point and a more elegant design.


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