Apple Watch Ultra – Under The Hood – What’s new behind the scenes?

apple watch ultra wavefinder face

Apple Watch Ultra – Under The Hood – What’s new behind the scenes?

This post covers all (most) of the techy hardware changes that have happened inside the Apple Watch Ultra compared to the Watch Series 7. It covers some of the publicised changes and ones not publicised at all but which can only have been brought about by new hardware

TL;DR – Bigger battery of the same tech, iterated GNSS chip, slightly improved screen capabilities, better water/dive resistance and BLE 5.3 support.

Here’s the detail

  • S8 Chipset – the main chipset is updated from the S7 to S8. It seems that performance here is unchanged other than the addition of:
    • a new three-axis gyroscope with a higher dynamic range
    • a high g-force accelerometer (was 32g)
  • eSIM was previously optional and now it’s standard
  • The Wi-Fi chip is unchanged from the Series 7 and supports 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz. This is a better chip than found on the SE (2022)
  • Bluetooth 5.3 is new, was previously version 5.0. This should offer better battery consumption on music playback plus other changes.
  • Durability is maintained with IPX6 but water resistance is increased to WR100 with ISO 22810 water resistance with EN13319 certification
  • The optical sensor is the third generation sensor as found on the Series 7. This is better than the series 2 sensor found on SE (2022)
  • The GNSS chip supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou, thus it matches the capabilities of the Series 7 and is different to that found on the SE (2022)
    • dual frequency GNSS reception is supported and it is extremely likely that the GNSS chip has in fact iterated slightly from the one used in Series 7 as a year ago there we no dual frequency chipsets Apple could have used. (slightly debatable)
  • The LTPO OLED Always-On screen is new.
    • Firstly it’s bigger 1.919 inches versus 1.901 inches in the Series 7
    • Secondly, it has a higher pixel density at 338ppi compared to 326ppi on previous models
    • Thirdly it is able to produce 2000 nits of brightness compared to 1000 of previous models.
    • Fourthly the largest ever number of pixels is displayed at 410x502px
    • Fifthly the display edges are more ‘squared’ and of the traditional edge shape
  • RAM is unchanged from Series 7 at 1.5 GB DRAM
  • The battery is different
    • Fast charge is supported like Series 7
    • The battery is physically bigger with a bigger capacity. It’s probably the same battery tech though.
    • Fast charge times to 80% increase from 45 minutes to 1 hour. However, that’s probably a result of the battery’s larger capacity. Full charge time now takes 90 minutes rather than 75 minutes

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