Apple Watch Ultra 2 – What it means for Sport alongside Series 9

Apple Watch Ultra 2 – What it means for Sport alongside Series 9

Today’s announcements for the new Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch ULTRA 2 offer almost nothing new for sports and adventure enthusiasts. Literally almost nothing.

Here’s a summary…which will thus be VERY short

More: Apple Watch Ultra 2 Review

Buy: Apple Watch Ultra 2 from $799, Eu899, GBP799

Buy: Apple Watch Series 9 from $499, Eu449, GBP399

Apple Watch Ultra 2 – Highlights

Apple is keen to highlight the carbon neutrality of its latest product but that comes with specific combinations of model and strap.

The Ultra 2 claims enhanced speed, yet its battery life remains consistent with previous models. In terms of the display, there is enhanced power under the hood to support future enhancements but for today, it’s just the 3,000 nits of brightness that’s worthy of note which will improve visibility in bright sunlight. Then comes the “Modular Ultra” watch face which simply adds real-time data complications around the screen’s edge.

Diving into the realm of general features, Apple introduces a new finger/thumb activation gesture that allows one-handed operation. Siri now works directly from the watch and is claimed to work ‘better’ as a result but really all you might notice is that Siri now lets you add Waypoints and interrogate some wellness data.

Improved Wideband features better locate your iPhone but only newer models.

Watch bands continue a theme with today; ‘s announcement. They might seem familiar in design, but they now have a higher recycled content.

A word for the sports enthusiasts: watchOS 10 gets a decent update especially if you are a cyclist.

Don’t hold your breath. Put your visa card back in your wallet.

$399. You can buy one now and get it delivered as soon as Friday Sep 22.

apple watch ultra 2

 

Apple Watch Series 9

The new watch boasts a speed that’s 30% faster than the Series 8. However, for me, the speed of Series 8 was already perfectly fine. As for the battery life, it remains at the 18-hour mark, a duration most of us would like to see increased significantly.

When it comes to screen brightness and daylight readability, there’s a noticeable improvement. The new model delivers a brightness of 2,000 nits, doubling the 1,000 nits offered by Series 8. Watch owners in the Sahel at midday will be excited. The rest of us?…less so.

Oh, there are new Hermes and Nike bands. #Shrug. (Actually, the Hermes ones look nice)

Lastly, the Watch Series 9’s new features mirror those of the Ultra 2: on-device Siri functionality, the introduction of next-gen UWB, plus gesture control additions.

 

Apple watch ultra 2 whats new

Apple Watch Series 9 starts at £399, get yours on Friday, Sep 22.

WatchOS 10 highlights

Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 run watchOS 10, which is more of a milestone update. These latest software updates offer a more streamlined way to access information, thanks to redesigned apps and the introduction of the Smart Stack, which is a scrollable display of relevant widgets.

Watch enthusiasts will appreciate new watch faces: Snoopy, Palette, and Solar Analog. Additionally, the Nike Globe watch face interestingly lights lines on the globe every second.

For cyclists, the inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity for power meters, speed sensors, and cadence sensors is a genuine game changer. This unlocks new metrics, Workout Views, and specialised cycling workouts. Notably, a cycling workout can now automatically appear in sync with the Watch as a Live Activity on an iPhone and thus can use the full-screen area.

Those who are outdoor enthusiasts will benefit from the enhanced Compass Waypoints and Maps capabilities, as a boost to their adventurous.

Lastly, in a significant move towards health and well-being, the watch now possesses the capability to measure the duration a user spends in daylight. This, facilitated by the ambient light sensor, is geared towards mitigating the risk of myopia. Beyond eye health, this feature also underscores the broader benefits of daylight exposure to overall physical and mental health across all age groups.

Summary

Hey Siri: Define underwhelming

Siri: The Apple Watch product announcement for 2023.

Take Out – Being Positive

Some of the new features could open unintended sporting possibilities. For example:

UWB 2 – This can take prompts from your HomePod to show music to play. So, perhaps when near gym equipment it could instead offer you workouts?

The new finger/thumb double-tap gesture effectively controls the primary button on your current app. I would imagine that it can also be used to stop and start workouts

In truth, Watch 9 and ULTRA 2 represent improved hardware platforms for new stuff that will come over the next 2-3 years when a next-gen NIRS sensor and MicroLED Display WILL be added. The next-gen chipset and doubled onboard storage put the Watches in a good position to new capabilities.

Buy: Apple Watch Ultra 2 from $799, Eu899, GBP799

Buy: Apple Watch Series 9 from $499, Eu449, GBP399

apple watch ultra 2

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Apple Watch Ultra 2 – What it means for Sport alongside Series 9

  1. But it has 4x neural cores! I’ve no idea what Apple are using them for because they havent stated as much, but isn’t that twice as many as last year? That counts for something, right?

  2. The killer feature is the LTE support (along with the display). The battery life is ok-enough. The Apple Music support is competitive with Garmin Spotify or Amazon Music. The new “tap on it” virtual button may overcome the lack of sufficient buttons. The 1st party sport tracking and mapping lags quite a bit behind.

    Because of the LTE, I have actually spent more than a minute considering an Ultra 2 as a Garmin Fenix replacement (or more likely augment) but there is a problem for me.

    The LTE support has a significant * that is similar to the Garmin Pay and Apple Pay gotchas. The carrier has to opt in to support it because it has to share the same phone number as your main phone.

    It primarily works with carriers in North America, Western Europe, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China. But notably not in the rest of Asia, or anywhere in South and Central America or Africa — not even South Africa, Brazil, and Mexico.

    I’m sure it can roam with your main carrier to Europe or America but it isn’t going to work with a SIM or eSIM -swapping lifestyle to avoid excessive roaming charges.

    That is kind of a deal killer on the Apple Watch LTE for me, which eliminates the best feature.

    1. idk the answers to those real issues.
      lte also kills the battery.

      augment: maybe keep the fenix as a sports watch, then use a regular stainless steel (LTE) watch as your daily wellness piece that you can take on adventures when you might need to call someone. i guess with ULTRA that extra battery juice is quite handy for powering the lte as well without decimating real world usage durations for recording your sport.

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