Apple has recently unveiled its latest smartwatch lineup, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, which offer new features and capabilities, as well as a significant environmental milestone. Here’s a breakdown of what’s new and what’s the same in these two models.
New Features and Capabilities
Both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are powered by the new S9 chip, which increases performance and enables new features, such as:
- A new double tap gesture that allows users to interact with the watches without touching the screen. For example, users can double tap to answer a call, pause a workout, or snooze an alarm.
- A brighter display that can reach up to 1000 nits of brightness, making it easier to see in direct sunlight.
- Faster on-device Siri, which can now access and log health data privately and securely. Users can also ask Siri to show their blood oxygen level, heart rate, or ECG results on the watch face.
- Precision Finding for iPhone, which helps users locate their misplaced iPhone using the U1 chip and ultra wideband technology. Users can see the distance and direction to their iPhone on the watch screen, and make it play a sound or flash its light.
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 also has some exclusive features that set it apart from the Series 9, such as:
- A larger display that curves around the edges of the case, creating a seamless look and feel.
- A titanium case that is lighter and more durable than stainless steel.
- A digital crown that provides haptic feedback when scrolling or adjusting settings.
- A blood pressure sensor that can measure systolic and diastolic blood pressure using an inflatable cuff in the band.
- A glucose sensor that can monitor blood sugar levels using a tiny needle in the band.
Battery Capacities and Life
One of the most important aspects of any smartwatch is its battery life, which determines how long users can enjoy its features and functions. According to a Chinese regulatory database, which only provides Apple model numbers instead of product names, the battery capacities of the new Apple Watch models are as follows:
|Apple Watch Model||Battery Capacity|
|Series 9 (41mm)||282 mAh|
|Series 8 (41mm)||282 mAh|
|Series 9 (45mm)||308 mAh|
|Series 8 (45mm)||308 mAh|
|Ultra 2||564 mAh|
As seen in the table, the battery capacities of the Series 9 models are unchanged compared to the Series 8 models, which makes sense given that Apple says they have the same 18-hour battery life as their predecessors. The Ultra 2 model has a slightly larger battery than the original Ultra model, but it also has a brighter display and other new features that may consume more power. Apple says the Ultra 2 model has the same 36-hour battery life as the original Ultra model.
Carbon Neutral Products
Another notable aspect of the new Apple Watch lineup is that they are Apple’s first-ever carbon neutral products, meaning that they have no net impact on the climate in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. This is part of Apple’s plan to be carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030.
Apple achieved this milestone by reducing carbon emissions from materials, electricity, and transportation through innovation and design. For example, Apple used recycled materials for some components of the watches, such as aluminum cases and rare earth magnets. Apple also used renewable energy sources for its operations and suppliers, and invested in projects that restore natural ecosystems and remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Apple says that customers can choose a carbon neutral option of any Apple Watch model by selecting a band made from natural or recycled materials, such as leather, braided solo loop, sport loop, or nylon. Customers can also opt for a paperless delivery option when ordering online.
Availability and Pricing
The new Apple Watch models can be ordered today, with availability beginning on Friday, September 22. The pricing for each model is as follows:
|Apple Watch Model||Starting Price|
|Series 9 (41mm)||$399|
|Series 9 (45mm)||$429|
The new models are compatible with all existing bands and accessories for previous Apple Watch models.