Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2: Which one should you buy?


So, you’ve decided to treat yourself to a new smartwatch, but you’re not sure which one to pick. Should you go for Apple’s Series 9 or the Ultra 2?

They are both amazing smartwatches and both the freshest versions of proven wearable technology on the market right now. But they might not be worth the upgrade for everyone. Here are some of the key features and considerations to weigh before making a purchase.

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Advertisement for the Apple Watch 9 and Ultra 2. (CyberGuy.com)

Credit: Apple

Design and material differences

The primary distinguishing features between the Series 9 and Ultra 2 lie in their designs and materials. The Series 9 features an aluminum case and a glass screen, while the more advanced Ultra 2 is made with a stronger titanium case and a sapphire crystal screen.

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Apple Watch with the fitness app open.

Front and side views of the Apple Watch. (CyberGuy.com)

Credit: Apple 

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Performance

The Apple Watch Series 9 comes in two case sizes: 45mm and 41mm. The 45mm case size is equivalent to about 1.7-inch screen, while the 41mm case size is equivalent to about 1.6-inch screen. The Ultra 2 has a 1.9-inch screen that is brighter than the Series 9 screen.

A brighter screen can make the watch easier to see in the sun or outside, but it can also use up more battery life. So, you have to decide what is more important for you: a brighter screen or a longer battery.

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Battery life

The Apple Watch Series 9 has an 18-hour “all day” battery life, meaning with average use, your smartwatch should need to be charged once daily. The Apple Watch Series 9 also has a low power mode that extends the battery life up to 36 hours by disabling certain battery-draining features.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a 36-hour battery life with normal use, which is twice as long as the Apple Watch Series 9. It also has a low power mode that can extend the battery life up to 72 hours, which is 12 hours more than the original Apple Watch Ultra. 

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When you’d want to turn on Low Power Mode

People often ask me why you’d want to put your Watch in Low Power Mode. Quite simply, it is to save battery life when your own life has taken you away from recharging. If you decide to go camping or on a long hike, you’d want to enable low power mode to make sure you have the ability to send an SOS or prolong the battery well after you plan to return.

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A person's arm wearing the Apple Watch.

Apple has new feature in which the user can double tap their finger and thump instead of tapping the screen. (CyberGuy.com)

Credit: Apple 

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New features and the ‘double tap’ gesture people are raving about

Apple’s recent software update, watchOS 10.1, has introduced an exciting new feature to both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2: the double tap gesture. This allows users to control their smartwatch without touching the screen, using only a simple double tap of their index finger and thumb together.

Also, the Ultra 2 has an Action button, that’s a special feature that lets you customize and access some of your favorite functions with just a press. For example, you can use the Action button to start a workout, turn on the flashlight or launch a shortcut. 

You can set up the Action button in the Settings app on your Apple Watch or on your iPhone. The Action button is located on the left side of the watch case and has an orange color. It’s a handy way to make the most of your Apple Watch Ultra. 

Additionally, the Ultra 2 has a water temperature sensor, a depth gauge and a dive computer app that can help divers track their underwater activities.

Furthermore, the Ultra 2 and Series 9 have access to Night Mode for low-visibility conditions.

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Pricing

In terms of pricing, the Ultra 2 retails beginning at $799, contrasting with the Series 9’s $399 starting price tag.

Get the Apple Watch Ultra 2

Get the Apple Watch Series 9

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Advertisement of the Series 9 Apple Watch.

The Ultra 2 begins at $799 and the Series 9 $399. (CyberGuy.com)

Credit: Apple

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Software and known issues

Both models run on watchOS 10, introducing features such as Focus mode, the Portrait watch face and the Mindfulness app. However, some users have reported display flickering issues when Always On mode is enabled. Apple has acknowledged the issue and plans to release a fix in a future update. The company advises customers to keep their Apple Watch software up to date to receive the fix when it happens.

Temporary solution

As a temporary workaround, you can turn off Always On mode in the Settings app under Display & Brightness → Always On.

Hopefully, this glitchy screen will be resolved soon.

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Feature comparison table

Kurt’s key takeaways

Both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, the best-leading smartwatches ever made, each with its own set of advantages and specializations.

The Series 9 is a great Apple Watch providing a versatile, everyday experience, focusing on general use cases and affordability, with a price of $399. It’s the latest and greatest classic design of the original Apple Watch, perfect for anyone who has health and staying in touch at the top of their priority list.

On the other hand, the Ultra 2, priced at $799, is the ultimate watch that says go big or go home. Apple Watch Ultra 2 is bigger and better in almost every way and comes equipped with specialized features that make it ideal for extreme environments and activities, such as diving and exploration. 

While both models run on the same S9 processor and operating system, the Ultra 2 feels more solid than the previous models, and it has a larger screen that makes it easier to navigate the interface. It is easier to swipe, tap and scroll through your apps and notifications easier. The Ultra 2 also has a brighter display.

When I wear my old-fashioned analog watch, it fits with a tux or pair of jeans and feels timeless and forever. When I swap it out for the Watch Ultra 2, well, the best Apple Watch feels like the world is waiting for me to pry open a life-changing adventure. Somehow, the Ultra 2 makes you feel like you are more alive and has the tools to actually keep you alive.

Ultimately, your choice between the two will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget.

How important are the design and material differences between the Series 9 and Ultra 2 for you? Which smartwatch model would you prefer and why? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

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