Apple Watch Ultra 2 vs Apple Watch 8

Apple Watch Ultra 2 was released in September 2023. Apple Watch 8 is the eighth generation smartwatch released in September 2022.

We look at the details of the comparison between the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Apple Watch 8 below.

  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 supports dual-frequency GPS. Apple Watch 8 can support the single-frequency GPS only.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 uses a Sapphire display glass. Apple Watch 8 continues to use the Ion-X glass.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 can go up to a peak brightness of up to 3000 nits. Apple Watch 8 can go up to a peak brightness of up to 1000 nits.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 uses the 64-bit dual-core S9 processor. Apple Watch 8 uses the 64-bit dual-core S8 processor chip. Details of both chips are mentioned below.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a storage of 64 GB. Apple Watch 8 has a storage of 32 GB.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 comes with a double-tap feature. This is a new feature. Details of the feature are shared below.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a water resistance of 100 meters. This is equivalent to 10 ATM water resistance. Apple Watch 8 has a water resistance of 50 meters. This is equivalent to 5 ATM water resistance.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 comes with a siren. The siren sound can be heard up to 600 feet from the smartwatch.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a dual-speaker configuration. Apple Watch 8 has a single speaker configuration.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a 49 mm watch case. Apple Watch 8 uses 45 mm and 41 mm watch variants.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a battery backup of up to 36 hours. Apple Watch 8 has a battery backup of up to 18 hours. Apple Watch Ultra 2 also supports fast charging.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 has GPS + Cellular variant. Apple Watch 8 has GPS and GPS + Cellular variants.

These differences are discussed in some detail below.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch 8 use the Always-on-Retina OLED display. However, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a couple of premium display configurations.

  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 uses Sapphire display glass. Apple Watch 8 uses Ion-X display glass.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a peak brightness of 3000 nits. Apple Watch 8 has a peak brightness of 1000 nits.

There is also a difference between the size of the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the Apple Watch 8 smartwatches.

  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a 49 mm watch case.
  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a display resolution of 410 by 502 pixels and a 1185 sq mm display area.
  • Apple Watch 8 has 41 mm and 45 mm watch cases.
  • Apple Watch 8 45 mm has a display resolution of 484 x 396 pixels.
  • Apple Watch 8 41 mm has a display resolution of 430 x 352 pixels.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 uses a 64-bit dual-core S9 chip processor. Apple Watch 8 uses a 64-bit dual-core S8 chip processor.

The S9 processor was released in 2023. It is a significant improvement over the S8 chip. The main points that make the S9 chip better than the S8 chip are mentioned in brief below:

  • S9 chip is compatible with the double tap feature of the Apple Watch 9
  • S9 chip is more power efficient.
  • S9 chip features a 60 percent higher number of transistors (5.6 billion) than the S8 chip
  • The GPU or graphics processing of the S9 chip is up to 30 percent faster than the S8 chip
  • The neural engine in an S9 chip is twice as fast as the S8 chip. The S9 chip uses a 4-core neural engine. A faster neural engine improves Artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities in the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 can support dual-frequency GPS mode. Dual-frequency mode allows the smartwatch to fetch GPS details and configuration from multiple satellites at any given point in time.

Dual-frequency GPS is very useful for improving GPS accuracy and reliability. This is especially useful in remote terrains and dense cities with lots and lots of skyscrapers.

Apple Watch 8 supports single-frequency mode.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 is suggested for advanced professionals, athletes, triathletes, and fitness enthusiasts.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch 8 support the GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou satellite networks.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a water rating of WR100 and Apple Watch 8 has a water rating of WR50.

  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a water resistance of 100 meters. This is equivalent to 10 ATM water resistance. It can sustain water pressure at a depth of up to 100 meters.
  • Apple Watch 8 has a water resistance of 50 meters. This is equivalent to 5 ATM water resistance. It can sustain water pressure at a depth of up to 50 meters.

Apple Watch Ultra 2, therefore, has a better water resistance rating than the Apple Watch 8.

Double tap is a new feature addition to the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

The S9 chip in the Apple Watch 9 is compatible with the double tap feature. The S8 chip cannot support the double-tap feature.

The double-tap feature is a gesture action feature. You can tap your index finger and thumb together twice to answer a call, reply to a message, see and scroll through your Smart Stack, and more. 

The double-tap feature can be turned on or off. You can also open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, tap My Watch, go to Settings > Gestures, then tap Double Tap.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a storage of 64 GB and Apple Watch 8 has a storage of 32 GB.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 has an in-built siren. You can sound the siren that can be heard up to 180 meters or 600 feet from the watch.

The built in siren emits high intensity sound patterns using a wide range of frequencies to try to attract help.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 is equipped to rise to the occasion. 86-decibel Siren Hold the Action button to activate a Siren that can be heard up to 600 feet or 180 meters away.

Siren consumes a lot of battery. However, it can be very useful in seeking attention or help. Think of the various possibilities in which a siren could help an elder seek assistance.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 has a battery backup of up to 36 hours and Apple Watch 8 has a battery backup of up to 18 hours.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 supports fast charging. Fast charging is made possible through the Apple USB-C Magnetic Fast Charging Cable.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 can go from 0 to 80 percent battery in 1 hour. Full battery charge can take up to 90 minutes.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 is more expensive than the Apple Watch 8. But, the primary benefits of getting an Apple Watch Ultra 2 are:

  • Sapphire display glass
  • Higher peak brightness of 3000 bits
  • Dual-frequency GPS
  • Bigger and broader screen
  • Double tap feature
  • Better water resistance rating of 100 meters.

You may also like to read more smartwatch comparisons below:

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