Apple Watch UItra II Review

Something of a surprise early release, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is the second iteration of Apple’s line of rugged smartwatches.  Building on the already impressive repertoire of features of its predecessor, this watch is faster, smarter and a step up from the original.


Whilst this model looks familiar to its predecessor, with a similar aesthetic and the same rugged durability, it’s just that little bit prettier, with an exclusive new, customisable watch face.  This enables the wearer to mix and match the settings displayed on the watch face, in accordance with their preferences, making for an accessory which is unique to the individual and their specific needs.

Additionally, the Ultra 2 features a 50% brighter LTPO OLED display, with a maximum brightness of 3,000 nits.  It’s Apple’s brightest ever display, and it doesn’t disappoint with its clarity and vividness.

Featuring a case made of premium recycled titanium, this device can add environmentally friendly to its impressive rollcall of credentials.  The case extends upwards, so that it surrounds and protects the front screen from any bashes to the edges, adding to the overall resilience. For extra durability and precision, there’s a titanium guard, which protects the Digital Crown and helps prevent accidental rotations.

The Digital Crown itself is pleasingly chunky, with larger grooves than the original Ultra, making for easy use when the wearer is out in the elements.  It even has a raised side button, to enable smooth access, even with gloves on!


At first glance, the Ultra 2 bears a striking resemblance to the previous model, incorporating all the excellent features of the original.  However, take a second look and you’ll discover that there are upgrades galore inside!

Featuring an upgraded S9 chip, this model is faster than the first iteration and more intelligent, for a smoother and more flawless user experience.

The activity tracker is exceptionally accurate and insightful, with activity and movement rings acting as a log of your personal statistics.  This provides a helpful and accessible visual aid, enabling you to see at a glance whether you’re hitting your targets and achieving your goals. It’s a handy motivational tool designed to encourage you to keep on keeping on when the sofa beckons!

The Ultra 2 delivers the brilliantly accurate GPS and the precise, high-performance heart rate sensor that we’ve come to expect from Apple.  Also, as you might expect, this model is a solid, reliable and versatile fitness tracker, which won’t let you down, or disappoint.

What’s new though is that the Ultra 2 provides the wearer with some exciting and ingenious new ways to interact with their wearable.  Perhaps the most famous of these being the all-new Double-Tap feature, which is what we’re all talking about! Courtesy of the more advanced S9 processor, this latest feature enables you to use your device one handed, for easier navigation mid-workout, or for when you have your hands full.  A simple raise of your wrist and double-tap of your thumb and forefinger together allows you to answer a call, take a photo, or complete certain key functions.  This feels like a ground-breaking new invention, which will likely be expanded upon in future devices, for even better functionality with each new release.


Siri has had a welcome make-over!  On-device, offline Siri is a new feature, which means that when the wearer makes a request of Siri which doesn’t require the internet, such as setting a timer, or commencing a workout, it can be processed much faster, because it isn’t directed to the cloud.

Siri’s capabilities have also been extended, so that now you can ask basic health questions, based on data from the previous week or so, such as ‘How did I sleep last night?’, or ‘How long did I spend working out yesterday?’, etc which the voice assistant will answer swiftly and accurately.  It’s a handy new feature and a convenient step-up in functionality, as well as an important step towards better overall health and wellness tracking.

The Ultra 2 also features Apple’s HomePod Media Control, so that you can control your music from your wrist.  This grants better interactivity between the watch and the HomePod, provided the HomePod is within four metres. Now Playing will automatically launch to enable you to control the HomePod.  It’s quite niche but it will undoubtedly be a handy feature for many.

Another nifty little feature is the precision Find Devices for iPhones, which enables you to locate your lost Apple device.  It only works with the latest iPhone models, but it may well come in useful if you’re the proud owner of one of those.


A big pro is the inclusion of a faster processor, boosting the watch’s overall performance and repertoire of capabilities.  It’s Apple’s most powerful ever chip and it shows!  Navigating around the watch’s features feels remarkably smooth and seamless.  As are all of the interactions.  A thoroughly lag-free experience is guaranteed!

Worthy of a mention here is the brilliantly bright new screen.  It enhances the watch’s overall look and performance and creates a premium feel.  I was particularly impressed by the illumination of the screen in Night Mode.

Obviously, I must mention the new Double-Tap feature, which gives the wearer gesture control over the device.  It’s a fun, simple and user-friendly approach and it’s also a handy way of navigating the watch’s features in situations where you don’t have both hands available.  It feels like an exciting invention from Apple which could pave the way for bigger and better things to come in the future!

The re-vamped Siri is another great new addition.  The faster interactions and ability to obtain health information make for a much more user-friendly, faff-free experience.

I found that the improved Find Devices feature was fantastically accurate and intuitive.  It gives the impression that Apple is future-proofing, by creating greater interactivity between all its devices.

Last but not least, is this watch’s applaudable eco-friendly credentials.  I for one am a huge fan of the new sustainable approach which, given the watch’s target market of lovers of the Great Outdoors, makes perfect sense.  Let’s hope Apple continue on this green, future-friendly path and extend it outwards to the rest of their devices going forward. And, other brands, take note!


There’s no escaping the fact that the Ultra 2 is at the higher end of the price spectrum.  However, I would argue that although the device is expensive, it does deliver a lot of bang for the buck, so it’s worth it if you have the cash to spare.

A small grumble is that there has been no battery life extension since the previous model.  But, with a decent minimum of 36 hours of battery life, at normal usage, it would be greedy to insist upon more! However, you will need to pack a charger if you’re going on a multi-day trip, unless you plan on using it on low-power mode.

The only other comment I would make isn’t a negative, but rather a statement of a fact.  As great as the Ultra 2 is, it isn’t a dedicated running or multisport watch.  So, professional, serious sportspeople should look elsewhere, for devices which meet their more specialised needs. However, for the average user, this watch’s plentiful and accurate health and fitness features should be more than adequate...Excellent, in fact!


In keeping with the original, the Ultra 2 is tough yet stylish.  However, this second generation of the Apple Watch Ultra is a definite upgrade, with an impressive rollcall of ingenious and quirky new features.  All this extra fabulousness, with no additional price hike can’t fail to impress!

Marks out of 10:

Functionality: 9.5

Look & Feel:  9

Affordability:  8

Pros & Cons Summary:


  1. New Double-Tap feature.
  2. Improved Siri.
  3. Faster processor.


  1. Fairly expensive price-tag.
  2. No battery life extension.
  3. Not the best choice for sports professionals.