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Apple Watch Extremely 2 newest: will we get a brand new rugged Watch this yr?

We know that at least one 2023 model Apple Watch is coming thanks to an entry in the Bluetooth database – could it be the Apple Watch Ultra 2 – Apple’s ultimate GPS watch? And what other rumours have been floating around about the upcoming second generation of the ruggedized and supersized Apple Watch?

Last year’s model debuted alongside the Apple Watch Series 8 and latest Watch SE as a more upmarket model to compete with the premium offerings from sports watch makers such as Garmin and Polar. It was larger at 49mm, had an extra Action Button, upgraded GPS and new robust titanium casing among other enhancements. Expect the Apple Watch Ultra 2 to match the same $799/£849 price point.

Read on to find out more about the upcoming smartwatch or check out the following feature about the original’s endurance features.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 probable release date

As per previous years, Apple will do a launch in the first couple of weeks in September. And going by past form, this is most likely to be on Tuesday 12 September, with availability of the launched devices likely on either Friday 22 or Friday 29 September 2023.

At that event we’re expecting the iPhone 15 series to debut alongside this year’s Apple Watches which should comprise the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Gen 2 Watch Ultra. We’re not expecting any Macs, though there may be a new iPad Air. We may also get a new version of the AirPods Max, though some rumours suggest we’ll be waiting longer for those.

We had previously thought we might be waiting until 2024 at the earliest for a new Apple Watch Ultra – a two-year cycle – but recent rumours have pointed to a quicker upgrade appearing.

Confirmation of a 2023 Apple Watch

All new Bluetooth devices are recorded in the organisation’s database. And a new filing appeared on 13 August labelled WatchOS Profile Subsystem 2023. What we don’t know is if that refers to the Watch Series 9, an Ultra 2 or even a new version of the excellent Watch SE. In June, Bloomberg had already reported a new version of the Watch Ultra was coming this year, however.

Listings like the Bluetooth organisation one appearing are very normal and are simply because of certification requirements. We tend to see filings for new products at places like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), too.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 design changes

We wouldn’t expect a second-generation Watch Ultra to be radically different from the original, with the same button layout and new Action Button. The flat display will also surely remain.

It’s been suggested that the new watch will be available in different colours and specifically in a smart black colour according to serial leaker ShrimpApplePro. Again, the case will be titanium and the existing finish would be retained alongside the black it seems. This fits with a previous report from Bloomberg that Apple had previously tested a Titanium Black finish but that had decided against it. The Watch 7 was available with a Space Black titanium case, so it’s a fairly small leap.

The weight of the Ultra is also set to reduce according to one leaker. Setsuna Digital suggests that the 61g weight will be reduced – it’s currently almost twice the weight of the smaller version of the Apple Watch Series 8. However, once on, the weight of the Ultra isn’t generally an issue for most so this won’t be a dealbreaker for most.

The weight reduction would be – at least in part – down to the use of 3D printed components according to serial Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo. The components could include the Digital Crown, Side Button and Action Button which are all currently CNC machined.

Apple Watch Ultra 2 spec changes

Long-time Apple watcher Mark Gurman suggested earlier in 2023 that this year’s Apple Watch lineup would get a new processor that was more closely related to recent iPhone chips. If it follows recent form it’ll have an S9 processor alongside a W3/4 wireless chip and U1 chip as well.

There may also be a new display using Micro LED rather than OLED even if the existing model is very bright at up to 2000nits. However, Display expert Ross Young thinks it more likely for 2025 instead. Forbes writer David Phelan suggested that when Micro LED does appear it will drive the price up because of the higher cost of the display.

There are some rumours to suggest that the size could rise from 1.9in to 2.1in but we think this unlikely – the Watch Ultra is large enough as it is and even though Apple has redesigned some elements of watchOS, we think it unlikely the display would be supersized so soon even if Apple decided to do it eventually.

One area of criticism of the original Watch Ultra was the battery life. It’s cited as three days, though we’ve found you can really only get two out of it as time has gone on. There is an endurance mode promising 60 hours for long exercises but really it’s the general use battery life that we expect to be enhanced to better compete with GPS watches such as those from Garmin.

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