Technology

Apple Watch Ultra vs Series 8, SE, and more

The 2022 Apple Watch lineup has arrived and comes with some big changes, mostly thanks to the brand new Ultra model. But there’s a lot to consider between the latest models and their predecessors. Read on for a detailed look at Apple Watch Ultra vs Series 8, SE, and more.

Since Apple Watch isn’t necessarily an every-year upgrade, we’ve included everything from Apple Watch Ultra down to Series 6 and SE 1st gen to give the best perspective on the differences between all the recent models.

Apple Watch Ultra vs Series 8, SE, and earlier

Processor, storage, more

Last year, Apple used the same 64-bit dual-core processor in the Series 7 that launched in the Series 6, but with the updated S7 name.

This year, the Apple Watch Ultra and Series 8 come with the S8 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor. It appears to be roughly the same as the S7 and S6 performance-wise as Apple did not share any claims of performance advancements during its keynote or on its website.

While you shouldn’t expect a noticeable speed bump from Series 6 or 7 to 8 or Ultra, if you’re coming from an earlier Apple Watch model you should notice a faster, more responsive watch.

Apple says that the S8 is 20% faster than the S5 chip.

Another benefit, if you’re coming from a Series 3 or 4 to Ultra, Series 8, or SE gen 2, is a jump in storage to 32GB.

Ultra Series 8 SE 2 7 6 SE 1
SiP/Processor S8 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S8 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S8 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S7 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S6 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor S5 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor
U1 (ultra wideband)
bluetooth 5.3 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
Storage 32GB 32GB 32GB 32GB 32GB 32GB

One more difference between Apple Watch Ultra/Series 8 and SE 2nd gen is that the latter does not come with the U1 ultra wideband chip.

Case and display

Apple Watch Ultra comes with the biggest case and display yet from Apple with 49mm for the former and a 410 x 502 resolution display that offers 1164 sq mm. Apple says it’s 27% bigger than the display on Series 4-6/SE.

Meanwhile, Apple Watch Series 8 carries on with the same sizes that launched with Apple Watch Series 7. That’s 45 and 41mm cases and a larger display that’s 20% bigger than Series 4-6/SE and 50% larger than the Series 3 display.

Ultra Series 8 SE 2 7 6 SE 1
Case size 49mm 45/41mm 44/40mm 45/41mm 44/40mm 44/40mm
Display size 410 x 502 pixels, 1164 sq mm 396 x 484 pixels, 1143 sq mm (45mm model) 368 x 448 pixels, 977 sq mm (44mm model) 396 x 484 pixels, 1143 sq mm (45mm model) 368 x 448 pixels, 977 sq mm (44mm model) 368 x 448 pixels, 977 sq mm (44mm model)
Brightness 2,000 nights 1,000 nights 1,000 nights 1,000 nights 1,000 nights 1.0000 nights
Always-on display
Sapphire crystal front Yes with steel models, no with aluminum Yes with steel models, no with aluminum Yes with steel models, no with aluminum

Apple Watch SE 2nd gen features the same 44 or 40mm case options and the same display size as the 1st gen/Series 6 and earlier.

Apple Watch band compatibility

Apple Watch band compatibility

When it comes to bands, Apple says those designed for 44 and 45mm Apple Watches will work with Apple Watch Ultra and vice versa:

And with the Series 8 and SE 2nd gen using the same form factors as before, all bands for the correct sizes will continue to work.

Battery life and charging

Apple Watch Ultra vs Series 8 battery and charging

A major change with Apple Watch Ultra is the biggest battery yet in the lineup. That’s 36 hours of standard battery life and up to 60 hours of extended use with Low Power mode.

Notably, the Low Power mode will come to Apple Watch Series 4 and later and will double the battery of those models from 18 to 36 hours.

Ultra Series 8 SE 2 7 6 SE 1
Battery lifestandard 36 hours 18 hours 18 hours 18 hours 18 hours 18 hours
Extended battery with Low Power mode 60 hours 36 hours 36 hours 36 hours 36 hours 36 hours
Charging 0-80% in 45 minutes 0-80% in 45 minutes 0-80% in 45 minutes 0-80% in 45 minutes 0-80% in 60 minutes 0-80% in 60 minutes

First introduced with Apple Watch 7 and continued with Apple Watch Ultra and Series 8 is 33% faster charging than Series 6 and earlier. That means going from 0-80% in 45 instead of around 60 minutes for the other models.

If you’re interested in using Apple Watch Ultra, Series 8, or 7 for sleep tracking, you also get 8 hours worth of use from an 8-minute charge.

Apple Watch Ultra vs Series 8 – Key features

Here are the core features you’re getting with Apple Watch Ultra, Series 8, and SE vs the previous models.

Apple Watch model/features Ultra Series 8 SE 2 7 6 SE 1
Customizable action button
EKG app
Blood Oxygen app
High/low heart rate notifications
MIL-STD 810H certified
Precision dual-frequency GPS
New Compass app w/ waypoints + backtrack
IP6X dust resistant
Water resistant to 100m
Water resistant to 50m
Depth gauge + EN13319 certified
Oceanic+ app/dive computer
86-decibel siren
Sleep tracking
Crash detection
Detection failure
Cycle tracking with temp sensing
Cycle tracking without temp sensing
Emergency SOS

Price

  • Apple Watch Ultra is priced from $799
  • Series 8 comes starts from $399/$429
  • Apple Watch SE 2nd gen goes from $249

Apple Watch Ultra vs Series 8 and earlier wrap-up

Apple Watch Ultra vs 8, SE wrap-up

No surprise that Apple Watch Ultra brings the most changes and improvements to Apple’s wearable lineup. However, the new pro model may be overkill for many.

While Apple Watch Series 8 may feel like Series 7S or 6SS, if you’re thinking of upgrading from Series 3, 4, or SE, you get a larger display, always-on screen, faster charging, and all of the latest and greatest health features.

What do you think about the new Apple Watch lineup? Have you already ordered one? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for reading our guide on Apple Watch Ultra vs Series 8 and SE!

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