Apple Watch Ultra 2 could arrive this fall, experts say – here's what we want to see

Man hiking in canyon checking smartwatch
(Image credit: Getty)

Apple could soon unveil the Apple Watch Ultra 2, according to the latest Power On newsletter from Bloomberg's resident Apple expert Mark Gurman. Although Gurman's sources aren't always 100% reliable, he has a solid track record and generally has a good sense of what's happening behind the scenes thanks to his industry contacts.

As Gadgets & Wearables reports. the second-generation adventure watch could launch alongside the Apple Watch Series 9, which CEO Tim Cook will almost certainly announce in September. 

Details about potential features are scarce, but apparently we shouldn't get our hopes up for a microLED display. Although this would offer improved viewing angles and lower power consumption compared to AMOLED, rumors suggest it's not ready to land on our wrists just yet.

Built-in flashlight

Garmin has clearly realized it's onto a winner with flashlights. The Fenix 7X was the first watch to feature an LED torch built into the top of the watch housing, and was soon followed by the even brighter Enduro 2. The Garmin Instinct 2X Solar came next, and now we have the Fenix 7 Pro and Epix (Gen 2) Pro series, which come in three sizes, all with lights.

It's one of those things that's much more useful than you'd expect, whether you're looking for the zipper on your sleeping bag, peering under the couch for that pen you just dropped, or running through a dark, mile-long tunnel. You can even use it to signal for help in an emergency.

The Apple Watch Ultra has a loud siren that you can use to signal distress in an SOS situation, but no flashlight. It would be a great addition to the Apple Watch Ultra 2, so I've got my fingers crossed.

Garmin Enduro 2 with flashlight illuminated

Garmin's built-in flashlights are extremely useful (Image credit: Future)

Improved battery life

The Apple Watch Ultra can deliver up to 60 hours of battery life with power-saving mode enabled, which is much longer than the Apple Watch Series 8, but nowhere near as long as most sports-focused GPS watches. In fact, when the Ultra launched, Garmin decided to poke fun on social media with photos of the Garmin Enduro 2 and a claim that "We measure battery life in months. Not hours."

Of course, the Enduro 2 doesn't offer features like cellular connectivity and uses a memory-in-pixel screen rather than AMOLED, so it's hard to compare the two directly. However, the point remains that if you're going to be off-grid for a while camping and hiking, you'll appreciate a watch that doesn't need charging every couple of days.

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Solar charging

Apple certainly won't want to reduce that Apple Watch Ultra's functionality to help it last longer between charges, but it may be able to boost battery life with solar charging. At the time of writing there are no Garmin watches with AMOLED screens and solar charging, but the company has registered a patent for a technology that would allow it to combine the two without dulling the appearance of the display.

It's an interesting concept, but has yet to make it into production. If Apple can devise a different way of achieving the same thing and get it to market sooner, it could be onto a winner.

Larger screen

We might not get microLED tech this time around, but early rumors suggest that the Apple Watch Ultra 2 could have a larger screen than its predecessor. The original Apple Watch Ultra certainly isn't small, but when it comes to maps and navigation, the bigger the better. I certainly wouldn't be averse to giving up a little more wrist space for easier navigation.

Redesigned crown

Apple redesigned its Digital Crown for the Apple Watch Ultra, making it chunkier and easier to operate while wearing gloves. However, I found that it's actually a little too large, and rubs slightly against my skin when turned. Offsetting it slightly so that it doesn't touch the skin would be a small change, but one that would make it much more comfortable to use on the trails.

Cat Ellis
Editor

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).