At its September event, Apple unveiled the next generation of its rugged, high-end smartwatch – the Apple Watch Ultra 2. This new model takes the original Ultra even further with major upgrades to the display, performance, battery life and durability.

Brighter 3000 Nit Always-On Display

One headlining change is a brighter always-on display, now ratcheted up to a blistering 3000 nits max brightness – 50% more than before. Apple says this is the brightest display it has ever designed, allowing for much improved screen visibility in direct sunlight.

The Ultra 2 can also dial the display down to just 1 nit in dark environments. And temporarily doubling the brightness to 6000 nits when using the flashlight makes it even easier to light up a path or workspace.

Faster Chip With New Double Tap Gesture

Powering the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is Apple’s latest S9 system-in-package chip. Apple COO Jeff Williams said this new SiP delivers “great performance and feature updates.”

One innovation enabled by the speedy new chip is support for an intuitive double tap gesture. By just double tapping two fingers on the watch face, users can control music, answer calls, stop timers and more without touching the display.

On-Device Siri With Health Data Access

Thanks to the S9 SiP, Siri requests will now be processed directly on the watch for the first time. Beyond quicker response times, on-device Siri also enables access to health data like activity, sleep, weight changes and more through voice.

Apple notes privacy is maintained, as no data leaves the device. Users can even log health data points like weight or medications via Siri voice commands on the Ultra 2.

Enhanced GPS and Exploring Features

With the new version of watchOS 10, Apple is adding topographical maps, compass waypoints, cycling integration and other outdoor exploration focused features.

And the Ultra 2 takes advantage of these with its rugged build, water resistance to 130M and extended battery life up to 72 hours in low power mode. Add in the UWB enabled Precision Finding feature to locate a lost iPhone, and the Ultra 2 seems built for adventures.

New Oceanic+ App for Freediving

For water sports, Apple is introducing a dedicated Oceanic+ app for freediving that provides key stats like depth, time and heart rate on the large Ultra 2 display.

The built-in Depth app is also improved for scuba diving, allowing you to review previous dives and logs directly on the watch.

More Durable and Now Carbon Neutral

Apple says it has made the Ultra 2 even more durable, with expanded altitude (up to 9000M) and temperature range testing.

Select Ultra 2 models will also be carbon neutral for the first time, using recycled titanium and aluminum. Apple noted this represents a “significant milestone” in its environmental efforts.

Priced at $799, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 can be pre-ordered beginning September 15 ahead of launch on September 22. With enhancements across the board, from screen to sensors, it promises to be the most advanced and capable rugged smartwatch yet for outdoor adventurers.