Apple Watch 9 tipped to get improved sensors and a new U2 chip

The Apple Watch 8 lying on its side with the home screen on show
The Apple Watch 8 (Image credit: Future)

Amidst all the chatter around what's coming with the iPhone 15 handsets, it can be easy to forget that we're also expecting an Apple Watch 9 and an Apple Watch Ultra 2 at Tuesday's special Apple event – and more details around these wearables just leaked.

Over at Bloomberg, the usually reliable Mark Gurman has set out what he believes is coming with Apple's next two smartwatches. While there aren't likely to be many major changes this year, there are some rumored improvements worth making a note of.

Gurman talks about "various sensor and internal component upgrades" for both watches and specifically mentions a new version of Apple's optical heart rate sensor. No further details are given, but it sounds like faster and more accurate readings will be the result.

There's also a mention of an upgraded U2 ultra-wideband chip to replace the existing U1 for both watches, an upgrade that has also been tipped for the iPhone 15 handsets. This should mean more precise location tracking in the Find My app.

Watch this space

Other bits of information included in the new report have been mentioned before, including a switch to using some 3D-printed parts, and a significant chipset upgrade that should have a noticeable effect on the performance of these smartwatches.

It looks as though there could be changes in terms of the bands you can get for the Apple Watch as well this year. Apple is expected to discontinue the leather options, while the stainless steel link bracelets look set to be discontinued or replaced too.

Of course there's always the question about whether you should buy now or wait. Both the Apple Watch 10 (or Apple Watch X) and the Apple Watch Ultra 3 are rumored to be quite significant upgrades in terms of Apple's smartwatches.

Those models will be coming in 2024, but for now we're ready and waiting for the Apple Watch 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2 – together with the new iPhones – and we'll be covering the event on September 12 as it happens.

You might also like

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.