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Improved sensors and a new U2 chip coming to Apple Watch 9

Amid all the talk about what’s new with the iPhone 15, it can be easy to forget that we’re also expecting an Apple Watch 9 and an Apple Watch Ultra 2 at Apple’s special event on Tuesday — and new details about these smartwatches have just been released.

On the Bloomberg site, the generally reliable Mark Gurman laid out what he thinks will be the next two smart watches from Apple. While there aren’t many major changes this year, some rumored improvements are worth noting.

Gurman talks about “various sensor and internal component upgradesfor both watches and mentions in particular a new version of Apple’s optical heart rate sensor. No other details are given, but it looks like readings will be faster and more accurate.

It is also mentioned an enhanced ultra-wideband U2 chip which will replace the current U1 chip for both watches, an upgrade that was also announced for iPhone 15 series smartphones. This should enable more precise location tracking in the Find My app.

Other information in the new report has already been mentioned, including the move to the use of 3D printed parts and a significant chipset upgrade that should have a noticeable effect on the performance of these smart watches.

Should we wait?

It looks like there could be changes to the bands available for the Apple Watch this year. Apple is expected to discontinue leather options, while stainless steel link bracelets look set to be discontinued or replaced.

Of course, the question always arises whether to buy now or wait. The Apple Watch 10 (or Apple Watch X) and Apple Watch Ultra 3 are rumored to be significant updates to Apple’s smartwatches.

Those models will arrive in 2024, but for now, we’re ready and waiting for the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 — as well as the new iPhones — and everything looks set for 7 p.m. tomorrow.

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