Apple Watch Ultra 2 flickering issue could be fixed by an imminent free update

Both the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Watch Series 9 seem to have an odd problem, which Apple is looking into

Apple Watch Ultra 2
(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is an awesome smartwatch, having been given a five-star review by T3 and many other outlets. However, it has a peculiar issue that we've even noticed on our own device.

When the always-on display is active (as per the default), the screen can flicker at times – seemingly raising brightness momentarily.

This strange problem has also been reported by Apple Watch Series 9 users, although we've not experienced it in that regard.

It's an issue that Apple reportedly acknowledges, with the Cupertino company alleged to have sent an internal service memo to Apple Authorised Service Providers (via MacRumors). It tells them not to attempt to repair either Watch, but to advise customers to keep the software up-to-date instead.

This suggests that the issue is soon to be fixed through a watchOS update. It could even arrive as part of watchOS 10.1, which is due for public release within a week.

One other temporary solution is to turn off the always-on display option, which is hardly ideal. I don't know about you, but I've invested in an Ultra 2 with that particular feature in mind.

The memo also reveals that some Apple Watch wearers might experience a different issue. The activity rings on a Watch face might "temporarily turn pink", it says.

This is strangely not in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, although it would have been a cool and subtle way to draw attention to it. It may also be addressed in the next operating system update.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 was announced alongside the new Apple Watch Series 9 on 12 September, with both devices being made available from 22 September. However, some band options are still yet to be delivered with several designs selling out during the pre-order phase.

It is priced at $799 / £799 while the Watch Series 9 starts at $399 / £399.

Both are now widely available from multiple retailers, although you might still find you have to wait a bit longer for select bands considering the demand.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.