How independent are recent Apple Watches from the iPhone?

With Apple’s focus on performance in the Series 9 and Ultra 2, they has raised the bar for independence of the Apple Watches, allowing us to perform a range of tasks without our trusty iPhones in tow. But how well does it hold up in various scenarios? Let’s give the watch a reality check.

Messaging: 3.5 out of 5

The Apple Watch Ultra 2’s larger display makes reading and responding to incoming messages a more comfortable experience. While the lack of a physical keyboard can still be limiting, quick replies and voice dictation options make it workable. However, composing longer messages remains challenging.

Emails: 2.5 out of 5

Checking a few emails on the larger Apple Watches is a serviceable option, but it’s not ideal for regular email use, or responding to them. The screen makes navigating through emails awkward, and composing new messages is frustrating. For more complex email tasks, reaching for your iPhone is still the more efficient approach.

Starting Workouts: 4.5 out of 5


The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a workout powerhouse, allowing us to track our progress, receive coaching cues, and even stream music from our library or streaming services. The large display provides an excellent overview of exercise stats, and advanced built-in GPS ensures accurate distance and speed measurements. For fitness enthusiasts, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a fantastic companion.

Playing Music: 4 out of 5

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 can store and play music without the need for an iPhone, making it a great option for gym workouts, outdoor adventures, or even just relaxing at home. The speaker quality is adequate for casual listening, but for a truly immersive audio experience, Bluetooth headphones are recommended.

Meditating: 4 out of 5

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 offers a variety of guided meditation apps that can help us reduce stress and improve focus. The large display makes it easy to follow meditation instructions, and the built-in heart rate sensor and noise monitoring can provide valuable insights into our relaxation levels. For those seeking to enhance their mindfulness, the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is a valuable tool.

Voice Memos: 5 out of 5

Recording voice memos on the latest Apple Watches are a breeze. The bigger displays allows us to easily see our recordings, and the built-in microphones captures clear audio. The ability to transcribe recordings using Siri is a convenient bonus. For on-the-go note-taking or capturing fleeting ideas, the voice memo feature shines.

Overall Assessment

While it may not be a complete replacement for an iPhone, it has come a long way in terms of independence. The watch excels in fitness tracking, meditation, and voice recording, and it can handle basic messaging and email tasks with some limitations. For those who want to leave their iPhones behind for short periods, the recent watches are capable companions. However, for tasks that require more extensive text entry or complex features, reaching for your iPhone remains the preferred option.