July 18, 2024
Apple Watch Series 9

In no way is the Apple Watch Series 9 a revolutionary new wristwatch. While it has some hardware improvements over the Series 8, it is a very similar wearable. The newest smartwatch from Apple has a brighter screen, a speedier chipset, and some intriguing new gesture features, all while maintaining a nearly identical look to its predecessor. Although Apple has a tried-and-true method, is the Series 9 still a worthwhile upgrade for current Apple Watch owners, or is it better suited for those who are making their first purchase?

 rating: 8.5 / 10

Listing of Contents

Design and display:

You won’t be able to distinguish the Apple Watch Series 9 from the Series 8 or even the Series 7 before that, no matter how closely you examine it. You get the same square-shaped aluminum or stainless steel frame in 41mm and 45mm diameters, with the design essentially remaining the same. The only method to distinguish a Series 9 from its predecessor is to use the new Pink colorway (available in aluminum). Additional color choices for the aluminum variant are Product (Red), Starlight, Midnight (the color of our review device), and Silver. The colors of the stainless steel variant include Graphite, Silver, and Gold.

The speaker cutout is located on the left side of the frame, while the well-known pill-shaped button and crown are located on the right side.

The display of the Apple Watch Series 9 bears a resemblance to that of its predecessor. With some bezels surrounding the screen, the 45mm version offers a fairly large screen. Although it’s still not edge-to-edge, one anticipates that Apple would further minimize the bezels in the tenth version. It’s a visually appealing LTPO OLED panel with deep blacks and vibrant colors. The brightness has been increased to 2000 nits from 1000 nits, which is the largest improvement. For a smartwatch, that’s a lot of brightness, and it does show up in direct sunshine.

Double-tap gesture:

A significant new feature that is only available on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 is double-tap. It just came with watchOS 10.1. Fundamentally, double-tap is an accessibility feature that lets you use one hand to accomplish specific tasks. As the name implies, double-tap allows you to do specific tasks with just two taps of your thumb and index finger.

Since watchOS 8, there has been a version of Double-tap hidden under the Accessibility settings. With the previous gesture function, known as Assistive Touch, you could also use single, double, or clenching your fist to accomplish customized tasks including opening the notification center, dock, or control center; dismissing messages; waking Siri; or performing other shortcuts. Because Assistive Touch offers more mapping choices for gestures, I found it to be slightly more convenient than Double-tap.

Although AssitiveTouch is more beneficial, its increased processing power consumption makes it more power-hungry as well. Conversely, double-tap only works with the Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 since it makes use of the S9 chip’s Neural Engine.

As of right now, double-tap can only be used to execute one action. Other significant notifications that it supports include snoozing an alarm, ending a timer, replying to a message notice, and answering or hanging up a call. This implies that you cannot set Double-tap to automatically reject message notifications in place of the default reply choice or to ignore calls in place of default call responding.

Performance and software:

According to Apple, the new S9 SiP (System in Package) would operate 30% faster than the S8 chip from the previous year. In addition, it has a four-core Neural Engine, which allows it to support the Double-tap gesture and on-device Siri processing, among other features. With the former, Siri can carry out some fundamental functions, such as creating alarms and reminders, without having an active internet connection.

You will notice an increase in speed during normal usage if you are switching from an Apple Watch Series 7 or older model. Applications operate with little to no lag, and transitions between apps and animations feel seamless. If you are upgrading from Series 8, performance differences may not be noticeable.

About watchOS 10, Apple has made a few minor adjustments to improve the readability of apps quickly. As one might anticipate, watchOS 10 also includes several new watch faces, like the lovely Solar Analog and the more entertaining than useful Snoopy watch face.

Battery life:

Not much has changed in terms of batteries. If you use the Apple Watch Series 9 lightly, it can still last two days on a single charge. You won’t get anything truly remarkable if you’re switching from an Apple Watch Series 7 or earlier, but you will notice an improvement in battery life. When charging the device with a 30W Apple charging brick, it takes around an hour to get 100% charge; when using a 20W adapter, it takes about an hour and twenty minutes.

Verdict:

There is nothing innovative about the new design language of the Apple Watch Series 9. You know what to expect here because it looks just like its predecessor and its predecessor’s predecessor. The S9 SiP increases the smartwatch’s responsiveness and somewhat extends its battery life. The new double-tap feature is arguably the largest update, and it seems like this feature will only grow better in the future. Having said that, it might not be worthwhile to upgrade from a Series 8 or a Series 7 for just one function.

The Apple Watch Series 9 offers a full smartwatch experience along with a speedier chipset and larger display than the previous year’s Apple Watch SE, making it a more cost-effective choice for those on a tight budget.

Pros:

  • Snappy performance
  • The double-tap feature is convenient
  • Bright and attractive display

Cons:

  • Battery life hasn’t improved much
  • Design is largely unchanged

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