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Apple Watch Series 9 Review

If you’ve seen TV commercial for the Apple Watch Series 9, you’re already aware of the new Double Tap function.

It’s the sole feature Apple is hyping, which means one of two things: there aren’t any other compelling reasons to buy a Series 9, or this “Magic. At Your Fingertips.” is truly revolutionary.

The Series 9 isn’t a spectacular upgrade, but it does include a handful of major enhancements that the advertising don’t mention. While Double Tap is a useful feature, it isn’t very novel: if you possess an Apple Watch 4 or later, you can utilize a range of hand motions… featuring the familiar-sounding Double Pinch, which performs the same function.

None of this means you shouldn’t buy an Apple Watch 9, though.

Design & display

  • 41mm and 45mm sizes
  • Brightness up to 2000 nits
  • New S9 chip
  • Second-gen ultrawideband chip

With Apple’s smartwatch software now in its tenth edition, there’s no chance the firm will revamp the Watch and include anything other than a rectangular screen. So it’s no surprise that the Series 9 looks exactly like the Series 8, which looked exactly like the Series 7.

The Watch’s screen has grown in size over time, but it is now at the point where Apple would have to produce larger units, which no one wants or needs.

The Watch 9 is twice as bright as the Series 8, which really does mean you can see the screen easily in bright sunshine

So, brighter brightness is the rule of the day this time. The Watch 9 is twice as bright as the Series 8, which means you can see the screen well even in strong sunlight.

Unfortunately, I saw very little of it during my time testing the device, but when the clouds split (and the rain stopped), the Watch 9 was always able to adjust its brightness to accommodate for the conditions.

There’s also an enhancement in the other direction: the new display can go as dark as 1 nit, which is useful for checking the clock in the middle of the night.

The design of the Watch Series 9 remains unaltered in every other way. It is equipped with the same sensors, buttons, and charger as previously. Turning the digital crown scrolls through menus and messages while providing the same amazing haptic feel as before.

It’s also a button, and there’s a Side Button above it that, in WatchOS 10, pulls up the Control Panel that was previously accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

There’s a built-in speaker for phone calls and hearing Siri, as well as microphones for talking to callers… as well as Siri.

The Watch 9 is water-resistant to 50 meters, like were its predecessors, but it also includes 64GB of storage, which is double what the Series 8 had. That may be useful if you prefer to keep a lot of music and podcasts on it and listen to them without having to use your iPhone.

Precision finding works brilliantly, and it’s a killer feature if you’re always losing your phone

The second-generation ultrawideband chip, which makes it much simpler to find your phone, is maybe more beneficial, albeit only if you have an iPhone 15. You’ll now see the distance to your phone, the route to go, and haptic feedback when you’re getting near. Instead of continually blaring, the iPhone rings once, and then only when you’re nearby do you hear a final ding.

Precision locating works well, and it’s a game changer if you frequently misplace your phone.

There’s also the environmental consideration, which may be easily disregarded. You may now pick a carbon-neutral combination of any aluminum casing (which is 100% recyclable) and any of the new Sport Loop straps.

Smart features & watchOS

  • Big redesign for watchOS 10
  • Rich notifications
  • Phone calls on your wrist

Some smart watches are embarrassingly simple, but the Apple Watch is the gold standard for what these gadgets are capable of.

To get the most out of it, you’ll need additional Apple devices, with an iPhone being a must. Given the close connection of watchOS and iOS, that’s reasonable, but it means that an Apple Watch isn’t an option for people using Android phones.

Some smart watches feel pretty dumb, but the Apple Watch really is the benchmark for what these devices are capable of

As I mentioned already, watchOS has had a fairly big overhaul for version 10 and if you’re a long-time Watch user you’ll need a short while to get used to it.

Apple Watch Series 9

The Smart Stack, which appears as you twist the digital crown, is the most noticeable difference. You can change what’s on the stack: it may be a timer, your next calendar entry, fitness metrics, the weather forecast, or anything else. It’s fantastic, especially since you can see the stack and then navigate through it using Double Tap.

Smart Stack is not limited to the Series 9: it is accessible on every Watch that can run watchOS 10.

Surprisingly, Double Tap is unique, and Apple claims it is made possible by the new S9 processor. To summarize, the S9 is built on the same architecture as the A16 Bionic CPU seen in the iPhone 14 Pro. It uses around 25% less power than the S8 and boasts a new quad-core Neural Engine that does machine learning jobs twice as quickly. Its GPU is approximately 30% quicker than the S8’s.

These are amazing figures, to be sure, but it’s tough to see any benefit in day-to-day use right now. But there are a few of things. The first is that specific Siri instructions may now be handled on the Watch 9 rather than being routed to the cloud, and the second is that dictation is now available.

Siri can set reminders, timers, and other tasks that don’t require internet access (for example, inquiring how tall the Empire State Building is). This is useful when you don’t have a connection and should speed up answers. They fluctuated in my testing, being quite swift on occasion and Siri telling me “I didn’t get that, can you repeat?” on others.

Returning to Double touch, it’s unclear why it requires the S9 processor since prior Apple Watches appear to be fully capable of recognizing when you touch your thumb and forefinger together. Indeed, there are several accessibility options that let you to operate older Watches with one hand.

It’s also odd that Apple has basically made the AssistiveTouch function, which has been available since 2021, the headline feature of the Series 9 when there are other advancements to discuss.

Health & fitness tracking

  • ECG and heart rate monitoring
  • Blood Oxygen monitoring
  • Sleep tracking

The Series 9, like other Apple Watch models, is more than simply a phone extension. It’s also an excellent fitness tracker.

The Series 9 lacks new sensors, although it doesn’t really need them. It can monitor your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, do an ECG, track your sleep, and track your monthly cycle for half of the population.

Apple Watch Series 9

It’s also correct. I tested the heart rate sensor against some actual medical equipment and it was dead on, measuring a maximum heart rate of 157bpm during an indoor cycling exercise, only 1bpm higher than the medical kit.

The Watch Series 9 can monitor and show statistics from a variety of exercises, including swimming, running, cycling, and HIIT training.

Cycling data can be shown on your iPhone, and with watchOS 10, you can attach Bluetooth peripherals like cadence sensors and power meters to receive even more information.

When you hold the Watch near a contactless reader, it will automatically link with exercise equipment.

Apple Watch Series 9

However, you do not have to be a fitness enthusiast to gain. The Activity Rings on the Watch Series 9 measure your daily movement, exercise, and how frequently you stand, which may be a terrific encouragement for everyone to be more active. If you have friends who have an Apple Watch, you may share your activity statistics with them and aim to beat them each day.

Similarly, if you experience a heavy fall or are in a vehicle accident, the Series 9 may summon emergency services (as long as it has a cellular connection or a Wi-Fi connection to your iPhone).

It will also alert you to high and low heart rates, abnormal heart rhythms (but not heart attacks), and when sound levels may be harmful to your hearing.

A potentially extremely useful feature that would allow you to ask Siri for health data was unavailable at the time of review. You’ll be able to say things like “Siri, how much did I sleep last night” to obtain a voice review, or “Siri, I just took my medicine” to swiftly and simply register drugs.

Battery life & charging

Even though Apple claims that the battery life is the same as previously, I discovered that it lasted longer than the promised 18 hours when utilizing the always-on display. It could often last a day and a half, allowing me to wear it to bed to track my sleep without worrying about it running out and waking me up with its gentle tapping in the morning – another useful function of the Watch.

Another clever feature is the ‘Charge before bed’ reminder, which alerts you long before your scheduled sleep that you should charge it to ensure it has enough juice to survive until the morning.

Apple Watch Series 9

The wireless charging puck remains same, with the sole alteration if you’re upgrading from an older Apple Watch being the addition of a USB-C port. Apple no longer includes a charger, but any USB-C phone charger would suffice to recharge the Series 9’s empty battery in around an hour and a quarter.

Price & availability

The Series 9 starts at $399 / £399 for a 41mm aluminium case. You have a choice of the new pink finish, or Midnight (black), Starlight (a warm-looking silver), silver and Product RED.

*You can buy a Watch 9 directly from Apple.

The 45mm screen is an additional $30 / £30 if you prefer a bigger screen. Then, for an additional $100 / £100, you may upgrade to the cellular version (which requires a data plan). Remember, you may also get a cellular watch on contract from a mobile provider for little to no money up front.

A stainless steel casing in gold, silver, or graphite costs $699 / £699, extra $50 / £50 if you prefer the 45mm variant. A stainless steel strap costs an additional $50 / £50. All stainless steel variants have GPS and cellular connectivity.

Achraf Grini
Achraf Grini
Hello This is AG. I am a Tech lover and I have long been a promoter and editor for a shopping company, I have followed smartphones and headphones and others. I covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews.


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