ReviewsApple Watch Series 9 hands-on review (2023) just got better

Apple Watch Series 9 hands-on review (2023) just got better

The Apple Watch Series 9 is the latest and greatest smartwatch from Apple.

Apple’s newest and best smartwatch is the Apple Watch Series 9, which is full of new features and improvements. The Series 9 has something for everyone. It has a faster processor, a brighter screen, and a new double-tap gesture. I’ve been using the Series 9 for a few days now, and I’m really impressed with what it can do. It is the most responsive and feature-packed Apple Watch to date, and every iPhone user needs one.

Take a look inside the Apple Watch Series 9; that’s where you’ll find the biggest changes for the coming year. Aside from a slightly cute pink finish, the Apple Watch Series 9 doesn’t have much to offer in terms of looks. Instead, its S9 processor is said to give the watch its biggest performance boost in years, making the screen brighter and Siri interactions go faster. A new ultrawide-band chip allows for new ecosystem experiences that make the Apple Watch more appealing than ever. But I think the most important thing about the Apple Watch Series 9 is how it helps Apple reach its larger goals for accessibility and sustainability.

With the new double-tap gesture, you can do a lot of things with the Apple Watch Series 9 with just one hand. This year’s Apple Watch family, which includes the new Apple Watch Ultra 2 and the returning Apple Watch SE, is the first set of carbon-neutral Apple products to hit the market. This includes eco-friendly watch bands, less packaging, and recycled parts in every Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Series 9 comes out on September 22, and as usual, it starts at $399.

Apple Watch Series 9: Pricing

You can pre-order the Apple Watch Series 9 right now, and it will be fully available on September 22. If you want to be one of the first people to get the next-generation Apple Watch, our guide to preordering the Apple Watch 9 can help.

ModelSizeGPSGPS + Cellular
Stainless Steel41mm$699
Stainless Steel45mm$749

The GPS-only version of the Apple Watch Series 9 starts at $399, while the GPS + Cellular version costs $499. The 44mm model, on the other hand, will start at $429 and go up to $529 if cellular support is added. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay an extra fee to your mobile carrier if you want to connect your Apple Watch without your iPhone.

Specifications Table

The Apple Watch Series 9 isn’t much better than the Series 8, but it’s still the best smartwatch on the market. It has a faster processor, a brighter screen, and a new UWB chip that lets it do things like Find My Precision Tracking.

Display1.9 inches, Retina LTPO OLED, 2000 nits (peak)
Resolution484 x 396 pixels (326 ppi)
ProtectionSapphire crystal glass
ChipsetApple S9
SensorsAccelerometer, gyro, heart rate, barometer, always-on altimeter, compass, SpO2, VO2max, temperature (body)
BatteryLi-Ion 308 mAh, non-removable
Dimensions45 x 38 x 10.7 mm
Weight42.3 g (41mm), 51.5 g (45mm)
BuildGlass front, ceramic/sapphire crystal back, stainless steel frame
IP RatingIP6X certified 50m water resistant
ECG CertifiedYes (region dependent SW application; HW available on all models)
Operating SystemwatchOS 10
ColorsGraphite, Silver, Gold
Check Price

Apple Watch Series 9: Design

Apple Watch Series 9 review

The Apple Watch Series 9 Apple Watch looks the same as its predecessor, the Series 8. This means that it has a square dial with rounded corners, a digital crown on the right side, and a single button on the left side. There are two sizes of the watch: 41mm and 45mm. Aluminum or stainless steel is used to make the Series 9. The aluminum version comes in starlight, midnight, silver, RED, and pink. The one made of stainless steel comes in silver, graphite, and gold. The watch has a 484 x 396-pixel Retina OLED display for its screen. The screen is clear and bright, making it easy to read in any kind of light.

A layer of Sapphire crystal also protects the screen and makes it hard to scratch. A heart rate sensor and a blood oxygen sensor are on the back of the watch. With the heart rate sensor, you can keep track of your heart rate during the day and while you’re working out. With the blood oxygen sensor, you can find out how much oxygen is in your blood. The Apple Watch Series 9 is a smartwatch that looks good and lasts a long time. It comes in different colors and materials, so you can find one that goes with your style. The watch also has a clear, bright screen and a lot of features.

Apple Watch Series 9: Display

The Apple Watch Series 9 has an OLED display with a Retina screen that is always on. The screen is clear, bright, and easy to read in any kind of light. A tough sapphire crystal also keeps it safe. The 45mm model has a slightly bigger screen than the 41mm model, but the difference is hard to tell. Both models have a resolution of 484 x 396, which means that there are 326 pixels per inch. The Apple Watch Series 9 also has a new always-on display mode that lets you see the time and other important information even when your wrist is down.

Display InformationApple Watch Series 9
Display typeRetina OLED display with Always-On technology
Size1.9 inches
Resolution484 x 396 pixels
Pixel density326 ppi
Peak brightness2,000 nits
Always-on displayYes
Other featuresWide color gamut, DCI-P3, scratch-resistant glass

This is a great feature for people who are always on the go and need a quick and easy way to check their watch. Another new thing about the Apple Watch Series 9 is that it can now show iPhone notifications in a more compact and useful way. You can now see more information at a glance, like the sender’s name and avatar, the message’s subject, and even a preview of the message itself. Overall, the Apple Watch Series 9 has a great screen.

It is clear, bright, and easy to read in any kind of light. A tough sapphire crystal also keeps it safe. The new “always-on” mode for the screen and the notifications that are shorter and give more information are also great additions.

Apple Watch Series 9: Features

Apple Watch Series 9 review

When it comes to features, the Watch Series 9 runs on watchOS 10, which brings a lot of new things, like the Snoopy Watch Face (which I love) and the new Cycling app, as well as the game-changing ability to add widgets to your Apple Watch. Many of these make their way to older Apple Watch models that are also compatible with the new software.

For example, you don’t necessarily need the newer hardware to use the Snoopy Watch Face, but the improvements to the processor in the Watch Series 9 should make sure that the new features work well. As I already said, the Double Tap feature only works on a Series 9 or Watch Ultra 9 because it uses the S9 chip.

We have a separate article about what to expect from watchOS 10 and how it’s different from watchOS 9. However, I won’t be able to say much about how well the new smartwatch works or what the benefits of the new hardware and chip are until I write my full review of the Watch Series 9.

Apple Watch Series 9: Double Tap

The double-tap gesture is the most interesting thing about the Apple Watch Series 9. Even if you already knew how to use hand gestures to control your Apple Watch, the new dedicated double-tap control seems to make controlling your Apple Watch with one hand very useful. Imagine that you just bought a cup of coffee, but you want to take a call. Instead of using the index finger on your other hand to answer the call and risking dropping your oatmilk latte, you can double-tap your index finger and thumb on your watch hand to start the call.

Double TapA new pinch gesture using your thumb and index finger to control your Apple Watch.
How it worksSensors in the watch detect changes in your blood flow and wrist movement to interpret the gesture.
What it can doPlay/pause music, snooze alarms, scroll through widgets, pick up or hang up calls, and more.
AvailabilityApple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2

If you double-tap the screen again, the call will end. Double-tapping can be used for many things, like scrolling through the Smart Stack, which will be official when watchOS 10 comes out. (WatchOS 10 is currently in beta, but the full version will be out on September 18.) Some Apple Watch apps, like the timer, can also be used with a double tap. I’ve talked a lot about my experience with the Apple Watch Camera Remote app, but remote content capture looks easier with double tap.

Health and Fitness Tracking

Apple Watch Series 9 review

The Apple Watch Series 9 is the most up-to-date and best fitness tracker from Apple. It has a lot of new features and improvements that make it one of the most complete and accurate fitness trackers on the market. The temperature sensor is one of the most important new parts of the Series 9. This sensor keeps track of your temperature while you sleep. This can help you keep track of your menstrual cycle and your health in general.

It can also be used to keep track of your body temperature while you work out. This can help you avoid getting too hot. The running form metrics are another thing that is new to the Series 9. Some of these metrics are stride length, time on the ground, and vertical oscillation. These numbers can help you improve how well you run and lower your risk of getting hurt.

The Series 9 also has a number of other enhanced fitness tracking features, such as:

  • More accurate heart rate monitoring
  • Improved sleep tracking
  • New workout types, such as Pilates and yoga
  • Custom workout plans
  • Audio-guided workouts
  • Advanced metrics and views, such as Heart Rate Zones, Power, and Elevation

In addition to the fitness tracking features, the Series 9 has a number of other health-related features, such as:

  • ECG app
  • Blood oxygen sensor
  • High and low heart rate notifications
  • Irregular heart rhythm notifications
  • Fall detection
  • Emergency SOS

The Apple Watch Series 9 is a powerful device for tracking your health and fitness that has a lot of features. It can keep track of your heart rate, how much you move, how you sleep, and other important health data. The Series 9 also has some new features, like a temperature sensor and running form metrics, that can help you get in better shape and be healthier overall. With the Series 9, you can keep track of your fitness goals and make sure you are getting enough sleep. You can also get alerts if your heart rate is too high or too low, if your heart rhythm is off, or if you fall. The Series 9 is a great way to keep yourself healthy and motivated.

Apple Watch Series 9: Hardware

Even though the design might be the same, that doesn’t mean there aren’t changes. The Apple Watch Series 9 has a new processor, and it seems like it will be a bigger improvement in terms of performance than the last three generations of Apple Watch. Even though the name of the processor changes every year, there hasn’t been a big change since the Watch Series 6. The Series 8 is pretty much the same.

I won’t know how much of a difference the S9 processor makes until I get the Watch Series 9 in for review, but I hope it will let the battery life and day-to-day performance get better. It’s also needed for the Double Tap feature, which is different from one of the accessibility features on older Apple Watch models. This shows that there are some performance improvements here. Aside from that, it has the same 50-meter water resistance as the Watch Series 8 and a lot of sensors.

There’s an optical heart rate sensor, which I expect to work as well as the Series 8 heart rate sensor, and there’s also an electrical heart rate sensor, which makes it possible to use the ECG/EKG feature we’ve had on Apple Watches since the Series 4 model. You’ll also find a blood oxygen sensor, a compass, an altimeter that is always on, and a high-g accelerometer. As expected, the body temperature sensor that came out with the Series 8 is also on the Series 9, so there are plenty of sensors on board.

Apple Watch Series 9: Performance

Apple Watch Series 9 review

I can’t wait to spend more time with the Apple Watch Series 9 to see how it performs compared to the Apple Watch Series 8. I didn’t have last year’s watch on hand to compare, so I couldn’t see how the S9 SiP would improve performance right away. However, Apple makes a big deal about the specs of its smartwatch silicon. With 5.6 billion transistors and four-core neural engines that can power machine learning twice as fast as before, the Series 9 chip should be 25% more efficient. With a GPU that is 30% faster, effects should look smoother, and Siri should work faster now that it can do everything on the device.

Apple also says that dictation is now 25% more accurate, which I’m excited to test out. I love the voice-to-text feature, but it makes a lot of mistakes right now. The S9 also helps the Apple Watch keep its 18-hour “all-day” battery life, even though the screen brightness is now up to 2,000 nits. That’s twice as bright as the Apple Watch Series 8, but the Apple Watch Ultra 2 now has a peak brightness of 3,000 nits, making it the brightest Apple Watch.

Along with the S9, the Apple Watch Series 9 also has Apple’s new U2 ultrawide-band (UWB) chip, which adds some new features. I always lose my iPhone and use the ping feature on my Apple Watch to find it. With the U2, my Apple Watch Series 9 can show me where my iPhone is. I saw a bit of this feature in action, and the user interface (UI) looks a lot like finding AirPods Pro 2 or an AirTag. When you’re close to your HomePod, the U2 chip’s proximity sensing will tell you to start a playlist from your wrist.

Battery Life and Charging

Apple says that the Apple Watch Series 9 can run for up to 18 hours on a single charge. This is the same as the Series 8 and Series 7 Apple Watches. But the Apple Watch Ultra, which was announced at the same time as the Series 9, can last up to 36 hours on a single charge. The Apple Watch Series 9 has a battery life that changes based on how you use it.

FeatureApple Watch Series 9
Battery capacity308 mAh
Battery typeLi-Ion
Charging methodWireless
Battery lifeUp to 18 hours
Low-power modeUp to 36 hours

If you use it to track your fitness, play music, and get alerts, you can expect it to last about 18 hours on a single charge. But if you do things like track your location with GPS or stream music, the battery life will be shorter. The magnetic charging cable that comes with the Apple Watch Series 9 lets it charge wirelessly. The Apple Watch Series 9 needs about 1.5 hours to fully charge.

Early Verdict

The Apple Watch Series 9 is a small step up from the previous version. The design stays the same, which is what we’ve come to expect from an Apple Watch. However, a faster processor gives people with an older model a reason to upgrade. There aren’t any amazing new features, but Double Tap will change how you use Apple’s smartwatch, and I’m excited to see how that works in real life. I’m also still hoping that this smartwatch will work well.

The Series 8 hasn’t left my wrist in a year, and even though it didn’t add any major features, it was still more fun to wear than the Series 7. I won’t be able to make a full decision about this device until I can give it a full review. For now, my first thoughts are that it looks like a great place to start if you want to make the switch to an Apple Watch. If you’re thinking about upgrading from the Series 7 or later, you might want to wait a year to see what the Watch X has to offer.

John Brister
John Brister
Meet John Brister, the prolific content writer renowned for his perceptive comparison articles on Bollyinside. Specializing in topics ranging from TVs to headphones and other accessories, John's knack for breaking down intricate details into reader-friendly insights has garnered him a dedicated following. Beyond his literary pursuits, John is an avid swimmer and equally passionate about tracking, often exploring new trails and routes, feeding his sense of adventure.
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