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The Apple Watch Series 9 is here, and it’s hiding a big upgrade

Apple Watch Series 9.Digital Trends / Digital Trends

Apple’s September 2023 event is proving to be a packed show, and among the announcements has been the Apple Watch Series 9.


  • New S9 chipset
  • New double tap gesture and improved Siri
  • Display gets a boost
  • Apple Watch Series 9 price and availability

The Apple Watch Series 9 might seem like an iterative upgrade compared to the Apple Watch Series 8, and in many regards, it is. We’re looking at a very familiar design, similar health-tracking features, etc. But there is one big upgrade that makes the Apple Watch Series 9 more exciting than you might initially realize.

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New S9 chipset

Apple / Apple

The Apple Watch Series 9 features a new S9 chip that consists of 5.6 billion transistors and a GPU that is 30% faster than the previous-gen processor. Obviously, it is “Apple’s most powerful watch chip yet.” It is said to offer systemwide improvements and brand-new features.


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The SiP is paired with a new 4-core Neural Engine that can process machine learning tasks up to twice as fast, when compared to the predecessor.

Apple is focusing on making the Watch work better with its other devices including the HomePod. The screen now goes down to 1 nit in brightness to save battery and so the Watch doesn’t shine on you like a torch in low-light. It can go up to 2000 nits to offer an even better legibility outdoors.

The Apple Watch Series 9 also includes a second-generation Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip to enable Precision Finding for the iPhone 15 series. It will help you find misplaced iPhone with visual, haptic, and audio guidance.

New double tap gesture and improved Siri

Apple / Apple

You can control the Apple Watch Series 9 without touching the display. There’s a new double tap gesture, you need to tap the index finger and thumb of your watch hand together twice to quickly and conveniently perform many of the most common actions on the Watch Series 9.

You can use it to stop a timer, play and pause music, or snooze an alarm, answer and end a phone call or click a photo with the Camera. The gesture can also open the Smart Stack from the watch face, and another double tap will scroll through widgets in the stack.

Thanks to the new chipset, Siri is finally usable on the Apple Watch. All the Siri requests are now processed on the Watch itself. It does not rely on Wi-Fi or cellular networks for requests like starting a workout or setting a timer. Moreover, you get better dictation and Health app access from Siri to answer your health- and fitness-related queries.

Display gets a boost

The Apple Watch Series 9 features a new display that goes up to 2000 nits, which is double than the Series 8. It will come in handy for better legibility in bright sunlight. Moreover, it can go down to just one nit so you aren’t uncomfortable looking at the watch in low-light environments.

The Apple Watch Series 9 is rated to last up to 18 hours, which is similar to the Series 8. Disappointingly, the new chip doesn’t seem to offer a better battery life. It comes in a a new pink color option, though. Plus, it’s Apple’s first carbon-neutral product.

Apple / Apple

Apple has also announced a bunch of new bands and watch faces. The former includes FineWoven band that features 68% post-consumer content with a suede-like feel. There are two new woven bands, a knitted band and rubber band.

Apple Watch Series 9 price and availability

The Apple Watch Series 9 starts at $399. It will be go on sale starting September 22 but you can already pre-order the device.  It will be available in 41mm and 45mm sizes in starlight, midnight, silver, (PRODUCT)RED, and a new pink aluminum case. Plus, three options for stainless steel in gold, silver, and graphite cases.

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