Apple Watch Series 9: A Subtle Evolution with Surprising Innovations

by Barbara Wilson

The much-anticipated Apple Watch Series 9 has finally arrived. At first glance, it might seem like a reiteration of its predecessors, but beneath the familiar exterior lies a brand new, lightning-fast chip and an intriguing touchless gesture. Alongside these upgrades, Apple has incorporated several subtle improvements to enhance the overall user experience. However, the one feature many have been clamoring for—extended battery life—remains unchanged, still requiring daily recharges and maintaining its 18-hour endurance.


Is it worth considering an upgrade to this new Apple Watch, and what exactly do these discrete enhancements entail? Let’s delve into the details.


What’s New in Apple Watch Series 9:

  1. Revolutionary Double Tap Gesture
  2. The New S9 SiP Chip
  3. Twice as Bright Screen
  4. Improved Minimum Brightness
  5. 2nd Generation UWB Chip
  6. Enhanced Siri Capabilities for Health Data
  7. Stylish Pink Case Option
  8. Innovative Watch Bands
  9. Compact, Carbon-Neutral Packaging

Unboxing the Apple Watch Series 9: The Apple Watch Series 9 is set to launch on September 22nd, and while we haven’t had the opportunity to unbox it yet, Apple has impressively downsized the packaging while retaining all the essentials. Inside, you’ll discover the watch itself, a magnetic charging cable, user manuals, and your selected strap.


Design, Display, and Sizes: The Series 9 maintains the design and sizes of its predecessor, offering the same familiar rectangular form factor in 41mm and 45mm variants. However, Apple has introduced a fresh pink color option, coincidentally aligning with the success of this summer’s Barbie movie.

The noteworthy improvement comes in the form of screen brightness. The display can now achieve a staggering 2,000 nits, doubling the previous Series 8’s 1,000 nits. This enhancement ensures excellent visibility outdoors, even on the sunniest days. Furthermore, the minimum brightness has been lowered to just 1 nit, a subtle yet appreciated refinement, particularly when using the watch in low-light settings.

Processor and Software: The Series 9 introduces the all-new Apple S9 chipset, boasting 5.6 billion transistors, a 30% faster GPU, and a 4-core neural engine that’s twice as speedy as its predecessor. While these performance upgrades are impressive, the day-to-day user experience remains relatively unchanged, as the previous generation already delivered a snappy and smooth performance.

Where the extra power truly shines is in enabling more advanced features. Siri commands, for instance, now leverage on-device processing, resulting in faster interactions and offline functionality. Software-wise, the Series 9 ships with watchOS 10, bringing a more intuitive user experience through enhanced gestures.

New Apple Watch Series 9 Gesture – Double Tap: Apple’s big reveal for the Series 9 is the Double Tap gesture, leveraging the newfound processing power of the S9 chip. This clever feature utilizes the gyro and accelerometer to detect a double tap of your index finger and thumb. Once you become accustomed to it, it proves highly effective.

When on the home screen, the gesture cycles through your watch face widgets. Inside an app, it serves as a shortcut to the main button’s function, facilitating actions such as answering calls or capturing photos when using the watch as a remote viewfinder. It’s worth noting that, currently, the Double Tap gesture doesn’t have a function in sports modes, though this could potentially change in future updates.

Another noteworthy hardware addition is the Ultra-wide Band 2 (UWB) chip, enhancing precision when locating your devices or lost belongings equipped with AirTags.

Battery and Charging: Regrettably, the Series 9 retains its 18-hour battery life rating, a feature users have yearned to see extended. Charging speeds remain unaltered.

Models and Prices: In terms of pricing, Apple has maintained consistency, with U.S. prices mirroring those of the previous year. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum 41mm:
    • GPS: Starting at $399
    • Cellular: Starting at $499
  • Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum 45mm:
    • GPS: Starting at $429
    • Cellular: Starting at $529
  • Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless Steel 41mm:
    • Starting at $699
  • Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless Steel 45mm:
    • Starting at $749

Cellular connectivity is optional for Aluminum models, while all Stainless Steel models come with cellular capabilities.

Competitors: While the Apple Watch Series 9 holds its own, several competitors prioritize advanced sports tracking and extended battery life. Notable rivals include the new Garmin Venu 3, along with offerings from companies like Coros and Suunto.

Summary and Final Verdict: In summary, the Apple Watch Series 9 represents an evolutionary rather than revolutionary step forward. Its standout feature, the Double Tap gesture, holds the potential to be a game-changer if embraced by users. The improved offline and faster Siri functionality is a welcome addition. However, the enduring challenge of battery life remains unaddressed.

The Series 9 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it subtly refines the experience for devoted Apple Watch enthusiasts. Time will reveal whether the Double Tap gesture becomes the iconic innovation it promises to be.


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