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Apple Watch Series 9 Review: Design, Features & more…

Upon spending a few hours with the Apple Watch Series 9 and witnessing a demonstration of the forthcoming features, it becomes evident that the device largely maintains its familiar traits, albeit with a noteworthy twist. The enhanced S9 chip, in particular, lends practicality to the novel Double Tap gesture, promising a substantial impact on your watch usage.

  1. Enhanced Display: The screen is brighter and more powerful.
  2. Improved Double-Tap Gestures: The new gestures are genuinely useful.
  3. Upgraded S9 Chipset: A notable performance boost.


  1. Unchanged Battery Life: Regrettably, the 18-hour battery life persists.
  2. Familiar Design and Sizes: The design and dimensions remain identical.
  3. watchOS 10 Compatibility: Most functionalities are available on older watches with watchOS 10.

Apple Watch Series 9: Quick Overview

Apple Watch Series 9 Review: Design, Features & more...
Image credit: Apple

The Apple Watch Series 9 marks a notable step forward with the introduction of the Double Tap feature. This addition promises daily usability and excitement. In my brief experience, using Double Tap was a delight.

Moreover, a brighter screen and on-device Siri enhance the user experience, especially regarding health inquiries. With these improvements, the Watch 9 could become the top choice for most users.

The device demonstrates a commitment to eco-friendliness and features ultra-wideband radio technology, which will gain significance as future iPhones adopt this tech. This release reflects Apple’s vision for the coming years, emphasizing carbon neutrality in manufacturing and an expanding range of Ultra Wideband-connected devices.

Apple Watch Series 9

However, innovation has its limits. The Series 9 maintains the same 18-hour battery life, dimensions, operating system, and design as its predecessors, making this update somewhat iterative. While it remains the iOS watch to consider for newcomers, existing Series 8 or Series 7 owners might find less reason to upgrade.

Apple Watch Series 9: Specifications

ComponentApple Watch Series 9 (41mm)Apple Watch Series 9 (45mm)
PriceFrom $399 / £399 / AU$649From $429 / £429 / AU$699
Dimensions41 x 35 x 10.7mm45 x 38 x 10.7mm
Weight32.1g (aluminum)38.7g (aluminum)
Case/bezelAluminum or stainless steelAluminum or stainless steel
Display352 x 430 px always-on OLED Retina Display396 x 484 px always-on OLED Retina Display
GPSYes (unspecified)Yes (unspecified)
Battery life18 hours18 hours
ConnectionBluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi, LTE options availableBluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi, LTE options available
Yes, WR50 (swim-proof)Water-resistantYes, WR50 (swimproof)

Apple Watch Series 9: Price and Availability

The Apple Watch Series 9 was unveiled on September 12 and is already accessible, starting at $399 / £399 / AU$649 for the base 41mm model with an aluminum case (offered in Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Product Red, or Pink) and GPS-only connectivity. Note that this variant requires Wi-Fi or a paired phone for internet access but still supports GPS functions during workouts.

Apple Watch Series 9: Price and Availability

For those seeking larger sizes, LTE connectivity, or stainless steel casing (available in gold, silver, or graphite), there are additional costs. For instance, a 45mm aluminum model in Pink with GPS alone costs $429 / £429 / AU$699, while the GPS and Cellular LTE version is priced at $529 / £529 / AU$859. Opting for stainless steel further elevates the price.

Apple also offers the Apple Watch Ultra 2 for a premium experience, featuring outdoor-focused features, a rugged design, and an enhanced screen, albeit at a higher cost. Further details can be found in our hands-on Apple Watch Ultra 2 review.

Apple Watch Series 9: Design

  • Eco-Friendly Materials
  • Familiar Design
  • New Bands and Pink Option

As expected from Apple’s flagship watch, the Series 9 retains its classic design, with no major changes. It maintains the same sizes, rotating digital crown, side button, and microphone and speaker setup from previous versions. If you were hoping for a design overhaul, you may need to explore other options.

Setting up and navigating the watch remains user-friendly, thanks to the digital crown, side button, and touchscreen. The new watchOS 10 interface enhances usability. Notably, the widget stack streamlines access to desired features, but this enhancement is available on Series 5 and later watches.

Apple Watch Series 9: Design
Image credit: Apple

Apple emphasizes its eco-friendly commitment, using recycled materials both inside and outside the watch. This approach contributes to carbon neutrality and smaller packaging for reduced emissions. Additionally, new bands, such as the recycled sport loop and textured silicone-fluoroastomer band, offer sustainability and style.

While the Pink color option adds vibrancy, Midnight, Silver, Starlight, and Product Red make a return. Stainless steel models can be paired with matching metal bands for a premium look.

Apple Watch Series 9: Features

  • Double Tap Gesture Stands Out
  • Second-Generation Ultra Wideband (UWB)
  • On-Device Siri Enhances Privacy

The Double Tap feature, although available in October, captures attention with its intuitive use of the accelerometer and gyroscope. It requires a watch-raising motion followed by a two-pinch gesture for various actions, like timer control or call answering.

Second-generation Ultra Wideband technology improves the Find Devices app, providing distance and direction information when connecting to compatible devices, currently limited to Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, and iPhone 15 models.

On-device Siri eliminates the need for cloud connectivity, enhancing privacy and enabling access to health data. This feature may seem minor but reinforces data security.

Apple Watch Series 9: Features
Image credit: Apple

Verdict

While most transformative features, including the Double Tap and improved Find My, arrive later, the Series 9 offers a genuinely practical addition to daily use. Its eco-friendly materials and brighter screen are noteworthy, but battery life remains a concern. Further testing will determine if the screen affects all-day usage.

Overall, the Apple Watch Series 9 appears poised to claim the title of the “best iOS watch for most people” in the coming months. Stay tuned for our comprehensive Apple Watch 9 review for the final verdict.

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