Apple is set to launch its latest innovation, the Apple Watch Series 9, and we’ve had the opportunity to test it out. While it maintains the classic Apple Watch design, there are some intriguing additions that warrant attention. In this review, we explore the key features and improvements in the Series 9, helping you decide if it’s time for an upgrade.
Design and Display
The Series 9 Apple Watch continues with the familiar design language of its predecessors. Available in 41mm and 45mm sizes, it boasts the same sleek aesthetics that users have come to love. Notably, there’s also a premium titanium version known as the “Ultra.”
Gesture Control: The Double Tap
One of the standout features of the Series 9 is the “double tap” gesture. This intuitive interaction method allows users to activate the watch without tapping the screen or pressing buttons. Simply raise your arm as if checking the time, and then perform a double tap with your thumb and index finger. Sensors within the watch detect the gesture, and you’ll feel a subtle haptic response.
This innovation is particularly handy when your hands are occupied, like when walking the dog or holding a coffee. The double tap serves as a convenient way to initiate actions, such as starting a workout or silencing alarms. However, it’s worth noting that it requires the watch interface to be active, which means you need to raise your arm to wake the display before double tapping.
Siri’s Speedy Transformation
The Series 9 introduces an upgraded central chip (System-in-Package or SiP), boasting a 30% faster GPU and 60% more transistors. This enhanced processing power is noticeable in the significantly faster Siri responses. Unlike previous versions, Siri on the Series 9 no longer requires an internet connection for basic tasks, such as setting timers or answering quick queries.
This improvement enhances the watch’s usability, especially in situations with weak Wi-Fi connections. Additionally, on-device Siri can access your health data, providing a seamless experience for tracking vital statistics or logging daily health information.
Brighter Display for Outdoor Clarity
Apple has upgraded the Series 9’s display to reach up to 2000 nits of brightness, a notable improvement over last year’s models. While this won’t make a big difference indoors, it becomes highly beneficial outdoors, particularly in direct sunlight. The brighter panel enhances visibility and makes text appear more solid, especially in white.
The Series 9’s display offers auto-adjustment based on lighting conditions, ensuring optimal visibility at all times. While this upgrade may not be a must-have for everyone, those who spend extended periods outdoors with their Apple Watch will appreciate the improved clarity.
Is the Series 9 Worth It?
The Series 9 Apple Watch doesn’t bring a groundbreaking design or new sensors to the table. However, it does introduce valuable enhancements like the “double tap” gesture, faster Siri, and a brighter display.
Priced at $399 for the smaller screen and $429 for the larger version, it’s not a budget-friendly upgrade for minor improvements. Apple also offers the lower-cost SE model at $249 and up, suitable for those who don’t need the latest features.
For first-time Apple Watch buyers, investing in the Series 9 is a wise choice. It offers longevity and the potential to receive future updates and features. Serious athletes may consider the Apple Watch Ultra, although it wasn’t available for testing during this review.
Finally, those invested in Apple’s ecosystem and curious about new user interfaces, like the “double tap” gesture, might find the Series 9 intriguing. However, for existing Apple Watch users with fully functional devices, upgrading to the Series 9 may not be necessary at this time.
In conclusion, the Apple Watch Series 9 brings notable improvements to an already successful wearable, but the decision to upgrade depends on your specific needs and circumstances.