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Is the Apple Watch Series 9 worth purchasing?


Is purchasing the Apple Watch Series 9 a good decision?

An Apple Watch Series 9 displays the app screen.

Credit: Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The design of the Apple Watch lineup remains consistent, with the Series 9 featuring a rounded rectangle case, rotating Digital Crown, and single push button. The watch’s touchscreen has the same dimensions as the Series 8, with thin bezels and sapphire glass protection. When tapped to wake, the display is twice as bright with a maximum brightness of 2,000 nits, but will drop to 1 nit when not in use to conserve battery life. Unfortunately, the battery life has not been improved in this generation, with users still only getting the promised 18 hours. In my experience, the watch actually lasts longer than this claim, just like last year’s model.

The Series 9 now offers a pink case, which has been highly anticipated by those on Greta Gerwig’s Barbie train. In person, the color is not as bright as a Dreamhouse, but it has a tastefully feminine appearance and can be matched with various bands. I had fun creating watch faces that showcased the case, even though I initially chose a blue band to balance out the pink.

The Apple Watch Series 9 collection now includes a stylish pink case, as well as environmentally-friendly bands and constructions.

The Series 9 comes with environmentally-friendly bands, such as sport loops made from 82% recycled yarn. The company has completely eliminated leather straps in support of their carbon-neutral efforts. Additionally, the base model Series 9 cases are made from 100% recycled aluminum, allowing shoppers to be eco-conscious while purchasing the pink option.

What is the duration of the battery life for the Apple Watch Series 9?

The Series 9 of the Apple Watch boasts a battery life of 18 hours before needing to be charged. However, my experience shows that this estimate is actually quite conservative. In reality, the Series 9 lasted almost 26 hours before needing to be charged again.

An Apple Watch Series 9 rests face down displaying the device's sensors.

Credit: Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Although the changes to the appearance may appear minor, the constant enhancements made to the Series 9 have a significant impact. The updated Silicone Apple S9 chipset and 4-core neural engine result in a quicker user experience and the possibility of advanced capabilities.

I did not notice significant speed improvements, however, I am highly enthusiastic about a new feature enabled by the upgrade: Double Tap gesture control. By quickly tapping their index finger and thumb twice, users can perform various basic actions such as ending a call or scrolling through widgets. Unfortunately, this tool will not be available until sometime in October.

The latest S9 chip in the Apple Watch Series 9 allows for the addition of exciting features such as Double Tap gesture controls.

The ninth installment of the Apple Watch, known as Series 9, includes the ability to process Siri commands without the need for a nearby phone. In the future, Siri will also be able to access and provide personal health information upon request. Additionally, the new ultrawideband chip in the Series 9 enables more accurate location tracking for the Find My Phone feature. This means that users can now be directed to the precise location of their lost iPhone, rather than just having it make a loud noise. However, this feature is only available for those with an iPhone 15 or newer.

Is it possible for the Apple Watch Series 9 to track blood pressure?

The latest version of the Apple Watch, Series 9, does not have the capability to track blood pressure. However, there has been speculation that the upcoming Apple Watch X may include this feature in the following year.

It is always disheartening to find out that certain device features are not available upon initial release or are only accessible to certain users (in this scenario, iPhone 15 users). However, it is clear that the upgraded hardware of the Series 9 is a preview of what is to come. The internal components are the main distinguishing factor between the Series 9 and Series 8. The introduction of Double Tap and wrist-based Siri interactions are just the start of what Apple has in the works for this series.

Meanwhile, the watchOS 10 updates have improved the device right from the beginning. The wearable now has design elements that align with the iPhone’s software experience. The background is blurred and data pages are displayed in full-screen, creating a more appealing aesthetic. Navigation has also been simplified with redesigned shortcuts. Additionally, the buttons have been given new functions, such as accessing the control panel with the back button instead of a swipe.

An Apple Watch Series 9 user review their Smart Stack widgets.

Credit:

Kaitlyn Cimino from Android Authority

The biggest difference is the introduction of widgets that can be accessed from the watch face by turning the Digital Crown. A “Smart Stack” feature lets users add their preferred apps, customize a widget with three complications, and pin important items for easier access. Personally, I found it most useful to pin my three most frequently used apps as shortcuts on the complication widget. Additionally, the app screen is now displayed horizontally instead of in a hexagonal shape floating in endless space.

The latest version of WatchOS, WatchOS 10, introduces several enhancements for Apple Watch users, such as wellness features, improved support for cycling, and the reintroduction of widgets.

Cyclists can now benefit from watchOS 10’s new features, which include compatibility with power meters, speed trackers, and cadence monitors. Additionally, users can now transmit real-time cycling data to their iPhone while working out. These updates may seem specific, but they mark significant progress for the Apple product line. This further demonstrates Apple’s ability to rival established fitness-tracking companies like Garmin.

A user enables daily reminders to log their mental state on the Apple Watch Series 9.

Credit:

Kaitlyn Cimino of Android Authority

There are two watchOS 10 features that are not given enough credit – the State of Mind log in the mindfulness app and the capability to monitor time spent outside. These tools have a significant impact on users’ mental well-being. Additionally, for kids, spending time outdoors can also aid in avoiding near-sightedness. With my iPhone’s screen time updates and the watch’s outdoor time statistics, I am more mindful of how I utilize my free time and make more deliberate choices.

When it comes to time, the latest update of watchOS 10 has added two new watch faces. One of them is Palette, which highlights different shades and allows for four additional features. The other is Snoopy, which showcases the popular Peanuts character in lively animations. I may be influenced by my fond memories, but I couldn’t resist repeatedly checking my device just to see what antics Snoopy would display. Perhaps the main lesson here is that I should get a pet dog.

The latest version of WatchOS included small changes to the process of creating and modifying watch faces, such as providing suggested complications. However, it also eliminated the option to easily switch between watch faces with a simple swipe gesture.

GPS data shows the device's accuracy compared to a Garmin Fenix Pro

The Series 9 has the same heart rate and GPS sensors as the Series 8, and its accuracy is comparable to last year’s model. During my runs in my neighborhood and park, the watch recorded accurate GPS data and was able to keep up with my Garmin Venu 3. When I visited my childhood home this week, I ran on familiar paths and the watch had no trouble accurately tracking my routes from my high school training days. The map above shows one specific run where I compared the Series 9 to Garmin’s more expensive Fenix 7 Pro. The Apple Watch performed well, with only slight variations on a few streets compared to Garmin’s typically accurate GPS data.

Heart rate data shows the devices accuracy compared to a chest strap and Garmin watch.

I compared the heart rate sensor of Series 9 with my Polar H10 chest strap and Garmin’s latest Gen 5 Elevate heart rate sensor. Apple did well in this comparison too. In the interval workout shown in the chart above, all three devices showed similar peak, valley, and average heart rates. Apple’s ability to match a specialized fitness brand is noteworthy and reassuring for dedicated users who are highly active.

Can the Apple Watch Series 9 be submerged in water?

The Apple Watch Series 9 can withstand being submerged in water up to a depth of 50 meters. While it is suitable for showering, it is important to note that exposure to soapy water and steam can compromise its water resistance. Additionally, Apple cautions against using the device during high-speed water activities.

While exploring the outdoors, the Series 9 provides extra features for navigation. With WatchOS 10, users can access topographic maps and view offline maps, as well as nearby trails and trailheads. The watch also sends alerts for changes in elevation, displays waypoints with relative elevation, and generates waypoints for nearby cellular and emergency locations (such as towers for different carriers). These enhancements may not transform your Series 9 into an Apple Watch Ultra, but they do enhance the device in the intended direction (pun intended).

What are some other options for the Apple Watch Series 9?

A variety of alternative smartwatches rest on a wooden surface.

Credit:

Kaitlyn Cimino from Android Authority

Apple is a popular smartwatch, but there are other choices available. Android users cannot use it, so here are some alternatives to the Apple Watch Series 9.

  • Apple Watch Ultra 2 ( ): Before shopping beyond the Apple garden, the best Series 9 alternative is the company’s pricier offering, the Ultra 2. The device features all the best of Apple’s ecosystem plus a more durable build, added battery life, and niche features for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (

    The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series is the top choice for those seeking an alternative to the Apple Watch Series 9 in the Wear OS market. While both devices have similar capabilities, the Classic version’s rotating bezel allows for more user-friendly navigation on the device.

  • Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 ( ): Another option from the Wear OS family, the TicWatch Pro 5 utilizes a rotating Digital Crown similar to the Apple Watch. It’s a fully loaded device with plenty of smarts and a unique, battery-saving dual display we love.
  • Garmin Venu 3 (
    The latest release from Garmin, the Venu 3, boasts an array of top-of-the-line features. Along with advanced health and fitness tracking tools and precise sensors, it also includes essential smartwatch capabilities, impressive battery longevity, and a revolutionary automatic nap detection feature.
  • Withings ScanWatch 2 (

    The newest ScanWatch 2 from Withings combines an appealing design with health-oriented features, including FDA-approved sensors and advanced sleep tracking. Its traditional build adds an elegant touch to the overall experience.

“Specifications for the Apple Watch Series 9”

Apple Watch Series 9
Display LTPO OLED Retina
396 x 484 pixels (45mm)

352 x 430 pixels (41 mm)
Always-on display

Brightness can reach a maximum of 2000 nits.
1 nit minimum brightness

Dimensions and weight 45mm:
45 x 38 x 10.7mm
Aluminum: 38.8g
Stainless steel: 51.5g

41mm:
41 x 35 x 10.7mm
Aluminum: 32g
Stainless steel: 42.3g

Durability WR50
IP6X-certified
SoC

The Apple S9 features a 64-bit dual-core processor.
Apple W3
Apple U2 chip (Ultra-wideband)
4-core Neural Engine

RAM 1GB
Storage 32GB
Battery 18 hours
45 min to 80% charge

Magnetic fast charging USB-C cable

Software WatchOS 10

Materials and colors used in the case

GPS-only, GPS + Cellular

The color options for the aluminum product include Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Pink, and Red.

GPS + Cellular
Stainless steel: Graphite, Silver, Gold

Connectivity GPS/GNSS
GLONASS
Galileo
QZSS
BeiDou

This is a Wi-Fi network that operates on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, specifically 802.11b/g/n.
Bluetooth 5.0

Model A2475 (41mm)
Model A2477 (45mm)
LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 39, 40, 41, 66

Sensors Always-on altimeter
Blood oxygen sensor
ECG

Optical heart sensor of the third generation.
Temperature sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Ambient light sensor

Compatibility iOS 16 or later

Review of the Apple Watch Series 9: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What sets the Apple Watch Series 9 apart from the SE 2?

The Series 9 vs SE 2 comparison guide provides a comprehensive breakdown of the Apple Watch SE 2’s simplified features at a more affordable cost. Check out our guide to learn more.

Is there a camera on the Apple Watch Series 9?

The Apple Watch Series 9 does not come equipped with a camera. However, it does have the capability to remotely control the camera on a connected iPhone.

Does the ninth generation of the Apple Watch include a blood glucose monitoring feature?

The Apple Watch does not have a built-in blood glucose monitor, but it can monitor data from an external monitor that is connected to it.