Apple’s newest slick wearable, the Watch Series 9, may not present a groundbreaking design upgrade over its predecessor, but it does come with a handy double-tap gesture that lets you execute various functions without touching the watch.
Design-wise, it is very hard to distinguish between the new Watch 9 and its predecessor. The bezels surrounding the Series 9’s display remain unchanged, essentially maintaining the same familiar design. The watch we reviewed came with two bands: the Midnight Sport Loop and a Desert Stone Nike Sport Band.
The watch also comes with an IP6X rating for dust resistance and remains water-resistant up to a depth of 50 meters.
The Apple Watch Series 9 boasts a Retina LTPO OLED display with an impressive peak brightness of 2,000 nits, double that of the Series 8. Its compact 1.9-inch screen offers a resolution of 484x396 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of approximately 326 ppi, which ensures sharp and vibrant visuals. The addition of sapphire crystal glass enhances durability and safeguards the screen from scratches. Additionally, the Series 9 features an always-on display, providing at-a-glance information and functionality without waking the watch, contributing to a seamless and convenient user experience.
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The Apple Watch sees some notable changes with the introduction of watchOS 10. New watch faces, like the charming Snoopy option, bring a touch of fun with engaging animations. The Solar Analogue and Palette faces offer customisation, and the Nike Globe face proves practical for those using the Nike Run app.
This OS relies less on gestures, effectively utilising physical buttons and even adding a virtual on-screen back button to navigate native apps. The Smart Stack feature, akin to a collection of widgets, provides quick access with a scroll of the digital crown. Control Center accessibility now only requires a side button press, enhancing its usefulness. The overall design of native apps has also received a much-needed facelift
The watchOS 10 takes a step in the right direction, breathing fresh life into the Apple Watch’s interface while maintaining a familiar design. However, the double tap feature, while promising, has limitations, mainly activating or deactivating single functions, with gaps in functionality.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is powered by the Apple S9 System-in-Package (SiP) chipset, boasting a dual-core CPU and a PowerVR GPU. This updated hardware translates into a noticeable performance boost, particularly evident in swift app launch and closure, as well as seamless navigation through the watchOS interface. While the speed enhancement is evident, it doesn’t mark a significant departure from its predecessor, the Series 8. Despite the improvements, the overall user experience remains relatively consistent with its predecessor.
Most notably, the Series 9 offers a generous 64GB of internal storage, doubling the capacity of last year’s model. This expanded storage proves invaluable for those wishing to store music directly on their watch, eliminating the need to carry a phone.
Health and Fitness
The Apple Watch Series 9 comes packed with an array of sensors that significantly enhance its capabilities. With its accelerometer and gyro, it can accurately track your movements and provide valuable insights into physical activity. The inclusion of a heart rate monitor ensures continuous monitoring of your heart health. Additionally, the barometer, always-on altimeter, and compass offer precise environmental and location data. The Series 9 also integrates SpO2 monitoring and VO2max estimation, valuable for health and fitness tracking.
What sets it apart is its temperature sensing capability with an impressive 0.01˚ accuracy. Further, the watch supports Ultra Wideband 2 (UWB), expanding its connectivity and location capabilities. In addition to physical health, iOS 17 and watchOS 10 introduce mood tracking, aiming to provide mental health insights. The mood tracker is accessible on both iPhone and Watch Series 9, making it easy to log daily or periodic mood updates via a simple set of questions.
The Apple Watch Series 9 is equipped with a non-removable 308mAh Li-Ion battery, ensuring sufficient power for daily activities.
The Watch 9 can maneuver through a day quite easily on one charge, which takes almost an hour and ten/twenty minutes to charge. It can go up to 36 hours of extended usage thanks to the adaptive refresh rate, which drops to 1 nit in dim conditions.
Having said that, we await the day an Apple Watch lasts 3-4 days on a single charge.
With a starting price of ₹41,900, the new Apple Watch Series 9 is the most versatile smartwatch in the Apple Watch lineup (excluding Ultra) with an enhanced battery life, gesture control and adaptive brightness. While there are upgrades in terms of storage and performance as well, a switch from Watch Series 8 may not offer much for an Apple veteran. But if you’re a new to Apple, the Watch Series 9 deserves your attention.