The highly anticipated Apple Watch Series 9 has been released alongside the new Apple Watch Ultra 2. Both watches offer similar features in terms of hardware and software. However, the question on everyone’s mind is whether the Series 9 justifies an upgrade.
Under the Hood: Performance & Display
The Series 9 boasts impressive hardware upgrades that set it apart from its predecessors. The most notable of these upgrades is the new Apple Silicon S9 chipset, which boasts a staggering 5.6 billion transistors – a 60% increase from the previous Series 8 model. This translates into a significant boost in performance, with the upgraded GPU providing a 30% speed increase that results in faster rendering and smoother graphics. Moreover, the 4-core neural engine has doubled the speed for those interested in machine learning, making it a compelling option for those who require powerful computational capabilities.
Another standout feature of the Series 9 is its brighter 2,000-nit display, which represents a significant improvement over the Series 8’s maximum brightness of 1,000 nits. This increase in brightness is a welcome development, resulting in a more vivid and lifelike viewing experience, particularly in outdoor settings where glare and sunlight can be issues. Additionally, the Series 9 has a low brightness level of just one nit, which helps optimize battery consumption, especially when using the always-on display feature. This feature is especially useful for those who rely on their devices heavily throughout the day, as it allows them to conserve battery life without sacrificing performance or functionality. Overall, the Series 9 represents a significant leap forward in terms of hardware and features, making it an excellent choice for those needing a high-performance device that can handle a wide range of tasks.
Connectivity & Design Updates
Including the UWB 2 (Ultrawideband) chip is a significant step up. It promises better accuracy when locating devices, like your misplaced iPhone, giving exact distance and direction. Moreover, there’s a deeper integration with Apple’s Homepod.
Apple has introduced an array of new watch bands, all with a significant emphasis on sustainability. The Series 9’s case is fashioned from 95% recycled aluminum. But what truly stands out is Apple’s shift away from leather straps in favor of eco-friendly alternatives.
A Game-Changer: The Double Tap
Apple Watch has always pushed the boundaries of intuitive interactions, and the Series 9 is no exception. The double tap gesture catches everyone’s attention among the array of new features. Here’s my deep dive into this new addition:
The Intuitive Touch of Double Tap
The Apple Watch has always been a leader in wearable technology, thanks to its innovative features like the Digital Crown and Taptic Engine. The new double tap gesture takes ease of use to the next level. Users can now control their watch without even touching the screen – just tap your index finger and thumb together twice to unlock a variety of actions and features. This latest addition promises to deliver a seamless and intuitive user experience, making the Apple Watch Series 9 an even more impressive device.
Effortless Control in a Snap
The beauty of the double tap lies in its simplicity and versatility. Need to pause your workout playlist or play the next track? Double tap. Want to halt that ongoing timer or snooze the morning alarm? Again, just double-tap. The gesture even extends to phone functions, allowing users to answer or end calls seamlessly. And for those picture-perfect moments, the Camera Remote on the Apple Watch can be activated with this gesture, ensuring users never miss capturing a memory.
On the watch face, a double tap swiftly opens the Smart Stack of widgets. Do you wish to sift through these widgets? Another round of double-tapping lets you browse through them with ease.
The Science Behind the Gesture
I’m extremely impressed with the innovative feature that Apple has introduced in their latest Apple Watch Series 9. The watch boasts a Neural Engine that powers this remarkable creation. It gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor, and uses a unique machine-learning algorithm to interpret the data.
What makes this feature truly remarkable is its detailed detection process. The algorithm is designed to identify the wrist’s specific micro-movements and the subtle changes in blood flow that occur when a user taps their index and thumb together. This level of precision is critical to ensure that the gesture is recognized accurately and quickly, resulting in a natural and seamless interaction experience.
Coming Soon to Wrists Everywhere
There’s a wait for those eager to test out the double tap gesture. Apple plans to roll out this feature in an upcoming software update next month. Given the potential of this gesture, it’s set to redefine how we interact with our smartwatches.
The Apple Watch Series 9 continues Apple’s legacy of innovation. Its latest addition, the double tap gesture, demonstrates the company’s dedication to creating smooth, intuitive, and futuristic user experiences. Having personally tried out this feature, I can confirm its ability to revolutionize how we interact with our smart wearables. Stay tuned for future reviews where I’ll delve deeper into other Apple Watch Series 9 features.
Apple’s FineWoven Straps: Where Luxury Meets Sustainability
It is worth noting the remarkable commitment Apple has made to sustainability with the Series 9. The brand has taken significant steps towards eco-friendliness by using recycled materials for the watch’s straps and striving for carbon neutrality. This aligns with other brands’ similar initiatives. However, Apple has not disclosed the expected lifespan of the Series 9 watch.
Moreover, not only is Apple advancing technology, but they are also pioneering sustainability with their latest creation, the “FineWoven” straps. The recent unveiling at the Wonderlust event was a pleasant surprise that exhibited not only the capabilities of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 but also the future of eco-friendly fashion in technology.
Goodbye Leather, Hello FineWoven
During the recent event, Lisa Jackson, who is Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives, made a bold announcement regarding the company’s environmental stance. Apple is bidding farewell to the use of leather and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.
The replacement for leather is a material called FineWoven, which exudes an understated yet elegant satin finish. The aesthetic appeal is only one aspect of FineWoven; it is also composed of over 60% recycled material. This fabric speaks volumes about Apple’s dedication to not just design but also to purpose. The use of FineWoven is a significant step towards achieving Apple’s environmental goals.
Hues and Tints: A Palette for Every Mood
Apple has introduced modern buckle and magnetic loop bands as the latest addition to their collection of bands for the Apple Watch. These bands come in a variety of stunning colors that are sure to appeal to anyone’s taste, allowing for a personalized and expressive fashion statement. Each hue has its own unique story to tell, offering a shade for every mood and occasion. The FineWoven straps offer a choice between serene midnight blue and bold sunburst orange, among other colors. These bands not only provide functionality but also style, allowing you to accessorize your Apple Watch.
Hermes: A Fashionable Partnership Renewed
Apple has made the decision to discontinue using leather in its product offerings. However, this change does not mean the end of their partnership with fashion giant Hermes. Instead, the two companies have joined forces to redefine their collaboration. Hermes has introduced a range of three new woven bands and a rugged silicone variant, designed to provide both durability and style. These new products cater to the ever-changing demands of today’s consumers.
Besides new hardware, WatchOS 10 offers various software features such as topographic maps, support for cycling power meters, and a redesigned user interface. These features were previewed at WWDC, Apple’s developer conference.
The Apple Watch Series 9 has undergone significant updates, particularly with the doubled display brightness, setting it apart from the Ultra 2. While some of these upgrades may appear subtle, the watch’s focus on sustainability is commendable. The new hardware and software features are noteworthy, but the ultimate test of success will be its performance in daily use. Stay tuned for our in-depth review of the Apple Watch Series 9 in the coming weeks.