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Apple Watch Series 9 vs Series 8 Review

For more than 10 years, smart gadgets have been one of the most dynamically developing areas in the consumer electronics segment. At the same time, smart watches dominate this list in terms of popularity. Of course, companies adequately respond to consumer rush by concentrating their efforts in this segment. As a result, within a relatively short time period, the market was filled with a wide range of superb models under Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, Fitbit, Amazfit, Garmin and other brands. Of course, the American giant Apple did not stand aside, having already presented 9 series of the very popular Apple Watch. Their evolution is shown in the video.

But new features via software updates are available starting with Series 4. Starting with this series, all current Apple Watches have:

– access to Apple’s App Store;

– Apple Pay support;

– a speaker and microphone for accessing Siri and answering phone calls;

– Apple’s WatchOS 10 software (autumn 2023);

– safety features (SOS and fall detection).

The differences list between them includes hardware (processor, sensors, storage, screen, design, etc), technologies (Double Tap, Apple Precision Finding, on-device Siri, QWERTY keyboard and others) and health-tracking features (heart rate, temperature sensing, ECG, etc). Of course, the price directly depends on these factors. In addition, the lineup also includes a cheaper SE series (2020 and 2022) with limited functionality.

Apple Watch SE 2022
Apple Watch SE 2022

Apple Watches Series 4-9


– S4 – S9 SiP (system-in-package) chip in 4-9 series;

– storage – 64GB / Series 9, 32GB / all except 4, 16GB / Series 4;

– battery life – all series up to 18 hours;

– size options – 41mm / 45mm for 7,8 and 9 series, 40mm / 44mm – for others;

– materials – aluminum or stainless steel for series 8 and 9 (also titanium or ceramic for 5, 6 and 7) and only aluminum for SE;

– durability – water resistant to 50 meters for all and IP6X dust resistant for 7,8 and 9 series;

– cellular option for all;

– always-on display (AOD) for all except SE;

– sensors – GPS, compass, always-on altimeter (except Series 4 without compass).


Safety features

– international emergency calling, emergency SOS, crash and fall detection for SE (2022), 8 and 9 series, no crash detection for other and only emergency SOS and fall detection for Series 4.


– cardiac health – ECG, high and low heart rate notifications, irregular heart rhythm notifications, heart rate (no ECG in SE series);

– other – temperature sensing (0.01˚ accuracy), sleep stages tracking, blood oxygen measurements in 8 and 9 series, no temperature sensing in 6 and 7 series, only sleep stages tracking in other series.

Special Features

– Series 9 – Double Tap, Precision Finding for iPhone 15 via second-gen ultra wideband (UWB) chip, on-device Siri, QWERTY keyboard, fast charging, Apple Pay, workout app with 20 exercise types;

– 7 and 8 – no Double Tap, Precision Finding and on-device Siri;

– 6 – additionally no QWERTY keyboard and fast charging;

– 4, 5 and SE – only Siri support, Apple Pay and workout app with 20 exercise types.

Series 9 specs


– display- 1.9- inches Retina LTPO OLED, 2000 nits (peak brightness), 484 x 396 pixels (~326 ppi density), sapphire crystal glass, AOD;

– processor – Apple S9 SiP, 64-bit dual-core and 4-core Neural Engine for AI tasks;

– 64GB storage;

– Retina 326 ppi (pixels per inch) display with up to 2000 nit brightness.

The AOD mode with minimum power consumption reduces the brightness to 1 nit. For reference, the brightness of last year’s Series 8 is 1,000 nits, and the new Ultra 2 uses a display with up to 3,000 nits of brightness. As known, it compensates for ambient light, providing image high quality even in bright, diffused sunlight;

– GPS or GPS + eSIM.

The digital SIM with eSIM industry-standard support activates a cellular plan without a physical SIM;

– up to 18-hour lithium-ion battery (36 hours in low power mode);

– sensors – GPS, compass, altimeter, high-dynamic-range gyroscope, high-G accelerometer (up to 250G with crash detection), ambient light sensor, blood oxygen sensor, electrical heart sensor, body temperature sensor.

Apple Watch Series 9 sensors
Apple Watch Series 9 sensors

– connectivity – WiFi 4, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, 4G LTE option via eSIM, W3 wireless chip, Apple’s U1 2nd gen UWB chip, Emergency SOS satellite connectivity, international emergency calling;

– case, colors, size and weight:

1- Aluminum (Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Pink), 41mm / 38.7g and 45mm / 38.7g.

Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum
Apple Watch Series 9 Aluminum

2- Stainless steel (Graphite, Silver, Gold, Space Black), 41mm / 42.3g and 45mm / 51.5g.

Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless Steel
Apple Watch Series 9 Stainless Steel

– durability – IP6X dust-resistant water-resistant to 50 meters;

– price from ~ $ 400.

Key Features

The newest model offers an impressive list of improvements.

Apple Watch Series 9
Apple Watch Series 9

According to the company, the S9 SiP uses 60% more transistors, has a new 4-core NPUa and 30% faster GPU vs S8 SiP. A new UWB (Ultra Wideband) chip offers improved location tracking (better precision localization of your paired iPhone and improved integration with HomePod speakers). In addition, the faster interface provides faster animations.

Of course, processing Siri requests also became one of the main bonuses of the new S9 SiP.

Finally, the much-advertised Double Tap gesture turned out to be very convenient. Using accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, this tech recognizes changes in your blood flow and wrist movement. In fact, double-tapping your thumb and index finger in the air (without touching the watch) activates the options control.

Apple Watch S9 Double Tap
Apple Watch S9 Double Tap

With Double Tap, the user can play/pause music, snooze alarms, scroll through widgets, pick up or hang up calls, etc. According to the developers, its performance will further increase after analyzing the features of your gestures by the software.

The latest watchOS 10 offers a refreshed app look, new Snoopy and Palette watch faces (Snoopy, Palette), advanced mods (Cycling and hiking), updated Health features (mental and vision health), etc. All system apps, including World Clock, Weather, Fitness, Maps, Mail, Calculator, Phone, Messages, etc also look great.



– new Apple S9 SiP (64-bit processor with two cores (Sawtooth Dual-Core) that includes a 4-core Neural Engine for AI tasks);

– innovative Double Tap gesture option;

– twice as bright screen is more comfortable in bright ambient light (2000 nit brightness);

– increased energy efficiency;

– more accurate and sensitive health sensors.


– no blood pressure tracking in US;

– no support for third-party watch faces;

– only third party apps for Heart Rate Variability (HRV) data (for example, HRV Tracker, Stress Monitor or Welltory apps);

– no displaying the number of steps;

– sleep schedule instead of auto sleep detection;

– little informative data in sports modes;

– long and difficult customizing;

– keyboard support for English, German, Spanish, Dutch or French only;

– GPS, calls, texting and health features reduce battery life to ~14 hours even with AOD.

To be fair, most cons are due to the very broad functionality. In general, the American giant confirmed its reputation by introducing another superb model. With a relatively small price increase ($ 400 vs $ 300), the list of improvements includes (Apple Watch Series 9 vs Series 8):

– Double Tap (control by touching the tips of the thumb and index finger);

– new S9 SiP processor;

– on-device Siri;

– Apple’s Precision Finding support (iPhone 15 location);

– health data log and some health-related questions (for example, Activity Ring progress) via Siri;

– 2,000 vs 1,000 nits screen brightness.

Probably, replacing S8 with S9 is hardly justified, but when buying the first watch, choosing the latest series is completely logical.

This video demonstrates the Apple Watch Series 9.

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