Apple Watch Series 9 announced with S9 SiP, new double tap gesture, U2 UWB chip and more

During Apple’s “Wonderlust” event held on Tuesday, the company unveiled the Apple Watch Series 9 alongside the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and second-generation Apple Watch Ultra.

Apple Watch Series 9 boasts significant improvements, including the S9 chip for enhanced processing speed, an impressive 18-hour battery life, and the integration of a U2 ultra-wideband chip that enhances location accuracy, particularly for features like Find My tracking.

Apple Watch Series 9

Apple Watch Series 9 is Apple’s first carbon neutral device

“Apple Watch is an indispensable companion that helps millions of people with their health, fitness, communications, and safety,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “We’re introducing our best Apple Watch lineup, with incredible new capabilities and technological advancements, including a new double tap gesture, brighter display, on-device Siri, as well as our first-ever carbon neutral products. Whether users are upgrading from earlier models or buying their first, there’s never been a more compelling time to experience Apple Watch.”


The Apple Watch Series 9 retains the iconic squircle design seen in its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 8, complete with a digital crown and side button.

In terms of visual enhancements, the Apple Watch Series 9 boasts the brightest display among the flagship lineup, reaching an impressive 2000 nits. This increased brightness makes it more readable in sunny conditions, although it’s worth noting that the Apple Watch Ultra 2 still holds the title for the overall brightest Apple Watch, boasting up to 3000 nits of brightness.

Apple Watch Series 9

While the external design may appear largely unchanged, there are significant underlying improvements. The Apple Watch Series 9 takes a significant step towards sustainability as Apple’s first fully carbon-neutral product. It is constructed using 100% recycled aluminum, incorporates recycled interior metals, and features a battery composed entirely of recycled cobalt.

S9 chip and performance 

The Apple Watch Series 9 runs on a custom-designed Apple silicon, housed within the innovative S9 System in Package (SiP). This cutting-edge watch chip represents Apple’s most formidable yet, offering a host of systemwide enhancements and exciting new functionalities.

Among these upgrades are a novel double-tap gesture and on-device Siri capabilities, which now extend to accessing and securely storing health-related data. What’s more, the Series 9 boasts a brand-new 4-core Neural Engine, significantly accelerating machine learning tasks compared to its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 8. Thanks to the remarkable power efficiency of the S9 SiP, the Apple Watch Series 9 ensures uninterrupted usage throughout the day, maintaining its impressive 18-hour battery life.

New double tap gesture

With the addition of a new double-tap gesture, the Apple Watch Series 9 offers enhanced one-handed control without needing to touch the display. Users can simply double-tap their index finger and thumb together on their watch hand to perform common actions.

This double-tap gesture serves as a primary button for various functions like stopping timers, controlling music playback, snoozing alarms, answering or ending calls, and even capturing photos with the Camera Remote. It also opens the Smart Stack on the watch face and enables scrolling through widgets within the stack.

This feature is made possible by the faster Neural Engine in Apple Watch Series 9, which utilizes data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and optical heart sensor with a new machine learning algorithm. This algorithm detects specific wrist movements and blood flow changes associated with the double-tap gesture. Users can expect to access the double-tap gesture in an upcoming software update next month.

Battery life

The Apple Watch Series 9 maintains its familiar “all-day” battery life of 18 hours, just like its predecessor. Additionally, it continues to offer a low power mode, which extends its usage by sacrificing some functionality.

U2 Ultra Wideband chip

The Apple Watch Series 9 introduces an enhanced feature for finding your iPhone. Thanks to the second-generation Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip in the S9 SiP, Precision Finding is now available for the iPhone 15 family, which also incorporates this chip. Precision Finding offers real-time distance and direction information, along with visual, haptic, and audio cues to guide you to your misplaced iPhone, even if it’s in a different room.

Apple Watch Series 9

Moreover, UWB technology facilitates deeper integration between the Apple Watch and HomePod. When an Apple Watch wearer approaches a HomePod playing audio within a 4-meter range, the Apple Watch Series 9 will automatically launch the Now Playing interface for media control. If there’s no ongoing media playback on the HomePod, the Smart Stack will display media suggestions at the top.

On-device Siri

In a groundbreaking development for Apple Watch, Siri interactions can now be handled directly on the device itself. When the requested action doesn’t depend on internet-based information, like initiating a workout or setting a timer, Siri no longer relies on Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity. This significant change results in swifter and more dependable responses. Thanks to the robust Neural Engine, dictation accuracy has also seen a remarkable improvement, achieving up to a 25 percent enhancement compared to the Apple Watch Series 8.

The on-device processing of Siri commands prioritizes privacy and security, and it opens up new possibilities for Siri’s capabilities. Users can leverage Siri to access data stored in the Health app, particularly for inquiries related to health and fitness. For instance, users can inquire about their previous night’s sleep duration, track their progress in achieving Activity goals, or inquire about their blood glucose levels when utilizing a connected monitoring device.

Colors and watch bands

The Series 9 introduced a fresh pale pink color option in aluminum, and it is also available in starlight, midnight, silver, and (PRODUCT)RED, along with stainless steel cases in gold, silver, and graphite.

Apple Watch Series 9

Additionally, Apple introduced new watch bands with the Apple Watch Series 9, aligning with its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. The new Sport Loop, for instance, is crafted from 82% recycled yarn, while leather bands have been replaced with a material known as Fine Woven for the creation of fresh band styles.

Sport LoopFineWoven

Price and availability

The Apple Watch Series 9 is offered in both 41-millimeter and 45-millimeter size variants, with pricing set at $399 for the GPS version and $499 for the model featuring GPS plus cellular connectivity. Preorders for this watch are open now, and it is scheduled for release on September 22.

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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