The Apple Watch Series 9 is the latest version of the world’s most popular wearable. Although there is much in common between the Series 9 and its predecessors, there are several upgrades. Whether you’re thinking of upgrading your own watch or looking for a gift, follow along for the Apple Watch Series 9 vs. 8.
Apple Watch Series 9 vs 8 and earlier
Processor, GPU, Neural Engine, Storage
Last year, Apple used the S8 64-bit dual-core processor in the Series 8 which was no different from the S7 or S6 in previous Apple Watches.
But with the Series 9, Apple says the S9 SiP brings significant improvements to the CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine.
Apple didn’t provide any specific measurements of how fast the S9’s CPU is compared to the S8, but it has 5.6 billion transistors – 60% more than the S8.
As for the S9 GPU, Apple says it’s 30% faster than the S8 and the Neural Engine is twice as fast.
|series 9||8||7||6||SE 2|
|SIP/Processor||S9 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor||S8 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor||S7 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor||S6 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor||S8 SiP 64-bit dual-core processor|
|ultra wideband chip||✅-Gen 2||✅-Gen 1||✅-Gen 1||✅-Gen 1|
|storage||64GB||32 GB||32 GB||32 GB||32 GB|
Two more benefits if you’re coming from an older Apple Watch model are the 64GB increase in storage and the Ultra Wideband Gen 2 chip with the Series 9.
Case and display
The Apple Watch Series 9 continues with the same sizes that launched with the Apple Watch Series 7. It features a 45 and 41 mm case and a larger display that is 20% larger than the Series 4-6/SE and 50% larger than the Series 3.
The main (only?) difference with the Series 9 Apple Watch display is that the brightness has doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 nits.
|series 9||8||7||6||SE 2|
|vessel size||45/41 mm||45/41 mm||45/41 mm||44/40 mm||44/40 mm|
|Display Size||396 x 484 pixels, 1143 sq mm (45 mm model)||396 x 484 pixels, 1143 sq mm (45 mm model)||396 x 484 pixels, 1143 sq mm (45 mm model)||368 x 448 pixels, 977 sq mm (44 mm model)||368 x 448 pixels, 977 sq mm (44 mm model)|
|Glow||2,000 nits||1,000 nits||1,000 nits||1,000 nits||1,000 nits|
|always on display|
|sapphire crystal front||Yes with steel models, no with aluminum||Yes with steel models, no with aluminum||Yes with steel models, no with aluminum||Yes with steel models, no with aluminum|
Apple also notes that graphics on Series 9 displays will be smoother than ever thanks to the new GPU in the S9 SiP.
Apple Watch Band Compatibility
As for bands, loops and bracelets, bands designed for previous generation Apple Watch sizes 38/40/41 and 42/44/45 mm will work with the Apple Watch Series 9.
Battery life and charging
First introduced with the Apple Watch 7 and continued with the Apple Watch Series 8 and 9, this is 33% faster charging than the Series 6 and earlier. This means going from 0-80% in 45 minutes instead of about 60 minutes.
|series 9||8||7||6||SE 2|
|battery life , Standard||18 hours||18 hours||18 hours||18 hours||18 hours|
|Extended battery with low power mode||36 hours||36 hours||36 hours||36 hours||36 hours|
|charge||0-80% in 45 minutes||0-80% in 45 minutes||0-80% in 45 minutes||0-80% in 60 minutes||0-80% in 90 minutes|
If you’re interested in using the Apple Watch Series 9 or 8 for sleep tracking, you get 8 hours of use from an 8-minute charge (Ultra and Ultra 2 too).
Apple Watch Series 9 vs 8 and More – Key Features
New with Apple Watch Series 9 is on-device Siri processing for faster responses and improved security. There’s also a new double tap gesture to more easily use the wearable with one hand. However the latter won’t arrive until the October software update is released.
However, as it happens, anyone with a Series 3 or later can use a double tap-like gesture feature called Quick Actions:
Apple says another improvement comes thanks to the new S9 chip, which results in 25% more accurate dictation.
Finally, the new on-device Siri enables you to get answers to your personal health metrics.
Here are the main features you get with the Apple Watch Series 9 and earlier:
|Apple Watch Model/Features||series 9||8||7||6||SE 2|
|blood oxygen app|
|High/low heart rate notifications|
|New Compass App w/ Waypoint + Backtrack|
|IP6X dust resistant|
|Water resistant up to 50 meters|
|advanced Bicycle Tracking with Temperature Sensing|
|Bicycle tracking without temperature sensing|
|double tap gesture control|
- Series starts at 9 $399/$429 And above (Apple, Amazon, more)
- Series 8 and older are usually discounted (Amazon, Best Buy, more) – Apple has stopped selling the Series 8
- Apple Watch SE goes from 2nd Gen $249 (Apple, Amazon, more)
Apple Watch Series 9 vs 8 and earlier wrap-up
The Apple Watch Series 9 doesn’t bring huge changes, but there are a number of upgrades like on-device Siri, a brighter screen, double tap gesture controls, 64GB of storage, and an improved S9 SiP that may tempt some people.
For those with a Series 3, 4, or SE, you’ll get additional upgrades like a larger display, an always-on screen, faster charging, and all of Apple’s health features.
What do you think? Does the Apple Watch Series 9 seem like a worthy upgrade? Or are you planning to pass? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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