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Key Takeaways

  • The Apple Watch Series 9 introduces a new processor for improved performance and on-device processing via the Neural Processor.
  • Health data can now be accessed and queried on the smartwatch itself, with voice prompts initially available in English and Mandarin.
  • The Apple Watch Series 9 features an upgraded display with a peak brightness of 2,000 nits and a new Double Tap feature for easier interaction. The Apple Watch Ultra offers even more upgrades, including a peak brightness of 3,000 nits and the new Modular Ultra watch face.

At its Wonderlust Event, Apple finally took the wraps off of its Apple Watch models for 2023. The Apple Watch Series 9 brings quite a few new improvements — most of which are quality-of-life upgrades, while the Apple Watch Ultra 2 consolidates it's position as the smartwatch for adventurers. Here's a quick look at what's new on these devices.

Pricing and Availability

Apple Watch Series 9 Featured Image

Apple Watch Series 9 will again be available in two sizes — 41mm or 45mm — and in two different case materials — Aluminum and Stainless Steel. The 40mm model will start at $399 (GPS-only), while the 45mm will cost $429. If you pick up an LTE model, be prepared to fork over an extra $100. The Apple Watch Ultra will be available in its single color and 49mm case size; its price remains at $799.

The smartwatches are now available for pre-order from Apple.com and other third-party retailers like Amazon and Best Buy, starting Friday, September 15, 2023, with retail availability and deliveries beginning a week later, from September 22, 2023.

What's new with the Apple Watch Series 9?

Apple Watch Series 9 Features Bento Image

The primary upgrades with this generation involve an all-new processor, which finally brings upgrades to performance. Apple focused on how the device will process more requests on-device via the Neural Processor.

Other improvements include access to the health data on the smartwatch itself, with a new way to query health data via voice prompts. The feature will be initially available in English and Mandarin, with more languages set to arrive later. WatchOS 10's arrival on Monday, September 18, 2023, will also bring several new features.

The Apple Watch Series 9 also features the second-generation ultrawide band chip, enabling precision finding for iPhone and new integrations with HomePod. Apple advertised how the Apple Watch will bring up the Now Playing screen when you're near your HomePod.

The display on the Apple Watch Series 9 also sees an upgrade. As it now has the ability to hit 2,000 nits peak brightness. This matches the maximum we saw on the iPhone 14 Pro. There's also a new all-time low of 1 nit, which will make nighttime use a lot more easy on your eyes.

The introduction of the S9 SiP also allows the use of Double Tap, a new development that improves upon the Accessibility feature that Apple introduced previously. You can now tap together your index finger and thumb to interact with your Apple Watch, controlling many actions like answering calls and snoozing alarms. The action will also interact with the primary button in any Apple Watch application.

The second-generation Apple Watch Ultra furthers it's capability

Apple Watch Ultra Features Bento Image

While the Apple Watch Series 9 caters to most customers, for those who want more from their smartwatch, the Apple Watch Ultra also sees meaningful upgrades. The wearable will come with the same S9 SiP encased in the Series 9, bringing all its capabilities, like on-device Siri, health queries, and more.

Like on the Series 9, the display here also sees an upgrade, as it is now capable of hitting a peak of 3,000 nits brightness. The Apple Watch Ultra will also double down on the improved display with the new Modular Ultra watch face.

Look forward to our in-depth articles on these new devices to learn more about what's new with the latest generation products.