Apple's has launched the Apple Watch Series 9 and also a new version of the Apple Watch Ultra that was introduced last year.
During the yesterday's Wonderlust event, they showcased the new S9 SiP chip and a 4-core Neural Engine in both these Apple Watches. Because of this, Siri can now work offline, without needing an internet connection. Apple has aslo upgraded specs with even brighter screens, enhanced Ultra Wideband capability, and they’ve increased storage to 64GB.
But the real head-turner? It’s the "Double Tap" feature. You don't even need to touch the watch anymore. Just tap your thumb and index finger twice, and the watch gets it as a gesture. So, it's like clicking the primary button on the watch's app. Handy, right?
Both watches went up for pre-order on September 12th and they'll be officially available from September 22nd. The Series 9 is priced at $399, the same as the Series 8. For our Apple Watch users in the U.K., they’re actually getting a price drop this time around! As for the Ultra 2, it's priced at $799, which remains unchanged for the U.S., but there's a bit of a reduction for the U.K.
Now, diving into the tech specs – both watches have the new and improved S9 SiP, which is their first processor advancement in years. Apple revealed that the GPU is 30% faster and it has 60% more transistors than the S8. Also, there's a new 4-core Neural Engine to boost machine learning tasks, which powers features like the Double Tap and the on-device Siri resulting in quicker response times when using voice recognition.
Even with a brighter screen and more power, the battery life still holds strong. The Series 9 has an 18-hour battery life and the Ultra 2 stretches up to 36 hours, or 72 hours in Low Power Mode. And speaking of that brighter screen, the Series 9 has gone from 1,000 nits to 2,000 nits, while the Ultra 2 is at an impressive 3,000 nits. This basically means it's going to be a lot easier to see the screen when you're out in the sun. This is the brightest display has has ever shipped in any product!
The Series 9 and Ultra 2 have also got an upgraded ultra-wideband chip, so if you ever misplace your iPhone, these watches will make it easier to find it. And, as I mentioned earlier, the Double Tap feature? That’s rolling out in October as a software update. Plus, with Siri now being on-device, you can ask her about health information or even record medication logs just using your voice.
In terms of design, the Series 9 looks pretty much the same, available in a two of sizes (41mm and 45mm) and various colors. The Ultra 2, though, it’s still made of titanium but now made of almost completely recycled titanium.
Lastly, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 will ship with watchOS 10. It's filled with new features, apps, and updates. This software will be available for download on September 18 and it's compatible with Apple Watch Series 4 and newer.
So, in a nutshell, if someone has the Series 8 or 7, maybe they don’t need to rush. But for folks with older models, this could be a pretty tempting upgrade given the new software support and the chip advancements. What do you think? Tempted to get one?
Looking for great bands for your new Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2? Be sure to browse Infinity Loops' ever growing collection of premium Apple Watch bands. We still sell leather bands for your Apple Watch and have the best matching titanium bands for your Ultra 2