Review of the Apple Watch Series 9 after three months Since the release of the Apple Watch Series 9, which includes Double Tap and on-device Siri features, our everyday use of the device has not changed significantly from the Apple Watch Series 8. The main attraction of the Apple Watch Series 9 was the S9 SiP, but our initial review was unable to fully test the chipset. The series brings some quality-of-life improvements, but after using all the new features, it is not quite what we anticipated. Owners of Apple Watch Series 7 and newer models should not consider upgrading unless it is absolutely necessary.
The brighter display, faster processor, and watchOS 10 updates combine to make a well-rounded device, but there is no standout feature. The Apple Watch has been struggling with updates since the Series 7, and the 2023 model did not break that trend. Rumors suggest that a Series X-style redesign will be launched in 2024, similar to the iPhone X. In the meantime, the Apple Watch Series 9 remains the top choice for those in the market for a non-Ultra product.
Design and durability of the Apple Watch Series 9 remain quite similar to its predecessors. It comes with a 41 mm or 45 mm size option, available in aluminum or stainless steel finishes, and features an always-on Retina LTPO OLED display. Sapphire glass is now used for the stainless steel models, while the aluminum models have an Ion-X display. The health and fitness sensors have not received any updates, but the device remains durable even after regular use.
In terms of day-to-day use, the S9 SiP has not drastically changed the user experience. The CPU’s upgraded core processor offers slight benefits, allowing features like Double Tap and on-device Siri to exist. However, the device’s battery life remains consistent, requiring only a half-hour of fast charge per day. One of the most notable new features of the Series 9 is Double Tap, which allows users to scroll widgets or control buttons within Apple apps. This feature, though, may go unnoticed by some users who don’t have a specific use case for it.
Double Tap has proven to be an accessibility win, offering a new interaction option for those with specific needs. However, the feature falls short in its overall utility and practicality, as it currently only works in Apple apps and requires the device to be raised and awake. On-device Siri also presents challenges, as users struggle to understand its capabilities and limitations.
Despite these minor drawbacks, the Apple Watch Series 9 remains a solid choice for those in the market for a non-Ultra smartwatch, offering a well-rounded device with some quality-of-life improvements. It may not be a groundbreaking upgrade from its predecessors, but it still holds its own in terms of durability, performance, and design.