Apple officially unveiled the Apple Watch Series 9 at its Wonderlust event. The Series 9 includes numerous improvements over its predecessor, which may entice you to purchase one. However, if you own an Apple Watch Series 8 and are considering purchasing an Apple Watch Series 9, you may be unsure whether it is a worthwhile purchase. To assist you in making a more informed purchase decision, I’ve prepared a detailed comparison of the Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Apple Watch Series 8.
Key specifications – Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Series 8
|Specifications||Apple Watch Series 9||Apple Watch Series 8|
|Brightness||2000 nits||1000 nits|
|OS||watchOS 10||watchOS 10|
|Size and weight (buds)||45 x 38 x 10.7 mm, 42.3 grams (41mm)||45 x 38 x 10.7 mm, 42.3 grams (41mm)|
|Ultra Wideband chip||2nd generation||1st generation|
|Battery life||18 hours||18 hours|
While the difference in the specs don’t look much large on paper, Apple made slight improvements to the Series 9. The first and foremost being that the Series 9 comes with a new S9 chip, new double tap gesture, on-device Siri processing, a new Neural Engine, and more. Let’s take a look at the different aspects one-by-one.
Design – Apple Watch 9 vs. Apple Watch 8
Apple made few to no changes to the exterior design of the Apple Watch Series 9, making it identical to the Series 8. From a distance, you won’t be able to tell them apart. However, due to the new S9 chip, Apple did redesign the internals.
Aside from the Apple Watch Series 9, the Series 8 and Series 9 are both available in 41mm and 45mm sizes. Both weigh the same and are the same size.
Display – Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Series 8
The Series 9 and Series 8 use the same display size and technology. The only difference between Series 8 and Series 9 is the peak brightness.
The display on the Apple Watch Series 9 can get as bright as 2000 nits and can go as low as 1 nit, while the display on the Series 8 can only go up to 1000 nits.
Performance – Apple Watch 9 vs. 8
The performance is where Apple has made most improvements in the Apple Watch Series 9. It has a newer S9 chip, which is based on A15 Bionic. In contrast, the Series 8 has an S8 chip, which is based on A13 Bionic. Apple claims that the S9 chip has 60% more transistors and is 30% faster than its predecessor.
Moreover, there’s a new 4-core Neural Engine on Apple Watch 9 that enables on-device Siri request. As a result, Siri is much faster on the Series 9 and you can ask about your health data or log it with Siri. On the contrary, until the Apple Watch Series 8, Siri relied on cloud via an internet connection for requests.
Furthermore, the Apple Watch Series 9 features the new Ultra Wideband 2 chip that can help you ping and locate your iPhone precisely. And if you’ve a HomePod, getting the Series 9 closer will bring up the music library on the Apple Watch. Last but not least, the Series 9 has 64GB of internal storage, while the Series 8 offers 32GB only.
The Apple Watch Series 9 and Series 8 share the same operating system, watchOS 10, and feature set. Apple, on the other hand, introduced a new double tap gesture, which is exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2. As a result, you can use your iPhone with one hand while your other hand is busy.
Battery life and charging
Despite the fact that Apple redesigned the internals, the battery size and life of the Apple Watch Series 9 remain unchanged from its predecessor. And, with their proprietary chargers, both the Series 9 and Series 8 support fast charging right out of the box.
Price – Apple Watch 9 vs. Apple Watch 8
Apple also did not change the price of the Apple Watch Series 9. It begins at $399, the same price as the previous Apple Watch Series 8 in 2022.
However, Apple increased the starting price of the stainless steel version by $100 because it is now only available in Wi-Fi + Cellular configuration.
Verdict – Should you upgrade to Apple Watch Series 9 from Series 8?
In terms of design, the Apple Watch Series 9 is a minor upgrade over the Series 8, but it is a significant upgrade in terms of hardware.
I wouldn’t upgrade from a Series 8 to a Series 9 just for the double tap gesture or on-device Siri requests. I’d rather wait for the upcoming Apple Watch Series X, which may include significant changes from Apple.
Furthermore, if you have an Apple Watch Series 7 or older model, you can get the Series 9 without much thought. However, I would still recommend you wait for the next model.
Which Apple Watch will you go for? Do let me know in the comments!
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Sajid is an Electronics and Communications Engineering graduate who loves writing about tech. He's primarily interested in writing about Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. You'll find him watching Anime or Marvel when he's not writing.