Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Series 8: everything new and differ…

Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Series 8 showing ambient displays.
Apple Watch Series 9 (left) and Apple Watch Series 8 Andy Boxall/

Apple’s huge iPhone 15 event has come and gone, and not only do we have a brand new iPhone 15 lineup, but we also have the Apple Watch Series 9.

But how does it compare to the previous generation? If you have an Apple Watch Series 8 is it worth the upgrade? Or, if you were considering buying your first Apple Watch, what would be the better buy now?

We break it all down here.

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Apple Watch Series 8: Specifications

apple watch series 9apple watch series 8
Materialaluminum

Stainless Steel

aluminum

Stainless Steel

size41mm

45mm

41mm

45mm

colour’sAluminium:

midnight, starlight, silver, product red

Stainless Steel:

gold, silver, graphite

Aluminium:

Midnight, starlight, silver,
Product Red, Pink

Stainless Steel:

gold, silver, graphite

DisplayAlways On Retina LTPO OLED

1,000 nits peak brightness

Always On Retina LTPO OLED

2,000 nits max brightness, 1 nit lowlight

processors8S9
double-tap gestureaccessibility onlyYes
Sir, IWi-Fi or cellular data requiredon device
sensortemperature sensor, blood oxygen sensor, electrical heart sensor, and third generation optical heart sensortemperature sensor, blood oxygen sensor, electrical heart sensor, and third generation optical heart sensor
battery life18 hours18 hours
fast chargingYesYes
ultra widebandA1Second Generation Ultra Wideband Chip with Precision Finding for iPhone 15

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Apple Watch Series 8: Design

Palette watch face on the Apple Watch Series 9.
palette watch face Andy Boxall/

Both Apple Watch Series 8 and Series 9 have a similar design. This follows the tradition that Apple has kept for its main Apple Watch series devices, including the Apple Watch SE.

You’ll get the classic square design with curved edges, with aluminum or stainless steel casing options. The size remains the same for both models, either the smaller 41mm or the larger 45mm option.

The Apple Watch Series 8 comes in four colors for aluminum: Midnight, Starlight, Silver, and Product Red. There are three colors of stainless steel finish: gold, silver and graphite.

For the Apple Watch Series 9, we have the usual Midnight, Starlight, Silver and Product Red colors, as well as the new Pink color for the aluminum. It has a subtle pink finish, like rose gold, rather than a bright pink color. The stainless steel option continues to be offered in gold, silver and graphite as before.

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Apple Watch Series 8: Screen

A man wearing an Apple Watch Series 9, showing off the Snoopy watch face
Andy Boxall/

The Apple Watch Series 8 features an always-on Retina LTPO OLED display that reaches a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. It comes in 41 mm or 45 mm sizes. The aluminum versions have Ion-X glass, while the stainless steel has a sapphire crystal display.

The Apple Watch Series 9 is very similar, offering an always-on Retina LTPO OLED display, Ion-X glass for the aluminum models, and sapphire crystal for the stainless steel models. It also comes in 41mm or 45mm sizes.

However, one big change with the Apple Watch Series 9 is the peak brightness level, which now reaches 2,000 nits. This matches the first-generation Apple Watch Ultra, making it even more useful for using outside in bright sunlight. It only lasts for 1 night even in low light environments, so you don’t get blinded in the dark.

The Apple Watch Series 9 beats out the Series 8 in terms of brightness levels, so overall it’s the better choice, especially if you’re constantly in bright, sunny conditions.

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Apple Watch Series 8: Processor and software

Curved screen on the Apple Watch Series 9.
Andy Boxall/

This is where things start to become more different.

Inside the Apple Watch Series 8 is the S8 chip, which is basically the same as the S7 chip in the Apple Watch Series 7, which was the same as the S6 in the Apple Watch Series 6 – you get the idea.

Apple has finally changed things with the new S9 chip in the Apple Watch Series 9. It uses a new chip technology that hasn’t been in an Apple Watch before, and has 5.6 billion transistors and a GPU that’s 30% faster than the S8. It also has a quad-core Neural Engine that processes machine learning tasks twice as fast as before.

The S9 chip allows the Apple Watch Series 9 to process all Siri requests on the watch itself. This means there’s no need for Wi-Fi or cellular data for simple requests, like starting a timer or starting a workout, and it comes with greater accuracy when dictating text, like replying to a message. Plus, you’ll now be able to ask Siri questions about your health data, like “How much did I sleep last night?” or “How far have I walked today?” And use Siri to log almost any health information you can enter into the Health app on your iPhone.

New double tap gesture for Apple Watch Series 9.
Apple

And with the S9, you can control the Apple Watch without touching the display with the new double tap gesture. Simply double-tap your index finger and the thumb of your watch hand together to perform multiple actions and navigate through watchOS 10. The double-tap gesture can stop a timer, control audio, snooze an alarm, answer or end a phone call, or even move a button. Photos from your iPhone camera. A double tap also opens Smart Stack widgets on the watch face and you can scroll through them with gestures.

The Apple Watch Series 9 also features a new second-generation Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip that enables precision finding for the iPhone 15 series. It helps you find a lost iPhone through visual, haptic, and audio guidance, similar to AirTag. The new UWB chip also means better integration between the Apple Watch and HomePod, letting you launch Now Playing to control HomePod media when you’re nearby. However, it’s important to add that, despite this new chip, the Apple Watch Series 9 still can’t locate AirTags or other lost Find My items; The new Precision Finding is perfect for tracking your lost iPhone 15.

Apple’s new S9 chip is a big deal in terms of improving the performance and efficiency of the Apple Watch. While the S8 system in a package (SiP) remained basically unchanged from previous generations, the S9 allows you to do a lot more from your wrist. This is an especially worthy upgrade if you’re coming from an even older generation Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Apple Watch Series 8: Battery and charging

Apple Watch Series 9 is on charge.
Andy Boxall/

Apple claims that the Apple Watch Series 8 can get about 18 hours of battery life on a single charge. This is quite accurate and similar to previous versions of the Apple Watch – you have to charge it by the end of the day.

Thankfully, the Apple Watch Series 8 is capable of fast charging, which means it can go from zero to 80% in about 45 minutes.

Unfortunately, despite the new S9 chip, the Apple Watch Series 9 hasn’t seen any meaningful changes in battery life or charging speeds. You can expect to get about 18 hours of battery life as before, and the Series 9 still has the same fast charging speeds.

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Apple Watch Series 8: Fitness and health tracking

Exercise ring turned off alert on Apple Watch Series 9.
Andy Boxall/

Surprisingly, Apple has not made any changes to the Apple Watch Series 9 in terms of new health sensors this year. The sensors remain unchanged from the Series 8.

This means that with both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Series 8, you have 24/7 with SpO2 (blood oxygen) monitoring, ECG, high and low heart rate notifications, irregular rhythm notifications, low cardio fitness notifications, temperature There is heart rate monitoring. Sensors, and sleep tracking. Both watches can also detect if you’ve fallen hard and there’s crash detection for car accidents.

Both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Series 8 can run watchOS 10, which has plenty of improvements for cyclists, as there will be new metrics, views, and experiences just for cycling. For pedestrians, the Compass app in watchOS 10 will automatically generate two new waypoints: last cellular connection and last emergency call. There is also a new elevation view.

Both Apple Watches can also be used to track your mood, which is good for mental health, and the ambient light sensors can help you track time spent in daylight, which is good for health. Is beneficial for.

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Apple Watch Series 8: Price and availability

Nike Globe watch face on the Apple Watch Series 9.
Nike Globe Watch Face Andy Boxall/

The aluminum version of the Apple Watch Series 9 starts at $399, while the stainless steel model starts at $749. It is available for immediate purchase from Apple’s website and other major retailers and carriers.

With the Apple Watch Series 9 becoming available, the Apple Watch Series 8 has been discontinued. However, you can probably find remaining stock at a discounted price at various big-box retailers.

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Apple Watch Series 8: Verdict

Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Series 8 screens showing.
Apple Watch Series 9 (top) and Apple Watch Series 8 Andy Boxall/

The Apple Watch Series 9 is one of the biggest improvements Apple has made to wearable devices in the last few years.

The S9 chip is a big deal, and rightfully so – Siri requests are now processed on-device, and double tap gestures allow one-handed control. The addition of a new, second-generation UWB chip makes it possible to locate a lost iPhone 15 series (and later versions) using your Apple Watch, just like you locate AirTags.

While the design and display look the same as before, the peak brightness of 2,000 nits makes the Apple Watch Series 9 more useful for using outside in strong sunlight.

The only strange thing about the Apple Watch Series 9 is that even with the S9 chip, there is no improvement in overall battery life. You still get the same 18 hours as before. While the Apple Watch Series 8 feels a lot like its predecessors, the Series 7 and Series 6, the Apple Watch Series 9 feels fresh and new thanks to the S9 chip. Oh, and that pink color is gorgeous.

But is it all worth the upgrade from the year-old Apple Watch Series 8? Its all up to you. While the new S9 processor sounds impressive, the Series 8 is no slouch in performance. With that in mind, and the similar displays, batteries, and health-tracking experiences between both watches, you’re probably looking forward to waiting another year to see what the Apple Watch Series 10 has to offer.

The Apple Watch Series 9 is bound to be a fun upgrade if you have the cash to spend, but if not, don’t worry too much about losing it if you already have an Apple Watch Series 8. .






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