The Watch Series 9 is a feature-packed smartwatch with an identical design to its predecessor. Powered by Apple’s S9 system-in-package (SiP), the 2023 model brings improvements in performance and power efficiency, despite featuring a brighter display that Apple claims can reach a maximum brightness of 2,000 nits. Additionally, the Watch Series 9 is equipped with a second-generation ultrawide-band chip for precise iPhone tracking.
On the software front, the Watch Series 9 introduces a new double-tap gesture, allowing users to operate some watch features without touching the display. Furthermore, Siri requests are now processed on the device, resulting in faster response times. These features are not available out of the box but are slated to arrive in a subsequent Watch OS 10 firmware update later this year. In its current form, the Apple Watch Series 9 focuses on display and performance.
Speaking of the display, which serves as the window to the smartwatch experience, the one on the Apple Watch Series 9 remains the same in terms of size and shape as the previous generation, but it boasts double the maximum brightness. This boost in brightness makes the display easily readable in bright outdoor environments. Apple has also ensured usability in dimly lit surroundings, as the display can dim to a minimum brightness of just one nit when in Sleep Focus mode. Complementing the bright display are the new watch faces, part of Watch OS 10, including Snoopy, Palette, and Solar Analog.
Turning to performance, the Watch Series 9 is swift and responsive, with no noticeable lag or slowdown in the interface. The performance enhancements brought by the Apple S9 SiP are evident even in everyday use. However, the real strength of the chip becomes apparent in its power efficiency. The Watch Series 9 manages to deliver a full day of on-battery time, even when used extensively for tracking outdoor health activities with the always-on display enabled. In general use, with the always-on display still active, the on-battery time extends to a couple of days.
While the Apple Watch Series 9 may not initially appear as a significant upgrade, starting at Rs 41,900, it holds promise with features such as the double-tap gesture and on-device Siri soon to be available. For current Apple Watch Series users seeking an upgrade, the Watch Series 9 presents a compelling option.
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