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Apple Watch Series 9 unveiled with faster chips and new pink color

Published Sep 12th, 2023 1:13PM EDT
Apple Watch Series 9 revealed at Apple Event.
Image: Apple

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Apple kicked off its September event this Tuesday with the reveal of the Apple Watch Series 9. The new model might look similar to its 2022 predecessor, but there are a number of significant improvements under the hood that make this a substantial update.

During the prerecorded presentation, Apple Watch Product Marketing Director Deidre Caldbeck announced that the Series 9 features the new S9 system in a package (SiP). The CPU contains 5.6 billion transistors — 60% more than the S8. The GPU is 30% faster, a new four-core neural engine makes machine learning 2x faster, and dictation is 20% more accurate. Plus, now that Siri requests are processed on-device, they will be faster and more secure.

Apple says the S9 also enables 18 hours of battery life, even with a brighter display. The Series 9 has a maximum brightness of up to 2000 nits, which is double that of the Series 8 and should make it easier to read the screen in sunlight.

New feature and specs of the Apple Watch Series 9.
New feature and specs of the Apple Watch Series 9. Image source: Apple

Another notable upgrade is the Series 9’s second-generation Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip. This new chip enables Precision Finding for the iPhone 15 phones, which come with the same chip. If you ever lose your iPhone, your Apple Watch Series 9 can tell you the distance and direction to your lost phone with visual, haptic, and audio guidance.

Apple is bringing a new gesture to the Series 9 as well. If you tap your index finger and thumb together twice while wearing the watch, you can control the primary button of the app that you’re using. For example, if someone’s calling you, you can use the double tap gesture to answer and end the call. Double tap opens the Smart Stack from the watch face and then scrolls through the stack once it’s open. A useful accessibility feature that could have broad appeal.

The company is also very proud of the fact that the Apple Watch Series 9, Apple Watch Ultra 2, and Apple Watch SE are its first carbon neutral products. According to Apple, emissions from materials, electricity, and transportation have all been reduced, and the remaining emissions are offset with “high-quality carbon credits from nature-based projects.”

During the presentation, Apple also introduced a new fabric for watch bands called FineWoven. This durable microtwill fabric is made of 68% post-consumer recycled content. Apple says it has “a suedelike feel” and is available with Magnetic Link and Modern Buckle bands. Additionally, Apple will no longer use leather in any new products.

Apple Watch Series 9 will be available on September 22 in 41mm and 45mm sizes, starting at $399. Aluminum models come in starlight, midnight, silver, (PRODUCT)RED, and pink cases. If you opt for stainless steel, you can pick between gold, silver, and graphite.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.