Apple has officially unveiled the new Apple Watch Series 9. Set to land in 41mm and 45mm sizes, the new-gen smartwatch improves on last year’s effort with new colours, new straps, faster internals and a much brighter screen. It also gains new gesture controls, aimed at improving accessibility and convenience.
Revealed at the firm’s Wonderlust launch event, Apple Watch Series 9 is more of a refinement on the previous Watch Series 8 than a radical overhaul – but there are still some welcome upgrades. It made its debut alongside the Apple Watch Ultra 2.
Inside you’ll find the new Apple-made S9 chipset, which promises a faster CPU and GPU for more responsive interactions with your wrist. The battery hasn’t grown at all, but the firm reckons it’ll still manage the same 18 hours of lifetime between charges as the previous generation, despite the more powerful hardware.
There’s also a new ultra-wideband chip inside to help you find your iPhone more easily, and you can now bring your Apple Watch near Homepods to share media – just like an iPhone. You’ll also be able to add health information to the Health app using Siri, using a feature coming later this year.
A new Double Tap gesture (remarkably similar to the ones seen on Apple’s Vision Pro headset) let you perform actions such as picking up a call with a finger motion, without having to tap the screen. It uses the accelerometer, gyroscope and other sensors to detect your fingers, which could be useful if your other hand is full.
The edge-to-edge display now blasts up to 2000 nits of brightness – double that of Series 8. It can also clock down to just 1 nit, so can be even dimmer at night.
Finally there’s a new suede-like fabric called FineWoven, to replace Apple’s leather straps in an environmental drive forwards. It even extends to the luxury-minded Hermès collection.
The Apple Watch Series 9 will retail for $399/£399 for the GPS-only model, or $499 for the Cellular version. It’ll be available in a new pink colour, alongside Starlight, Midnight, Silver, and Product Red.
Pre-orders for both are starting today, and devices will start shipping on the 22nd of September.