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Buyer’s Guide for the Apple Watch Series 9: How Incremental Improvements Compare Over Time

Apple Watch Series 9 Buyers Guide Feature

In recent years, the Apple Watch has received a few minor tweaks, with big changes growing fewer and farther between as the gadget has developed. Given how little the Apple Watch has improved with each generation, it is crucial to think carefully about when to upgrade and whether a previous model would be adequate for your needs.

The S9 chip, which improves performance for the Apple Watch for the first time in four years and enables features like Double Tap, is the main improvement in the Apple Watch Series 9. Its initial price is $399. The last relatively important improvement to the device was the Series 7 in 2021, which brought larger display sizes and fast charging functionality. Series 8 featured body temperature monitoring and Crash Detection last year. All previous Apple Watch models from before the Series 9 have been retired, however, older versions can still be purchased from independent sellers or used for significantly less costs.

You can continue reading to get a breakdown of each new feature, alteration, and enhancement that each Apple Watch model brought over from its immediate before. When comparing the cumulative enhancements one receives from skipping several generations when purchasing a new gadget, viewing each generation’s changes in this way makes it easier to determine which generations gave the biggest overall upgrades.

Apple Watch Series 9 (2023)

  • Retina display with up to 2,000 nits of brightness
  • Display can get dimmer in dark rooms and at night (down to 1 nit of brightness)
  • Double Tap gesture
  • S9 chip (based on A15 Bionic)
  • 4-core Neural Engine (x2 faster than Series 8)
  • Siri‌ processed on-device for requests that do not need information from the internet
  • ‌‌Siri‌‌ can access health and fitness data
  • 25% more accurate dictation
  • Second-generation Ultra Wideband chip
  • Precision Finding for iPhone 15 models
  • HomePod proximity integration
  • 64GB storage
  • Pink aluminum casing introduced
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Apple Watch Series 8 (2022)

  • S8 chip (same CPU as S6)
  • More powerful gyroscope and high dynamic range accelerometer
  • ‌Crash Detection
  • Body temperature sensor
  • Wrist temperature sensing during sleep
  • Cycle tracking with retrospective ovulation estimates
  • Blue and Green aluminum casings were discontinued, and Silver aluminum reintroduced
  • Apple Watch Edition discontinued

Apple Watch Series 7 (2021)

  • 41mm and 45mm case sizes
  • 1.7mm display borders for almost 20% more screen area than Series 6
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Up to 70% brighter display than Series 6 indoors when wrist is down
  • S7 chip (Same CPU as S6)
  • Crack-resistant front crystal (50% thicker)
  • IP6X dust resistance
  • Fast charging for up to 80% charge in about 45 minutes (33% faster than Series 6)
  • Silver and Space Gray aluminum casings were discontinued, and Midnight, Starlight, and Green introduced

Apple Watch Series 6 (2020)

  • Up to 2.5x brighter always-on display
  • Access Notification Center, Control Center, and Complications when the display is asleep
  • S6 chip (based on A13 Bionic, 20% faster than S5)
  • Always-on altimeter
  • First-generation Ultra Wideband chip
  • 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi
  • Blood oxygen sensor
  • Faster charging for a full charge in under 1.5 hours
  • Improved battery life for tracking certain workouts, such as indoor and outdoor runs
  • Blue and (PRODUCT)RED aluminum casing options introduced
  • Space Black stainless steel casing available with Apple Watch Hermès only, Graphite option introduced
  • Ceramic Apple Watch Edition discontinued
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Apple Watch Series 5 (2019)

  • Always-on Retina display
  • Force Touch removed
  • S5 chip
  • Compass
  • 32GB storage
  • Apple Watch Edition reintroduced with White Ceramic, Natural Titanium, and Space Black Titanium casing options

Apple Watch Series 4 (2018)

  • 40mm and 44mm case sizes
  • Over 30% larger display with curved corners
  • 3.0mm display borders
  • S4 chip (2x faster than S3)
  • Gyroscope and accelerometer
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Fall detection
  • 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
  • Optical heart sensor and electrical heart sensor for ECG
  • 16GB storage
  • Digital Crown with haptic feedback
  • 50% louder speaker
  • Relocated microphone for reduced echo and better sound quality
  • Faster charging for a full charge in 1.5 hours
  • Gold stainless steel casing introduced
  • Apple Watch Edition discontinued

Apple Watch Series 3 (2017)

  • S3 chip (70% faster than S2)
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • ‌Siri‌ able to speak through the onboard speaker
  • LTE cellular model available with red Digital Crown
  • Rose Gold aluminum casing discontinued
  • Gray Ceramic Apple Watch Edition model introduced

Apple Watch Series 2 (2016)

  • Retina display with up to 1,000 nits of brightness (2x brighter than the previous generation)
  • S2 chip (dual‑core)
  • GPS and GLONASS receiver
  • Water resistant up to 50 meters
  • Gold and Rose Gold aluminum casing options added
  • 18K Gold and Rose Gold Apple Watch Edition discontinued, Ceramic model introduced in White
  • Apple Watch Nike+ variant introduced
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For the majority of owners of Series 7 and Series 8 watches, the Apple Watch Series 9 does not appear to offer a significant upgrade. It will typically be advantageous to upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 9 if you currently own a Series 6 or earlier model because it has a ton of brand-new capabilities. If you want to save money, discounted Apple Watch Series 7 and Series 8 devices are another great choice for people upgrading from a Series 6 or earlier.

According to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, Apple has thought about removing the Apple Watch from its yearly upgrade cycle in order to provide more significant updates less frequently. To commemorate the device’s tenth anniversary, the Apple Watch “Series X” is expected to be a big overhaul, including smaller shells, larger displays, microLED technology, larger batteries, blood pressure monitoring, and a new system for attaching bands.