All eyes are on Apple at the moment. The year’s biggest and most crucial launch is right around the corner and despite Apple’s willingness to hype up the Titanium frame for the iPhone 15 Pro, the USB-C charging port is what matters most for the masses. While debates on the iPhone 15’s worthiness will rage for months to come, the Apple ‘Wonderlust’ event will have more goodies to woo us with other than the iPhone 15.
As is tradition each year, Apple assigns a part of its biggest annual event to all the iPhone-dependent products, namely the Apple Watch, AirPods and the latest version of iOS. The Apple Watch Series 9 will be this year’s flagship wearable for all fitness enthusiasts rocking an iPhone. Word on the street? There will be massive upgrades this year.
For a while now, we’ve been hearing that the Apple Watch Series 9 will be a mildly updated variant of the Apple Watch Series 8 from last year. We leave it up to you to decide whether that’s a good or bad thing, but a more powerful Apple Watch could only help Apple extend its lead over the competition. With some of the recent rumours also hinting at new optical sensors and a more powerful chipset, the Apple Watch Series 9 could make for a compelling reason to switch or upgrade from an older model.
But will the Apple Watch Series 9 be a better upgrade for Watch Series 8 owners? That’s what we are about to find out in our comparison between the Apple Watch Series 8 vs Series 9.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs Series 9
Before pitting these watches against each other, let’s take a quick look at all the rumours related to the Apple Watch Series 9.
Apple Watch Series 9 features: What are the rumours saying?
Here’s what the rumours are suggesting about the Apple Watch Series 9 features
What the Apple Watch looks like hasn’t changed drastically since the first generation dropped in 2015. We are now used to seeing the same rectangular dial on our wrists with changing display sizes, colours and bands over the years. For its ninth generation, Apple is going to carry over the same design that debuted on the Apple Watch Series 8, which in turn was introduced on the Series 7 as a mild mid-life upgrade. This means that the Watch Series 9 will continue to have a large display with extremely slim bezels and curved edges on all sides. The crown and the Home button are going to stay as well. Not bad, eh?
Apple will continue to offer Series 9 in 41mm and 45mm sizes. The colour options from Series 8 will come over to the Series 9 but Apple is likely to release it in a new shade of Pink. Before you get all excited, it won’t be the same ‘Barbie pink’ that the world is going crazy about right now.
The last few chip upgrades on previous generation Apple Watches have been purely for namesake purposes (the S6, S7 and S8 chips delivered identical performance). But this year, Apple could finally introduce a new chip that offers realistic improvement in raw performance. Based on a tip from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Apple Watch Series 9 could get a new chipset based on the A15 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14. This could give the Series 9 huge boosts in terms of efficiency and performance.
Additionally, the Apple Watch Series 9 is expected to get a new U2 chip that will enhance its location accuracy.
While the battery capacity on the Apple Watch Series 9 is expected to remain unchanged, a more power-efficient chip, along with watchOS 10, could extend its stamina.
With the Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2nd Gen, we could see Apple’s newest optical sensors for measuring heart rate with improved accuracy and speed. A new sensor could also allow Apple to calculate various other health parameters.
New bands (of course)
With every new Apple Watch, we get to see a plethora of new bands to help good old Tim keep the company’s cash registers flowing. This year, the Watch Series 9 is expected to get a new band made out of woven fabric material with a magnetic buckle. This, alongside the usual array of silicon and metal straps, should offer enough options to pamper the fashion-conscious folks out there. That said, Apple could be ditching leather straps this year in its latest bid to reduce its carbon footprint and help keep those adorable penguins running around the Antarctic ice caps happy.
Apple Watch Series 8 vs Series 9: Should you upgrade?
The answer to every ‘should you upgrade’ question depends on your wants and needs. Unless you’re seeking the latest gadgets, there’s no need to let go of your Apple Watch IF it belongs to the previous three generations.
Especially for users of the Apple Watch Series 8, there are hardly any reasons to upgrade. The design will be identical and so will be the overall collection of smart features and fitness tracking metrics. Yes, it’s true that, if Apple introduces the new S9 chip, we can expect to see improvements in performance and battery life. However, unless Apple claims gains of over 3 to 4 hours in battery life, there’s truly no reason to upgrade this year from the Apple Watch Series 8.
The same is applicable to the Apple Watch Series 7, which is largely similar to the Apple Watch Series 8. Those rocking the Apple Watch Series 6, however, may find the expansive display and gains from the new S9 chip logical enough to opt in for an upgrade.
On the other hand, users of the Apple Watch SE 1st Gen and 2nd Gen models have a lot to gain by upgrading to the Watch Series 9. The Series 9 will offer new fitness tracking metrics such as ECG, Blood Oxygen saturation monitoring and better heart rate data. Additionally, the display experience will be highly superior in the Watch Series 9, thanks to slimmer bezels and a better quality OLED panel.
To put it plainly, the Apple Watch Series 9 is a mild upgrade over the Series 8 and Series 7. Those wearing anything else have a valid reason to upgrade.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– What is the difference in features between the Apple Watch Series 8 vs Apple Watch Series 9?
Compared to the Apple Watch Series 8, the Apple Watch Series 9 is going to offer a superior S9 chip with better performance and efficiency figures, slightly better battery life and a new optical heart rate sensor.
– What is the battery life of the Apple Watch Series 9?
Apple is yet to reveal the battery life figures of the Apple Watch Series 9.
– What is the expected price of the Apple Watch Series 9?
The Apple Watch Series 9 is expected to cost almost the same as the Apple Watch Series 8. However, Apple is yet to reveal the official price.
Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy Vladislav Bychkov via Unsplash (Representational Image)
This story first appeared on Augustman India.