On Tuesday, Apple unveiled its latest updates to the Apple Watch lineup. These new watches are now available for ordering and will begin shipping, as well as being stocked in Apple Stores, starting from September 22.
We list some of the things that make the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Watch Ultra 2, not only the best smartwatch Apple has released till date, but also, possibly one of the best smartwatches, period.
New S9 Chip
The primary processor powering the Series 9 and Ultra 2 is the S9 chip, replacing the previous S8. The S9 brings a significant speed boost and improved power efficiency, resulting in better battery life. With an impressive 5.6 billion transistors, 60 per cent more than the S8, and a 30 per cent faster GPU, the S9 also includes a four-core Neural Engine that’s twice as fast as its predecessor.
New Double-Tap Gesture
Thanks to the new Neural Engine, a fresh gesture called “double tap” has been introduced. By performing a double tap between your thumb and index finger on your watch hand, you can activate various actions on the Apple Watch, such as answering or ending a phone call or opening a Smart Stack on the watch. Double tap serves as a quick way to activate the primary button in watch apps.
2nd-gen UWB Chip
Apple’s Ultra-Wideband (UWB) chips enable precise tracking of an object’s location in close proximity. The Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches feature a second-generation UWB chip, enhancing location tracking accuracy. It’s particularly useful in the Find My app and can even locate an iPhone 15 in a different room, assuming it also has the U2 chip.
Both the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches come with brighter displays. The Series 9 supports a maximum of 2,000 nits, while the Ultra 2 goes even further with up to 3,000 nits. Even the always-on display is impressively bright, dimming down to just 1 nit when active.
On-Device AI and Siri
Siri no longer relies on a Wi-Fi or cellular connection on these new watches. All Siri requests are processed directly on the device.
Apple Ultra 2 Features
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 includes some additional features, such as a modular Ultra watch face that can display a wealth of information, Bluetooth connectivity for cyclists’ equipment, and depth apps that save session logs for dives.
Colours and Bands
The external design of the Series 9 remains consistent with its predecessors, featuring a rounded square design with smooth, rounded corners, a Digital Crown, and a button beneath it. It’s available in aluminium or stainless steel, in various sizes and colours. The Apple Watch Ultra 2, on the other hand, is available in a 49mm size in titanium, with a notable dark titanium colour option.
Apple has made sustainability a priority with its bands. The Sport Loop band is now crafted from 82 per cent recycled yarn, and Nike watch bands incorporate recycled materials. Furthermore, Apple has phased out the use of leather in any product, including bands, and is now using a synthetic material called FineWoven, which offers a faux leather/suede feel.
Price and Availability
The Apple Watch Series 9 starts at Rs 41,900 for the aluminium, 41mm, GPS version, and goes up from there, based on how one configures it. A 45mm GPS Apple Watch 9, with aluminium, would cost Rs 44,900
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is priced at Rs 89,900. Preorders are currently available, with the devices set to become available starting September 22.