Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2: Specs, Price, Release Date

For virtually a decade, Apple has launched an Apple Watch each fall. Each launch is greeted just like the turning of the leaves: welcome, however not essentially mind-blowing. In 2022, the rugged Apple Watch Ultra (8/10, WIRED Recommends) was one of many greatest launches we’d seen in years. The Series 8 (8/10, WIRED Recommends), which additionally debuted final 12 months, launched pores and skin temperature sensing—good, however we’ve seen comparable options on wearables just like the Oura ring for years.

For its tenth anniversary—in both 2024 or 2025—Apple is rumored to be giving its watch a whole revamp, and possibly even a brand new title (the catchy Apple Watch X). In the meantime, 2023 introduced a couple of upgrades, together with a quicker processor, a brand new pink colour, and a brand new characteristic referred to as Double Tap that permits you to play music and begin and cease exercises with somewhat flick of your fingers. 

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Tippity Tap

Photograph: Julian Chokkattu

This 12 months’s Series 9 appears principally the identical because the Series 8, with a quicker S9 chipset. (Apple has used the identical chip for each watch for the reason that Series 6, which incorporates final 12 months’s Series 8 and Ultra.) This will theoretically make processing a lot quicker than within the Series 8 and assist enhance the battery life. Siri requests can now be processed on-device, which implies they don’t need to journey to and from the gang. A blippy Wi-Fi connection or poor cell protection can’t maintain your from beginning or stopping a exercise together with your watch. There’s additionally the brand new pink colour. (Sweet.)

At $799, this 12 months’s Watch Ultra 2 remains to be the priciest watch in Apple’s lineup. The Ultra 2 has a brand new, astonishingly shiny show that reaches 3,000 nits (for context, the iPhone 14 Pro maxes out at 2,000 nits). A brand new modular watch face makes use of that shiny show to make it simpler to verify sports activities knowledge that modifications by the second, like your elevation. 

Video: Apple

Both the Ultra Watch 2 and the Series 9 even have a brand new characteristic referred to as Double Tap. Starting in a month, it is possible for you to to faucet your index finger and thumb collectively in your watch hand for easy actions like hanging up a name, beginning a timer, and taking part in your music. The watch processes knowledge from the gyroscope and accelerometer and makes use of machine studying algorithms to course of minute modifications in blood movement to detect your tiny motions. This is useful if, as Apple predicts, you might be steadily utilizing your different hand to stroll your canine or slurp gallons of espresso. 

As some Apple merchandise grow old, their replace cycles develop into longer and longer. This 12 months, the Apple Watch SE, the corporate’s entry-level choice, didn’t see any upgrades in any respect. Last 12 months, it obtained a refresh with a brand new, lighter nylon again. Just like final 12 months’s mannequin, the SE is usually outlined by what it doesn’t have in comparison with your spendier watch choices (i.e. blood oxygen monitoring, temperature sensing, and dual-band GPS). 

You can preorder all of the watches beginning as we speak. The watches will probably be out there all over the place on September 22. The SE retails for $249; the Watch Series 9 for $399, and the Watch Ultra 2 will retail for $799. 

Eco-Friendly Manufacturing

Photograph: Apple

Sustainability was an enormous focus for Apple this 12 months. The firm introduced that the watches would use recycled cobalt within the battery and recycled supplies within the case; nevertheless, it wouldn’t be an Apple Watch announcement if it weren’t accompanied by a bunch of latest equipment that you could purchase.

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