Geek Review: Apple Watch Series 9

The days of a watch merely telling time is a thing of the past, as smartwatches have taken over, allowing owners to take calls, track activities, go diving, and even track your heartbeats and, for females, their period. Nothing comes close to what Apple has done for the product category, and the Watch 9 continues the trend of incremental upgrades that consistently keep the range the best smartwatch that you can get. The release of a new Apple Watch always generates anticipation among tech enthusiasts, and the latest Series 9 is no exception, offering gesture controls that continue to simplify the interface we have with devices.

Apple Watch Series 9

The Series 9 maintains Apple’s premium pricing strategy that starts from S$599 for the aluminum 41mm GPS model, to S$649 for the 45mm GPS model, and S$749 for the cellular version. The stainless steel comes in at S$1,049, which includes both GPS and cellular. Although it’s a significant investment, Apple’s dedication to quality and functionality is often well worth the cost for loyal Apple consumers.

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Visually, the Series 9 maintains the iconic rectangular design of its predecessor, but with every version, the bezel shrinks, providing slightly more screen real estate, even as the screen gets brighter. This year’s model features an improved Always-On Retina Display, offering a remarkable brightness of 2000 nits. This level of brightness was previously only seen in the Ultra model from the previous year and the enhanced display ensures visibility even when you’re outdoors in bright sunlight, making it much more convenient to check the time and notifications.

It also comes in a bright and playful pink colour that is surprisingly muted in aesthetics, even when you’re constantly reminded that you have a Barbie-esque pink timepiece on your wrist. And to stick with its sustainability goals, Apple has dropped leather straps as they welcome a more eco-friendly approach with the rubber, textile, and stainless steel straps. 

The Apple Watch Series 9 boasts an improved suite of health sensors, offering better accuracy and versatility for tracking various metrics. It’s particularly notable for its ECG capabilities and blood oxygen monitoring, which have become increasingly important for users concerned about their well-being. They’ve also added low-cardio notifications for when your cardio fitness levels are low according to your age and sex.

Apple Watch Series 9

The new S9 SiP chip is a substantial leap forward from the Series 8’s S8 chip, which bore similarities to the S6 and S7. The S9 chip boasts 5.6 billion transistors, and the CPU gains an impressive 60% speed increase, while graphics see a substantial 30 percent enhancement. What does it mean for you though? Well, for one thing, Siri performs better. The digital assistant works smoothly on the iPhone and iPad, but the reason it takes a slightly longer time to deliver the requested information is because the data is not processed directly on the watch, but sent to the cloud before it’s relayed back to the watch. This processor boost results in faster Siri response, as certain information can be managed on the device itself, more efficient app launches, and an overall smoother user experience, eliminating the need for cloud reliance and ensuring accurate interactions.

Apple Watch Series 9

The biggest change in performance is with the new ‘double tap’ gesture. If you’ve used any smartwatch before, you know that the interface, of tapping the screen to activate or register an action, is the norm, but now, there is a more versatile way. Are you busy with cooking and can’t pick up the call, or driving and don’t want to be distracted by tapping on your watch to answer a call? Simply tap your index finger and thumb twice with the hand that the Watch 9 is on, and you can answer the call. Or reply to a message with a voice recording simply by double-tapping your fingers. 

Want to silence your alarm in the morning, play or pause music, or end a timer without touching your screen say, with your flour and grease-coated fingers while you’re baking or cooking? Double tap is the answer. It’s incredibly intuitive, and we’ve even tried it by pinching our thumb and middle finger, and it works just as well. Apple says this handy action is because of the new processor and while it seems peculiar to buy a new watch or upgrade it just for this one feature, the offering is simply an exciting and versatile addition to the user experience that you know will evolve and change the way users interact with smartwatches, as it further streamlines navigation and interaction while you’re preoccupied with different tasks at hand. 

Apple Watch Series 9

Apple claims improved battery life for the Series 9, which we tested with a 45-minute spin class, a full day of walking, and constant notifications and messages. The results showed significant improvement over the Watch 8, catering to users who prefer less frequent charging.

Now, let’s consider the value proposition by comparing the Series 9 to the Apple Watch SE 2. The SE 2, released at a lower starting price of S$379, offers an affordable entry point to the Apple Watch ecosystem, as it comes with the essential features that most users need, including fitness tracking, notifications, and a stylish design.

Apple Watch Series 9

While the Series 9 offers notable improvements in health monitoring, performance, and display, the Apple Watch SE remains a strong contender. For those who don’t require such advanced health features, the SE provides an excellent smartwatch experience at a significantly lower price point. If budget considerations are a primary concern, the SE is definitely a compelling option.

However, for users who demand the latest and best in health monitoring, faster performance, and a brighter screen, the Series 9 justifies the investment. The ECG capabilities, blood oxygen monitoring, and enhanced processing power are beneficial for those who prioritise their health and rely on their watch for more demanding tasks.

And if your hands are always full and you’ve missed enough calls because of it, double tap on the Watch 9 will change the way you interact with technology.



The Apple Watch Series 9 is an impressive device, with subtle design refinements and essential new features, while maintaining its health monitoring capabilities and performance improvements.

  • Aesthetics - 9/10
  • Build Quality - 8/10
  • Performance - 9/10
  • Value - 5/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 7.5/10