Apple Notice Series 9 overview: Why I’m not settling for the less expensive models in 2024

Apple Notice Series 9

pros and cons


  • Well being sensors are extra aesthetic and further sparkling
  • Masks brightness has doubled for higher outdoors train
  • Improved battery lifestyles now with out problems lasts a elephantine day
  • Double-faucet gesture improves one-handed train


  • No blood tension tracking yet
  • Precious HRV knowledge is barely aged by third party apps
  • Sleep tracking is aloof higher with third party apps
  • Accuracy of Series 9 tracking calls older models into quiz

$330.76 at Amazon

ZDNET’s buying advice 

Inside the Apple Notice Series 9 is the S9 chip which makes the in vogue smartwatch sooner, smarter, and higher at reading your body signals — essentially based on my genuine-world tests subsequent to the final-expertise model (notice under for elephantine testing crucial points). That makes the 2023 Apple Notice Series 9 a generational step up. So, whereas you may possibly possibly well possibly possibly even be in the market for an Apple Notice simply now, I’d namely recommend getting the Series 9 (or the Apple Notice Ultra 2) because the health tracking is such an development from old models.  

Additionally: The handiest Apple Notice offers you may possibly possibly well be in a position to buy simply now

In case you may possibly possibly well maintain one of the Apple Notice models from the past few years and your undercover agent is running perfectly fine, you form not have to salvage the Series 9. There are not ample upgrade advantages to account for it for most folk. Then again, whereas you may possibly possibly well possibly possibly even be coming from a Series 6 or earlier and also you build on the Apple Notice each and on on each day basis basis, then you can doubtless notice heaps of advantages from an upgrade.  

Additionally: I’ve tested each and every Apple Notice model. These are my favorites

In case you may possibly possibly well possibly possibly even be coming from a Fitbit or another health tracker and are purchasing your first smartwatch — and practically two-thirds of Apple Notice merchants are first-timers — then you can doubtless be very chuffed with how neatly the Apple Notice Series 9 can notice your health, together with its other security and comfort aspects. And in 2024 I’d recommend getting the Series 9 over an Apple Notice SE or the Series 8 because it be notably higher and further aesthetic at health tracking, as mentioned above. 

Additionally: ZDNET’s Apple Notice buying information



LTPO OLED, 396 by 484 pixels, 2000 nits brightness


Apple S9 SiP, 64-bit twin-core, 4-core Neural Engine 




As much as 18-hour lithium-ion battery (36 hours in low power mode) 


GPS, compass, altimeter, excessive-dynamic-differ gyroscope, excessive-G accelerometer (up to 250G with rupture detection), ambient gentle sensor, blood oxygen sensor, electrical heart sensor, body temperature sensor 


Wi-Fi 4, Bluetooth 5.3, LTE (cell model only), W3 wireless chip, 2nd expertise U1 ultrawideband chip, Emergency SOS satellite connectivity, international emergency calling 

Case supplies and colours

 Aluminum: Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Pink, (PRODUCT)RED | Stainless steel: Graphite, Silver, Gold, Condo Dark (Hermès only) 


IP6X grime-resistant water-proof against 50 meters 


41mm: Aluminum (32.1g), Stainless steel (42.3g) | 45mm: Aluminum (38.7g), Stainless steel (51.5g) 

Label $399 to $1,049 

How I tested the Apple Notice Series 9 

I wore the Apple Notice Series 9 on my simply wrist for two months and wore final one year’s Apple Notice Ultra on my left. At the threat of looking like a tech nerd — and I did maintain heaps of individuals inquire, “Wait, are you wearing two watches?” — I wanted to not only check the accuracy, battery lifestyles, and performance of the most modern Apple Notice in the genuine world nonetheless additionally examine it to final one year’s expertise as a baseline.  

So, I tested both watches with deliberate and unplanned walks and workout routines, including Well being Plus classes, tryouts of the glossy cycling aspects, and using diversified kinds of train tools in accommodations whereas I became traveling. I additionally tested sleep tracking, stress tracking (HRV), breathing and mindfulness aspects, timers, glossy undercover agent faces, and other constructed-in apps. I even tested it with some VR workout routines by connecting the undercover agent to the Supernatural app and the Meta Quest 3 headset. 

I’ve been using an Apple Notice each and on on each day basis basis since the product first launched in the spring of 2015 and I’ve tested and aged the most modern model each and each person year since then. So my analysis and buying advice possess in mind the evolution of the Apple Notice over time as neatly. 

Apple Notice Series 9 with the the Nike Sport Band (Blue Flame), made partly from recycled older undercover agent bands.

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

What are the handiest aspects of the Apple Notice Series 9? 

More aesthetic and further sparkling health tracking — The Apple Notice remains a health and security tool above all else, and the glossy S9 chip inside the Apple Notice Series 9 makes it smarter and further aesthetic than ever. That became my unequivocal conclusion from two months of wearing the Series 9 on one arm and wearing final one year’s Apple Notice Ultra on the other arm and comparing the knowledge they captured and the responsiveness of their health sensors. (Undergo in mind that the original Apple Notice Ultra from 2022 has the same base expertise and sensors as final one year’s Apple Notice Series 8.)  

My two months of testing confirmed that the Series 9 became higher at quite loads of things. It became sooner and further aesthetic at prompting me if I started a stroll, for instance, nonetheless hadn’t started a train to notice it on the Apple Notice. The Series 9 nearly constantly triggered a train instant sooner than final one year’s undercover agent, and now and again triggered one (appropriately) when the Apple Notice Ultra never triggered one at all. Another content that I veritably had with both final one year’s Series 8 and the original Ultra (and old Apple Watches) became that they would now and again lose notice of my heart rate in the heart of sharp workout routines like runs, cycling, core train, and weight training. When that came about the knowledge for the train may possibly possibly well possibly be thrown off and veritably develop into inaccurate. 

As a consequence, I veritably needed to notch the band tighter during these workout routines, which turned uncomfortable nonetheless did again abet the heart rate at instances. Even then, both of final one year’s devices (and old Apple Watches before them) would once in a while aloof lose notice of heart rate in the heart of workout routines. Then again, the Series 9 did not maintain that content even once during my two months of testing — although I never tightened the band during sharp workout routines.  

Appropriate as importantly, I found that after comparing knowledge from workout routines, the Series 9 practically constantly reported diversified calorie-burning stats than final one year’s Apple Notice Ultra, and veritably had diversified heart rate numbers as neatly. As you may possibly possibly well be in a position to notice in the chart under, the numbers had been off by 10% or extra at instances — veritably with the Series 9 reporting decrease numbers. 

WORKOUT Series 9 (2023) Ultra (2022)
Indoor Cycling
Total Energy 173 CAL 309 CAL
Avg. Coronary heart Price 114 BPM 116 BPM
Total Energy 158 CAL 221 CAL
Avg. Coronary heart Price 113 BPM 115 BPM
Outside Stroll
Total Energy 241 CAL 255 CAL
Avg. Coronary heart Price 101 BPM 103 BPM
Core Training
Total Energy 23 CAL 31 CAL
Avg. Coronary heart Price 102 BPM 99 BPM
Energy Training
Total Energy 60 CAL 75 CAL
Avg. Coronary heart Price 121 BPM 119 BPM
Indoor Stroll
Total Energy 267 CAL 227 CAL
Avg. Coronary heart Price 112 BPM 113 BPM
Well being Gaming
Total Energy 65 CAL 73 CAL
Avg. Coronary heart Price 95 BPM 91 BPM
Mindful Cooldown
Total Energy 36 CAL 28 CAL
Avg. Coronary heart Price 72 BPM 78 BPM

After I in contrast the numbers of both watches with train tools like treadmills and spin bikes (including diversified models in diversified accommodations when traveling, and even when I entered my body stats into the tools to invent it extra aesthetic), it looked that the Series 9 knowledge is nearer to the correct numbers. That’s made me quiz whether older Apple Notice models are (inadvertently) inflating calorie-burning knowledge. The bottom line is that my two-month check gave me extra have confidence in the knowledge from the Series 9 — trusty as I additionally had extra have confidence in the Series 9 to not lose my heart rate during workout routines and higher train its AI to inaugurate workout routines when I forgot. 

Brighter explain for inaugurate air train — The Apple Notice Series 9 explain has increased its peak brightness from 1000 nits to 2000 nits. This suits the brightness of final one year’s Apple Notice Ultra (whereas the Ultra 2 has increased to 3000 nits). This makes the Apple Notice even higher to make train of in elephantine sunlight, especially for inaugurate air activities like running, walking, hiking, cycling, and sports activities. At the same time, the explain can now additionally shadowy down to 1 nit in sing that the constantly-on explain attracts less power. 

Apple Notice Series 9 is now higher to make train of in elephantine sunlight thanks to the upgrade to a explain with 2000 nits of peak brightness.

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Lovely elephantine-day battery lifestyles — The perfect shock of the Apple Notice Series 9 is the incontrovertible truth that the battery lifestyles has improved vastly, although it has a brighter explain and a brand glossy, extra noteworthy processor. Apple rated the Series 9 as having the same battery lifestyles as the Series 8 — 18 hours (and 36 hours in low-power mode). 

Then again, in my genuine-world tests, I found that the Series 9 is de facto rather seriously higher. I had days the build the undercover agent would maintain 60% battery left at the finish of the day, even whereas leaving the constantly-on explain turned on and using the undercover agent to notice multiple workout routines. Closing one year’s Series 8 would in total maintain 30-40% battery left at the finish of a same day. I chalk up the battery lifestyles gains to the efficiency of the glossy S9 SiP and the skill of the constantly-on explain to now tumble down all the manner to 1 nit of brightness. 

These battery lifestyles gains additionally invent it more uncomplicated to place on the Apple Notice Series 9 at night for sleep tracking since you may possibly possibly well be in a position to easily put it on the charger for 30-40 minutes at the finish of the day and then traipse it again on before you plunge asleep. 

New double-faucet gesture — The extra superior S9 processor in the Apple Notice Series 9 has additionally enabled a brand glossy double-faucet gesture that helps you to extra with out problems feature the undercover agent with one hand. For instance, whereas you may possibly possibly well maintain an incoming cellular telephone name and your fingers are elephantine and also you want to answer to it with your undercover agent, then you may possibly possibly well be in a position to elevate your wrist and double-faucet your thumb and forefinger together. 

The gesture is aloof little to activating the most prominent action of the app you may possibly possibly well maintain inaugurate, nonetheless this would maybe well possibly abet you from having to make train of your nose to faucet the show conceal when your fingers are elephantine — as many individuals maintain resorted to for years. This is additionally reminiscent of the glossy thumb-and-forefinger gesture in the forthcoming Apple Imaginative and prescient Legitimate headset. So It appears like here is genuine the beginning, and maybe even portends a future the build the Apple Notice and Imaginative and prescient Legitimate may possibly possibly well possibly also work together. 

Double faucet gesture on Apple Notice Series 9.

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

What I want to view in the subsequent Apple Notice 

Better stress tracking using HRV — With the Apple Notice 4, the smartwatch started tracking Coronary heart Price Variability (HRV), which is a extra moderen health measurement that can maybe well possibly also simply even be aged to notice your stress ranges. For years, I’ve been using it to notice my stress (I wrote about it on CNET in 2020) and I find it remarkably aesthetic. Then again, it be crucial to make train of third-party apps like HRV Tracker, Stress Video display, or Welltory to faucet into it on Apple Notice. 

Meanwhile, other devices equivalent to Samsung’s smartwatches notice HRV and instantly turn its readings into a stress rating. You may possibly possibly well possibly possibly also trigger an HRV reading automatically on Apple Notice by doing a “Breathe” session in the Mindfulness app, nonetheless Apple may possibly possibly well possibly also attain seriously higher by making a separate stress or psychological health app on the Apple Notice. This may possibly possibly match perfectly with the glossy mood-tracking characteristic in WatchOS 10. 

Blood tension sensor — Hypertension (hypertension) is one of the most undiagnosed diseases on the planet and one of the most sophisticated to administer because it be so sophisticated to notice with a delicate blood tension cuff. And the consequence’s that many folk finish up with a excessive threat of heart illness, strokes, and other debilitating ailments. For years, tech corporations had been working on ways to make train of cell expertise to measure blood tension. That includes putting a finger over the camera to your smartphone paired with an app and utility algorithms, as I covered at CES 2019. 

But an even higher choice may possibly possibly well possibly be to maintain a smartwatch equivalent to the Apple Notice passively monitoring blood tension patterns and traits, as neatly as sending early-warning indicators when there are hazard indicators. Apple has reportedly been working on bringing blood tension monitoring to its undercover agent for years. Let’s hope the wait is kind of over. 

Blood glucose sensor — Apple has additionally reportedly been working on integrating a blood glucose sensor, which is even extra sophisticated than integrating a blood tension sensor since this day’s blood glucose measurements involve drawing blood. First and foremost, this would again folk with diabetes (over half of 1,000,000 globally) to administer this complex condition with out having to reduce their finger for blood so again and again a day. 

Even whereas you form not maintain diabetes, monitoring blood glucose can additionally maintain advantages for managing your health in other ways by offering insights into your weight-reduction way/weight-reduction way, vitality ranges, and when to time desk medicines, meals, and workout routines. That acknowledged, we may possibly possibly well possibly also aloof be years remote from Apple and other corporations bringing non-invasive blood glucose tracking to wearables equivalent to the Apple Notice — nonetheless this would maybe well maybe even be a huge step forward when it happens.

Apple Notice Series 9 with the glossy Snoopy undercover agent face and Nomad’s 2023 Miniature Model Sport Band.

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Final notion 

Attributable to the generational expertise soar with the Series 9, I’d recommend getting this model rather than the Apple Notice SE or the old Series 8 or Series 7 models that you just may possibly possibly well be in a position to aloof buy — since the Series 9 expertise will remain most modern for longer and is more doubtless to income from future utility upgrades for longer. The extra sparkling and aesthetic health tracking sensors invent old Apple Watches genuinely feel outdated-fashioned by comparability. 

Imaginable picks to possess in mind 

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