The new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores on Friday. Ahead of time, select media outlets and YouTube channels have shared the first reviews of the watches.

Apple Watch 9 Hands On Thumb
Key new features for both Apple Watch models include brighter displays, up to a 30% faster S9 chip, a "Double Tap" gesture for interacting with the watches without touching the screen, an increased 64GB of internal storage, and more.

Many reviews agree that the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are iterative upgrades that likely aren't worth upgrading to from a Series 8 or the original Ultra.

The Verge's Victoria Song on upgrading to the Series 9 or Ultra 2:

If you have a Series 7 or later, you don't really need to update. For owners with a Series 5 or earlier, it might be worth it since you'll get a bigger screen, several new sensors, and a processing bump. Series 6 owners are the ones I see being most on the fence — and to those folks, I mostly encourage upgrades if your battery life isn't cutting it anymore. For folks with an Ultra, seriously. Cool your jets. You're getting the Modular Ultra watchface with watchOS 10, and 3,000 nits vs. 2,000 nits doesn't make a huge difference.

CNBC's Kif Leswing on Double Tap:

In testing, I didn't find the double tap to be an indispensable daily gesture for me, although it was fun to play around with, and the haptic feedback when it works is satisfying.

Nor did I find the "smart stack" widget that the double tap brings up to be that useful — I generally don't like widgets, and the suggestions it made by default were not helpful, like a card with tips for my new Apple Watch. The individual widgets are selected through machine learning, so it could get better with use.

The gesture also requires the Apple Watch interface to be activated, with its backlight on. You can't just double tap when your arm is at your side. Instead, you have to raise your arm to wake the display first, then tap your fingers twice, which makes it feel like a much more exaggerated motion.

CNET's Lexy Savvides said the Apple Watch Ultra 2's brighter display with up to 3,000 nits peak brightness benefits the flashlight feature:

But it's the flashlight that gets a bigger boost. It's able to illuminate a small dark room, light your way if you drop your keys, and even cast a spooky glow if you're reading your kids a bedtime story. I took the Apple Watch Ultra 2 into a cave and it lit up the rockface much better than the first Ultra when I compared the two.

MobileSyrup's Patrick O'Rourke on the S9 chip:

Next, there's the new S9 chip. Given Apple has stuck with the S8 chip since the Series 6, the smartwatch is long overdue for a processor bump. That said, I didn't run into slowdown issues with the S8, and while the S9 is clearly more powerful, I haven't noticed much of a performance boost in day-to-day use. On the other hand, Apple says the S9 chip powers the Series 9's on-device Siri processing, allowing the smartwatch to quickly respond to requests like starting a workout or setting a timer.

Videos





Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

contacos Avatar
9 months ago
I have a Series 6 and I’ll wait for the Anniversary next year. Not even a question
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sziehr Avatar
9 months ago
So yeah it's an upgrade for us down here in the watch 5 camp. This is the upgrade we have been waiting for. For everyone else.... move along here.....
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
9 months ago

CNET's Lexy Savvides ('https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/apple-watch-ultra-2-review-a-brighter-screen-makes-my-favorite-watch-better/') said the Apple Watch Ultra 2's brighter display with up to 3,000 nits peak brightness benefits the flashlight feature:

But it's the flashlight that gets a bigger boost. It's able to illuminate a small dark room, light your way if you drop your keys, and even cast a spooky glow if you're reading your kids a bedtime story. I took the Apple Watch Ultra 2 into a cave and it lit up the rockface much better than the first Ultra when I compared the two.
I expect nothing more from CNET, but this is the dumbest take. A freaking $20 keychain flashlight will ultimately be brighter, spookier, and illuminate more of a cave than a $1000 Apple Watch.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
abatabia Avatar
9 months ago
My series 7 is doing just fine until next year.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
surfzen21 Avatar
9 months ago
Nothing to get me to upgrade my Ultra and I hope nothing comes along in the next few years ?

The double tap gesture (available in accessibility) is basically useless to me since I dont have raise to wake on.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MLVC Avatar
9 months ago

Do you have to constantly unpaid a watch when you switch to the other ones you have or is there a method to pair all 3 watches to one phone?
You can pair multiple watches to one phone.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices [Updated]

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
iphone se 4 modified flag edges

When to Expect the Next iPhone SE to Launch

Friday May 17, 2024 2:03 pm PDT by
It has been over two years since Apple released the third-generation iPhone SE, and rumors continue to surface about a new model. The latest word comes from The Information, which today reported that Apple plans to release a new iPhone SE with a design similar to the standard iPhone 14 in the spring of 2025. If this rumor is accurate, the iPhone SE would finally gain Face ID and a notch...
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...
iOS 17

Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

Wednesday May 15, 2024 5:29 am PDT by
There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries. After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other...
Delta Hands On Feature

iPhone Emulators on the App Store: Game Boy, N64, PS1, PSP, and More

Thursday May 16, 2024 12:45 pm PDT by
In April, Apple updated its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store, and several popular emulators have already been released. The emulators released so far allow iPhone users to play games released for older consoles from Nintendo, Sony, SEGA, Atari, and others. A list of some popular emulators available on the App Store so far follows. Released Delta Delta is...
iphone 15 pro max vs iphone 16 pro max

iPhone 16 Pro Max Looks This Much Bigger Beside iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thursday May 16, 2024 4:51 am PDT by
This year's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to get a boost in overall size from 6.7-inches to 6.9-inches, and a new image gives us a good idea of how the current iPhone 15 Pro Max compares to what could be Apple's largest ever iPhone. The image above, posted on X by ZONEofTECH, shows a dummy model representing the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max alongside an actual iPhone 15 Pro Max. Dummy...