Besides the iPhone 15 series, Apple also introduced two new smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2, that bring better performance, brighter screens, and a new gesture.
Apple Watch Series 9
The Apple Watch Series 9 introduces a revamped S9 System in Package (SiP), featuring 60% more transistors compared to the previous S8 series chip. It boasts a 30% faster GPU and a new 4-core NPU, promising a noticeably quicker operating system with faster animations, and it’s claimed to deliver 18 hours of battery life.
The S9 SiP enables on-device processing of Siri requests, resulting in significantly faster response times since they don’t need to travel to the cloud and back. Apple also claims a 25% improvement in voice dictation accuracy. Moreover, Siri now has access to your Health data, simplifying the process of checking your vital metrics.
One standout feature on the Series 9 is Double Tap, achieved through a pinch gesture using your thumb and index finger. It operates by detecting changes in blood flow and wrist movement via the accelerometer and gyroscope sensors.
Double Tap enables functions like music playback control, snoozing alarms, widget scrolling, and answering or ending calls.
The display can achieve an impressive peak brightness of up to 2,000 nits and can dim down to just 1 nit for comfortable use in low-light conditions.
Additionally, the Series 9 features a new UWB (ultrawide band) chip, enhancing location tracking accuracy. This allows for precise locating and pinging of your paired iPhone. The integration with HomePod speakers is also improved.
In addition to its impressive hardware upgrades, Apple has introduced a new FineWoven material watch strap, which not only offers a stylish alternative but also carries a smaller carbon footprint compared to leather.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is equipped with the same cutting-edge Apple S9 SiP and introduces the innovative Double Tap gesture controls. It also incorporates the new UWB chip, which greatly enhances location tracking capabilities.
It has a substantial 49mm casing size and the impressive 1.92-inch LTPO OLED display offers a remarkable peak brightness of up to 3,000 nits.
Battery life remains consistent with its predecessor, rated at 36 hours, but it has the capacity to extend to an impressive 72 hours in low-power mode. The Watch Ultra 2 introduces the Modular Ultra watch face, optimised to make the most of the display’s outer edge, providing users with a wealth of information.
Additionally, Night mode can now activate automatically, thanks to the ambient light sensor.
On the software front, WatchOS 10 brings a host of enhancements. Notably, it allows users to connect with cycling peripherals such as power meter pedals via Bluetooth, ensuring accurate results and expanding the device’s versatility for fitness enthusiasts.
Pricing and Availability
The pricing for the Apple Watch Series 9 begins at RM1,899 for the 41mm aluminum version, offering GPS functionality.
The highest-priced variant is the 45mm stainless steel model, which includes GPS + cellular data support and a link bracelet, priced at RM4,949.
For colour choices, the aluminium model is available in starlight, midnight, silver, (PRODUCT)RED, and pink. The Stainless Steel version offers Silver, Gold, and Graphite options.
The Watch Ultra 2 is available for RM3,799 and includes cellular data support along with a choice of three different band options.
Apple has not confirmed the exact launch date for the watches, but they will soon arrive in the Malaysian market. The new smartwatches are set to be available from 22 September in select countries, suggesting that their release here will follow shortly.