Apple Watch Series 9: what you need to know

Might the Apple Watch 9 be right for you?

The Apple Watch 9 was revealed during the September 12, 2023 Apple event, arriving alongside the iPhone 15 series and Apple Watch Ultra 2.

While on the surface there may not seem much different to the Apple Watch 8 it’s replacing, behind the scenes Apple has made a suite of upgrades for the new version of the popular smartwatch.

We’ve rounded up the key highlights of the new Apple Watch 9, giving you everything important you need to know.

Apple Watch 9Credit: Apple

Apple Watch 9 release date

Available from September 22

The Apple Watch 9 release date is September 22, and pre-orders opened on September 12.


A new way to control

Apple’s new double tap gesture

Even Apple realises that visually, there’s very little to separate the Watch 9 from the eighth generation it’s replacing – but the same can’t be said for the internals of the new smartwatch.

Apple claims it has completely redesigned the S9 chipset it’s used inside, and that’s resulted in more performance for you, the user. It allows the Apple Watch 9 to process data faster, and open apps more quickly.

It also enables a new way interact with your watch – the double tap gesture.

By double tapping your thumb and forefinger (on the hand your watch is on) you can control core functions on the Apple Watch 9.

This provides you one-handed control over your Apple Watch, which will come in handy if you’re other hand is busy holding or doing something.

The double tap gesture can do things such as answer a call, end a call, 
start and stop a timer, snooze an alarm, play and pause music or video playback, and control the camera shutter on your iPhone.

Better for the environment

Apple’s first carbon neutral device

Apple spend a considerable amount of time during its launch event talking up its sustainability credentials as it works towards becoming entirely carbon neutral by 2030.

And to bolster its effort, it was able to announce that the Apple Watch 9 (and Watch Ultra 2) is one of its first carbon neutral products.

You’ll need to pair your Watch 9 with one of Apple’s new Sport Loop straps to ensure an entirely carbon neutral setup, and the company claims this combination reduces emissions by 78%.

A dazzling display

See the screen, even in bright sunlight

Apple has doubled the brightness of the display on the Watch 9 versus the Watch 8 it is displaying, with a peak brightness of 2000 nits.

This will make the screen easier to see in bright light, allowing you to make sure of the information the watch can display when you’re out and about.

It can also be dimmed to just 1 nit, making it comfortable to view in low light, without giving off a harsh glare – useful if you want to check something at night.

Never lose your iPhone

Apple Watch 9 is smarter at finding your iPhone

If you’re someone who often misplaces their phone and then has to spend time finding it, the Apple Watch 9 can help.

With the Precision Finding feature, the watch can direct you to your missing iPhone, showing you how far away you are on the screen, and providing the approximate direction you need to travel in to find it.


Apple Watch 9 price

Apple dodges inflation, drops the price

At a time where it seems everything is going up in price, Apple bucks the trend with the Apple Watch 9.

Last year it increased prices with the introduction of the Watch 8, but in 2023 Apple has dropped the price of its latest generation smartwatch in the UK.

The Apple Watch 9 price starts at £399 for the smaller 41mm aluminium body (great for slender wrists), which is £20 less than the launch price of its predecessor.

Featured product

Apple Watch 9

RRP: From £399

Apple Watch 9

Apple Watch 9 pricing breakdown

Aluminium frame
The aluminium frame provides a matt finish and makes the Watch 9 carbon neutral when paired with a Sport Loop strap.

– GPS: £399
– GPS + Cellular: £499
– GPS: £429
– GPS + Cellular: £529

Stainless Steel frame
The pricier stainless steel frame has a polished, shiny finish and a tough sapphire crystal display which helps prevent scuffs and scratches.

– GPS + Cellular: £699
– GPS + Cellular: £749

Steven Shaw

Written by Steven Shaw he/him


Steven Shaw has been a freelance writer for a variety of outlets, most notably TechRadar. His degree in Medieval History prepared him less adequately for his career than you might expect, but the years spent working in technology focused retail were much more helpful.

Outside of work, Steven is passionate about health and fitness, and particularly enjoys high-intensity interval training, weight training, and increasingly, spending time recovering. Steven loves reading, films and a wide variety of sports. A particular highlight was watching Viv Richards and Sachin Tendulkar batting together in an exhibition match.

He wishes he could travel more. He can also tell you a lot about the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Carolingians. Most of his non-work time is spent with his young children, who are the living embodiment of high-intensity training.