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Apple Watch Series 9 Review (pros/cons)

Apple Watch :


It’s been 6 months since I bought an Apple Watch Series 9, and I’m going to explain my favorite things about this watch, what makes buying an Apple Watch worth it and who should upgrade to this version first.

Let’s talk about the battery life, it has been excellent on this watch, although I must clarify, it has been excellent for a smartwatch, a device on which you should plan to recharge it about once a day.

Now I wear my watch for sleep tracking, so I end up charging mine in the morning when I take a shower, then maybe again in the evening if I shower after a workout, With this calendar I have never encountered a low battery problem in the last 6 months, thanks to its fast charging capabilities.

Note: Apple Watch SE models do not support fast charging.

The next thing I really liked about the 9 series is Siri, now I know that just hearing the name probably sparked some feelings that you have towards Siri, which you can let me know what those are in the comments.

But more specifically, what I liked about Siri on the 9 series is that it is much faster to respond and get things done for you, such as setting timers, this is due to the new SIP S9 that powers the 9 series, which has a neural engine dedicated to machine learning tasks up to twice as fast as the previous generation.

In addition, the SIP S9 also allows Siri to process many more requests on the watch itself locally, which I think has really helped to improve its performance.

The next feature that I liked to use and that is new on the 9 series is the brighter display, it can go up to 2,000 nits, double what the previous 8 series watch had, which makes it easier to see in daylight and especially when wearing sunglasses.

So, these are the new features of the 9 series that I really enjoyed using.

Now, 6 months later, are there any features that are new for this watch that I haven’t used myself much :

The first of them is the double functionality, otherwise known as pinch pinch, this functionality allows you to do things like answer a call, stop a timer, play/pause music, but I struggled with this functionality in two areas:

First, just remember that this is one thing you can do, which over the 6 months, has been more difficult for me to do, partly because this functionality is simply not as responsive as I initially expected.

I find that I have to do the gesture at least twice to make it work, and it takes a second or two longer than ideal before it actually triggers the action, plus it’s not universally supported on the Apple Watch, so an app like Pocket Casts, which I use all the time to control a podcast that’s playing on my iPhone, double-tap not to play or pause the podcast on that app.

The other feature that I haven’t used much is HomePod control, you’re supposed to be able to bring the new Apple Watch to a HomePod, and take control of the music playing on a HomePod, but I just never managed to get this feature to work properly.

The reason this is a feature is because the Series 9 has acquired an ultra-wideband chip, similar to the iPhone chip, which allows you to do other things with this watch, such as getting precise directions to your phone, or the location of the AirTag, which I have used several times and it is really useful.

Other parts of the Apple Watch experience that stood out. But just note that the things I’m going to talk about are not exclusive to the Apple Watch Series 9.

The first is watchOS 10, which is the operating system that comes with this watch, its user interface makes more use of the larger screens of the current generations of Apple Watch, which you can see in many of Apple’s redesigned applications for the watch, and the weather in particular is much more useful with a way to simply press the dial to browse different weather information for the day.

Now, the biggest change made to the overall user experience by watchOS 10 is a feature called Smart Stack, this creates a persistent area that you can access for applications running important items in the background, such as a timer or music in the background, which are actually added dynamically to the Smart Stack list, but it will also give you information about certain applications that you also pin to the Smart Stack.

You can access it from any watch face by swiping up from the bottom of the watch, which is how you access the Control Center, or by turning the digital crown.

Apple actually moved the Control Center to the side button, a simple press, wherever you are on the watch displays it, and it took me a full 6 months to get used to it.

WatchOS 10 also brought a new Snoopy watch face, which I don’t use that often because I love my Infograph watch face so much with all the complications you can put on it.

But when I want a little change or just something to cheer me up, the Snoopy watch face is definitely good for doing it.

Another thing I’ve used this Apple Watch a lot for is fitness tracking, I love the automatic workout detection so when I’m out for a walk it just records that after about 10 to 12 minutes and it goes on and records it.

The compass function is very useful if you are on a hike and just want to make sure you don’t get lost, watchOS 10 has also added new hiking views, trail information and typography in the maps.

I have also used the Apple Fitness Plus integration with the watch a lot over the past 6 months.

I love the way the watch integrates my workouts and I can see my progress on the Apple TV.

Another thing I have used the watch for is sleep tracking, which I know is not totally accurate on smartwatches, but I always wear mine when I fall asleep just to give me a general idea of how long I sleep and how well I sleep.

Now another huge thing that I use this watch for all the time is media control, now you can use the Now Playing app to control media playback on your other Apple devices or the watch, or dedicated media apps like Spotify, Apple Music, Pocket Casts, which is a great podcast app.

And although I usually find that playing media on my phone and then controlling it with my watch is the easiest experience, you can directly play media on the watch and listen to it on your headphones, although I have found that it works better in practice if you have AirPods because of their automatic switching function.

Okay, a few other things I’ve used this watch for over the past six months are the first directions with Apple Maps, where the watch will give you different haptic feedback patterns when you’re supposed to turn right or left, which I find really useful and it makes it harder to miss a turn.

I use this watch to set the laundry and cooking timers all the time, which thanks to the faster Siri experience, is actually a very good experience, I also use the watch to respond quickly to a text, the small keyboard is surprisingly somewhat usable.

And the last main thing I use the watch for is simply searchable information such as weather conditions, temperature and range, sunrise and sunset time, any calendar events I might have and the date, but most importantly, these complications also act as shortcuts to access my most used applications like Fitness and Pocket Casts.

Now let’s talk about the disadvantages, and the biggest disadvantage of using this watch and all Apple watches is that you have to have an iPhone to use one, this is a bit disappointing for those who really like their Android phones but prefer the look or just the features of an Apple Watch.

Another disadvantage that I have encountered in the last 6 months is the software updates, because I wear this watch to bed, the automatic updates never install because they are configured to install
automatically,when the watch is on the charger.

But I would still like Apple to give me the choice to be able to define when automatic updates should install.
The last big drawback that I found with this watch, and this applies to all Apple watches, is the repairability, I would really like to see Apple working so that the Apple Watch has a user replaceable battery where you don’t need to take it to a repair shop or order a special repair kit and Apple tools just to replace something like the battery.

Conclusion :

Now let’s talk about the recommendations. Do I recommend the 9 Series if you have an iPhone? Yes, it has a ton of cool and essential features like finding your phone if you don’t know where it is, easy access to media controls, fitness tracking, etc.

Keep in mind, now that it’s been 6 months with Series 9, it means that we are only 6 months away from the next version that will be released in September.

So for some it will be better to wait for the new version, while for others, if you need it now and you can find a good deal on the Series 9, I would say go for it.

And if you’re stuck choosing between the Series 9, the Apple Watch SE, and the Apple Watch Ultra, in general, the reason I opted for the Series 9 over something like the Apple Watch Ultra is because I really wanted that classic Apple Watch look, and the Ultra is just a little bigger and bulkier.

I don’t care as much about aesthetics, and I needed a watch that had a fast charging capability and that gave you the option of ordering it with a sapphire crystal display, which you can’t get with the SE.

In general, I still think that the sapphire crystal is worth it if you are like me and you just can’t stand to see micro scratches on your watch face. I have slammed this watch on so many things after 6 months, and there is not a scratch on its screen.

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