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By Johnno, 3 may 2024

Apple Watch 9 vs Apple Watch 8

The Apple Watch Series 9 has been released. There's some minor improvements over the Series 8. Is it worth upgrading to an Apple Watch 9? In this blog we'll dive into the details of Apple Watch 9 vs 8.

Differences between Apple Watch 9 and 8

It's not easy to choose between the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch 8. Both models have their own pros and cons based on the specifications of the smartwatch. In the table below, we've compiled some of the most important characteristics of the Series 9 and 8.

 

Apple Watch 9

Apple Watch 8

Battery

Lithium-ion battery 315 mAh

Lithium-ion battery 282 mAh (41 mm) / 308 mAh (45 mm)

Battery life

Time mode: 18 hours, sport mode: 8 hours

Normal use: 18 hours, in energy saver mode: 36 hours

Storage

32 GB

32 GB

Size

45 x 38 x 10,7 mm (45 mm-model), 41 x 35 x 10,7 mm (41 mm-model)

45 x 38 x 10,7 mm (45 mm-model), 41 x 35 x 10,7 mm (41 mm-model)

Weight

38,7 g (45 mm-model), 31,9 g (41 mm-model)

39,1 g (45 mm-model), 32,2 g (41 mm-model)

Resolution

396 x 484 pixels (45 mm-model), 352 x 430 pixels (41 mm-model)

396 x 484 pixels (45 mm-model), 352 x 430 pixels (41 mm-model)

As you can see, there are some differences between the Apple Watch 9 vs 8. However, the changes that were made are not significant. There's more to say about the differences between the Series 9 and Series 8 though. Let's dive in.

If you're choosing to ugprade from an 8 to a 9, rest assured that your old Apple Watch straps will still fit. The connector has stayed the same for the Series 8 onto the Series 9.

Chip

Apple has outfitted the new Watch 9 with a chip of the next generation, a U2 ultra wideband chipset. This is one of the first Apple products fitted with this particular upgrade. It will, among other things, allow you to very easily find your lost iPhone.

This can be done in two ways. You can use the smartwatch to play an audio signal from the phone, which allows you to track your phone by ear. The new Apple Watch 9 can track your phone throughout the house as well, using a new function called Precision Finding. The Apple Watch 8 is not fitted with this technology.

Processor

The main difference between the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch 8 is found in the processor. The 9's processor is knows as the S9 SiP or system-in-package. This processor chip, responsible for running the smartwatch's internal computer, should give you a noticable increase in performance.

The Apple Watch 9 has an A14 processor, as opposed to the 8's A13 processor. The A14 processor is the first by Apple to use a new 5nm-process in its manufacturing. All in all, the Series 9 is meant to be quite a lot faster than the Series 8 in it's operation.

Apple has also included a new Neural Engine into the S9 SiP, powered by four cores. This has improved the graphics processing capability of the smartwatch, by up to 30% as Apple claims. This will be felt in smoother navigation and animation. 

Storage

The storage between the Apple Watch 8 and the Apple Watch 9 has stayed the same at 32 GB of internal memory. However, this does not tell the full story, as the Apple Watch 9 can be purchased with an upgraded 64 GB internal memory. This requires purchasing the most expensive model however, but will allow you to store more data such as songs.

Apple Watch 9 storage

Display

The display has improved somewhat on the Apple Watch 9 vs 8. Even though the size is pretty much the same, the technology behind the display has improved. The Apple Watch 9 has a maximum brightness of 2000 nits. The Apple Watch 8 has just half that at 1000 nits.

This improved brightness allows you to see better during sunny days. It comes in particularly handy when jogging or biking outdoors. A very welcome improvement. Both the Apple Watch Series 9 and Series 8 can use 'Always-On' mode which means your display will never go on stand by.

Size and weight

The Apple Watch 9 and 8 have very comparable sizes and weights. The weight has decreased a minor amount in the Apple Watch 9, but this difference is unnoticable when handling both watches. The exterior size is the exact same between the two.

Apple Watch 9 vs 8: Price

If you'd like to save some money on your purchase, then the choice is rather easy: the Watch 8. This is because this series has been replaced by the series 9, and will eventually be phased out of Apple's offering. 

  • Apple Watch 9 starts at: £ 399
  • Apple Watch 8 starts at: £ 339

Have you got an Apple Watch Series 8, and thinking about upgrading to a Series 9? Our opinion is that it's not worth it. The changes are quite minor, and the Apple Watch 8 is still a fantastic smartwatch to own. We'd recommend waiting until next year to see what a future Apple Watch 10 will bring, and whether it's worth ugprading then.

Apple Watch 9 vs 8: Colour

The Apple Watch 9 was released with several new colours, to match the new offering of iPhone 15 colours that released at the same time. The available colours are:

If you'd like to upgrade to stainless steel, you can choose for Graphite, Gold, and Silver. The Apple Watch 8 is available in multiple colours as well, except rose gold. If you'd like rose gold, you'll have to choose the Apple Watch 9.

Double tap gesture

The Apple Watch 9 has had several changes to its predecessor. The new smartwatch is now available with a new so-called Double Tap Gesture. By double tapping your fingers, the primary function of the current app you're using is activated. This means you can activate things without seeing or using the screen. Very handy to start timers when you're on a run, for example.

To use the double tap gesture, simply press together your thumb and pointer finger together twice. This can be used to answer a call, play or pause music, stopping a timer, or using an app. It means easy one-handed use for primary functions of the watch.

The Apple Watch 8 does not have this function, or a comparable one. This makes the gesture a big plus for the Apple Watch 9. 

Sensors

The Apple Watch 9 and 8 are very comparable in terms of the sensors they come with. They are both equipped with the following health metrics:

  • Electric heart rate monitor
  • Optical heart rate monitor
  • Gyroscope
  • Oxygen saturation sensor
  • GPS module
  • Altimeter
  • Speed sensor
  • Compass

In summary

The Apple Watch 9 may look the same as the Apple Watch 8, but there are some improvements internally. The new processor chip, for example, means faster operations and improved animation. The improved brightness, up to 2x as bright, can not be understated either. There's also a new colour to choose from.

 

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