In a highly anticipated event, Apple has unveiled its latest additions to the smartwatch lineup, the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.
Apple is the leader of the smartwatch category and the overall wearable band market during the fourth quarter of 2022 with shipment of 13.8 million units for 27.5 percent share, according to Canalys report.
While the event had generated significant buzz in the tech community, reactions have been mixed.
Ardit Ballhysa, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, expressed his views on the newly released smartwatches. He commented that, “Unlike the new iPhone 15 series, which were filled with innovation, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are hugely disappointing.”
The Apple Watch Ultra 2, in particular, drew criticism for being too similar to its predecessor, the Ultra 1, with the major exceptions being the inclusion of the new S9 SiP chip and a brighter display capable of offering 3,000 nits of brightness compared to the previous model’s 2,000 nits.
Ballhysa also criticized Apple’s presentation of the “Double Tap” feature, which was portrayed as a groundbreaking innovation enabled by the S9 SiP. He pointed out that a similar feature had been available to Apple Watch users since the Series 4 was released in 2018 through AssistiveTouch, which offers even more gesture options.
However, there were some notable improvements in the Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2. Users can now utilize Siri locally on the device without the need for an internet connection. While it remains uncertain whether this is entirely attributable to the S9 SiP, this feature enhances the appeal of these smartwatches over their predecessors. Additionally, Siri can now interact with the Health app, allowing users to access or log new health data through voice commands.
One of the highlights of the new Apple Watches is their commitment to environmental sustainability. Apple announced that both the Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 have achieved a carbon-neutral rating when paired with select watch bands. The company claims that all Apple Watch manufacturing is powered by 100 percent clean energy and that transportation emissions have been reduced by 78 percent due to the use of recycled fiber in packaging.
While the latest Apple Watch offerings may not have generated the same level of excitement as the new iPhone 15 series, their improved sustainability features and enhanced Siri capabilities signal a step forward in Apple’s ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility and smartwatch functionality.
The standout feature of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 is the introduction of the next-generation S9 chip, marking the first processor upgrade since the launch of the Series 6 line in 2020, Reuters news report indicated. This advanced chip is designed to provide an even smoother user experience, enhancing animations and effects across the board.
One of the most exciting additions is the “double tap” gesture feature, allowing users to control their watches without having to touch the screen directly. This innovative feature is poised to redefine how users interact with their Apple Watches, making for a more intuitive and convenient experience.
The Series 9 also boasts improved dictation and screen brightness, ensuring that users can communicate effortlessly and view their displays with optimal clarity even in challenging lighting conditions.
The Watch Ultra 2 has not been left behind in the upgrade department. It features a new customized watch face that provides users with more comprehensive information on their workouts. Additionally, the Watch Ultra 2’s battery life has been significantly improved, now lasting up to an impressive 36 hours on normal use and an astounding 72 hours when operating in a low-power setting.
In terms of pricing, the Series 9 starts at an affordable $399, while the Watch Ultra 2, priced at $799, remains at the same level as the earlier base model, offering an array of premium features at a competitive price point.
These new announcements demonstrate Apple’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of technology while minimizing its impact on the environment. With the Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2, users can look forward to a smarter, more sustainable, and environmentally responsible future in wearable tech.