The Apple Watch series has gradually expanded in features and trims each year and we’ll get the latest Watch 9 generation at today’s Apple event. We’re also expecting a refresh for the Watch Ultra model but both new models will most likely be iterative updates rather than breakthrough developments. We’ve summed up the key points below.
Like its iPhone A-series chipsets, Apple updates the Apple Watch series with new S-series chipsets each generation. The S9 series chip is ready to roll with the Watch 9 and it’s touted as the biggest upgrade since the S6 chip powering the Watch Series 6 from 2020.
Based on earlier reports, the S9 chipset will be based on Apple’s 5nm A15 SoC found in the iPhone 13 series. The new chip will usher in a sizeable performance gain over the S8 chip which was based on the A13 SoC with noticeable improvements in efficiency compared to its predecessors.
U2 Ultra Wideband chip
Watch 9 Series and the new Watch Ultra are also expected to gain new U2 Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip which is said to offer superior location precision. The U2 UWB chip will also be integrated into the iPhone 15 series and the Vision Pro headset.
New optical heart rate sensor
Apple Watch is class class-leading health tracker and Apple is expected to bring an updated optical heart rate sensor which should deliver more accurate results.The Watch Series 8 and first-gen Watch Ultra used Apple’s third-generation optical HR sensor while the new Series 9 and Ultra 2 will reportedly launch with the updated fourth-gen version.
Lighter Watch Ultra with 3D printed parts
The first-gen Apple Watch Ultra is Cupertino’s biggest (49mm casing) and heaviest (61.3 grams) smartwatch to date and rumors suggest that Apple will offer a weight reduction with the new model. While we don’t get specific values, the reports suggest that the lighter casing will be a key feature on the upcoming Watch Ultra.
We’ve also heard talks about Apple using 3D printed parts which should help with weight reduction. Some reports also suggest the Stainless Steel Watch Series 9 may feature 3D printed casings.
New colors and bands
As with most Apple Watch releases, we should see some new colors for the Series 9 Watches. One of the rumored new options is a pink option for the Watch 9 aluminum version. Watch Ultra 2 is said to now come in a sleek black color alongside the silver options. As for the watch bands, rumors suggest new woven and magnetic buckle options.