Apple Watch 9: release date, price, and all the new features

The Apple Watch 9
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Watch 9 has been announced at the Apple September event – follow our Apple event 2023 live blog for the show as it happened. It's available to order from September 12 2023, with an actual release on September 22 2023.

The Apple Watch Series 9 turned out to be a larger upgrade than we anticipated, with a huge upgrade in screen brightness, and a new processor that enables a bunch of smart extra features, rather than just promising to be faster (although Apple said it would be that too).

The most interesting one of these is "Double Tap," which is where you quickly tap your index finger against your thumb on your watch-wearing hand to control what's happening on the Apple Watch, so that if your other hand is full, you can still answer a call or silence an alarm.

Combined with the features we already know will come to the Apple Watch Series 9 via watchOS 10, it looks like another great step forward for the Watch, even if it's very much evolution rather than revolution. Though that's even more true for the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Here's everything you need to know about the new Apple Watch Series 9.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next Apple Watch
  • When is it out? Order from September 12, 2023. Released on September 22, 2023
  • How much will it cost? From $399 / £399 / AU$649

Apple Watch 9: Price and release date

The Apple Watch 9 was announced on September 12, 2023, with Apple Watch 9 preorders starting that same day. The Watch Series 9 will actually be released on September 22, 2023.

It was announced as starting from a price of $399 / £399 / AU$649 – that's for the aluminum version, in the smaller 41mm size. If you want to go 45mm, or add 4G and/or a stainless steel case, you'll have to pay more. Which band you choose will affect things too, as always.

The Apple Watch 9

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Watch 9: Design & screen

There's nothing notable to mentioned in the design of the Apple Watch 9 – it's the same apperance as the Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch 7, pretty much. But it does come in a nice pink aluminum finish, along with Starlight, Silver, Midnight and (Product) Red in aluminum. In steel, it's available in Gold, Silver and Graphite.

The screen has had a great upgrade though – it's now capable of 2,000 nits of peak brightness, which is double what the Apple Watch 8 could do, and is equivalent to the first Apple Watch Ultra. That's going to make a big difference on sunny days – you'll be amazed at how much more vibrant your watch looks. More like a physical object and less like a load of pixels under glass.

At the same time, the screen can go dimmer. It can now reach one nit of dimmed brightness, so you'll disturb your eyes even less if you check the time at night.

Apple Watch 9: Features & Double Tap

Apple introduced a new S9 processor to the Watch 9, which is Apple's most powerful for its wearables so far. We're less interested in Apple's claims of 60% more transistors and a 30% faster graphics chip, and we're more into how it enables a lot more on-device processing. There are two big things this enables: Siri control without the cloud getting involved, and gesture control.

Siri is easy: it can now perform lots of tasks without having to analyze your voice in the cloud. You can ask it to set timers or start a workout much faster, because it'll all be done on the Watch. Siri will also be able to tell you health information "later this year" according to Apple, and you can instruct Siri to record health data for you.

But what we really like the look of is "Double Tap", a new gesture control. You can tap your finger to your thumb twice quickly to select something on-screen, to silence an alarm, for example. You could answer a call on your AirPods while running without even thinking about breaking your rhythm to focus on tapping the little screen in your wrist – just Double Tap. You can also use it to trigger the iPhone's camera remotely, making it ideal for natural group shots.

It's not a game-changer on its own, but we'll bet that once you start using it, going back to a watch without it will feel barbaric.

Apple has also added an new-gen Ultra Wideband chip to the Apple Watch Series 9, which means it can literally point you towards your iPhone if you misplace it (and it's close enough). And if you go near a HomePod 2 or HomePod mini, media suggestions will appear on your watch.

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Matt Bolton
Managing Editor, Entertainment

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, meaning he's in charge of persuading our team of writers and reviewers to watch the latest TV shows and movies on gorgeous TVs and listen to fantastic speakers and headphones. It's a tough task, as you can imagine. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at, and before that he edited T3 magazine. During his career, he's also contributed to places as varied as Creative Bloq, PC Gamer, PetsRadar, MacLife, and Edge. TV and movie nerdism is his speciality, and he goes to the cinema three times a week. He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule.