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Apple Watch 9: What we want to see

While we’re already hearing lots about the iPhone 15 and some other upcoming Apple gadgets, so far there’s very little concrete news about the Apple Watch 9—but we have heard a few rumors.

An early leak suggests it might be the same size as the Apple Watch 8 for example, though as we still know very little about it, that might prove wrong.

In any case, you’ll find everything we’ve heard about the Apple Watch 9 below, followed by a list of things we’d like it to offer. We’ll also update this article whenever there’s news about Apple’s upcoming wearable, so check back soon to stay up to date.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next Apple Watch
  • When is it out? Probably September 2023
  • How much will it cost? Likely at least $399 / £419 / AU$629

Apple Watch 9: Price and release date

The Apple Watch 9 will probably launch in September. After all, the Apple Watch 8 was announced in September 2022, and with two exceptions every previous model has landed in September of their release years too.

More specifically, the Apple Watch 9 will probably be announced on a Tuesday or Wednesday in early or mid-September based on past form, meaning September 5, 6, 12 or 13. It will likely be announced alongside the iPhone 15 series, and will probably go on sale around 10 days later.

As for the price, there’s no news there, but it’s likely to cost at least as much as the Apple Watch 8, which starts at $399 / £419 / AU$629, given the rising cost of parts, fuel, and labor.

The Apple Watch 8 on a blue desk

The Apple Watch 9 will probably cost at least as much as the Apple Watch 8 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple Watch 9 news and leaks

Apple Watch 9:

The main Apple Watch 9 leak so far comes from an analyst at tech firm Omdia via this MacRumors article, and simply states that the Apple Watch 9 will probably be the same size as the Apple Watch 8. That means it would come in both 1.89-inch and 2.04-inch screen sizes, with likely a 41mm and 45mm case respectively.

Then there’s a sketchy leak that suggests the Apple Watch 9 might instead be called the Apple Watch X, skipping the number nine entirely. This is according to a supply chain source speaking to iPhoneSoft.

They suggest that this wearable would still land in 2023, so it would be a simple name change, but with the X being the Roman numeral for 10 that seems unnecessarily confusing. Plus, we’ve heard from the MacRumors leak to expect the Apple Watch X in 2024 alongside the SE 3, so there are conflicting accounts here. The SE 2 was released alongside the Watch 8 and the first iteration of the Apple Watch Ultra, but there’s no news of an Ultra 2 coming in 2024 to complete the trifecta. 

What we want to see

The Apple Watch 8 achieved four stars in our review, so for the Apple Watch 9 to get five stars we want to see the following things.

1. Better battery life

Images of Apple Watch 8 at launch

The Apple Watch 8 doesn’t have brilliant battery life (Image credit: TechRadar)

One of our main complaints with the Apple Watch 8 – and indeed with every Apple Watch prior to it – was the battery life. While it’s not terrible, this is a wearable that you’ll likely need to charge daily, and at the very least every two days.

That’s not ideal, especially for a device designed to constantly track aspects of your health, exercise and sleep. So we’d like to see the Apple Watch 9 last for at least three days between charges, but given that we ask for this every year it’s probably not going to happen.

2. A big chipset upgrade

The Apple Watch 8 technically has a new Apple S8 chipset inside it, but there’s very little in the way of upgrades here. In fact, it uses the same CPU as the S7 and even the S6 from the Apple Watch 6.

Now, in fairness the Apple Watch 8 is a speedy device, so it doesn’t feel particularly lacking in power. But it could always be faster. Or Apple could work to substantially improve the efficiency, for better battery life.

3. An Action button

An Apple Watch Ultra on a table

The Apple Watch Ultra has a handy extra button (Image credit: TechRadar)

One of the key features of the Apple Watch Ultra is an extra button called the Action button. This can be customized to do various things, so it’s basically a shortcut to an app or feature of your choice.

It’s an extremely useful addition, and it’s one we’d like to see make its way to the Apple Watch 9 as well, since it doesn’t seem like something that we should have to shell out on an Ultra model for.

4. A tweaked design

The Apple Watch 8 looks good, so we don’t feel the design needs to be drastically overhauled, but it also looks much the same as the Apple Watch 7, so some tweaks to freshen it up would be nice.

That could take the form of even smaller bezels, a new case material, a slimmer body, or something else along those lines to help it feel new and modern.

5. A lower price

With a starting price of $399 / £419 / AU$629, which rises if you want it in a larger size or cellular connectivity, the Apple Watch 8 is a fairly expensive wearable, despite not offering a vast amount more than the much cheaper Apple Watch SE 2.

So we’d like to see Apple reduce the price for the Apple Watch 9. Either that or make it a substantial upgrade anyway. Doing so would help ensure it ranks high among the best Apple Watches and the best smartwatches.

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