Dwelling With the Apple Watch Sequence 9: My Ideas 3 Months Later


The Apple Watch Sequence 9 leaves me wanting extra, in each good methods and not-so-good methods. 

Carrying the $399 Sequence 9 as my common watch for 3 months (except for taking just a few breaks to check different smartwatches) has given me rather a lot to sit up for, due to new options like Double Faucet and Siri’s means to reply well being questions. On the similar time, these recent methods aren’t integral sufficient to my every day life to make the Apple Watch Sequence 9 really feel considerably totally different from its predecessor.

My preliminary impression of the Sequence 9 from September holds true. It is the finest smartwatch for iPhone homeowners (and maybe one of the best smartwatch) on the whole, due to its snappy and easy-to-navigate interface, broad collection of well being monitoring choices and easy integration with Apple merchandise. The most important cause to purchase it over the cheaper Apple Watch SE stays the Sequence 9’s further well being and wellness monitoring performance, akin to ECG monitoring, blood oxygen readings and temperature sensing. In case your main cause for getting a smartwatch is conserving a better eye in your well being, the Sequence 9 is the suitable selection.

Apple briefly stopped promoting the Sequence 9 on-line and in its shops due to a patent dispute with well being tech firm Masimo concerning the watch’s blood oxygen detection characteristic. However an appeals courtroom paused the ban Wednesday, in keeping with CNBC, and Apple has since resumed gross sales of the Sequence 9 on Thursday. A minimum of for now.

If you’ll be able to get your arms on a Sequence 9 and are contemplating whether or not it is value it, listed below are my ideas after utilizing it for 3 months. For a deeper dive into every little thing that is new with the Sequence 9, try my full evaluate from September.


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Siri will get a well being increase on the Apple Watch Sequence 9

The Apple Watch Series 9 on someone's wrist The Apple Watch Series 9 on someone's wrist

Siri can now reply health-related questions on the Sequence 9 and Extremely 2.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

A giant a part of why I wished to revisit the Sequence 9 is as a result of a number of the watch’s most attention-grabbing options weren’t out there at launch. Siri’s means to reply health-oriented questions is one such instance. Apple introduced this performance when the watch debuted in September, however solely introduced it to the watch by means of a software program replace in December. The Sequence 9 and Extremely 2 are the one Apple Watches that assist this characteristic as a result of the characteristic requires Apple’s newest processor. 

I have been excited to do this out as a result of it might clear up one of many Apple Watch’s largest issues: that it may be too troublesome to search out particular well being statistics at a look. Seeing what number of steps you have taken this week, for instance, can take just a few faucets in Apple’s Well being app. Siri’s means to reply questions like these on the fly opens up a whole lot of potential for Apple’s digital assistant to develop into much more helpful. 

Up to now, I have been asking the Sequence 9 questions like how I slept final night time, what number of minutes I’ve spent exercising this week, how far I’ve walked at present and what my common strolling coronary heart fee is. Siri has been capable of reply these questions with ease, however I additionally really feel like Apple’s digital helper may very well be doing far more on this space. For instance, I might love to have the ability to ask Siri what time I ought to fall asleep tonight based mostly on my every day exercise and the earlier night time’s sleep. Siri additionally could not inform me what my most energetic day was for this week when requested. 

The Apple Watch Series 9 on a bluish grey background. The Apple Watch Series 9 on a bluish grey background.

I requested Siri about my strolling coronary heart fee.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

A part of that’s due to Siri and the Apple Watch’s limitations. Whereas Apple does spotlight developments associated to your sleep and means that you can set a bedtime schedule, it does not provide sleep teaching options that present recommendation on learn how to enhance your sleep. Nor does it present bedtime suggestions based mostly in your exercise and slumber patterns, like a few of its rivals. How can Siri inform me when to hit the sack based mostly on how busy my day was if the Apple Watch is not analyzing that sort of information?

Siri also can solely reply well being questions based mostly on information from the final week or so since such queries are processed on the watch itself somewhat than the cloud for privateness causes. Nonetheless, Siri’s new well being data looks like an vital first step towards making the Apple Watch (and Siri) higher health-tracking companions.

Double Faucet on the Apple Watch Sequence 9

Apple Watch Series 9 on a wrist as someone double taps Apple Watch Series 9 on a wrist as someone double taps

Double Faucet works by tapping your thumb and index finger collectively

Richard Peterson/CNET

One other main new characteristic that wasn’t out there till after the Sequence 9 launched is Double Faucet. Because the title implies, Double Faucet makes it attainable to navigate your Apple Watch by tapping your thumb and index finger collectively. It is sort of like an invisible button for scrolling by means of your widget stack and dismissing notifications. You can even use Double Faucet to reply and dismiss calls, play or pause music, reply to textual content messages by means of voice dictation, handle timers and seize a photograph along with your iPhone utilizing the Digicam Distant app. 

Shortly after Double Faucet arrived on the Sequence 9, I wrote that I hadn’t been utilizing the characteristic typically. My opinion hasn’t modified, though Double Faucet does really feel extra responsive than earlier than. I do not know if the characteristic itself has improved with new software program updates, or if I’ve simply had extra time to get the cling of it.

The most important drawback is that Double Faucet does not really feel intuitive simply but. Whereas I like the thought of utilizing my Apple Watch with out having to the touch it with my reverse hand, I am conditioned to faucet or swipe, and even twist the Digital Crown earlier than tapping my fingers collectively. At any time when I exploit Double Faucet, it looks like I am consciously enthusiastic about it somewhat than having or not it’s a real response when my wrist buzzes. 

That mentioned, I am enthusiastic about what Double Faucet means for the Apple Watch. It looks like the beginning of the Apple Watch changing into a extra intuitive, ambient display screen that lives in your wrist somewhat than one thing that it’s a must to consciously work together with. Though I do not discover Double Faucet very helpful but, that is only one opinion. My colleague Lexy Savvides known as Double Faucet “useful” and “correct” after testing the Apple Watch Sequence 9 and Extremely 2

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The Apple Watch Sequence 9 as a well being tracker

An Apple Watch Series 9 on someone's wrist. An Apple Watch Series 9 on someone's wrist.

The Apple Watch Sequence 9 has the entire similar health-tracking sensors as different watches in its worth vary, however I want it did extra to make them helpful. 

Wealthy Peterson/CNET

The Apple Watch Sequence 9 has all of the well being and wellness monitoring metrics which might be anticipated of a watch at this worth. That features:

  • ECG monitoring
  • Excessive and low coronary heart fee notifications
  • Irregular coronary heart fee notifications
  • Blood oxygen monitoring
  • In a single day temperature readings
  • Sleep monitoring
  • All kinds of exercise sorts
  • Computerized exercise detection for sure workout routines like strolling, operating and biking
  • The Mindfulness app for respiration workout routines and temper logging

All of those options are current within the Sequence 8 as nicely, however the cheaper $249 Apple Watch SE is lacking ECG monitoring, blood oxygen and pores and skin temperature readings. The pricier $799 Apple Watch Extremely 2 has just a few extras for athletes and outside lovers, akin to a extra rugged titanium construct and dual-frequency GPS.

Whereas the Sequence 9 checks the suitable packing containers, I want Apple did extra to make sense of all of the well being information it gathers. Merchandise from Garmin, Oura and Fitbit could make observations about whether or not you are prepared for a exercise or have to take a relaxation day based mostly on components like exercise and sleep. Apple can nudge you to stand up and transfer, however the Apple Watch remains to be lacking these big-picture observations. Google-owned Fitbit can also be launching a program known as Fitbit Labs in 2024 that may use AI to attach the dots between sure information factors, in one more signal that Apple’s rivals are investing in new methods to investigate and contextualize well being metrics and exercise.

You additionally do not get almost as a lot sleep information from the Apple Watch as you do with different trackers from the businesses talked about above. The Apple Watch can log sleep length and phases of sleep together with highlighting developments akin to common sleep length over the previous week and adjustments in respiratory fee. 

Different trackers present sleep scoring and training options that assess the standard of your sleep, making it simpler to make selections about whether or not you have to get to mattress earlier or later. Garmin, for instance, was capable of inform me whether or not my sleep was calm, too quick or non-restorative. Figuring out that I did not sleep nicely the night time earlier than made me really feel extra motivated to wind down earlier the next night. 

Apple Watch Sequence 9 battery life

Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2 battery life Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Ultra 2 battery life

The Apple Watch Sequence 9 (left) has a shorter battery life than the Apple Watch Extremely 2 (proper). 

John Kim/CNET

The Apple Watch Sequence 9 usually lasts between one to 2 days relying on the way you’re utilizing it. That is about common for smartwatches on this worth vary, though watches from Fitbit and Garmin usually final for a number of days on a single cost. You will want the pricier Apple Watch Extremely 2, pictured above if you’d like longer battery life

Once I did not train, monitor sleep or file outside walks, the Apple Watch Sequence 9 lasted for about two full days. However after a full day of use that included about 30 to 40 minutes of indoor train and an out of doors stroll, plus in a single day sleep monitoring, the Sequence 9 had 35% of its battery left once I awoke within the morning. The Apple Watch Extremely 2 lasted for about two full days even after monitoring GPS exercises and monitoring sleep, in keeping with CNET’s testing. 

Fortunately, the Sequence 9 can cost pretty quick. It went from 35% to 92% after half-hour, which match properly with my morning routine. I left the watch on its charger whereas I obtained prepared to move to the workplace, and the battery was nearly full by the point I left. 

Nonetheless, the Sequence 9’s battery life does restrict its attraction as a sleep tracker in comparison with opponents. The Garmin Venu 3 lasted for a few week throughout my testing, for instance, and the Oura ring often lasts for about 4 days, in keeping with my colleague Scott Stein who has worn it for months.

Whereas Garmin and Oura’s gadgets could fall quick in different areas in comparison with the Apple Watch, their comparatively lengthy battery life and deeper metrics could make them a better option for many who prioritize sleep monitoring above all else in a wearable. Multi-day battery life makes it simpler to trace sleep with out doubtlessly having to sacrifice some exercise monitoring the subsequent day. 

Apple Watch Sequence 9 general ideas

The Apple Watch Series 9 on a table The Apple Watch Series 9 on a table

On the Apple Watch Sequence 9, I can ask Siri what number of minutes I’ve exercised this week.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

As I wrote in my preliminary evaluate, the Apple Watch Sequence 9 is not a giant leap over the Sequence 8. When you’ve got a current Apple Watch, particularly the Sequence 7 or Sequence 8, you’ll be able to maintain off on upgrading. 

The refined adjustments within the Sequence 9 set the Apple Watch up for a promising future. I am nonetheless ready for exercise restoration metrics and extra detailed sleep insights, however updates like Siri’s means to reply well being questions and Double Faucet make it clear that there is extra in retailer for the Apple Watch past new well being sensors. 


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