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Should you buy Apple Watch Series 9 or wait for the Watch X?

A big upgrade is a year away.

Published onSeptember 17, 2023

An Apple Watch Series 9 displays the Snoopy watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Apple recently unveiled the Apple Watch Series 9 alongside the iPhone 15, offering a few improvements to the mix. It’s a fairly iterative release, but that’s to be expected. Although the Series 9 is a good watch in its own right, the rumor mill is already focused on what comes next. 2024’s Apple Watch X is expected to be a big deal.

Although the Apple Watch didn’t arrive until 2015, it was announced in 2014. This means the Apple Watch X will likely coincide with Apple’s 10th anniversary, even if technically the series didn’t become available until a year later. Should you buy the Apple Watch Series 9 or wait for the Watch X? Good question. While it’s way too early for a proper Apple Watch Series 9 vs Apple Watch X comparison, below we discuss whether it’s worth waiting and what the biggest differences are.

Apple Watch Series 9 vs Apple Watch X: What are the biggest differences we can expect?

An Apple Watch Series 9 displays the app screen.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Apple Watch Series 9 introduces a new S9 SoC that features a four-core neural engine capable of processing Siri commands on the device. This means you’ll be able to use Siri commands to control the watch without a data connection. Of course, commands that require outside information will still need an active connection. There’s also a new gesture command that lets you control apps by double-tapping your index finger with your thumb twice with your watch hand. Finally, the other major addition is a new ultra-wideband U2 chip that can ping your iPhone 15 from your watch and help you navigate to within 20 feet of your location.

That’s about it. The rest of the changes are mostly software upgrades in watchOS 10 that will likely trickle down to older Apple Watch models and will be iterated on further with the Apple Watch X next year.

While the Apple Watch Series 9 is a minor refresh, the Apple Watch X looks much more ambitious.

Rumors suggest Apple is saving its bigger smartwatch innovations for next year. There’s still a lot we won’t know about the Apple Watch X, and it will remain that way for a while. Surprisingly though, we know a few juicy details even though the watch is a year off. Reportedly Apple will introduce new ways for watch bands to attach, replacing the current slide and lock mechanism. The new system will possibly still use magnets, but in a way that has less impact on the case. In turn, this would save space and lead to a thinner watch design.

Apple may also introduce a microLED display either in the next Apple Watch Ultra model or in the standard Apple Watch X. The switch to microLED would have a few advantages, including better power efficiency, better display quality, and improved durability. That’s because each pixel is individualized in a microLED setup, so if one goes out, the whole screen isn’t affected.

Lastly, Apple may be working to bring blood pressure monitoring to the watch, something that we’ve yet to see from the Apple Watch. Beyond this, we’ve yet to hear any other leaks, but we imagine there are other surprises in store as well.

Should you wait for the Apple Watch X?

An Apple Watch Series 9 user review their Smart Stack widgets.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

It’s rare that we recommend waiting a year or more for a new product, especially when a new model just launched. This is one of the few exceptions, especially if you’re absolutely certain you want an Apple Watch. The Apple Watch Series 9 doesn’t bring that much new with it, after all. Even if you aren’t excited about any of the features that have leaked so far, it’s important to note we are still a year away. The fact this much has leaked already points to the possibility of even more exciting new features and additions in order to celebrate the anniversary year in a big way.

What if you’re not an Apple Watch fan? Honestly, if you have an iPhone it’s still easily the best watch available. Still, if you really can’t stand Apple’s take on smartwatches, there are some other watches out there that support iOS.

The Garmin Venu 2 ($355 at Amazon) is a great option if you want a circular watch. The Withings ScanWatch ($299 at Amazon) could also be a good choice if you want a more traditional watch that just adds a little extra smart to the formula. The Fitbit Sense 2 ($299.95 at Amazon) and the Fitbit Versa 4 ($199 at Amazon) could also be suitable Apple Watch alternatives.

Just be aware none of these watches offer the same level of performance or features as the Apple Watch does on iOS. Apple built the Watch specifically for its platform, after all.

Is there any reason to pick up the Apple Watch Series 9 at all?

Apple Watch Series 9Apple Watch Series 9
AA Editors Choice
Apple Watch Series 9
Powerful processor • Upgraded display with 2000 nit brightness • Gesture controls and Siri features
MSRP: $399.00
Apple's most convenient smartwatch
The new S9 chip makes the Apple Watch Series 9 the most capable, and battery friendly Apple watch to date. Enjoy improved security, improved functionality in low-connectivity situations, and improved health tracking. Introducing new Double-Tap gesture.

Stuck on the Apple Watch Series 6 or earlier? These watches are starting to age, and admittedly, the Apple Watch Series 9 could be a worthy upgrade. Just be aware that buying now means you are going to be missing out on more meaningful updates that will make the way to the Apple Watch next year.

For those who don’t mind losing a little money on the deal, you could buy the Series 9 now and then unload it next year on a platform like Swappa or eBay. As an example, right now, the Apple Watch Series 8 is selling on Swappa for around $275. That’s about $125 less than it cost new. If you really need a watch now, this could be an acceptable loss. It also means you’d have to go through the hoops and effort to sell it, or take advantage of a carrier trade-in deal.

Is it worth buying the Apple Series 9 now, or should you wait for the Watch X?

720 votes