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Apple Watch 9 vs Apple Watch SE 2: Is the high price worth it?

Apple is not known for producing the most cost-effective products, which is why the Apple Watch SE is a breath of fresh air. But can the latest Apple Watch Series 9 justify its high price and beat out its affordable sibling?

The Apple Wonderlust event has gone all out this year, introducing not just the Apple Watch 9 but also a brand new array of iPhones, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

With the announcement of an updated Apple Watch, we wanted to see if this powerhouse can compete with one of the most affordable wearables from the company, the Watch SE (2nd generation). We’re going to be running through everything we know right now to find out which wearable is really worth your time.

So keep scrolling to find all the key differences between the Apple Watch 9 and the Apple Watch SE 2, so you can decide if the affordable option works best for you, or if you want the cream of the crop on your wrist.

S9 vs S8

The Watch SE comes with the S8 chipset, which consists of a 64-bit dual-core processor that is up to 20% faster than the previous generation of Watch SE. It performed well during our testing, but due to its more affordable nature, it doesn’t come with the same array of health features as the regular Watch series.

The Apple Watch 9 comes with the brand-new S9 chipset, which comes with an upgraded CPU compared to its predecessor. We expect it to be a lot faster than the Watch SE 2, which should make for a more pleasurable experience during day-to-day use.

Apple Watch 9
Image Credit (Apple)

Double Tap on the Watch 9

The Apple Watch SE works in the same way as every Apple Watch before it, with the user needing to interact with the screen or Siri to navigate and interact with apps.

Apple has taken this a step further with the Apple Watch 9 with a brand-new feature: Double Tap. This was demonstrated in the event as an easy way to take control when your hands are busy, like if you’re holding a cup of coffee. Double Tap allows you to simply touch your thumb and index finger together to scroll and navigate the UI.

You will struggle to lose the Watch 9

Every Apple product comes with the Find My app, but Apple is making it almost impossible to lose your Apple Watch 9. This is achieved through the new U2 wideband chip, which allows users to find and detect their Apple Watch with the same precision and accuracy as an Apple Air Tag.

While this may not be a complete game changer for everyone, it’s a great feature for anyone who regularly misplaces their devices and should come with a lot more peace of mind than the standard Apple Find My solution.

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Apple Watch 9
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Up to 2000 nits on the Watch 9

One of Apple’s biggest claims is that the Apple Watch 9 has a maximum peak brightness of 2000 nits and a minimum brightness of just 1 nit. This should make the edge-to-edge display visible even in direct sunlight, with the low brightness helping to reduce eye strain in darker environments.

The Watch SE 2 has an admirable display in its own right, with a peak brightness of 1000 nits. While this is still more than suitable for a lot of scenarios, it won’t have the same range as the Apple Watch 9 and may feel more arduous to use in extreme lighting conditions.

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