Apple Watch 9 vs Apple Watch SE

Apple Watch 9 is the 9th generation Apple smartwatch released in September 2023. Apple Watch SE was last upgraded in September 2022. It is also called the 2nd generation Apple Watch SE or the Apple Watch SE 2.

We compare the technical features of the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch SE 2 (2022 variant) below.

Apple Watch 9 features a 64-bit dual-core S9 chip. The S9 chip is the latest processing chip of Apple. It was unveiled in 2023. Apple Watch SE continues to use the 64-bit dual-core S8 chip.

The S8 chip is the previous generation Apple chip that powers the Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch 8.

As per technical data of the S9 and S8 chips, we find that the S9 chip has distinct advantages over the S8 chip.

  • S9 chip has a higher number of transistors. It has almost 60 percent higher number of transistors than the S8 chip.
  • S9 chip is more efficient in power usage than the S8 chip.
  • S9 supports a 4-core neural engine. It is twice as fast as the S8 chip’s neural engine. Apple’s neural engine is designed to perform Artificial intelligence operations and machine learning tasks. A faster processor implies faster AI and machine learning performance.
  • S9 chip helps Apple Watch 9 support the double tap feature. The double tap feature allows the user to perform common actions using the thumb and index finger together.
Apple Watch 9 in pink band

Apple Watch 9 supports the ECG app to take electrocardiogram readings through the watch. The next-generation optical heart sensor helps in taking the ECG readings through an Apple Watch 9.

An electrocardiogram (also called an ECG or EKG) is a test that records the timing and strength of the electrical signals that make the heart beat. By looking at an ECG, a doctor can gain insights about your heart rhythm and look for irregularities.

The ECG app can record your heartbeat and rhythm using the electrical heart sensor on the Apple Watch Series 4 or later and all models of Apple Watch Ultra and then check the recording for atrial fibrillation (AFib), a form of irregular rhythm.

Apple Watch SE does not support the ECG app.

However, the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch SE do track irregular heart rhythm conditions. Both watches can help detect Atrial Fibrillation conditions and track data as part of the AFib history of the watch owner.

Apple Watch 9 comes in GPS + Cellular and Cellular variants. It has two sizes. Apple Watch 9 45 mm and 41 mm are available.

Apple Watch SE also comes in GPS + Cellular and Cellular variants. It comes in 44 mm and 40 mm sizes.

  • Apple Watch 9 weighs between 51.5 and 31.9 grams.
  • Apple Watch SE weighs between 33 and 26.4 grams

A significant difference in the body type of the Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch SE is in the bezel material. Apple Watch SE is completely made of recycled aluminum. Apple Watch 9 comes in two options. You could get an Apple Watch 9 made of recycled aluminum or recycled stainless steel.

Apple Watch 9 in stainless steel is heavier and more expensive than the Apple Watch 9 made of recycled aluminum.

Apple Watch 9 and Apple Watch SE use the retina display technology. Apple Watch 9 goes a step further and allows you to make use of the Always-on-display mode.

Always On is turned on by default on Apple Watch Series 5 and later. In this mode, the time will always be visible, along with the watch face or your most recent active app. To improve battery life, the display will be dimmed when your wrist is down or if you quickly cover the display with your hand.

Always on Display can be turned on or off through the Settings option on the Apple Watch 9.

Always-on-display uses significant battery life. So, using AOD at all times will drain the battery faster.

Another significant improvement in the Apple Watch 9 is that the peak brightness of the Apple Watch 9 is 2000 nits. In comparison, the Apple Watch SE has a peak brightness of 1000 nits.

  • Apple Watch 9 45 mm has a display resolution of 396 x 484 pixels
  • Apple Watch 9 41 mm has a display resolution of 352 x 430 pixels
  • Apple Watch SE 44 mm has a display resolution of 368 x 448 pixels
  • Apple Watch SE 40 mm has a display resolution of 324 x 394 pixels

Apple Watch 9 features a double-tap feature. This feature is part of the latest watchOS released by Apple. The double-tap feature lets you tap your index finger and thumb together twice to answer a call, reply to a message, see and scroll through your Smart Stack, and more. 

Apple Watch SE lacks the double tap feature.

Apple Watch SE costs between $249 to $299. Apple Watch 9 comes at a list price between $399 to $499.

Helen Kurt - Contributor on TECHEPAGES.COM. Reach me on email.

Helen Kurt is a geeky nerd who loves to cover the wearables space. She has over 5 years of experience in the smartwatch domain. You can reach her on email at [email protected].