The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is the top pick for runners in Apple’s range, but the Apple Watch Series 9 is half the price and still an excellent sporty smartwatch. In this video Jane and Nick talk through the pros and cons of running with the Apple Watch Series 9 and compare it to other sports watches and smartwatches.

00:00​​​​ – Intro
00:13 – Design And What’s New
02:07 – The Run Test: What We Liked
06:35 – The Run Test: What We Disliked
12:53 – Verdict & Alternatives

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Hello and welcome to run testers my name Is Nick and this is our review of the Apple Watch series 9 so series 9 and the Apple watch Ultra 2 are the two new Apple watches this Year and I fair to say both of them have Quite a lot in common with the previous Models the Apple Watch series 8 with the Series 9 what you are getting is some Notable Hardware changes in that the Screen is now brighter it goes up to 2,000 nits instead of 1,000 nits on the Series 8 and it also goes down as low as One knit which saves a bit of battery When the screen is in always on mode at Times we've also got a faster processor Which enables some new features Including double tap the new gesture Control available on the watch which uh Enables you to use things like your Smart stack and perform certain actions Within apps it's not usable in the Workout mode though should say that now Because in workouts the Apple watches Sensors like the heart rate monitor and The accelerometer are already in use and Those are used for double Taps so you Can't double Taps take a lap is the the Main thing to take away there which is a Shame I think there's also a new Ultra Wideband chip which makes for a more Precise find my iPhone feature there's More recycled materials in play here and If you get an aluminium Apple Watch

Series 9 with the sport Loop you it's Completely carbon neutral which is nice Otherwise a lot of stuff is the same Like I said you've got the 41 mm and 45 Mm cases you've got two buttons one is a Rotating dial you don't have the action Button that is on the Apple watch Ultra 2 you've got the bright retina OLED Display same third gen heart rate sensor As the series 8 the sensors on board L Take electroc cardiogram measurements Also measures skin temperature blood Oxygen saturation there's a barometric Altimeter in there there is not Multiband GPS which you get on the Apple Watch Ultra line but you do get all Systems on tracking from a range of Satellite systems and you still got that 18 hour battery life pretty reliable in Getting through one day of use the Apple Watch series 9 but it's not going to be Very long-lasting compared to sports Watches or indeed the Apple watch Ultra Which has doubled the battery life there Is a lower power mode that will get you Up to 36 hours of power if you're using That and as always it's worth noting That the Apple watch only works for IPhones it is not compatible with Android Devices hi I'm Jane one of the Run Testers and I am here to talk about my Likes my dislikes and my verdict for the Apple Watch series 9 been running with

This for a good few weeks now and I'll Get started with everything I like Everything I like about this watch I'm Sure we're both going to talk about this But the double tap gesture is a cool new Feature you can't use it when you're at Exercising I asked Apple about this and They basically said it's because when You're running or when you're doing any Sport you're already moving your wrist So much it would be really difficult for The watch to work out whether you're Just moving as part of the exercise or Whether you are double tap double Tapping but when you're not when you're Not exercising it is a cool feature I've Used it to kind of pause my alarm and to Start a timer all the all the little Things you do if you're wearing a watch 24/7 I would say it isn't I think we're So used to tapping the watch it does Take a little while for this to become Intuitive or to become second nature but It is a cool feature and it's definitely Worth mentioning um I also like how neat It is this is a 41 mm and it's in the Pink color with the pink strap and I Just love how kind of neat it fits Against my wrist I think these days Watches are getting bigger and bigger And bigger and personally I like when I'm not running to have a watch on my Wrist it just kind of disappears and it Doesn't look like a big Sports swch and

This definitely fits that bill it's also Worth mentioning my third like the Straps Apple has upgraded changed the Straps as part of their carbon neutral Watches and this is replaced the sport Loop that would be the silicone loop With the different holes to you know pop In open and close the watch and it's It's almost like it's more similar to The Trail Loop that we saw on the ultra So it's a really thin velcro strap and I've really loved it I was really not Sure about it when I got it out of the Box because I hate a material strap it's Why I've never got on with whoop because I can't bear the feeling of a wet strap Around my wrist that takes hours to dry When I'm swimming when I'm washing up When I get in the shower and you have I Just hate it so I was a bit like oh I'm Not sure about this but it has been Great I love the velcro it's it dries Really quick so I've not had the problem Of having that wet band around my wrist And the velcro is just really handy I Think I and probably one has my watch a Little bit tighter when I'm on the run And then I loosen it when I get home cuz I don't want it really tight against my Wrist all day and you can really easily Do that with the velcro Loop so I've Been really impressed by that and if you Like me and you're scared of fabric Straps don't let that put you off with

This so my first like is the design of The Apple watch I think it's the best Looking Smartwatch out there that has Really good sports features and I do Prefer it to the Apple watch Ultra to in Ter of design because it is smaller Sleeker lighter just sits more nicely on The wrist I find than the Apple watch Ultra Sports tracking is also really Really good we compare it obviously to Sports watches but I think it's Important to compare it to other SmartWatches CU recently I've been Testing the Google pixel Watch 2 and I've tested other smarts watches and When it comes to the sports Apple watch Is Miles Ahead like the native tracking Is a lot better you get a load more Customization loads more features Structured workouts are more easier to Use on the watch and of course you also Get access to the Apple App Store which Is full of amazing apps like and again This isn't the same on other SmartWatches like if you're using the Google Play Store you're just not Finding apps of the quality of stuff Like work outd doors or Ur there just Loads of really good sports apps within The Apple watch and in that adds to the Native tracking that you can get a very Very good sports tracking experience not Just for a smartwatch as well like it is As good as a lot of sports watches out

There the native tracking on the best Sports watches is that a little bit more Refined bit more intuitive things like Maps are more expensive watches but if You're using the App Store you can get a Brilliant uh Sports tracking experience From the Apple Watch series 9 that Matches up really well with sports Watches especially at its price point so This no matter how serious you are a Runner this the Apple Watch series 9 Will cater to your needs as a great Great Sports Tracker as long as you're Okay with the slightly short battery Life and the fact you don't get a lap Button which is still quite annoying you Can double tap and stuff like that but Yeah we'll come on to that later and Then obviously the big like with the Apple watch is very much the fact that It is such a good Smartwatch it's very Useful in general life you get really Good activity tracking so if you looking Outside the sports side of things then You obviously have got I think the best Smart watch here with really good Integration of all the smart features NFC payments are obviously very easy and All that kind of stuff so if you're Looking at this as a crossover watch it Certainly Nails the Smartwatch side of Things and do think the sports tracking Is really good with some limitations Which we're going to come on to in the

Dislike Section so one dislike to note top of The bat is that the har accuracy has not Been very good for me on the Apple Watch Series 9 which is a bit of a first like Normally since I think it was a series 4 They introduced this new heart rate Sensor I've had a really good heart rate Tracking experience with the Apple Watch Series watches because they are small They sit tight on the wrist but last two Runs in particular it's been really poor It's been very high throughout all my Runs and normally it just drops out if You can't get a good heart rate reading And that's kind of okay it's a bit Annoying not to have anything on your Wrist but it's better than having Incorrect info but yeah last few runs Heart rate tracking has been quite poor You can pair up a external heart rate Sensor to the applewatch series 9 pretty Easily and I would do that with a chest Strap or something just to get more Reliable data if you're using it to Judge your effort during workouts like I Say in the past it's been pretty good Early on in testing the heart rate Tracking was quite good in it but yeah Of late it's not been great and and That's actually a bit of a surprise with This watch right let's talk about what You do miss out on in terms of sports Tracking compared to the Apple Ultra and

Indeed sports watches in general so you Do not get a lap button on this watch Like to take a lap in the native Tracking you have to double tap the Screen or and if you're using some third Party apps you can set up that if you Press both buttons at once it will take A lap is kind of fine you can get by but I've been using it recently for workouts And you know it's been wet sometimes and That makes it a bit harder to use a Double tap the same is true if you've Got very sweaty fingers or you're Wearing gloves General trying to press Two buttons at once is a bit annoying so Yeah the lap thing is a minor annoyance You can get the lap button on every Sports watch and indeed the Apple watch Ultra to shange it's not on this watch And then things like Precision start not Having that a bit annoying you do get That with third party apps where you can See your GPS status before you start a Run but if you use the native tracking App on the Apple Watch series 9 it will Just start when you press start it won't You won't tell if you've got GPS lock on Yet and it's such a little thing I'm Sure they could add this to the watch it Doesn't need to be exclusive to the Apple watch Ultra it's a very small Thing and then the GPS accuracy now this Is good I would say like in the past I've been really impressed of the Apple

Watch GPS accuracy but now we've moved Into the multiband era of watches it not Having multiband is a bit a shortcoming There are sports watches at its price or Less that do have this things like the 4Runner 255 the corus pace 3 the 4Runner 265 is only a little bit more obviously The Apple watch Ultra has multiband GPS It's a bit more battery intensive I Imagine that's why it's been left off The series 9 but you will notice a Difference in GPS accuracy I wore this At the same time as the Garmin epics Pro And the Apple watch Ultra 2 in my Testing and get slightly more smooth Corners things like that with the Apple Watch series 9 a little bit less sure of Itself when you go under tree cover and That kind of thing and it ends up Shortening runs a fair bit I found Because it does chop off Corners a Little bit more than those uh than the Um multiband watches not a big loss Still a pretty accurate watch but again Just losing out a little bit there to Compare two sports watches when it comes To to what is the heart of run tracking For me which is GPS accuracy battery Life I mean don't to spend too much time On this battery life is never going to Be very good on the Apple Watch series Watch it's a small watch it's Performance focused got a big bright Screen it lasts a day you have to charge

It every day and that's that is just What it is but obviously sports watches Will last much longer and the Apple Watch Ultra lasts twice as long as that And then the other smiling concern is You're still not really looking at Things like Readiness stats and all Those kind of training analysis stats You get on sports watches there is data Available in the health app on the Apple Watch that you can piece together some Of this kind of stuff yourself if you Want but terms of just providing that Quick look at heart rate variability Status or things like that on the watch Itself it doesn't really do any of that Some third party apps have picked it up A little bit but they don't do it very Well in my opinion just I think based Mostly on Hardware limitations and how Often the Apple watch is able to take Readings compared to what you get from To sports watches especially when it Comes to sleep tracking and that kind of Thing they get a lot more detail on that And that translates into a lot more General detail about the state of your Body which you don't really get with the Apple Watch series 9 as yet again it's Not necessarily going to be a huge loss For lots of people but you are getting This on sports watches around this price Point uh and some other SmartWatches do A lot more in this area as well fit but

Obviously has a lot of good sleep Tracking stuff which is then used on the Google pixel watch for example so my Dislikes not an awful lot has changed it Doesn't feel very different I think Before I put this on I was using the Apple Watch series 8 and I do wonder if I was using an older Apple watch I would Notice more of a change but it doesn't Feel like an awful lot has changed Obviously Apple had put the new S9 Processor in here and they say that it Makes the watch feel a lot quicker and It move a lot faster and it's just a Better processor but from and that's Great that is great from a user Perspective I don't think it feels very Different but again I wonder if I was Testing a much older Apple watch whether I would have noticed that I also still Find it really fiddly to run with um I Think I don't know whether it's CU I've Got the smaller screen or whether it's Just I cannot run and swipe a watch to Pause it if I'm coming up to traffic Lights I can't I can't keep running and Pause this watch very easily I know you Can press the two buttons on the side And pause it but I just I still find it Fiddly to run with and I I don't know if It's just me but that hasn't changed Nothing really from a running Perspective has changed on this watch But I still find it a little bit fiddly

And I much prefer the experience of Running with the ultra just because of The action button I think being able to Squeeze squeeze and pause the watch is Fantastic I also still think and this is A problem with all Apple watches not Just a series 9 but it's really really Lacking some kind of health and Recovery Features there is no option if you go And run a marathon tomorrow with this on Yourist wrist the day after it's still Going to be telling you to close all Your rings there's no recovery data There's there's no option to pause your Rings if you're injured if you're Pregnant I'm pregnant at the moment and I've been so impressed by garmin's Pregnancy mode because it immediately Pauses all of those training metrics That buzz at you to tell you you're Detraining to give you a score when you Head out on a run they've all gone and I Think that for me is really reassuring Because I don't want to be irritated by That when I'm just trying to get keep Moving um that isn't available here Still find it quite fiddly you still Rely on the health app a lot which I Don't find that you that intuitive and I Really wish I think that's something That Apple really really need to work on They're recording all this data but I Still find it quite difficult to really Work out what to do with it and I think

That's one thing Apple could really Easily fix and I really hope they Do so my verdict if you're looking for a Smartwatch this is easily the best on The market it's a fantastic watch it's Great to wear 24/7 it looks great it's Like having an iPhone on your wrist as a Smartwatch it's incredible from a Running perspective I think if you're Looking for a running watch and you've Just signed up your first marathon half Marathon 10K and you're looking for a Watch to track all your training on I Would probably for a similar price point Go for the Garmin 4 and a 265 which Again is around the same price as the Apple Watch series 9 but it has loads of Gins really Advanced Training metrics That you're seeing on the 965 the Phoenix and the epics and I think it Just helps you it's it's more user Friendly it's easier to use on the run And it helps you work out how you're Recovering and what to do the next day When you're not running I think they're As much as they might seem pointless These tools really do help you and I Would say from a running watch Perspective definitely go for the 265 I think if you're really really you Want to buy an Apple Watch and you are On a bit of a budget the series 8 feels Very similar to the series 9 from a user Perspective on your watch I know the

Processor is different the series 8 does Not have the double tap gesture and it It won't but that said on the on the Wrist they feel very very similar and I Think Apple do a really good job of kind Of keep rolling out those updates so It's not like once they release a new Watch the old watch is dead which is Kind of what Fitbit do they keep rolling Out updates so that if you buy the eight Now you'll still get the same updates That the nine gets for the next few Years so I think if you're on a budget To save your money and get the Apple Watch series a but if you if you want The latest watch I do I have loved it Love the new strap do like the double Tap gesture it is a great little watch So my verdict on the appat series 9 is That it's not the biggest update in the World when it comes to sports use but it Is very much an outstanding watch this Is definitely the best Smartwatch for Sports you can get at its price point And you know it is so much cheaper than The Apple watch Ultra it's probably the One that people are going for a lot more And it delivers a really good sports Tracking experience you are going to Lose out on a few what I think are Important Sports tracking features that Do add up the lp button the battery life The multi pound GPS things like that Which you get on the Apple watch Ultra

You do notice that almost every day if You're using it to run every day those Little benefits of that watch do add up But at the same time the series 9 is Still an excellent Sports Tracker even If you're a very serious Runner it's Good looking I prefer the design of it To the watch Ultra it's lighter and Obviously it's half the price so I think This is the best value for money sporty Spatch out there and all the testing I've done from Android devices or semi Smart watches it's you know blows them Out the water because it's just a lot Smarter than them and then the sports Tracking is much better than on Android Devices I've tried you can though get Those cross party kind of smart watches From Brands like Garmin where you have Things like music storage NFC payments Key smart features even if you haven't Got a big app store or cellular Connectivity but things like the Vivo Active 5 the Garin venue 3 looking at More expensive watches like the epics Range or even the 4Runner 265 which is Very much a sports watch but it has an AMOLED screen it has NFC payments it has Music storage and it just has brilliant Native tracking it's a little bit more Than the Apple Watch series 9 but it's a Much more comprehensive and easy to use Sports watch I'd say but you do get Greater smarts from the Apple watch for

Sure and obviously if you are looking More for the sports side of things you Can go a lot cheaper and get something Like the coros pace 3 and get a better Sports watch but you not really getting Any smarts there or anything like the Design of the Apple watch so I do think It's a really good watch for runners It's a good price if you're prepared to Charge it every day and make some Concessions and make a bit more effort In how you use it in terms of hunting Out apps that do what you want to double Tapping for a lap instead of pressing One button that kind of thing it will do Everything you need as a Run Tracker you Lose out on the training analysis side Of things obviously compared to sports Watches but a lot of people might not Use that that much but yeah it really Does come down to how much you want all The extra smarts and the great design You get here if they are worth it to you To basically take a small hit on the Sports side of things then the Apple Watch series 9 is a fantastic watch to Go for but like I said it's not a huge Upgrade on the series 8 if you've Already got that watch or if you're Shopping around and see the series 8 at A good deal then that's still an Excellent sports watch as well with all The same key features as the Apple Series 9 just lacking a couple of little

Things they've added like the slightly Brighter screen and that double tap Gesture so that's our riew of the Apple Watch series 9 let us know what you Think in the comments below are you keen On the Apple watch as a runner or will You always prefer to get a proper sports Watch from someone like Garian or choros Please do like subscribe ring the little Bell and we'll see you next time