Should you buy the Apple Watch 9 for Black Friday? Pros and cons

Apple Watch Series 9
(Image credit: Future)

Some of the best Apple Watch Black Friday deals are already underway, and the Apple Watch Series 9, the latest version of Apple's popular smartwatch, could be the ultimate steal of sales season.

The Apple Watch Series 9 is the best smartwatch you could buy right now for several reasons. It has an upgraded processor that boosts performance and powers great features like the new double tap gesture. Thanks to a new ultra-wideband chip, the Series 9 makes it easier than ever to find your misplaced smartphone. Simply put, if you’re an iPhone user, the flagship Apple Watch is the ultimate accessory. 

But if you have an older Apple Watch, or are curious about using an Apple Watch for the first time, you might be wondering if the Apple Watch Series 9 is the right one for you to buy during Black Friday.

We’ve already seen a number of discounts on Apple smartwatches, with the Apple Watch Series 9 sitting steady at $389 on Amazon. As we get closer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, we expect to see even bigger discounts. In fact, we know that you'll be able to pick up the Apple Watch Series 9 for $349 at Walmart on November 8. 

Here are the reasons you should consider buying the Apple Watch Series 9 with Black Friday deals, including one reason why you might want to purchase a different Apple Watch model instead.

Pro: The best of Apple health and fitness tracking

The Apple Watch Series 9 is the best Apple has to offer in terms of health and fitness tracking. In addition to an optical heart rate sensor, the latest-gen Apple Watch packs an electrocardiogram, blood oxygen, and skin temperature sensors. Together, these readers collect and analyze data to inform your activity, sleep, menstrual cycles, heart health and more.

Whether you’re looking to get more active and close your Apple Watch rings, improve your sleep routine, practice mindfulness or share ECGs with your cardiologist, the Apple Watch Series 9 is a comprehensive health tool. You’ll even get three months free of Apple Fitness Plus when you purchase a new Apple Watch, so you can take advantage of the company’s fitness platform and jump start New Year’s resolutions.

Pro: It’ll last you several years

One of the biggest Apple Watch Series 9 vs. Apple Watch Series 8 upgrades is the addition of an upgraded processor. Apple’s S9 smartwatch chip offers the most significant performance boost in years, delivering a 25% improvement to efficiency and 30% faster graphics. 

The S9 processor effectively future-proofs the Apple Watch Series 9. Since Apple likely won’t overhaul the processor again for a couple of cycles, watchOS software updates should be optimized for the Series 9’s chip. Though your watch will ship with watchOS 10, for the years to follow, you’ll be able to install software versions with new Apple Watch features and experiences. (If you’d like to learn more about the power of the S9 chip, check out our interview with Apple Watch execs.)

Pro: Double tap is awesome

Apple Watch Series 9

(Image credit: Apple)

Perhaps the top Apple Watch Series 9 feature is a new gesture called double tap. Double tap became available on the Apple Watch Series 9 (and Apple Watch Ultra 2) in watchOS 10.1, rolling out an innovative way to control your smartwatch single-handedly.

By tapping your index finger and thumb together twice on your watch hand, you can carry out certain actions. My favorite uses are to scroll through the Smart Stack, launch Automatic Workout Tracking and pause music playing through Apple Music. You can also use Double Tap to respond to a text message, answer a call, dismiss a timer and trigger a countdown in the camera remote app. 

Con: You can buy an Apple Watch SE for even less

Apple Watch SE (2022) shown on wrist

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The one reason I might recommend against buying an Apple Watch Series 9 during Black Friday deals is that you can buy a different Apple Watch at an excellent price. For Black Friday, I expect the Apple Watch SE (2022) to go on sale for $199, or $50 off the full price. 

Now, the Apple Watch SE doesn’t have the S9 processor, so it’s not future-proofed the same way as the Series 9 and it doesn’t have double tap. It also doesn’t have as many health sensors. But if you’re looking for a starter smartwatch, buying a smartwatch as a gift or simply don’t need as full-featured of an experience, it’s easy to recommend the Apple Watch SE. Especially if you can find it for under $200, which is half the Apple Watch Series 9’s regular starting price. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.