The Apple Watch Series 4 – Feature Review

Carl Lambert

It could be that you haven’t yet fallen for the Apple Watch – or any wearable tech – but the fourth generation of Apple’s smart wristwear may just be the one you’ve been waiting for. Launched at the tech giant’s annual, keynote hardware event on September 12, the Apple Watch Series 4 was announced on the same day as the latest smartphones, the iPhone XS and XS Max and the iPhone XR.

And, with the combined Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend just around the corner, we’ve had a look at how the new product shapes up – while helping you to stay in shape – and what ingenious new features it comes with. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your existing smartwatch or considering your first wearable tech device, the Series 4 will have a wealth of features that suit your lifestyle.

Sleek design and vibrant display

The Apple Watch Series 4 is available to wear in two sizes, the 40mm and 44mm, and both engage the eyes with an immersive, 30 percent larger display than the Series 3. Apple has increased the size of the watch face carefully without significantly increasing the device’s weight or case size, while the display borders are noticeably narrower. Imagery and icons now have the full size of the modular, “Infograph” watch face to work with – giving you more detail and information with every glance.

The on-screen interface is completely customizable and lets you choose what you see, track and keep in touch with via the Series 4’s new display technology, LTPO. Even with a blank screen, however, the Series 4 looks and feels more sleek and refined than the Series 3 and its predecessors. The watch face now gently slopes away into the more curved corners of the case, giving an overall smoother, more pleasing appearance, in each of the three optional aluminum finishes – space grey, gold or silver.

Specifications and enhanced engineering

For the Series 4, the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown has been completely re-engineered. Originally designed to resemble the essential time-setting tool on a traditional watch, Apple have now given the device a more modern, click-like feel as you turn and scroll the device. The red dot of Series 3 LTE models has also been replaced by a less severe red circle within the Digital Crown, while the microphone has been moved to the left side of the device, meaning reduced echo for clearer phone calls.

On the other side of the device, a 50 percent louder speaker means better audio quality when communicating with Siri or using the Walkie-Talkie feature – and none of these enhanced features have compromised the watch’s battery life. This is due to what’s under the hood: Apple’s all-new S4 chip, which is so simultaneously compact and powerful that it allows the entire system to run on this single component. This has left room for a new gyroscope and accelerometer – which, together, not only improve precision but also will recognize when you’ve had a fall and even alert 911 if you remain unresponsive.

A healthy abundance of helpful features

The Series 4 also comes with an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor – something much more commonly found in medical equipment, or an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Apple received clearance from the FDA to incorporate this feature, which will monitor your heart rate for any abnormal or irregular rhythms – a compatible app will also be available later this year. The existing optical heart rate monitor has also been improved, alerting users to not only elevated but also unusually low heart rates.

The Series 4 also comes with automatic workout detection which senses your movements, recognizes the type of exercise you are engaged in and tracks your progress from warm-up to cool-down. New pace alerts will tell runners whether they are heading for a new personal best or lagging behind their goals. With water resistance up to 50 meters, the Series 4 will also track swimmers in pools and open water. With its enhanced visual capabilities, users will be able to see more information on progress than ever before in any smartwatch on the market.

Price and increased connectivity

The standard Series 4, with aluminum case and GPS, is available to buy now at $399, while the model with GPS and Cellular, is $100 more expensive. The Cellular model is also available with a stainless steel case, costing a total of $699. Based on 2017’s Black Friday deals, you may find enticing gift card offers when you take out an instalment plan for the Cellular models.

From just a tap, wearers of the Apple Watch Series 4 can pair their device with compatible gym equipment, while the cellular version makes it easy for you to stay connected with the world – even without your phone. With Walkie-Talkie, you can also chat with anyone else who has an Apple Watch – and, with Siri right there on your wrist, you have a wealth of knowledge and assistance with you wherever you wish to go.


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