Apple Watch Series 4 Review- The 4 S’s

Size. Style. Speed. Safety.

These are the four S’s that I think the newest Apple Watch shows off the best. I have been using the Series 4 Apple Watch for two weeks now and it is a great improvement over my two-year-old Series 2 watch. Let’s take some time, and check this guy out!

Size

New to the Series 4 Apple Watch are two new sizes. Upgraded from previous years 38mm and 42 mm, we now have 40mm and 44mm options. When Apple announced this on-stage, I was terrified that previous Apple Watch bands wouldn’t work on the new sizes. Surprisingly, all of the 38mm bands will work with the 40mm watch and likewise if you are going from a 42mm to the 44mm. This is awesome for all previous Apple Watch owners. I don’t know how long Apple will keep this trend going but for now, I am happy about it.

img_3283

If you are used to the 38mm and 40mm, going up to the respective 40mm and 44mm sizes will not be an issue. Coming from the 42mm and going to the 44mm I was thinking it may be too big. It is not. I notice no size difference on my wrist. If people have thought the older 42mm has been too big and 38mm has been too small, this might be the year you downgrade to a 40mm and get a smaller watch. The only downside to that is that you will have to buy brand new bands if you’re making that size change. The best thing I can tell you to do is to go to a local retailer and check them out for yourself. I can confidently say that going from either the smaller or larger version from a previous model to the newer respective sizes, is a safe bet.

Style

I love the look of this watch. Unless you have been used to looking at an Apple Watch every day, most people will not notice a difference and assume it is just another Apple Watch. And that is fine. But to me, this thing looks brand new.

The edges of the screen are now curved into the body of the watch and also has a bigger overall screen size. Instead of the square outline that you may have noticed on older Apple Watches, the edges of the display just flow like a waterfall right into the aluminum body and eliminating a huge portion of the black bezels.

Since the screen is bigger, you can fit more onto the larger footprint. On the new Infograph watch face, you can have up to nine complications. Previously, you could only have six complications, at the most.  While this is a welcoming feature, this is the only watch face that uses more complications. I was really hoping for more watch faces would take advantage of the larger screen. Yes, it is bigger, but now it just looks like a blown-up version of the previous Apple Watches I have owned. If you are hard of seeing, the bigger text on the screen is awesome but doesn’t add much more information.

Again, if you are relatively familiar with previous Apple Watches, you will notice that this device is significantly thinner. What boggles my mind is that it is still thicker than the original Apple Watch. But overall, this is the greatest looking Apple Watch so far, in my opinion.

Speed

Apple said that the new Series 4 S4 chip is 2x as fast as last year’s S3 chip. And boy, can you feel it! Granted, I am coming from a two-year-old watch so I knew the speed improvements would be wild. But it is so much nicer to have a watch that is immediately responsive when you want it to do something. When starting a workout, my Series 2 would take 30 seconds to a minute to start the three-second countdown. Now, it is instant. I forgot what new felt like, and this is it.

Safety

This is the most important part of my review, safety. Since the Apple Watch has been released, there have been numerous reports of the Apple Watch “saving peoples lives“. Of course, the doctors are the ones doing the life saving but the Apple Watch has become a great tool in alerting people of high heart rates when they are supposedly being inactive. Also, as an exercise tool, the Apple Watch has helped tons of people lose weight just by helping them be mindful of their activity habits. Go check out tech journalist, Jim Dalrymple’s weight loss story!

With the Series 4, Apple has stepped up their game. The Series 4 has an updated second-generation heart rate sensor to more closely monitor that ticker of yours. Later this year, Apple will be releasing an app that will let you take an electrocardiogram aka EKG or ECG. This is not to replace doctors or even a trip to the office but it is to help you stay more informed about your body and your life. I think it is about time that we can start to have these types of tests at our fingertips or our wrists.

Also coming this year, the new Series 4 will be able to detect irregular heart rate. I’m not going to into a medical lesson, because I am nowhere near qualified to speak about this kind of stuff. But I can tell you irregular heart rate is not good and should be checked out if you are diagnosed. To get a jump start and have this detected when previously it could not? Take my money.

The final safety point I want to focus on is fall detection. Yep, this thing can detect when you fall. Turned off by default for those under 65, this feature can truly be a lifesaver to those prone to falling often. If the watch detects a fall and you are unresponsive for at least 60 seconds, your watch will make an emergency call to emergency services and also message your emergency contacts with a message of your current location. Don’t worry,  the watch gives you an option to say that you are OK and will not start calling for an emergency unless you really want it to!

Verdict

Starting at $399, the Apple Watch Series 4 is quite the upgrade for most people. If you have the Series 3 from last year, I think that you could wait another year before upgrading. Apple does offer a cellular version of this watch for an additional cost. The battery life has been great and can easily get through two days.

Just like every year, this is the best Apple Watch, yet. Of course, it is. But seriously, if you have anything other than the Series 3 or just like to have the newest latest and great stuff, you will not be disappointed with the new Apple Watch Series 4.

Follow me on Instagram and twitter and let me know if you are buying the new Apple Watch!

Images are courtesy of Apple.com and The Mealy Apple.

Advertisements

Apple Watch Series 4

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 3.49.24 PM

The Apple Watch Series 4 was announced today!

Apple updated what was an already-great product with the Series 3, with the Series 4.

This is the biggest update we have seen since the Apple Watch launched. The new Apple Watch screen is more than 30% larger meanwhile keeping the real estate on your wrist to a minimum. Along with a bigger screen, the Series 4 also received a brand new processor with the S4 chip. The S4 chip allows the watch to move 2X as fast as the Series 3.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 3.49.09 PM

The Apple Watch comes in two new sizes, a 40mm and 44mm size. Current Apple Watch users who plan on upgrading don’t have to worry, all of your older bands will work with the new Series 4 Apple Watch. There are a couple of new watch faces that will take advantage of these new screen sizes. We are still missing third-party watch faces but these new data-heavy faces will suffice for now.

That stuff is all great but the new health features are something you can only find the Apple Watch. The Series 4 has introduced three new heart features. The first being a notification if your heart rate is too low. The second heart feature is to notify you if the watch detects AFib or Atrial Fibrillation aka irregular heartbeat. Lastly, the Series 4 can run an on-demand Electrocardiogram (ECG). This is the first over-the-counter device to be offered to consumers to run an ECG. Surprisingly, and probably the only way Apple could ship this, these features are FDA approved. Finally, Apple is using updated gyroscopes and sensors to detect falls. You can have the Apple Watch notify emergency services if you are not responsive after it detects a fall. This is amazing stuff.

Apple Watch Series 4 is available for Pre-order 9/14 and available to purchase 9/21.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 3.51.10 PM

The Series 4 comes in three aluminum finishes: Gold, Silver and Space Grey. Three stainless steel versions in Polished, Space Black and Gold Stainless. The Nike and Hermes brands are making a comeback for the Series 4 as well.

The Series 4 Apple Watch starts at $399 for the GPS model and $499 for the cellular model.

Are you picking up the new Series 4 Apple Watch? Let me know on Instagram and twitter!

All images are courtesy of Apple.com.

 

iPhone Xs, Xs Max and XR

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 3.31.19 PM

Here we are, just shortly after Apple announced their new iPhones.

We got three new iPhones today! Two of which, are brand new designs. We received an updated iPhone X with the iPhone Xs, a plus-sized iPhone Xs Max, and a third, lower cost iPhone R.

It looks like the rumors were spot on and there were very few surprises as far as the iPhones are concerned.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 3.31.46 PM

iPhone Xs

As far as new devices are concerned, this one is the least exciting. Don’t get me wrong, this one is still going to be a top of the line phone and the one that I would buy, personally. It just isn’t exciting because it looks exactly like 2017’s iPhone X. The only difference physically is the new gold color. The battery on the iPhone Xs will last a half hour longer than the iPhone X.

iPhone XR

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 3.31.34 PM

Next up, is the iPhone XR. If you remember the iPhone 5c from years ago, this is the essentially the follow-up.  Again, this has been widely rumored so it’s not much of a surprise. This is a 6.1-inch device with an LED screen. This is also a less expensive version of the X line at $749. They can lower the price by using the LED screen instead of the iPhone Xs OLED. Other than that, it has the same A12 Bionic chip that the other two new iPhones have. Another way Apple was able to lower the cost of the phone is the camera. The XR does not have the dual camera setup that the Xs does. Which is fine, especially because Apple has managed a way to get Portrait Mode on the XR. You’re getting top of the line performance at a lower cost. Unlike the iPhone 5c I think the XR is going to be a huge seller for Apple. The iPhone XR battery will last an hour and a half longer than the 8 Plus battery. Judging from that, this iPhone will have the best battery.

iPhone Xs Max

The big boy! This monster is 6.5 inches. Essentially, you are getting an iPhone 8 Plus size phone with a bigger screen. Like the other two phones, it is powered by Apple’s A12 Bionic chip, OLED screen and boasts the always impressive dual camera setup. The iPhone Xs Max will last an hour and a half longer than last years iPhone X.

Which one?

So now the tough question, which one should you get?

I can speak to the iPhone Xs because it is an even better version of what I have. I would fully give my support to this phone. The Xs and Xs Max have upgraded water protection, faster FaceID and a new 512GB storage option.

The iPhone XR is a huge phone but lower cost. The OLED screen compared to the LED screen difference is only noticeable if comparing the two side by side. But I promise you, as soon as you step into the OLED world, you won’t be able to go back to a LED screen. But if you want a phone that does the job, big display, has a better than expected camera and top of the line speed, get the XR and save your money.

Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 3.35.55 PM

I’ll put this one simply, if you want the best iPhone available, the iPhone Xs Max, is it. Best processor, best screen, best camera, and big battery makes this an easy choice. The only two reasons I would say no to this one is because of how big it is and how expensive it is. It is definitely a personal choice that only you can make.

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max go up for pre-order on 9/14 with a release date of 9/21.

The iPhone Xs starts at $999 for 64GB, $1149 for 256GB and $1349 for 512 GB.

The iPhone Xs Max starts at $1099 for 64GB, $1249 for 256GB and $1449 for 512 GB.

The iPhone XR is available for pre-order on 10/10 with a release date of 10/26.

The iPhone XR starts at $749 for 64GB, $799 for 128GB and $899 for 256 GB.

Which iPhone are you upgrading to? Let me know on Instagram and twitter!

Thanks for coming by!

All images courtesy of Apple.com

Apple Watch Saving Lives

Jason Perlow at ZDNet:

Rosenbaum told me I was extremely lucky the Apple Watch picked up the Afib relatively early. In a few years, the likelihood of stroke would be greater because the condition would get worse.

Fantastic read about the Apple Watch saving another life. Knowing that this technology is available, and only getting better, is great to hear. Go give this a read.

 

What it Would Take For Me to Upgrade

As mentioned in my previous post, I dont think I will be upgrading to the new iPhone this year. That is easy to say because they havn’t even been announced yet. The reason I dont think I will upgrade is because the iPhone X is perfect for me. From the size, to the camera, to the speed, the iPhone X has been a hit. At this point, I dont know what it would take for me to upgrade. Of course, the new iPhone will have a faster processor and a better camera but the iPhone X is already excelling in those areas. So here are a few things that would make me pull the trigger on a new phone this fall.

USB Type C

Rumors have been swirling around for a while that Apple might change the connector on the iPhone from Lightning to USB-C. If Apple were to change the connector, this would also allow for faster charging.  I would want to jump on this train as soon as possible if this is the future of the iPhone.

More than likely, this year’s iPhone will keep the Lightning connector that plugs into the iPhone but the other end will be a USB-C connector that would plug into a power adapter. This also should allow faster charging but wouldn’t be enough to warrant upgrading.

Smaller Footprint

I love the size of the iPhone X because you get a good bit of screen in a smaller size phone than the Plus. If Apple would come out with an iPhone 5/SE size phone that is all screen like the X, I would seriously consider it. I would enjoy being able to fully utilize a phone that I can always use one handed. In order for me to upgrade to a device like this, it would have to be as powerful as the other new iPhones that are being announced.

Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 10.19.34 AM.png

I am not holding my breath on this one. Apple hasn’t updated the iPhone SE in quite some time and with the trend of bigger phones on the rise, I feel like the smaller form factors are a thing of the past. Even if we do get an updated smaller phone, I dont think it is going to have all of the latest technolgy inside and it will forever be a step behind Apple’s current flagships.

Accessories

I am a sucker for accessories. The Apple Smart Battery Case is a long time favorite. You all will roll your eyes, but if Apple were to release an updated battery case, compatible with only the new phones, that might do it for me.

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 2.28.55 PM

If Apple’s wireless charging mat, AirPower, is only compatible with the newer devices and it is something I choose to buy, I would really consider an upgrade to a new phone.

I highly doubt Apple will limit AirPower to only the new devices. They advertised it working with all of the iPhones capable of wireless charging, last year, but this is Apple’s world.

Wrap up

As you can see, these are very particular items. There is very little that I can think of that will make an upgrade worth it. Dont get me wrong, these new iPhones will positivley be the best iPhones yet and anyone who likes the iPhone X but wants a bigger phone, should be excited for next weeks devices. For as indecisive as I am,  I might end up with the big sized iPhone again. Only time will tell.

Are you planning on upgrading this year? Let me know on Instagram and twitter!

 

New iPhones Are Coming

Here we are,  less than a month away from a new iPhone announcement. This past week, Apple sent out invitations to their annual fall event. It will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater on September 12th, at 10am Pacific Time. I cannot believe that we will have a new slew of iPhones to choose from. It seems like yesterday that I picked up my shiny-new iPhone X and that is saying a lot.

IMG_3035

Usually, by this time in the year, I am itching to get the latest and greatest from Apple. This year is a bit different. I was thinking it was just me. I have a wedding that has been going through my mind and my wallet. So maybe that is why? I don’t think so. Is Apple just downright boring now? I doubt that either. As many others have said, to put it simply, the iPhone X is my favorite iPhone.

2018 might be the first year that I don’t pick up the newest iteration of iPhone. I have been running the iOS 12 Public Beta over the last couple of months and have noticed no slow down on my iPhone X. My battery health is showing 96%, which means when my phone shows 100% its max capacity is really only 96%.

Rumors are saying that we will probably get a low-cost 6.1″ iPhone, an updated iPhone X and an iPhone X Plus. While I loved my Plus phones before, the iPhone X has hit the sweet spot for me, as far as size goes. I just don’t know what Apple could do to push me into a newer iPhone X or iPhone X Plus. Other than a Plus size, I have not heard of any crazy features that will make the upgrade worthwhile for me. Of course, the new iPhones will have an updated camera and updated processor but both of those are already fantastic on my iPhone X.

Anyone who knows me knows that I change my mind a thousand times when it comes to iPhones, so we will really have to wait until September to see what I do. I think I am more excited about a new Apple Watch, since mine is coming up on two years old. Also, my iPad Air 2 will be four years old this fall, which is making my mind wonder whether or not I need(want) a new one. We also cannot forget that Apple’s previously announced wireless charging mat, AirPower, has yet to be released.

This September will either be one of the most expensive or least expensive Apple launches for me. Either way, I am content with the iPhone X right now and I look forward to September 12th.

Are you planning on upgrading your iPhone this year? Let me know on twitter and Instagram.

Images courtesy of Apple.

The Apple Store Experience

IMG_2650

For years, I lived in a state where there were zero Apple Stores. So going to an Apple Store was always a special trip when I could go. Now, I live an hour away from one and I get excited everytime I get to go. But what is the allure? Here are a couple of reasons why I love the experience of walking into an Apple Store:

They Have it All

This is the one place that you can go to that has nearly every product that Apple offers. Not all stores have every single item but this is the closest you can get. I think it is good that I still live an hour away from a store or I would probably have every color watch band and leather iPhone X case.

Not Pushy

Having worked in mobile sales before, I hate the entire concept of pushy salespeople. I can walk into an Apple Store and be only asked if I need help finding anything and that is it.  From my understanding, Apple employees’ primary goal is to help you. I think offering that type of experience gains the consumer’s trust and they will end up spending the money there even if they can get it cheaper online. This is a huge reason that Apple retail is still a success. I took my fiancé to an Apple Store to try on an Apple Watch with no intentions of buying one. I made it out that day without one but as I was leaving, I was thinking how nice of an experience it was. They weren’t shoving product down my throat and respected my decision that we weren’t ready to purchase that day.

Come and Go

This is kind of wild but you can actually go to the Apple Store, pick up what you want from one of their shelves and buy it through your iPhone’s Apple Store app without ever making contact with an employee. I have done it once and it felt bizarre. I felt like I was doing something wrong. Apple Stores are always so busy so if you are in a hurry and need a lightning cable or case, this is ideal.

Design

Nothing comes close to the design of an Apple Store. It is clean, white and very very bright.  The stores are very welcoming. When it is not packed full of people, which is rare, there is plenty of room to look around and play with all of the toys and gadgets.

Overall, if you are someone who doesn’t make it to an Apple Store often, its always a treat when you get to go.  With a lot of retail failing, I really hope that Apple continues doing what they are doing and continues to be a successful retail space.

Follow me on Instagram and twitter!