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