Apple debuts Apple Watch Series 4 with edge-to-edge display
Guys, isn’t growth beautiful? So proud of Apple for how far it’s come, watch-wise. 😪
At its product event Wednesday, Apple unveiled a brand spankin’ new smartwatch: the Apple Watch Series 4.
While the Series 3 seriously ramped up the Watch’s abilities by adding GPS and LTE connectivity, the Series 4 now constitutes the most significant product redesign since the Watch’s original launch in 2015. That’s due to a more efficient size, more powerful guts, and truly impressive health and heart monitoring features — that are now approved by the FDA.
“Apple Watch Series 4 is the ultimate guardian for your health, the best fitness companion, and the most convenient way to stay connected,” said Apple COO Jeff Williams during the press conference.
So how much will this baby cost you? Series 4 GPS starts at $399, and Series 4 Cellular will set you back $499. And while that’s a serious chunk of change, you can get the new Apple Watch soon: pre-orders for Apple Watch Series 4 start Friday, September 14 and will ship on September 21. And the watchOS 5 lands on September 17.
Apple will still offer Nike+ and Hermés watches. But with the speed of Apple’s updates, you might want to think twice before dropping too much cash.
Thinking about becoming a smartwatch person? Here’s what you need to know.
Lets talk specs
The screen size of the Apple Watch has increased by over 30 percent. However, the actual volume of the watch is slimmer than the Series 3. Apple achieved this by decreasing the size of the bezels (the black space around the screen), and by building up to and around the rounded edges of the watch. It comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm (up from 38mm and 42mm, respectively).
The watch will be available in 3 aluminum finishes: silver, gold, space gray. It also comes in stainless steel: polished, space black, and… gasp…. gold stainless! They all look pretty good, the only question is: how fancy are you?
Apple has also juiced up the guts of the Series 4, too. It has an S4 processor, with a 64-bit dual-core processor that makes it up to 2x faster. And even with all this processing power, it still has an 18-hour battery life.
It has also moved the microphone to the opposite side of the phone, so the speaker and mic are separated. This reduces echo, and Apple says that sound coming from the watch — including Siri — will be 50 percent louder.
The many-faced watch
One of the best things about the Apple Watch is the ability to customize the face. And Apple has taken that to the next level.
If you’re someone who opts for a traditional watch face, you can now have a movement-filled, dynamic face, based around natural elements: there’s water, fire, and vapor face. Or, you can emphasize the “breathe” app, with a moving watch face that guides you through taking a deep breath.
And with a bigger screen, the customizable modular faces also show more information than before — there are additional modular information portals in the four corners, in addition to the middle of the watch screen. The Series 4 even lets you add shortcuts to your friends or family that will display on the screen. That’s maybe a lil’ creepy, but sure could be useful, especially with that walkie-talkie feature.
Heart and Health
There are a lot of wearables out there that monitor your heart rate. But the Apple Watch Series 4 now does much more.
By placing your finger over the crown, you can take an electrocardiogram (ECG), which monitors the electrical activity of the heart. It can also detect atrial fibrillation (AFib), which is an irregular heart rate that can affect blood floor. Or, when a person’s heart rate becomes too low. It will even notify you (or your doctor) when it detects AFib or lowered heart rate. The head of the American Heart Association got on stage to endorse these features. And Williams said that the Apple Watch Series 4’s ECG capabilities have now been approved by the FDA.
Apple also increased the capabilities of the accelerometer and gyroscope, which isn’t just about exercise: it can actually detect if you’ve fallen, ask whether you need help, and connect you with emergency services or your emergency contacts.
It also has retroactive activity detection, and has added hiking and yoga as dedicated activity types (high five, nature lovers).
Prior complaints about the watch centered on its inability to do much more than a fitness tracker could. But with the new heart and health features, the customizability, and easy connectivity, the Apple Watch could just be your favorite new companion.
… Just as Apple wants it. Happy time-telling!