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Apple Watch Series 4 Review: The Best Smartwatch, Now Even Better

09:30 AM November 18, 2018

The Apple Watch Series 4 is by far the top rated smart watch you can purchase in the market right now.

In 2015, when the watch was launched, it was more of a fancy accessory than a necessary device. But when placed on an individual, Apple realized abilities it possessed that it could have never had. The watch could give certain information such as the optical heart rate sensor facilitated high heart rate alerts. The potential of the Apple Watch Series 4 became very visible.

Apple presses forward on the production of the Series 4. Several upgrades have been incorporated in the latest watch Series: bigger display, thinner case, faster processor, more advanced sensors. The health features of this Series 4 are what push it closer to Apple’s goal of achieving a genuinely indispensable device. It hasn’t attained perfection, but it’s really close. Also, it’s really expensive. For the GPS model, the watch starts at $399 and $499 if you are looking for cellular connectivity. Is this worth it? Definitely. Furthermore, LTE is not needed.

FEATURED STORIES

THE GOOD

  • Big, beautiful display
  • Advanced health sensors
  • Faster processing power
  • Useful Raise to Speak Siri

THE BAD

  • ECG app not available at launch
  • Expensive

VERDICT

The health sensor of the Apple Watch Series is so sophisticated that it transforms it from a fun accessory to a device you must have.

Display: Bigger, brighter, exponentially better

The face is the most noticeable feature of the Series 4. The thick bezels around the watch’s screen are stripped; this makes the screen extend nearly to the edge.

Both models of the Series 4 are somewhat larger than their previous versions (delve into that later), and the screen display is about 30 percent larger. That makes a lot of difference. The 40mm model’s OLED screen is 394×324, in comparison with the 38mm Series 3’s 340×272 display, and the 44mm model’s is 448×368 versus the 390×312 panels in the 42mm Series 3. That’s right: the smallest Series 4’s display is more extensive than the largest Series 3. Therefore, there is easy interaction between the device and the user.

Ranging from Series 3 to Series 4 the screens display brightness remains the same —they can both reach 1,000 nits — but the interface of the device were redesigned to capitalize on the newer watch’s larger screen. You can quickly and easily access your notifications due to the larger and more detailed icons. Even during midday, when the sun is really bright, I could openly see the five running metrics displayed on-screen without stressing my eyes during a 3-mile jog.

In relation with its sizable screens, Apple brought up new watch faces with the Series 4. During the creation of the new faces, the company filmed real vapor, fire, water and liquid metal on a high speed camera. The Series 3 also has this dynamic faces feature; however, they are fixed to area surrounding the dial. The Series 4 has a more dramatic effect, on one face, flames spreads out to lick the sides of the screen, then like the Golden Gate Bridge, vapor surrounds your wrist like fog.

However, Infograph Modular is the watch face that’s most used, it places six pieces of information at your finger tips. I’m always in need of quick access to my weather data, workout mode and music, and also the date, time and battery percentage. All my activity rings are kept on my watch face, so that I can easy check out how far I’m dusting my friends that partake in my activities ( just playing, mostly). Also, the infograph face could stuff up to eight compilations on the Series 4 screen, but I’ll prefer to stick to he easy stuff, all this complications is a little too much for me.

Size: Smaller is now bigger

I was at a conference at Apple Park when the COO of Apple, Jeff Williams unpackaged the two sizes of the Series 4’s. When I realized that the smaller option was now 40mm, I was really disappointed. Well, it’s just about two millimeters larger than the 38mm, and in all other Apple watch production, it has been the smaller version. But 2mm could make incredible changes on a small wrist.

Following the announcement, I got the watch on my wrist in the hands-on area, and I wasn’t impressed at all. To me, the watch was way too big, Apple just messed up a wonderful product.

But I’m already accustomed to this new size now that I see it daily, and to come to think of it, the difference in size isn’t really much — at least, on paper. The 38mm Series 3 case is 38.6mm tall and 33.3mm wide. The Series 4 is 39.8mm tall and 34.4mm wide. I think it has a lot to do with psychology than reality as I have worn the 38mm version of each generation of Apple Watches.

Furthermore, I have persuaded my coworkers, friends, and my husband to get their comments: “Are you sure this doesn’t look like a computer on my wrist?”

The results showed that there is no much difference from the old one. My husband reviewed the slimmer profile of the new watch, which gives a different appearance and experience. It was well noticed that the Series 3 was way thicker than the past products, and all that bulk is not seen in the Series 4.

There’s a higher selling rate for larger screens in relation with brilliant display.

Health: Medical advice on your wrist

Apple Watch has become a necessary device because of the notable step ups in the Series 4. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared Apple to include two game changing features: an ECG app that has the ability of taking electrocardiograms to another level, and an atrial fibrillation feature which gives alerts whenever the user experience up to five unusual heart rhythms. All watches with OS 5 can run this atrial fibrillation feature.

This ECG app is unique to the Series 4, this is because it depends on the electrodes running through the sapphire crystal-and-ceramic back and Digital Crown to take the reading, however, cardiologist are bothered that the ECG app could show results that are false, sending users to medical centers needlessly, but we can only be sure with tested information and time. I’ve educated people on the use of their apple Watches for major health issues, most of this users might not have had any idea about this feature.

Getting alerts that notifies you if your heart rate is too high or low, or your heart’s rhythm is irregular is just great. Having an app store months of your heart data is incredibly favorable to folks that will prefer not getting checked up (or people who go for treatments and the results shows everything is effective).

There will be a software update of the irregular heart rhythm feature and ECG app later this year, so they were unavailable for testing. I switched on a new heart rate alert (this new alert has similarities with the high heart rate alert that Apple introduced in the watch with OS 4). However, it’s been good so far. Fall detention is another important health feature available for use immediately. Hopefully, that won’t be necessary. There’s an upgraded version which is the Series 4 Sport, this watch can sense if you’re falling forward or backwards and has the ability to gauge and determine if you’ve fallen accidentally. You can go ahead and try and fake a fall, the watch won’t respond to that. I am glad I didn’t fall while examining the watch’s performance, so I just concluded that it works just as it was reviewed (Sorry, I’m being careful here. I’m not about to get injuries on a test run).

Performance: This watch has some snap

The performance of the Apple watch has advanced drastically. Just about three years ago, the 0 Series was dependent on the iPhone to work effectively and to process anything on the Series took ages. The speed of the Series 4 is amazing, all thanks to fourth-gen S4 watch processor.

The watch immediately starts recording when you begin a run (excluding the three-second countdown for preparation). It is now really quick and easy downloading my emails from the watch’s Mail app, which is the exact process with my iPhone. I compared the time it’ll take to open the watch’s Map on both the Series 3 using watch OS 5 and the new Series 4 together, the Series 4 opened way faster.

In comparison with smartwatches running Google’s Wear OS and its Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 chip the speed of both models are really fast. There’s an upgrade in the new Snapdragon 3100 CPUwhich might probably change things, but Apple is far ahead of all other companies regarding the processing power of smartwatches.

Siri: A useful assistant (finally)

Siri has always been with the Apple Watch, although you had to initiate her by pressing on the Digital Crown, and this doesn’t call out the assistant quickly enough, or say “Hey Siri” which is most times absurd when you’re out in public. You can now summon Siri by just lifting your hands and giving a command with the Series 4. That’s all, just talk.The whole process is really quick because of its faster processor (even faster than the processor on my iPhone). Siri isn’t different here so you shouldn’t ask difficult questions. But having to know the weather forecast by just raising my wrist or a message delivered to my husband is exactly the kind of relationship I want to develop with a smartwatch: quick and easy.

The speakers of this new watch is about 50 percent louder than older generations, and it’s really clear. My Siri is a British male, and I was super surprised, could even say shocked when I first heard an answer from him on the watch.

watchOS 5: Meaningful tweaks

Apple watches are now made more effective due to the incredible features of the latest version of watchOS.

The Series 4 has been upgraded with the watch’s OS tweaks, which makes it become a perfect tracker for fitness. You can now be part of challenging competitions with friends, track the latest running metrics such as rolling miles and cadence, new workouts like yoga and hiking are also tracked with this device. Furthermore, it tracks exercises automatically without being instructed.

Most times, I forget to end a run or start a spinning workout and at the end of a session, I realize I have incorrect information (or no information at all). So, I really appreciate the automatic workout detection. I got an alert from my watch, asking me whether I wanted to launch a workout three minutes after I had begun a run. Then it covered up for the 3 minutes and all the miles I missed.

The offline podcast syncing also works wonderfully in Apple Podcast or in third-party apps. I subscribes to podcast in Overcast, which syncs episodes to my watch automatically and updates me on the particular music to listen to on my phone only when a synchronization process has been suspended.

GPS or Cellular: Worth the premium?

I really thought the Apple Watch would become a necessity because of the cellular connectivity, but then I realized that my iPhone wouldn’t be with me. My iPhone is just too important to let go that easily. My iPhone helps me with so much, and to think of it, scrolling through my Instagram with a watch is not just comfortable.

Apple has made its network service really better, so there is cellular reception even in remote areas.

I’ll always prefer the Apple Watch GPS model, because the price for getting a new watch has appreciated to $399 and the LTE model starts at $499 (data plans excluded), I feel you get too little for that price.

Battery life: Unchanged

The Apple Series 4 maintains its battery life for 24 hours on a single charge, the same as well as other models before it. The Apple Watch Series 4 can comfortably last for an entire day, but Apples goal is to deliver 18 hours of battery life on a single charge. I’ll prefer that to my iPhone, which most times has to have a high battery percentage before I go out in the evening. Furthermore, this can’t be compared to the fitness-focused Fitbit Versa and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, which when charged fully, can last for as long as four days.

There is an increase in battery size in the Series 4, as reported by an iFixIt teardown of the 40mm watch. There is an increase in the life of the new battery over that of the 38mm series 3, although it is not really different from the later.

One morning, I decided to make a 3-mile run on the pavement, so I put on the 40mm Series 4 on my wrist, by 6:45 p.m., after a long day of fidgeting with my phone, using apps, receiving Mails on my commute, texting and asking Siri series of questions, the battery percentage drained to just below 50 percent. Furthermore, you can sleep with the watch on your wrist if you’re willing to activate the third-party-sleeping tracking app, but I really hope Apple creates its own sleep app and develops the battery life so I could wake up comfortable and view my sleep cycle without charging my phone.

Bottom line

The Series 4 doesn’t have it all covered. Since the Apple Watch was launched it has had an 18 hour battery capacity, this makes it difficult for tracking sleep and this is no different with Series 4. Most people will say they will want to have an Apple Watch but are disgusted by the slightly rounded square feature that has been in all Apple Watch products since the very start.

Reports from iFixIt Teardown reveals the Series 4 has been re-designed entirely. If you are a Series 0 user, upgrading makes complete sense.

From the first time I got my first Apple Watch, I’ve believed health was the reason for its creation. The information given to us by Apple Watch about our bodies right now and in the future is the primary use of the device. Notifications are also important, and the watch could be a really fancy accessory, but these are all secondary features. Apple is recently delving into the actionable alert about heart rates and rhythm. You might not need atrial fibrillation alerts or instantly accessible ECG readings. But the possibilities are mind blowing.

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