Protest all you like, but when the annual Apple keynote at the company’s Cupertino campus rolls around, the watch industry stops what it’s doing to listen. Call it a notification device, wearable tech, or whatever you want, but the Apple Watch, as the pinnacle and most popular of its kind, is as newsworthy for traditional watch enthusiasts as it is for all the techies and Apple addicts you know. With its ever-increasing ubiquity and all of the above in mind, here’s what you need to know about the Apple Watch Series 4.
New Sizes and Faces
The Apple Watch Series 4 is 30 percent larger, now coming in 40 mm and 44 mm compared to previous iterations at 38 mm and 42 mm. The display has been re-engineered to complement the watch’s shape. Despite its larger size, the watch is thinner overall with less total volume than the Series 3.
Enhanced Functionality Courtesy of a Refreshed Design
The Apple Watch Series 4 offers increased performance thanks to a number of new updates. These include the digital crown now allowing haptic feedback, the speaker being amplified up to 50 percent for phone calls and the walkie-talkie ability, and the microphone being moved to the opposite side to reduce echo.
WatchOS5 is the Most Powerful watchOS Yet
The updated 64-bit, dual-core processor allows the Apple Watch Series 4 to operate up to two times faster than its predecessors and offers an accelerometer and gyroscope to detect falls. Apple conducted thousands of studies and identified a motion pattern for falls, slips, and trips that determines wrist trajectory. If you haven’t responded to a notification on your watch’s screen within a minute of the detected fall, then emergency services will be alerted to your GPS location courtesy of the SOS functionality.
Improved Health Features
There are three new heart rate features offered with the Apple Watch Series 4. The watch will send a notification for a low heart rate to go along with its previous high heart rate warning, and the watch can screen your heart rhythm in the background to determine atrial fibrillation. Both of those services are made possible through the improved optical sensor.
The big news is the addition of an electrical heart sensor that allows for an electrocardiogram (ECG) to be performed. This is the first ECG product offered over-the-counter and directly to consumers. To operate the test, all you need to do is open the app and touch the crown. The test takes 30 seconds before displaying the results. Previous tests are stored in the health app and are available as a PDF to share with your doctor. All of these abilities have already been cleared by the FDA.
The Apple Watch Series 4 is available with GPS for $399 and with cellular for $499. They will be available in store on Friday, September 21. In addition, the price of the Series 3 has been decreased to $279.