The Apple Watch Series 4 offers a larger, crisp display that shows more with less bezel, super fast speed and a louder speaker. It adds high and low heart-rate detection, fall detection with SOS trigger and an FDA-cleared ECG app for more detailed heart readings.
Starting prices are higher than last year. Battery life still won’t last past two days. Watch face options are still very limited in choice and function. It only works with iPhones.
After wearing one for a few months, it’s worked really well. And yes, it’s still my favorite smartwatch to use, because its smooth-running interface and tight iPhone-to-watch integration is better than what other smartwatches offer. But while this new model has a lot of refinement over previous versions, and a pretty great leap forward from older models such as the Apple Watch Series 1, it’s not as tremendous a leap forward from last year’s Apple Watch Series 3 as you might think.
And the Apple Watch is no closer to being a clear must-have device than it was before, unless you value the possible benefits of new health features. For those looking for a fitness tracker, however, the S4 hasn’t changed much over the S3 at all.
The Series 4 isn’t perfect. The Apple Watch has been coasting on 18-hour battery life since it launched, which makes it less than ideal for tracking sleep, and that hasn’t changed with the Series 4. And many people tell me they would love an Apple Watch but are put off by the slightly rounded square design that Apple has stuck with since the beginning.
Since the day I bought the first Apple Watch, I’ve believed the reason for its existence is health. Notifications are useful, and the watch can be a stylish accessory, but those are secondary to the information it can give us about our bodies, right and unlocking that potential with actionable alerts about heart rate and rhythm. Maybe you don’t need atrial fibrillation alerts or instantly accessible ECG readings. But imagine the possibilities. now and in the future!