Apple Watch Series 4 – Everything You Need to Know
With the fourth series Apple Watch hitting the shelves and leaving them at lightning speed, there are numerous questions waiting to be answered. What does the new model bring to the table (or the wrist)? Is it worth buying if you are an older Apple Watch Series owner? Find out the answers below.
What’s (Not) New
Series 4 watches are somewhat bigger than their predecessors, although they’re also slightly thinner. The case sizes are 44 and 40 millimeters, while the Series 3 has 42 and 38mm models. Besides this, these Series 4 models also have a bigger screen as a result of improved design, as the screen now takes up a bigger part of the watch’s front.
Models and Versions
Both Series 3 and 4 have “GPS” and “GPS + Cellular” versions. The former on both series requires you to have an iPhone 5s or a more recent model. “GPS + Cellular” watches only work with an iPhone 6 or later releases. However, you need to have at least the iOS 12 for the Apple Watch Series 4, while the Series 3 demanded that you at least have the iOS 11.
Something that Series 3 owners will also find familiar is the Hermès and Nike+ models, as these are making a return to Series 4. The former is a collaboration between Apple and Hermès, a well-known fashion luxury goods manufacturer – the collaboration results in a watch that’s fashionable, formal, yet still offers typical smartwatch functions. The goal of the Nike+ model is to give more to users who are primarily interested in fitness options.
Apple has made some major improvements regarding the number of available models with Series 4, as just the classic Series 4 has eighteen different options you can choose from. The “GPS” and “GPS + Cellular” models have six and twelve options, respectively. Add to this nine Hermès models, as well as eight Nike+ models, and you’ve got yourself a pretty impressive catalog to consider. It’s also worth mentioning the stainless steel casing models in Series 4.
Hardware-wise, the fourth series has made a jump from Bluetooth 4.2, S3 processor, and a W2 wireless chip to Bluetooth 5.0, S4 processor, and a W3 wireless chip. The upgraded processor in the fourth series is considered to be twice as fast as the one in the third series. Other than this, all Series 4 versions now have 16 gigabytes of space. The accelerometer is another hardware component that received an upgrade, as it now supports up to 32 Gs instead of just 16.
On the back of Series 4 models, there’s an electrical heart rate sensor in addition to the optical one. This is a new advancement in Apple’s smartwatch series history. Another new characteristic is the fall detector, which can sound an alarm for you if you hurt yourself due to a heavy fall.
There are no improvements on the OS front, as both series are on Apple’s WatchOS 5. WatchOS 6 has been announced and will come out in late 2019. Starting with Series 1, all models will support it.
Is It Worth Buying?
For now, Series 4 models are considerably more expensive than the Series 3 ones, even though this series doesn’t add much to the tested formula. It runs the same operating system as its predecessor, and the user experience hasn’t been altered significantly. However, the additional features are appealing to some Apple Watch enthusiasts.
If you’ve got the money and you really need the new functions (electrocardiography, improved accelerometer, fall detection), go for the Series 4. But otherwise, you should stick to an older model if you have it. Waiting for the Series 5 that’s announced for late 2019 might prove to be a good move, too, even more so since this is when WatchOS 6 also gets released.
Is It Time to Upgrade?
If you have the Watch Series 3 already, think twice before an upgrade, because the price of Series 4 models is quite steep. If you don’t have an iPhone and are not planning on getting one, maybe you should avoid the Apple Watch altogether and go for another manufacturer.
But if you don’t have an Apple Watch yet, and you’re okay with a watch that relies heavily on your iPhone, you’re in for a treat.
Are you an Apple Watch owner? If so, would you suggest that others give the Watch Series a try? Share your recommendations in the comments below.