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Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4 release date, price & specification

  • The Apple Watch Series 4 is official, with the new smartwatch announced at Apple’s annual September event. Last year’s big new feature was LTE. This year, we’re getting an entirely new design and the addition of an electrocardiogram sensor, among other new health features.
  • While Apple has retained the rectangular shape of the Watch, it’s moving up in size for 2018. The Series 4 will come in 40mm and 44mm versions, increasing both the smaller and larger designs by 2mm each. And for good reason: to make room for a new, 30%-larger display.
  • To date, Apple’s done a great job of obscuring the bezel on its smartwatches, but there’s most certainly been a lot of it. The display on the Series 4 is much larger, allowing you to cram even more complications and info onto that screen.   

Everything you need to know about the new Apple Watch Series 4

 

Apple Watch 4 prices

The Series 4 starts at £399/$399 (with GPS) or £499/$499.

Material
Strap
40mm, GPS
44mm, GPS
40mm, cellular
44mm, cellular

Aluminum
Sport Band
£399/$399
£429/$429
£499/$499
£529/$529

Aluminum
Sport Loop
£399/$399
£429/$429
£499/$499
£529/$529

Aluminum
Nike Sport Band
£399/$399
£429/$429
£499/$499
£529/$529

Aluminum
Nike Sport Loop
£399/$399
£429/$429
£499/$499
£529/$529

Steel
Sport Band
n/a
n/a
£699/$699
£749/$749

Steel
Sport Loop
n/a
n/a
£699/$699
£749/$749

Steel
Milanese Loop
n/a
n/a
£799/$799
£849/$849


Design

Apple kept the same design for three generations in a row (aside from some minor cosmetic tweaks, such as a new material and color options, and a red spot on the cellular model). We were therefore expecting a major redesign for the Series 4 - and we got precisely that.

Larger screen

The most obvious change is the inclusion of screens which are more than 30% larger. They're now 40mm and 44mm (up from 38mm and 42mm).
Apple has achieved this by reducing the size of the bezels around the edge. The screen also has curved corners, fitting more closely to the shape of the face.
The new watches are slimmer than the Series 3, which means that despite the larger screens they have less volume than their predecessors. Note, however, that straps released with the Series 3 and earlier models are compatible with the Series 4, and vice versa.

Watch faces

Some intriguing updates here, mainly to take advantage of the larger screens.
The Breathe app now has its own face (and three different graphical variations).
Apple Watch Series 4 release date, price & specs: Breathe face
There are new dynamic faces with fire, water and vapour graphics (the latter two look gorgeous).
Apple Watch Series 4 release date, price & specs: Vapour face
And you can now have up to eight complications on the face.
Apple Watch Series 4 release date, price & specs: Complications

Health features

Apple described the watch as "an intelligent guardian for your health", and backed that up with a raft of health-related updates.
  • Fall detection

The Series 4 is clever enough to work out when you're falling - it works this out from the movement of your arms, which are different when falling to when slipping or doing other similar actions.

  • Heart monitoring

    The Apple Watch already had the ability to detect and warn of a prolonged elevated heart rate when not exercising, but its heart-monitoring abilities get far more sophisticated with the Series 4 update.
    Most simply, it will now be able to spot low rates too - less commonly a problem, but potentially something to look out for. The 4 will also look out for irregular heart rhythms, notifying you of a potential atrial fibrillation.
     But the biggest interest was shown for a new ECG function. By placing a finger on the Digital Crown you can get the watch to run an ECG test on you, which Apple says marks the first time an ECG device has been made available over the counter direct to consumers.


Tech specs

  • Processor

The Series 4, as expected, comes with an S4 processor chip. Apple says this offers twice the speed of the previous generation.
  • Battery

Battery life remains the same, with Apple somehow managing to make a virtue of this. The company still claims 18 hours, which we suppose is reasonably impressive given the larger screen, upgraded components and thinner body.
Nevertheless, better battery life would have opened up more functionality, mainly with regards to sleep tracking. One problem with the Apple Watch is that the necessity of charging it at night means that people can't use it for sleep tracking. With a longer battery life, users could wear the watch to bed and get accurate stats about their sleep - information that's pretty popular, judging by the success of sleep-tracking apps such as Sleep Cycle.

Software

The new Apple Watch will come with watchOS 5 preinstalled. This was announced at WWDC 2018 on 4 June and will be released on 17 Sept.
watchOS 5 brings a range of new features and interface tweaks to the Apple Watch. These will be optimised to run best on the new Series 4 hardware, but owners of most Apple Watch models (all but the original) will be able to upgrade and get the new features for free.


 

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