Apple has introduced its Series 4 watch last week. You can pre-order it now in selected countries on apple.com, with actual availability starting at the end of this week. Its clear the Cupertino-based outfit has put a lot of thought on how to create a device that takes full advantage of new WatchOS 5 features.
What follows is our list of four reasons to buy Apple’s latest toy and one reason not to.
Series 4 sports an edge-to-edge screen with new display technology called LTPO that improves power efficiency. Apple says the screen real estate is larger by over 30% which should make it much easier to do things from your wrist. The device will be able to show more complications (up to 8) and apps will be able to spit out more information and detail.
Other hardware improvements include a redesigned digital crown, a microphone that produces a clearer sounds and reduces echo, and a speaker that’s 50% louder.
Apple has made significant improvements to the accelerometer and gyroscope. The ones found in the jazzed-up watch can sample motion data 8 times faster than on earlier devices. This improved performance has allowed Apple to come up with a clever feature.
Series 4 is able to identify trips and falls. Once it detects you’ve had an accident, the watch will open up an alert screen which allows you to initiate an emergency call. Make no move for a minute and the watch will do this for you. This can prove to be a particularly useful feature for the older generation.
The change most people are talking about is the FDA-approved built-in ECG sensor. Apple says Series 4 is capable of dishing up a pulse waveform similar to that generated by a professional single-lead electrocardiogram. Not as refined as a medical device, but not too shabby. A recent study of 588 people found that the watch’s ECG tech can identify participants who had healthy heartbeats with 99% accuracy.
It takes just 30 seconds get a reading. Simply rest your finger against the crown and the electrode inside will create a closed circuit with the sapphire crystal on the back of the device which reads electrical heart impulses from your wrist.
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This type of information will let you know whether there are any issues with your heart rhythm, i.e. whether you have an irregular heart beat. The hope is it will help people who are not aware they are living with the condition.
The other health improvement is that the watch will use the optical heart rate sensor to monitor for low heart beats in addition to high heart beats. If it suspects something is amiss it will let you know. The watch now truly has the potential to be a life-saving device. Our guess is, in 10 years time Apple Watch 14 will make all doctors and medical professionals obsolete!
Powering everything is a fourth generation SIP called S4. This contains a dual core 64-bit processor customized by Apple to bring 2 times faster performance.
The other performance improvement is to do with the cellular reception. Apple has opted to make the back of Series 4 out of black ceramic and sapphire crystal on all versions of the device. This will allow radio waves to pass through through the device more easily resulting in better cellular reception.
Same battery life
It doesn’t take a genius to figure it out the bad news. Yes, Apple has kept battery life the same so you will be charging it most nights.
In a sense, that’s not really surprising considering the boost in specs. But battery life is perhaps the feature that most consumers want so it remains an issue for potential buyers. The only improvement is for tracking workouts. This is now six hours on a single charge, which is better than on previous generations.
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Price is a key factor when deciding on a smartwatch, and many users tend to choose older generations of the Apple Watch. Are these reasons enough to convince you to shell out for Apple’s priciest wearable?
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