Updated: May 18
It’s still a powerful watch
The Series 4 is still a powerful smartwatch in many aspects. The Series 5 models might have some added features (as mentioned) and might come in ceramic or titanium, but both have some key similarities when it comes to core features such as the following:
The Good 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.
The Bad 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.
The Bottom Line The Apple Watch Series 4 is the fastest, most connected and best overall smartwatch around, but its battery life and watch face options often fall short of the competition.
The 2018 model adds a nice slate of upgrades:
Thinner design with bigger, almost no-bezel watch faces: Larger 44mm and 40mm displays fit into the same general case sizes that previously held 42mm and 38mm ones, respectively.
Lightning-fast speed: The Series 4 is fast. Response time for nearly everything that doesn’t require an online ping is effectively instantaneous. The improvement versus Series 2 and earlier models is particularly dramatic.
GPS battery life on runs is improved a bit (6 hours instead of 4, which isn’t much, but it’s something).
The Series 4 is more expensive, starting at $399 (£399, AU$599). Larger sizes, optional cellular connectivity and upgrading to steel case or fancier straps runs the cost even higher.
Battery life remains stuck at about a day and a half to two days on a charge, less if you’re using GPS, cellular or exercise frequently.
No sleep tracking: Because the watch needs to be charged every day, that effectively dampens sleep tracking options. There are third-party apps, but nothing Apple offers as part of the core health experience.
No always-on watch face: To save battery life, the watch face is dark most of the time.
With Apple Watch Series 4, juggling your digital life and your real life with a single dial The Apple Watch Series 4 isn’t cheap. Compared to Series 3, which started at $329 and $359 for the GPS-only 38mm and 42mm models, respectively, the Series 4 starts at a higher $399 for the 40mm and $429 for the 44mm GPS-only models.
If you spring for the GPS + Cellular versions of the Series 4, it’s gonna cost you at minimum $499 for the 40mm and $529 for the 44mm.vice from on your wrist no longer feels like an compromised chore.
It’s almost as if the Apple Watch is insurance — if something unfortunate were to happen to you in the future, you’ll be glad you have it to call an emergency service or nudge you to go to the doctor because of an irregular heartbeat.
Is having your fitness tracking, notifications, music, and phone and messaging today, plus the small promise of a better-monitored and healthier future worth paying at least $399 for the 40mm (GPS) and $499 for the 44mm (GPS + Cellular) Apple Watch Series 4? I say yes, because as my parents always remind me: You can’t do anything without your health and it’s important to take care of it.
Fall detection works via a combination of G-force impact and detection of arm and hand placement when falling, using the watch’s updated accelerometer and gyroscope. Apple’s testing and algorithms look for indicators that apparently only happen in “real” falls.
After falling and detecting a fall, as long as the fall detection has been turned on in Apple Watch settings, the watch will call 911 via your phone or via its own cellular connection, and will then contact a designated friend or loved one to notify, along with your location.