Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 4 in September 2018 along with the iPhone XR and iPhone XS. The Apple Watch Series 4 brings the first major redesign to the Watch with a larger display, louder speakers, thinner profile, and a redesigned back. My previous Apple Watches have all been space gray, but with this model I jumped for the 44mm silver. Nice and classy.
Unboxing the Apple Watch is unlike any other device. The box itself is a long rectangle, with plastic covering it. Once the plastic is removed, users need to unfold the box in a similar fashion to a gift. Once the box is unfolded, it will expose two separate boxes. The main box holds the Watch itself in a fabric sock, along with a magnetic power cable and 5w power brick. The second box is exclusively for the watch band.
The Apple Watch setup process is very similar to AirPods. Just hold the unlocked iOS device near the Watch, and a prompt will appear. From here, the iPhone will ask you to sign in with your Apple ID, Setup Activity, and other Information. Notably, Apple Watch Series 4’s Fall Detection is turned off by default.
For the first time ever, Apple has increased the display sizes on the Apple Watch by about 30%. The previous 38mm model is now referred to as the 40mm, while the 42mm is now the 44mm. Luckily, existing bands will still work.
The increased display size makes the user interface easier to use. The home screen icons are easier to tap, and I noticed a rarely opened the wrong app.
The Apple Watch Series 4 features a refined design over the past versions. Apple has moved the microphone hole in-between the side button and digital crown, allowing for clearer sound. The underside of the Apple Watch is now entirely ceramic, which I personally felt to be more comfortable than the mixture with aluminum.
Apple has also added a new feature which triggers the haptic engine when you spin the digital crown. The frequency of the vibrations change depending on what’s being scrolled. I found this addition was a nice touch, but its nothing revolutionary.
The Apple Watch Series 4 is probably the first Apple Watch that I’d consider “fast”. Nearly every application loads instantly, and as a result I find myself using the watch much more. Siri on the Apple Watch Series 4 works incredibly well, although I find that I still need to say the “Hey, Siri” command most of the time.
Apple has not yet added the ECG to the Apple Watch Series 4. Once Apple adds it, we’ll update this review.
With Apple Watch Series 4, Apple has made it so Apple Watch will automatically detect if you fall. If you fail to respond within a minute to a loud chime and prompt on the screen, it will automatically contact emergency services. When testing this out, It worked really well.
Exclusive Watch Faces
The Apple Watch Series 4 brings many exclusive watch faces including Infograph, Infograph Modular, and full screen versions of the Nike Analog, Vapor, Fire, Water, Liquid Metal, and Color. Infograph is by far my favorite watch face to date, although many apps do not have complications to support it yet. The full screen watch faces look nice, but none of them support any additional complications, which is a problem.
Complications Missing from Infograph -Camera -Find Friends -Home -Keynote -Mail -Maps -Messages -News -Now Playing -Phone -Photos -Podcasts -Radio -Remote -Wallet
Overall, the Apple Watch Series 4 pushes Apple’s lead in the smart watch market further. With this model, it seems the hardware has finally caught up to what the software demanded. Now, Apple just needs to polish the software to do this watch justice.
- Add more complications to the Infograph watch face
- Make the dock glanceable again
- Notes app
- Have more data sent to the Apple Watch, such as multiple months of Calendar.
- Bring Folders to the watchOS home screen
- Update the photos app to show recently shared photos
- Delete Default Apps from Apple Watch
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