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Apple Watch 4 Features: Best Fitness Watch?

I’ve been reviewing Apple Watch series four since the last few weeks, and it lives up to the hype. Starting with the hardware as hardware is where they knocked it out of the park. For the very first time since the original Apple Watch, the hardware has redesigned. There’s new sizes, new screens, new speakers, and of course, there’s new stuff inside it. But, it still looks like an Apple Watch so, let’s get into it.

So, with the Series 4, there are two new sizes, there are 40 millimetres and 44 millimetres, Now, before this, I was using the 42-millimetre size, the bigger size on the Series 3, and it’s only subtly bigger than it was before. Still, it’s also subtly thinner, and to me, the trade-off is worth it. You’re not going to notice that difference all that much. And I think that also is going to apply to people who prefer the smaller Watch.

Pricing

Before we get too deep into about Apple Watch Series 4, we really should talk pricing, because of these watches, they’re not that cheap. The least expensive model is the 40 millimetre, with GPS plus wi-fi, and that’s $399, but there’s a whole bunch of add-ons you can do, so let’s take a look here. It’s $30 more for the larger size if you want to get LTE that’s usually about $100 more, plus the $10 a month or so your carrier’s going to charge you. If you want to get one of the steel models, that’s somewhere in the neighbourhood of $200 more. You also could add AppleCare on top of that. You could easily spend $600, $700 on one of these things without even noticing it. And I am not even talking about the Hermes model.

Design and Build

Series 4 looks the same as before. It’s got the same lozenge shape and the same two-button layout, but Apple’s careful with the curves on this more significant size. It’s still compatible with existing watch bands; even third-party watch bands again look beautiful on these watches.

Where things start to look different is when the screen turns on, because the screens on these watches are incredible.

They’re at 30% more significant than the old models, and they got closer to the edge of the Watch. They make the screens on the older generations of the Apple Watch look tiny and cramped, and the corners of the screen are rounded. So it feels more natural to the Watch. It’s still OLED, and these screens are just big, and they’re beautiful, and I love them. There are some other changes to the hardware, and the back is now ceramic instead of metal, allows wireless signals to pass through the ceramic, giving it better reception.

They’ve moved the microphone between the two buttons, making it better for calls, but the thing that makes it better for hi calls is the louder speaker. It’s seriously like, super-duper loud. On the inside there’s a faster processor, of course, there’s Bluetooth 5.0 on the W3 wireless chip. And there’s a new set of more accurate sensors, which is going to become important later. There’s also this haptic feedback when you turn the digital crown.

If you get, the LTE model is there’s just a subtle red ring now, so, good job.

Battery Life

As for battery life, well, it’s stupendous. I used this thing all weekend without charging it, and that included walking around for a couple of hours using Maps, making a couple calls on LTE, and also doing some workout stuff. And I didn’t have to charge this thing until the end of the day on Sunday. Apple gets about 18 hours of battery life, or you can do about 6 hours of free workout time.

You know what? Apple Watch 4 hit that number. The battery life is so good that I wish Apple gave me the option to have the screen always be on all the time. You still have a twist on your wrist to see the time. It’s fine.

Watch OS 5 features

So the newest version of Watch OS is Watch OS 5. And, honestly, it’s a grab bag of new features. There’s support for podcasts and streaming Apple music, and new fitness and health options, and walkie-talkie mode, and you can open links in iMessage to webpages, and they get displayed automatically in readability mode. I don’t know, hooray for the web, and I love reading the PLEweb on my Watch. Check out our post about it.

LTE and Phone calls

Apple has fixed LTE issues. When people have called me, and I’ve used the Watch to take the call, they didn’t believe I wasn’t talking to them on the phone. And the speaker on this thing is so loud; you don’t have to like, hold it up to your ear to hear people. Now you kind of hold your wrist naturally and like, actually have a conversation, it’s Preally impressive. But it still does take the Watch time to get connected on LTE, which can be a little bit frustrating.

Siri

Siri is still Siri. One new, neat feature is you can raise your wrist and start talking. Siri will respond, but, I don’t know, a lot of the time, instead of Siri becoming available, it just says, hang on, dot dot dot, and I’ll tap you when I’m ready dot dot dot, and you never really trust Siri to work the first time that you use it.

New Features

Now, some software features are exclusive to Apple Watch Series 4 that includes new watch faces, the electrocardiogram feature, and fall detection.

 The new Watch faces designed that way to show just how big these new Apple Watch screens are, and some of them are beautiful, I especially love the water watch face, which, like, has animated water and shows a clock hand, I think it’s great. It’s design show off how many complications they can fit on a single screen. I’m okay with a ton of difficulties, but the colours here are, they’re all over the place. This one’s orange and this one’s yellow, and this one goes from green to yellow. I know some people are going to like it, but I super don’t.

 Oh, and Apple still isn’t allowing third-party watch faces, which is a bummer. I want to get an information-dense watch screen like this without so many colours everywhere.

 So the walkie-talkie feature on the Apple Watch is pretty cool. To use it, both you and your friend have to be friends, and you both have to be available. And the reason that exists is the first time you talk to somebody on the walkie-talkie mode; your voice calls out from their Watch.

 So, to do it, you hit the complication, or open up the app, you tap on the name of the person you want to talk to, and then there’s just a big, yellow talk button, and you hold your finger down on it, and you talk.

So that’s nice, but the first time you do it, there’s this message that says, connecting to the person to want to talk, because what walkie-talkie mode is, is a FaceTime call that’s just interrupted By you tapping the push to talk button. Ah, yeah, it works well, except that, you have to use your other hand to touch the thing, you can’t push a button, and it’s also like if you’ve got one of your hands full, you basically can’t use this thing, right? That’s the other problem with it.

Health and Fitness

When Apple introduced the very first Apple Watch, it was a mess. They were trying to do too much, but both software and hardware couldn’t live up to it. And on top of that, Apple didn’t know what the Watch’s purpose was, but since then, they’ve figured it out, and this year they focused on making everything better. Apple Watch 4 has a better screen, and it has better speed, it has better fitness features, and most of all, it has better health features.

Now, there are still some things that I’d like to improve, and I wish there were more watch face options. Siri’s still kind of unreliable, and, you know, these things are still pretty expensive, especially given how quickly Apple’s iterating them, it makes deciding whether or not to upgrade a tough call. But if you have an older Apple Watch, I think you’re going to be blown away by this year’s updates. The bottom line, if you’ve been waiting to buy or upgrade an Apple Watch, now’s a perfect time.


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