I’ve been a fan of the Apple Watch since it was first released a few years back. Up until last year, all of the 3 previous models felt like just minor upgrades and for most, gave me the same experience. I’m glad to say that the Apple Watch Series 4 is finally the upgrade I’ve been waiting for.
The Series 4 is the first major redesign of the Apple Watch. For me, it’s finally at a place where I’m completely satisfied with what is offered. Apple has upgraded everything so overall, it feels and works really well. I have an Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4 and this is what the review is based on.
DESIGN & DISPLAY
The case sizes for the Series 4 have been updated. You now have the option of choosing between a 40mm or a 44mm over the previous 39mm and 42mm sizes on the older models. Coming from wearing a lot of bigger watches, the 42mm always felt a bit too small for me and I just couldn’t get used to it but with the introduction of a larger 44mm size, it’s much more comfortable and looks better in my opinion.
The case is now thinner and the area of the screen has increased. To put it into perspective, The 40mm Series 4 model has a larger display than the 42mm Series 3. This is a really impressive upgrade and advancement by Apple. With the screen being larger and the very small bezels together with the rounded edges, the Apple Watch Series 4 feels and looks amazing. The display is bright, clear and just a pleasure to look at. Overall, Apple’s excellent design craftsmanship shines with this release and I am very satisfied with the result.
With the Nike+ version, it’s basically a standard version but with some added Nike watch faces, a sportier selection of straps and a link with the Nike Run Club app. This is the version I always prefer
SOFTWARE, PERFORMANCE & BATTERY
What I’m enjoying a lot with the Series 4 is the OS. The Series 4 ships with WatchOS 5 which brings a lot of useful tweaks and features. As a consumer, you run into some annoyances and bugs and occasionally, the manufacturer is aware of these points and because of this, they fix, correct or improve it. This is what Apple has done with watch OS and I absolutely love when manufacturers pay attention to their loyal customers.
The software experience on the Series 3 was quite good but it did experience some lag or some bugs and it just didn’t seem complete for me. The watchOS 5 software experience on the Series 4 is awesome. Much more thought was put into the overall experience. Everyday use is smooth and fast with no hiccups at all. Also, they’ve done a great job with making certain elements and buttons bigger so it’s easier to see and select.
For those of you who are into the different watch faces, the Series 4 is equipped with a lot of different faces to choose from and you’ll definitely find one that suits your taste.
The battery life still needs to be improved because, in my use, it still needs to be put on a charger at the end of the day.
My primary reason for using an Apple Watch is the fitness and health functions. An Apple Watch is great for these purposes.
What I am enjoying a lot is the automatic workout detection feature. Previously, If I forgot to start a workout, I would lose out on the data but now, the watch will detect that a workout has started and credits you for the time that passed. Workouts can be selected or tracked automatically, you can challenge friends to activity competitions, there’s support for workouts such as yoga & hiking and it can now track running metrics like cadence and rolling miles. The useful features such as reminders to stand up and walk around after sitting for too long or the breathing exercises are still present as well.
The Series 4 now includes an ECG app which takes electrocardiograms and you’ll be altered by an artificial fibrillation feature when five irregular heart rhythms are experienced. This can be a really handy feature because you’ll be able to provide a doctor with all the collected data stored if you do need to go in for a checkup. It’s also good to be aware if your heart rate is too low or too high.
Another new feature which I find to be really useful, especially for older people, is the fall detection feature. Using the accelerometer and gyroscope, it can sense when you fall backwards or forward and can also gauge the impact to determine whether you’ve fallen unintentionally or not.
Overall, fitness tracking has been great with the Series 4 and even though I didn’t use the other health features, I can definitely see it being very useful for others. Good to see that Apple is making this device much more of a necessary tool rather than just a companion to your smartphone.
Because the Series 4 is much faster and more powerful, using Siri is actually much better. I never bothered with the previous models because the process and delays were too long. It’s much faster now and there are no delays so far. I occasionally use Siri to call a contact, start a timer or look up some info.
This is exactly what I wanted from a smartwatch and if you’re thinking of getting into the smartwatch game, this is a perfect time. Overall, the Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch you can buy and with all the extra health features, it’s even more than just a smartwatch.