Home Home Tech Apple's impressive new Series 4 watch with bigger screen and great redesign

Billed not only as the No.1 smartwatch in the world, but the No.1 watch in the world, Apple Watch Series 4 is louder, thinner, with a larger screen, new fitness and health capabilities and more.

It's a whole new watch from Apple with Series 4, and while you can say that for every new generation, Series 4 is noticeably different and better than its predecessors.

Series 4 is also more expensive in Australia than the previous Series 3 price, presumably not only because of the more advanced technology, but also due to our weaker Australian dollar compared to the US dollar, with the GPS and Cellular model starting at A$749, and the non-cellular/GPS model starting at A$599. The previous Series 3 model starts at A$399.

Watching the keynote, which you'll be able to watch at Apple.com today and is, as always, a must-see event, Series 4 of the Apple Watch looks like an amazing update that will only make Apple Watch even more popular.

There are also incredible new features like an electrocardiogram (ECG) feature as well as irregular rhythm notification, both FDA approved, but they're not available at launch (and are coming later this year), with US only availability to start with, although the keynote video said other countries were coming.

The rest of this article is Apple's media release, which explains everything so well, so please read on, and be sure to check out Apple online to see all the photos, videos and more.

Apple today inroduced Apple Watch Series 4, redesigned and re-engineered to help users stay connected, be more active and manage their health in powerful new ways. While retaining the original iconic design, the fourth-generation Apple Watch has been refined, combining new hardware and software enhancements into a genuinely singular, unified form.

The stunning display is over 30% larger and seamlessly integrates into the thinner, smaller case, while the new interface provides more information with richer detail. Apple Watch Series 4 with watchOS 5 brings advanced activity and communications features, along with revolutionary health capabilities, including an improved accelerometer and gyroscope, which are able to detect hard falls, and an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) using the new ECG app,(1) which has been granted a De Novo classification by the FDA.

“We’re thrilled Apple Watch has become an essential part of peoples’ lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “The completely redesigned Apple Watch Series 4 continues to be an indispensable communication and fitness companion, and now with the addition of groundbreaking features, like fall detection and the first-ever ECG app offered directly to consumers, it also becomes an intelligent guardian for your health.”

Beginning Friday 14, September, Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) will be available to order in 26 countries and territories, and Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) will be available to order in 16 countries and territories. Both models will be available in stores beginning Friday 21, September.

Design

Apple Watch Series 4 is more than an evolution — it represents a fundamental redesign and re-engineering of Apple Watch. It’s offered in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm. The speaker is 50% louder, optimised for phone calls, Siri and Walkie-Talkie, and the microphone has been relocated, to reduce echo for better sound quality. The device includes the next-generation S4 chip with a custom 64-bit dual-core processor, delivering twice the speed while maintaining the same all-day battery life.(2)

The back of Apple Watch Series 4 is composed of a gorgeous black ceramic and sapphire crystal, allowing radio waves to easily pass through the front and back for better cellular service. The Digital Crown now includes haptic feedback, offering a more mechanical and responsive feel through the sensation of incremental clicks.

The user interface is optimised for the larger display, allowing for app icons and fonts that are bigger and easier to read, while complications have been beautifully enhanced to be more precise and informative. New watch faces take full advantage of the Series 4 display, from the endlessly customisable Infograph face, to the Breathe face, where the animation is timed around a deep breath. Additionally, a suite of motion faces, including Vapour, Liquid Metal, Fire and Water react uniquely with the curved edges of the case.

Health

Apple Watch Series 4 enables customers to take an ECG reading right from the wrist using the new ECG app, which takes advantage of the electrodes built into the Digital Crown and new electrical heart rate sensor in the back crystal. With the app, users touch the Digital Crown and after 30 seconds, receive a heart rhythm classification. It can classify if the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that could lead to major health complications. All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored in the Health app in a PDF that can be shared with physicians.

With watchOS 5, Apple Watch intermittently analyses heart rhythms in the background and sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm suggestive of AFib is detected.(3) It can also alert the user if the heart rate exceeds or falls below a specified threshold.

Fall detection utilises a next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope, which measures up to 32 g-forces, along with custom algorithms to identify when hard falls occur. By analysing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, Apple Watch sends the user an alert after a fall, which can be dismissed or used to initiate a call to emergency services. If Apple Watch senses immobility for 60 seconds after the notification, it will automatically call emergency services and send a message along with location to emergency contacts.

Fitness

With watchOS 5, Apple Watch becomes an even better fitness and workout companion. Activity competitions allow users to challenge other Apple Watch wearers, automatic workout detection provides an alert to start a workout while giving retroactive credit, and Yoga and Hiking are new dedicated workout types that accurately track active calories burned and exercise minutes earned. Running enthusiasts can take advantage of extended battery life — which is increased to six hours — for outdoor workouts and enjoy high-performance features, including cadence for indoor and outdoor runs, pace alerts for outdoor runs and rolling kilometre pace, which shows pace for the immediately preceding kilometre.(2)

Staying Connected

Customers can reach their friends with just a tap of the wrist with Walkie-Talkie, a watch-to-watch connection that is an entirely new way to communicate around the world over Wi-Fi or cellular.(4) The Siri watch face is more predictive and proactive, offering shortcuts and actionable content from favourite third-party apps. watchOS 5 also lets users listen to their favourite podcasts on the go with Apple Podcasts on Apple Watch, and stream any podcast in the catalog by using Siri. With Apple Watch Series 4, enriched complications offer a more detailed view of helpful third-party apps like Dexcom, which allows for continuous glucose monitoring, or Streaks, which shows daily progress on tasks.

Apple Watch Line-Up

Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) starts at RRP A$599 inc. GST and Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) starts at RRP A$749 inc. GST, both featuring the updated design and new health capabilities. Series 3 will be available at the new starting price of RRP A$399 inc. GST, making it even more accessible to customers. Along with the three aluminium finishes anodised in silver, gold and space grey, Apple Watch Series 4 now comes in a striking gold stainless steel with matching Milanese band, joining the silver and space black stainless steel models. A new collection of bands debut for autumn and all bands continue to work with any generation of Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Nike+ remains a customer favourite and the new collection features redesigned Nike watch faces that match the new band colours, including a Pure Platinum/Black Sport Band and a Summit White Sport Loop with reflective yarn. Apple Watch Hermès introduces an elegant assortment of colour-blocked bands and exclusive watch faces that shift from one colour to the other with the passage of the minute hand.

Pricing and Availability

Customers will be able to order Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) beginning Friday 14, September, with availability beginning Friday 21, September, in Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, UK and US, with other countries later this year. For carrier availability, visit apple.com/au/watch/cellular.(5)

Customers will be able to order Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) beginning Friday 14, September, with availability beginning Friday 21, September, in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, UK, US and US Virgin Islands.

Apple Watch Nike+ will be available to order on apple.com/au and in the Apple Store app, beginning Friday 14, September, in select countries, with limited availability beginning on Friday 5, October in Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macau, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, UK and US. For more information, visit apple.com/au/apple-watch-nike or nike.com/applewatch.

Apple Watch Hermès will be available to order on apple.com/au and in the Apple Store app, beginning Friday 14, September, with availability beginning Friday 21, September, in Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, UK and US. For more information, visit apple.com/au/apple-watch-hermes or hermes.com/applewatchhermes.

New Apple Watch bands will be available to order on apple.com/au and in the Apple Store app, beginning Friday 14, September, with availability beginning Friday 21, September, at Apple Stores, as well as select Apple Authorised Resellers and carriers in the US and over 35 countries and regions.

With Apple GiveBack, customers in Australia can trade in their eligible device for an Apple Store Gift Card or a refund on their purchase. If their device isn’t eligible for credit, Apple will recycle it for free.

Customers who buy Apple Watch from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup, in-store or online,(6) to help set up and personalise their new Apple Watch with calendars, notifications, apps and more.

(1) ECG app coming later this year (US only).

(2) Battery life depends on use and configuration. 

(3) Irregular rhythm notification coming later this year (US only)

(4) Walkie-Talkie is not available in China, Pakistan or the UAE

(5) Apple Watch requires a compatible iPhone. iPhone service provider must be the same. Not available with all service providers. Roaming is not available. 

(6) In most countries.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

 

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