Apple just officially unveiled its new iPhones and Apple Watch. While not much has been kept under wraps in the months leading up to the launch, it’s still important we talk about the features of the new devices. Let’s focus first on the newest iteration of Apple’s smartwatch, the Watch Series 4.
Go from edge to edge
Apple proudly says it has reengineered the Apple Watch from the ground up to make it what it is now. The most obvious change is the new edge-to-edge display on the bigger models. Now, there are 40mm and 44mm models with displays that are 35 percent and 32 percent bigger, respectively. The display takes as much of the front of the smartwatch as possible and allows apps and widgets to take up more space. Apple boasts that one of the new watch faces allow for up to eight complications to take up the screen.
Aside from this, Apple uses more ceramic and sapphire, which are said to improve cell reception on this smartwatch. The Digital Crown has also been redesigned. It now comes with haptic feedback and the red dot that used to be on the Cellular models is now changed to a red ring.
The speaker has been moved to the opposite side of the microphone and is said to be 50 percent louder than its predecessors. The new placement is also meant to improve call quality.
When Apple talked about redesigning its smartwatch, they, of course, improved the internals, too. The Watch Series 4 gets a 64-bit, dual-core S4 processor. We don’t need to get too technical but it’s said to be twice as fast as previous models. This new Apple Watch also has improved battery life, sort of. While you still get the same 18-hour battery life, Apple claims it can last longer—up to six hours, specifically.
Apple Watch Series 4 will run on watchOS 5, which will be made available starting September 17.
Take care of your heart and health
Apple wants the Watch Series 4 to be an “intelligent guardian for your health” and has introduced new ways for the wearable to check up on your heart. It can detect if your heart rate is too low, if you have irregular heart rhythm as it watches out for atrial fibrillation, and most significantly it can take an electrocardiogram. The last one makes this wearable the first over-the-counter, direct-to-consumer product to be able to take an EKG. In the U.S., it has received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to be used as a medical device.
The Watch Series 4 is able to do an EKG rather easily. You just need to put your finger on the crown so it can create a closed circuit with the sensor at the bottom of the case. The entire process takes around 30 seconds to be completed. The results are recorded on the Health app, which can be saved as a PDF you can share with your doctor.
Aside from this, Apple has improved its accelerometer and gyroscope so it can detect if you’ve taken a hard fall. This immediately prompts an emergency alert on your watch so you can call your emergency contact. If it detects you haven’t moved in around a minute, it’ll make the call for you.
Glitters in gold
The Watch Series 4 comes in familiar aluminum and stainless steel colors but Apple is also introducing a new gold stainless steel model (perhaps to match the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max models). There will be new Nike+ and Hermès models as well. Now if you’ve collected a sizeable amount of Apple Watch bands, the good news is you can use these old bands with the new Apple Watch, too.
While we don’t have official pricing or availability in the Philippines just yet, the Apple Watch Series 4 is available for pre-order in the U.S. starting this Friday, September 14 and will be available the following Friday, September 21. The GPS models have a starting price of US$399 (around P21,500), while the Cellular models start at US$499 (around P27,000).