Apple Watch Series 4 Hands-On: Larger Displays, New Finishes, Slightly Thinner, ECG, and More

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Following the introduction of Apple Watch Series 4 models at Steve Jobs Theater today, MacRumors and other media outlets were provided with some up-and-close hands-on time with the new lineup.


    At first glance, the most obvious difference with Series 4 models is their larger displays, as Apple has significantly reduced the size of the bezels around the screen. The bezels now look similar to those on the iPhone X and newer, although the display is not completely edge to edge.

    Apple says the larger displays provide 32 percent and 35 percent more viewing area on the new 40mm and 44mm models respectively, compared to the previous 38mm and 42mm models in previous generations.


    Taking advantage of the larger displays, Apple has redesigned the entire watchOS interface to provide more information with richer detail. A new Infograph watch face can accommodate up to eight complications.

    Series 4 models are also ever slightly thinner than Series 3 models, measuring in at 10.7mm, compared to 11.4mm. Apple didn't allow me to test my Series 3 band with a Series 4 model, but it did confirm that both new and existing bands are compatible with all Apple Watch generations.


    Apple Watch Series 4 has a new electrical heart sensor on the back side for electrocardiography, often shortened to ECG or EKG. This potentially life-saving functionality can indicate whether your heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation, a serious form of irregular heart rhythm.

    Series 4 introduces some finishes, including gold stainless steel casing and a gold Milanese Loop. The back side on all the new models is now crafted from sapphire crystal and ceramic, whereas some Series 3 models had composite backs.


    On the side of Series 4 models, the Digital Crown features a thin circle, which is black on GPS configurations and red on LTE configurations. By comparison, nearly the entire Digital Crown is red on Series 3 models with LTE. In my opinion, the new, subdued look of the crown is more aesthetically pleasing.




    Overall, the Series 4 models do not represent a full-out redesign of the Apple Watch, but the larger displays and improved health monitoring tools are much welcomed features that are worth considering upgrading for.

    Article Link: Apple Watch Series 4 Hands-On: Larger Displays, New Finishes, Slightly Thinner, ECG, and More
  2. Lucamegh macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2010
    2 hours event and that's the only product I'm (mildly) interested in. Thanks Tim!
  3. Exile714, Sep 12, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018

    Exile714 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2015
    Typo: The 44mm is 32% bigger, the 40 is 35%. As of 4:34PM PST the article has it backwards.

    So, no word on Qi charging? I know AirPower has been erased from history, but the capability to charge the Apple Watch via something other than the puck charger technically has existed since the Series 3. I wonder if it’s a hardware or software limitation, or if it’s simply a feature that’s been switched off arbitrarily to hold off for AirPower.

    My inclination has been that Apple Watch’s non-puck charging capabilities are based on Qi but modified in a way that makes them incompatible with standard Qi chargers (like all since the Series 0, but modified somewhat to fit what the AirPower mat was supposed to provide).
  4. sirozha macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
    So, is the heart monitor sensor different from the one in Series 3 or is it the same? If it's the same, I'm sitting out this update. If it's a new generation heart monitor sensor, I will buy the Series 4. Unfortunately, the heart monitor sensor in Series 2 and Series 3 is extremely flaky. We have two Series 2 and two Series 3 watches, and on all four watches, the heart monitor readings are all over the map, sometimes fluctuating over 100 beats per minute on two subsequent measurements that are 30 seconds apart. This mostly happens during exercising.

    The 44mm Series 4 aluminum model with LTE is $529 before tax and excluding Apple Care.
  5. Ankaa macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2008
    Bummer, it's really not THAT much thinner. It appeared really thin on the pictures that leaked/during the presentation, but I'm not quite sure what difference 0.7mm make in reality, particularly on the smaller model. Add the additional 2mm in size and it might look even bulkier on small wrists (such as women's) than the previous series. Absolutely not thrilled about the larger size, my series 2 looks bulky on my wrist as is. Again, bummer, because I LOVE the new display and functionality.
  6. SteveJobs2.0 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
  7. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.

    1) Does the HR have 24/7 monitoring (and if no, why not)?

    2) Any word on improved cellular connectivity (beyond the backside being more transparent to cell signals)?
  8. rcooked macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2015
    Huge Apple product user here... Apple Watch was my main hope for this keynote, and while it looks good, they still lack in a few areas FitBit has them smoked in:

    1. Sleep tracking
    2. Battery Life

    I am really on the fence here. I love the products, hate the price, and feel like some basic features are missing when FitBit can deliver this stuff on a $150 device.
  9. lynmond macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011

    Is the 2mm increase (38 to 40, 42 to 44) just the increased 'viewable' screen size alone? Hence the actual case has not increased in size itself? Thats how it reads, but just wishing to seek many others believe (rightly or wrongly) that the overall case size has increased also.

  10. 123 macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2002
    Yeah, just take a look at the last picture. Terribly bulky, looks fugly.
  11. InVinoVeritasty, Sep 12, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018

    InVinoVeritasty macrumors newbie


    Dec 1, 2016
    .3mm thinner? That's 1/100th of an inch. Not sure that is much of a marketing differentiator.
    EDIT .7mm thinner? That's less than 3/100ths of an inch. My girl tells me that delta is not a differentiator. Your mileage may vary.
  12. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

    Apr 16, 2015
    Oh I don't know about that ... it's hard to see how 2mm would make that significant a difference ... but watching a video on it, I'm reminded of this:


  13. nurban1992 macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2015
    Apple confirmed in their keynote that, even though the unit is physically larger, the fact that they are thinner allows for the unit to actually take up less volume. To me, that means that even though it IS bigger, it doesn’t really *feel* like it on your wrist — which is what matters.
  14. mashdots macrumors newbie


    Dec 10, 2015
    The new watch is cool, but I was hoping they'd put 5Ghz wifi chips in them by now.
  15. cwanja macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    Yes, when you are working out. No, when you are not.
  16. Coffee50 macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2015
    I'd like to see some comparisons of the 38mm & 40mm.

    I'm a fan of the smaller I'd be moving up to the 40mm, but I felt like the 38 was the sweet spot!
  17. LeahJoFoxtrot macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2016
    You wouldn't catch me dead wearing that gigantic thing if my wrists were that small. Even with my larger wrists I still want a petite feminine looking watch.
  18. emvath macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2009
    Ouch. Really interested but that is a steep price for me. Hard to look at a series 3 now that I've seen what the 4 offers.
  19. Baymowe335 macrumors 68020

    Oct 6, 2017
    ECG is really cool and useful.
  20. e-coli macrumors 68000


    Jul 27, 2002
    I wish the stock Apple Watch faces didn't look like ridiculous toys. I had to buy an Hermès edition to get an attractive face. What's more, if I wanted the Nike watch faces, I'd have to buy a whole separate Apple Watch. It'd be great if Apple just opened a Watch Face section of the App Store. They'd sell like crazy.
  21. canyonblue737 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2005
    Is it? The technology is awesome but less than 2% of Americans have even occasional Afib. The technology records your ECG (and only when you manually choose to) but really that only has use for giving to a physician. I *totally* understand how this will save lives and be incredibly useful if you have Afib but for most it will be an extra cost with no real use at all. Now let me contrast that with the optical HR sensor that has been built into this watch... that provides warning for high, low, and Afib heart conditions (which most won't have, but it also does it with no user input which is great) while at the same time being a practical tool for nearly everyone being used to track heart rate during exercise (a test of conditioning) and HR during the entire day (all helping create more accurate calorie burns for everyone.) I'm not against it but this reminds me of cellular last year when most of us went "oh wow" when the lady made a call while windsurfing but then almost none of us used it or kept it after our trials because we take the phone with us everywhere anyway. for the privilege of the ECG (only useable in the USA for now, and even there only later this fall) and the better screen the watch costs $100 more across the board.
  22. JGIGS macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    Those bezels look awful. I'll stick with my series 3 for awhile. Only thing I may have bought is a better version of AirPods. Looks like I can save my loot this year. YAY thanks for not tempting me Apple.
  23. dtich macrumors regular

    May 27, 2007
    go make a phone call on your fitbit. then scroll thru some pix. watch a vid maybe. answer a text. get directions to a concert. oh wait.....

    they are NOT the same device. you want a fitbit buy a ***** fitbit. stop making annoying comparisons...
  24. canyonblue737 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2005
    so aggravating. the Hermes has the most elegant faces, and the Nike the best digital face. Neither are on my SS watch that costs $650 (soon to be the $750 S4 version). What is Apple thinking? The new faces are cool and colorful but some us want to wear these in professional or elegant settings too!
  25. HiRez, Sep 12, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018

    HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Bigger screen is nice but that still looks like a real fat bezel to me. They may be "similar to the new iPhones" in terms of the actual width of the bezel, but as a percentage of screen size, they're much larger. It's a shame they couldn't bring it out closer to the edge and either make the screen even bigger, or make the case smaller.

    I could also do with a slightly less bulbous curvature on the edges of the screen, make it a little flatter with a slightly sharper rounding, it kind of feels like I'm looking into one of those snow globes or something.

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