Apple Watch series 4: initial thoughts

profmatt

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In no particular order . . .

1. I had the 42mm Hermès and I bought the 44mm Hermès. The screen on the 44mm is very noticeably bigger. I’m not persuaded all the watchfaces and other screens have scaled up well. Some look too big, or the screen looks too empty. If I’d bought the watch in a shop I would have asked to see the 40mm — I might have preferred it, whereas I definitely would not have worn the 38mm.

2. The Hermès two-tone face (which is available on the AWH4, despite not buying the two-tone strap, but which was not available on the AWH3, even after wOS5) looked awful and washed-out until I realised I was on the maximum brightness setting. It’s much better on the lowest setting. This hasn’t caused knock-on effects of other screens being too dark. Maybe I’ll get even better battery life, though this has never been a concern for me: the battery on my AWH3 easily lasted two days.

3. Time travel has gone. It was quite useful to move the hands out of the way when they were blocking a complication.

4. The Digital Crown’s new haptic feedback feature is disappointing. It’s not always there and, when it is, it’s not really a click. It’s OK. The crown itself feels much more sturdy, however, than the previous version. Physically I like it more. If you turn it, the screen comes on — I don’t know if it always did that, but it’s a convenient way to see what time it is.

5. I’m pairing my 44mm watch with the 42mm Link bracelet and the fit is flawless: the lug holes are exactly the same size as the ones on the 42mm. It also looks awesome!

6. I decided to sign up to a data package. Now that the watch has the Podcast app, I’m attracted to the idea of sometimes leaving my phone at home and just having the watch. I’m with EE in the UK. Initially the log-in page just wouldn’t load and 20 minutes on the phone to them got me nowhere. Turns out you have to not be connected to WIFI when you sign up to the plan. As soon as I was outside walking the dog, I tried again and no problem. Very quick, smooth process.

7. Thanks to the bigger screen, Apple has coded apps like Mail to allow proper formatting of e-mails. No longer are you directed to your phone to see graphic elements in e-mails. You see exactly what you’d see on your phone, but in glorious miniature.

8. My first impression was: “Oh. I’m not sure I like this. Have I made an expensive mistake?” After a few hours I’m warming to it. It’s a keeper. (Though I don’t like my Hermès leather strap. I don’t think it looks as good with the watch as the Link and I don’t think it’s as comfortable. Obviously I could send the whole thing back and get the regular SS, but I’d lose the other Hermès features, which I quite like. And I’d have to wait a month. I love the Hermès sports strap, though now I have two. I guess I could sell one of those, too, and recoup even more of the cost.)

9. Watchfaces with horizontal text have been redesigned so that the text follows the curve of the dial. I think I like this.

10. The number of complications in certain spots on the watchfaces is disappointingly small. I don’t know how Apple got all those cool complications on the display model.

11. The Hermès packaging is lovely, but not as nice as it was for the AWH3. The white plastic box is gone. The watch is boxed separately from the strap, and encased in a tacky grey pouch.

12. The Fire watchface when set at full screen is awesome. It’s like the watch has no bezels at all.

I’ll be interested in other people’s thoughts and I’ll be happy to answer any questions anyone has.
 
Last edited:

Bigdog9586

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Apr 15, 2015
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How long did it take to setup compared to older watch. Seems like an hour and half to 2 hours. Hopefully this being 64 bit is faster setup.
 

lalanik

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Sep 18, 2018
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I agree with a lot of points that you made. I like the watch, I don't love it. For example, the infographic face that Apple keeps displaying in commercials promoting the AW4 is great in theory. However, as of right now, there is no shortcut for phone, messages, or email using that face (wth). All I did was set up my watch, set up the complications, and sent 2 text messages and my battery went from 99% to 87% in a matter of 45 minutes. The screen is amazing compared to previous models, I will definitely admit to that. But other than that, I don't know if the AW4 SS Milanese should command an $800+ price tag. Don't get me wrong, it is a great update but not the one it seems everyone was making it out to be IMO.
 
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profmatt

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How long did it take to setup compared to older watch. Seems like an hour and half to 2 hours. Hopefully this being 64 bit is faster setup.
I think it was quicker. I wasted a lot of time trying to set up the data, so I’m not sure how much time was the basic set-up. It does seem faster than the AW3. Graphic elements are loading more quickly, e.g. icons for podcasts.
[doublepost=1537565081][/doublepost]
Emails display like that on series 3 too. Came with watch os5
Ah, OK. Obviously the larger screen on the 44mm offers an advantage with this new feature.
 

Sword86

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Oct 6, 2012
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Just got home and here’s my take FWIW.

- The gold on the new SS is closer to copper IMO. Certainly not yellow
gold like traditional gold watches. It is real nice but didn’t wow me.
- I finally understand why people are so gaga over space black. They were
out of stock in my store but had they had them, I just might have sprung
for one. They are gorgeous, but a little too much black for me. Now I even think there is almost too
much silver on the regular SS. I ended up as intended originally. A 40mm SS.
- For me, the 44mm is simply too large. I tried. The display on the 40mm is plenty
readable for this old f**t even without reading glasses.
- I also picked up a sport loop. It is a new one they call it ‘Storm grey’.
To me it seems to have a bit of a green tint to it so I chose it over all the
others. S
 
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tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
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the infographic face that Apple keeps displaying in commercials promoting the AW4 is great in theory. However, as of right now, there is no shortcut for phone, messages, or email using that face (wth).
This is a major omission. Having instant access to mail and messages on my wrist has been the main utility of Apple Watch.
 

alemankc

macrumors newbie
Sep 22, 2018
1
0
Can anyone tell me if the watch face will stay lit longer than 10 seconds. I have the series 2 and as a nurse, I had a difficult time using it to take pulses, etc. because the face would only stay lit so long.
[doublepost=1537654103][/doublepost]
Can anyone tell me if the watch face will stay lit longer than 10 seconds. I have the series 2 and as a nurse, I had a difficult time using it to take pulses, etc. because the face would only stay lit so long.
Never mind, I may have actually figured it out! Lol
 

danmart

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Apr 24, 2015
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Lancs, UK
Can anyone tell me if the watch face will stay lit longer than 10 seconds. I have the series 2 and as a nurse, I had a difficult time using it to take pulses, etc. because the face would only stay lit so long.
[doublepost=1537654103][/doublepost]
Never mind, I may have actually figured it out! Lol
You can set the time it stays on to be 70 seconds for this very reason :)

On the Watch: Settings > General > Wake Screen
[doublepost=1537654741][/doublepost]
This is a major omission. Having instant access to mail and messages on my wrist has been the main utility of Apple Watch.
You can still have these, just not on the new super-wizzy screens for some unknowable reason.
 
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PhillyGuy72

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Sep 13, 2014
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How long did it take to setup compared to older watch. Seems like an hour and half to 2 hours. Hopefully this being 64 bit is faster setup.
Picked my up today...my God..maybe 3,4 minutes at the most? That blew me away!
YES, syncing and setting up my Series 1 was painful, I did that last night with my Stainless Steel to my XS Max and it took 20, 25 minutes.
 

cwanja

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
632
283
Texas
How long did it take to setup compared to older watch. Seems like an hour and half to 2 hours. Hopefully this being 64 bit is faster setup.
Mine took two pair / unpair sequences to setup (albeit it was on launch day, not today) for myself. Was using both an Xs and S4 for initial setup. Kind of was around the same time the posts for all of the system outages that Apple was having. I was attempting to update my wives S3 to watchOS 5 and it took about 20 minutes to just download.
 

matrix07

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Jun 24, 2010
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I love the Hermès sports strap, though now I have two. I guess I could sell one of those, too, and recoup even more of the cost.)
I’d gladly pay up to $80 for that. Love that shade of orange. So perfect. Unfortunately I’m living in another part of the world.
 

purpleparrotuk

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Jun 26, 2010
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For those that want a shortcut it messages on the nice screen. You are right you can’t go directly to it. What I do is I have chosen an icon for my favourite person and when you click on it you can press the info button which takes you to your contacts. You can then choose who to message. Or you can click on the messages icon and then the persons name at the top to take you to all your messages. Bit long winded I guess. Might as well just use your dock.
 

profmatt

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Mar 7, 2015
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I’d gladly pay up to $80 for that. Love that shade of orange. So perfect. Unfortunately I’m living in another part of the world.
I’ve sold straps to people in other countries :)
[doublepost=1537689823][/doublepost]
Isn’t it easier to tap the screen than turn the crown to view the time?
But then you get the screen “dirty”.
 

danmart

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Apr 24, 2015
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Lancs, UK
Isn’t it easier to tap the screen than turn the crown to view the time?
You can do this very subtly, though. As you fold your hands together you can move the Crown slightly to wake up the face. It also comes in incrementally, so you can just have minimal light. Much more social in a cinema, for example.
 
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gymratjudy

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Dec 28, 2016
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At first, when I saw it at the store without the screen being on my first impression was that it looked like a Fitbit versa, which I find to be ugly. I bought the SG 38mm with the black sport strap., yesterday Finally got to pairing it today and I must say with the new larger and vibrant screen it looks gorgeous. Btw to me the case of the space grey looks a little darker than SG 3 and actually looks closer to SBSS then before. The black sport band looks more like a very dark grey which I actually prefer to the true black that was on my SG 3.
 

Arran

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Mar 7, 2008
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Atlanta, USA
I’m super disappointed with the digital crown’s haptic feedback too. It doesn’t feel at all like the crown is ticking. It feels like they’ve just got the watches haptic tapping my wrist which they could have just done with any generation.
Yeah, that was the first thing I tried yesterday in store. Hugely disappointing and exactly as you describe.

Apple set the wrong expectation in the keynote. They enthused about the haptic feedback crown and even flashed up a diagram that suggested it was an electromechanical improvement to the crown itself. That got my interest.

But the in-store reality was that's it's just a software tweak and could've been done on series 0.



They'd have been better not mentioning it at the keynote and leaving it as a little surprise. That would've been a better first experience, IMHO.
 
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OasisNYK

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2004
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I picked up a 44 SSSB yesterday, coming from a S0 42 SG sport.

My initial impressions are:
1) The 44 is not too big if you already had the 42, I also looked at the 40 in the Apple store and it looked small (similar to how I felt about the 38). Pictures seem to make the 44 aplear to be huge but in reality it fits very similar to the 42.

2) The bigger screen is great, I use photo backgrounds and they appear much bigger with more detail. The bezel is still noticeable which is disappointing.

3) The black strap like others have pointed out isn’t pure black, it is a little gray and I like it a lot. I do wish we could select the band with the watch, it seems a little ridiculous that we can’t.

4) Coming from a sport version to a SS, the quality of the watch is nicer but not sure it is worth the extra $. My S0 held up well, it did get a few random nicks on the screen and body but only I noticed them. It still looks pretty new. If the SSSB gets zero nicks / scratches maybe the additional cost will be worth it - it seems like most users here say it is very durable. I went SS because this is my only watch and I wanted something higher quality.

5) The watch is faster, extremely fast compared to S0 but that is to be expected. As with all new iOS devices we will see how that holds up with OS updates. I am hoping to keep the watch for at least 3 years and would go 4+ if it holds up and there isn’t a significant functionality enhancement to future versions of the hardware (I am sure Apple will figure out how to get us all to uograde).

Overall it is a nice watch, I haven’t tested out the activity / heart monitoring but will today. I am also looking forward to being able to swim with it during the summer. I may try out LTE but the added cost is off putting. I am trying to stay away from recurring / subscription payments, they add up quickly.

If you have a S3 I am not sure it Is worth trading up, and I don’t think this is the type of device that is worth upgrading consistently at its price point. From the S0 it is a good upgrade.
 
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TheBum

macrumors member
Nov 30, 2012
77
41
In comparing the gold anodized aluminum of the 44mm S4 with the "same" finish on my 42mm S1, the S4's gold is much deeper. The S1 gold is what I'd call a pale gold. I was a little concerned that the gold appeared more rose gold in many of the photos I've seen, but that's definitely not the case. The 44mm S4 seems to fit flatter on my wrist than my 42mm S1 too.
 
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