Apple Watch Series 4 vs. Apple Watch Series 3

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The all-new Apple Watch Series 4 is just hours from being available for pre-order, with orders opening on at 12:01 a.m. PDT on September 14. If you're still on the fence about jumping to the new generation, this post should help you discern all of the pros and cons between sticking with your Apple Watch Series 3 or going with the upgraded Apple Watch Series 4.


    Perhaps the first thing you'll notice about the Series 4 is its bigger display, which is up to 35 percent larger than the Series 3. Specifically comparing the larger 42mm Series 3 and 44mm Series 4 models, the Series 3 has a 740 sq mm display area while the Series 4 has a 977 sq mm display area. This means that the 44mm Series 4's display is 32 percent larger than the 42mm Series 3.


    Likewise for the smaller models, the 38mm Series 3 has a 563 sq mm display area, compared to the 40mm Series 4 with a 759 sq mm display area. This results in a 35 percent display size increase between generations. In essence, this means that the Series 4 packs more screen into what is nearly the same package as the Series 3, with slimmer bezels that are somewhat visually similar to the rounded corners of the iPhone X and iPhone XS.

    The increased display area also results in increased resolution, with the 44mm Series 4 including 368x448 pixels, compared to 312x390 on the 42mm Series 3. The 40mm Series 4 has 324x394 pixels, while the 38mm Series 3 has 272x340 pixels. Thanks to all of these changes, app icons and fonts are now bigger and easier to read as well.

    Case Size

    Although the display sizes have been increased, there are minimal changes to the actual size of the cases for Apple Watch Series 4, despite the new measurements. 38mm in Series 3 and prior has become 40mm, and 42mm in Series 3 and prior has become 44mm, with both of these numbers representing the height of the Apple Watch Series 4 case.


    This is a change that shouldn't be too noticeable, unless you're comparing the Series 4 with a previous generation model side-by-side. And don't worry about this update affecting your current band collection, as Apple made it clear during yesterday's keynote that all previous Apple Watch bands will fit with the Series 4 case.


    Looking at the thinness, Apple Watch Series 4 is just under 1mm slimmer compared to Series 3. Series 4 measures in at 10.7mm thin, compared to 11.4mm thin for Series 3.


    As expected with an Apple update, the Series 4 has received a beefed up processor in the form of the 64-bit dual-core S4 processor.

    Apple says that this is up to two times faster than the S3 processor found on the Series 3, enabling the Series 4 to be speedier when opening apps and performing other functions.

    Watch Faces

    Exclusive to Apple Watch Series 4 are a collection of watch faces that take advantage of the enlarged displays to showcase as many as eight complications.


    These complications have been enhanced to be more precise and provide more information, thanks to the increased display area.


    There are also a few watch faces that will uniquely react to the edges of the Series 4's display, like Vapor, Liquid Metal, and Fire and Water.


    For the first time in a wearable device, you'll be able to take a full ECG reading on Apple Watch Series 4. Using electrodes built into the Digital Crown and a new electrical heart rate sensor in the back crystal, an included ECG app will perform a reading when you touch the Digital Crown and hold it for 30 seconds.


    The app can classify if your heart is beating in a normal pattern or if there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation, which could hint at potential health complications. You'll be able to save your ECG recordings in the iOS Health app and create a PDF to share with your doctor. While Apple Watch has always been able to track your heart rate, the ECG app is a major update to Apple's wearable line.

    The ECG app will be added to Apple Watch Series 4 later this year, and will only be available to customers in the United States at launch.


    Below you'll find a quick list of features that are new and exclusive to Apple Watch Series 4, which are unavailable on Series 3 and prior devices. We've also listed everything that hasn't changed further down, one notable constant being 18-hour battery life.

    Changes between Series 3 and Series 4:
    [*]Series 4 now includes haptic feedback on the Digital Crown
    [*]The black ceramic and sapphire crystal back allows radio waves to easily pass through Series 4 for better cellular service
    [*]The speaker on Series 4 is 50 percent louder
    [*]Apple has relocated the microphone so that it reduces echo for better sound quality on the receiving end of phone calls
    [*]With a new accelerometer and gyroscope, Series 4 can detect if you fall down and ask if emergency services should be alerted
    [*]The improved accelerometer can measure up to 32 g-forces, increased from up to 16 g-forces on Series 3
    [*]Series 4 has Apple's new W3 wireless chip instead of the previous generation W2
    [*]Connectivity improvements also include new Bluetooth 5.0, up from 4.2 on Series 3
    [*]Now all models have 16GB storage capacities, instead of just GPS + Cellular on Series 3
    [*]Second-generation optical heart sensor No changes between Series 3 and Series 4:
    [*]Built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery with an 18-hour battery life
    [*]LTE and UMTS on GPS + Cellular models
    [*]802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi
    [*]Barometric altimeter
    [*]Water resistance up to 50 meters
    [*]Ambient light sensor
    [*]Force Touch
    [*]Display with 1,000 nits brightness
    [*]Magnetic charging cable and USB power adapter included If you're interested, Apple Watch Series 4 pre-orders will kick off at 12:01 a.m. PDT on September 14. Our pre-order post can help you figure out when pre-orders go up for you if you're in a different time zone. We also went hands-on with Apple Watch Series 4 after yesterday's "Gather Round" event, which you can read here.

    Article Link: Apple Watch Series 4 vs. Apple Watch Series 3
  2. macblue macrumors newbie


    Jan 3, 2002
    What is the difference between Nike Series 4 and Apple Series 4? Do I lose anything if I get a Nike watch? I mostly want the band as my current one gets too sweaty when outside or working out.
  3. Targasm macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2018
  4. johnyslats macrumors 65816


    Mar 14, 2012
    Leeds, UK
  5. scrapesleon macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2017
    I didn’t even realize today is Thursday days going by so fast
  6. johnyslats macrumors 65816


    Mar 14, 2012
    Leeds, UK
    Gain additional watch faces, lose out on a launch day watch (2 week longer wait for Nike models)
  7. snej macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2003
    A maybe noteworthy detail is that the Series 4 is still 0.2mm thicker than the Series 1 and 1st generation Apple Watch.
  8. Phogro macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2015
    Boston, MA
    According to Apple's website the Optical heart sensor in Series 4 is Second Generation. FWIW
  9. aolbites macrumors member


    Sep 27, 2012
    Nantucket!! Can you not read?!?
    I'd rather have a thicker case if it meant improved battery life.

    Seriously, I mean the Series 4 has 1 hour less talk time than Series 3. It was bad enough when Apple was stagnating, but now it's going backwards.
  10. mgollaher92 macrumors member


    Jun 14, 2016
    Anyone think it's worth upgrading from Series 1? I'm thinking yes but wanted some second opinions.
  11. Mabus51 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2007
    From a series 0 or 1. No question go for the upgrade. For series 2 or 3 upgrade only if your battery is starting to be burden or if you already know you have AFIB.
  12. JohnnyApple$eed macrumors member


    Feb 19, 2015
    Question for all. I ordered the original Apple Watch when it first came out but returned it as I didn't vibe with it more than my FitBit. With the newly added ECG reading and a few more features, I'm interested again. One thing that sticks out is the 16GB of storage. Does anyone know if you can store music or stream music from your watch to Beats BT headphones w/o your phone nearby (as in the gym)? That would be a HUGE selling point for me. - Thanks.
  13. pbaker103 macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2017
    This will be a huge upgrade for me coming from my Series 0
  14. Marzel macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2018
    Is the ppi the same? Has anyone done the calculations?
  15. bbednarz macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2017
    Yes, you can listen to music both of the ways you described.
  16. KB24Slam macrumors member


    Sep 16, 2015
    Orange County, CA
    Yes, you can store music on the watch or stream it from Apple Music and listen to it with your beats. I use my watch and AirPods everyday at the gym and it's amazing not having to carry my phone around with me. I also had the series 0 watch and it was complete garbage, way too slow to even be usable. My series 3 is lightning fast now and you're really going to enjoy the series 4.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 13, 2018 ---
    Great question, I'd love to know this as well
    --- Post Merged, Sep 13, 2018 ---
  17. Sasparilla macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2012
    Nice overview, thanks. While the 4 is more capable, for folks that don't have one yet, that 3 starting price point is awesome....the 3 is a great watch.
  18. Agit21 macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2016
    They didnt increase battery life which is sad. Going to wait for series 5.
  19. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816


    Sep 5, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    One other missing data point: The Series 4 is about $100 more expensive across the board.

    I love the "Display size is 35% bigger!", but "You'll barely notice the bigger body".

    Yeah, it's probably just sour grapes because I won't be buying a new Apple Watch this year... :)
  20. freezelighter macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2014
    Liestal, Switzerland
  21. hungedu macrumors newbie


    Apr 4, 2016
    I was holding out for a glossy black ceramic Apple watch. Instead of expanding on the ceramic colors, Apple just discontinued the material completely. All other high-end watch manufacturers offer a black ceramic finish. I guess an Apple watch will not be in my near future as hoped.
  22. Mizouse macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2014
    I came here to post this too.

    The sensor looks different too

  23. dogslobber macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2014
    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    My PowerBook was thinner back in 2004. This isn't thin so much as it is thick.
  24. 0958400 Suspended

    Jul 20, 2011
    Since the EKG is not available on start, I'd rather wait for the baby bugs to be solved before diving in. Apple's track record in delivering smooth experiences has suffered in the past years. I don't need to be first in line to deal with problems, I chose Apple "because it works" - now it means: "it will work if you can wait" :)
  25. Marzel macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2018
    Actually I looked it up myself and apparently the new one has a ppi of 326 over the old one’s 303.

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