Apple Watch Series 4 review

9.1/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 4
  • Apple Watch Series 4

Specs / Features


Specification

Brand Apple
Release date 21-September-2018
Size 4 x 3.4 x 1.07 cm (1.6 x 1.3 x 0.4 in)
Weight 30.1 grams
(1.06 ounces)

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Bright, easy-to-read display
  • Accurate sensors
  • Fall detection
  • ECG sensors
  • Loud, clear speaker
  • Comfortable design
  • All-day battery
  • Interchangeable bands
  • 4G option

What's bad

  • Price
  • Slightly large on small wrists

The Apple Watch series helped pioneer smartwatch technology. With their latest release, they are improving on past models in both design and performance while adding extra features for those looking to improve or monitor their health. But is it worth upgrading from an earlier model and does it stand up to the competition?

At first glance, a few things stand out from previous designs. The most noticeable difference is a bigger display. Reviewers found the new 40mm and 44mm designs struck an excellent balance between offering easier use and keeping a sleek appearance.

The rear of the watch is now also ceramic and sapphire glass. Reviewers found the materials comfortable against the skin and found the sensors quick to take readings.

It’s also slightly thinner, so it feels more like a watch and less like a tiny phone strapped to your wrist.

The Apple Watch Series 4 ships with a sport or sport loop band. However, bands for previous models work with the new one. So if you’re upgrading -- or don’t like the new straps -- there are plenty of options to match the watch to your personal style and tastes.

Apple chose a new screen technology -- Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide (LTPO) -- for their latest release. Essentially, the display rivals OLED in contrast and colour reproduction while still technically being an LCD and using less power. Reviewers loved the display.

There’s also a range of new watch faces. Though most reviewers found they eventually went back to the ones they preferred. New watch faces offer up to 8 slots to display additional information and keep important notifications available at a glance.

Apple developed a new chip -- the 64-bit dual-core S4 chip -- to power the watch. The new processor offered outstanding performance with minimal delays in switching between various watch features or displaying information.

The watch also includes improved sensors. Fall detection mode was a hit with reviewers. Combining accelerometer data with other sensors, the watch detects hard ground impacts and sends a series of haptic and audio notifications. If you do not respond, the watch dials emergency services and texts the emergency contact set in the watch.

You’ll also find echocardiogram readings designed to help detect irregular rhythms. While Apple is clear that this does not replace the opinion and monitoring of a healthcare professional, it’s an interesting feature that reviewers found accurate during their tests.

While most of the watch controls involve touch and gestures, there are two physical controls -- a digital crown dial and a single button -- on the side of the watch. The wheel was a hit with reviewers. Most found it accurate and easy to find when scrolling through menus or notifications.

While Apple Watch has always offered notifications, Siri integration, and speakerphone capabilities, the new speaker makes the features better than ever. Apple claims the speaker is 50% louder than previous models and reviewers seem to agree.

Depending on your needs, the watch is available in GPS-only and GPS-with-4G options. Both lock quickly to GPS and reviewers had no issues with 4G signal strength.

Other sensors on the watch include an improved accelerometer and a gyroscope.

If you’re planning to use the Apple Watch for fitness tracking, it includes a range of activities -- including two new ones: yoga and hiking. Most detect automatically based on what the sensors detect is happening. However, for low-impact or low-intensity workouts, manual tracking is likely more accurate.

Finally, the watch offers up to 18 hours on a single charge. Reviewers found this estimate accurate. There we no complaints of needing to find a charge during the day or running into issues mid-workout. You’ll need to charge it nightly if you’re active, but it should have no problems lasting through a day -- even with heavy use.

Overall, reviews are positive. Most called it the best Apple Watch model yet. Ars Technica says, “Users with older devices (Series 2 and earlier) will want to consider upgrading purely for the performance improvements. WatchOS 5 and all of its new features will run better on the Series 4 thanks to the S4 chip, and that combined with the new health features make it a worthy (albeit expensive) upgrade.”

Reviewers at iMore praised the watch, saying, “It's already the closest thing we have to external cybernetics. A connected little artificially intelligent module on our wrist that securely, privately, learns all it can about us so it can help us be and become the best us.”

Critic Reviews


Gadgets Now

When the best gets better

from Gadgets Now

The Series 4 is smart, looks great, has an impressive display and performs just absolutely fine. Throw in the numerous health and fitness innovations that Apple has incorporated and you’re staring at a winner.

Read full review

The Series 4 is smart, looks great, has an impressive display and performs just absolutely fine. Throw in the numerous health and fitness innovations that Apple has incorporated and you’re staring at a winner.

Read full review

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Deccan Chronicle

No longer just a smartwatch

from Deccan Chronicle

The Apple Watch Series 4 has wonderful features and on paper, this looks like a worthy upgrade. However, it does come with its issues. The most crippling issue with the watch is all down to its battery life. 

Read full review

The Apple Watch Series 4 has wonderful features and on paper, this looks like a worthy upgrade. However, it does come with its issues. The most crippling issue with the watch is all down to its battery life. 

Read full review

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NDTV

Stunning display, accurate fitness tracking and heart rate sensor

from NDTV

All of this leads us to conclude that the Apple Watch Series 4 is an excellent upgrade over the Series 3, but we do have our share of quibbles. The ECG feature isn't available in India right now, the app ecosystem is quite weak, and the LTE variant of the Series 4 needs watchOS to evolve further.

Read full review

All of this leads us to conclude that the Apple Watch Series 4 is an excellent upgrade over the Series 3, but we do have our share of quibbles. The ECG feature isn't available in India right now, the app ecosystem is quite weak, and the LTE variant of the Series 4 needs watchOS to evolve further.

Read full review

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iPhone in Canada

A worthy upgrade

from iPhone in Canada

While Apple still needs to fix missing complications such as a standalone Messages option for new Infograph watch faces (that can be easily fixed by an update), the new Apple Watch Series 4, on a whole, is pretty great and worthy of an upgrade if you’ve been using a Series 2 or older. A Digital...More

While Apple still needs to fix missing complications such as a standalone Messages option for new Infograph watch faces (that can be easily fixed by an update), the new Apple Watch Series 4, on a whole, is pretty great and worthy of an upgrade if you’ve been using a Series 2 or older. A Digital Crown with haptic feedback just feels so nice.

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TechGearLab

One of the best smartwatches you can get

from TechGearLab

Delivering an exceptional performance across the board in almost every test, we highly recommend the Series 4 if you are an iOS user and want the absolute best smartwatch you can get. It is on the more expensive side and we wish it had a bit better of a battery life, but it is hard to argue with its otherwise stellar performance.

Read full review

Delivering an exceptional performance across the board in almost every test, we highly recommend the Series 4 if you are an iOS user and want the absolute best smartwatch you can get. It is on the more expensive side and we wish it had a bit better of a battery life, but it is hard to argue with its otherwise stellar performance.

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Good Gear Guide

Still far and away the best smartwatch experience out there

from Good Gear Guide

The Series 4 Apple Watch is the best smartwatch money can buy, and the smartwatch that iPhone buyers should probably eventually look at buying. Everyone else need not apply.

Read full review

The Series 4 Apple Watch is the best smartwatch money can buy, and the smartwatch that iPhone buyers should probably eventually look at buying. Everyone else need not apply.

Read full review

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India Today

Improved design, useful features make it the best

from India Today

Smartwatches are still evolving but I feel that Apple with Watch Series 4 is finally at a point where I can say that a smartwatch offers more than enough to find a permanent place on your wrist. All things considered, it has a fantastic design, some genuinely smart and useful features and, with f...More

Smartwatches are still evolving but I feel that Apple with Watch Series 4 is finally at a point where I can say that a smartwatch offers more than enough to find a permanent place on your wrist. All things considered, it has a fantastic design, some genuinely smart and useful features and, with features like ECG, promise of turning into a device that can be life saving in future.

Read full review

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Business Insider

If you're looking for an Apple Watch, it's the one to get

from Business Insider

If you use Android, you don't want it — it only works with iPhones. If you're a workout warrior or concerned about your health, it's a great buy. If you're worried about digital distractions, however, I suspect the Apple Watch may only make your issues worse. But the Apple Watch is still a marv...More

If you use Android, you don't want it — it only works with iPhones. If you're a workout warrior or concerned about your health, it's a great buy. If you're worried about digital distractions, however, I suspect the Apple Watch may only make your issues worse. But the Apple Watch is still a marvel of engineering, and the latest version is a big step forward in terms of hardware.

Read full review

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MakeTechEasier

The best wearable money can buy

from MakeTechEasier

 If you’re fortunate enough to have other Apple devices the watch is a perfect addition to your walled garden. My only concerns, some of which are small, are the growing price, still no Android support, limited complication support and lack of sleep tracking. Other than that Notifications, aud...More

 If you’re fortunate enough to have other Apple devices the watch is a perfect addition to your walled garden. My only concerns, some of which are small, are the growing price, still no Android support, limited complication support and lack of sleep tracking. Other than that Notifications, audio control, and activity tracking are at your fingertips.

Read full review

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The Inquirer

Apple's latest smartwatch remains one of the best on the market

from The Inquirer

All in all, the Apple Watch Series 4 is a very impressive bit of kit. Not only is it able to accurately track a host of workouts - being intuitive and a pleasure to use throughout - but it is also a beautiful and super premium lifestyle device. More and more popular iPhone apps are becoming avail...More

All in all, the Apple Watch Series 4 is a very impressive bit of kit. Not only is it able to accurately track a host of workouts - being intuitive and a pleasure to use throughout - but it is also a beautiful and super premium lifestyle device. More and more popular iPhone apps are becoming available on the Watch, and we can't wait to see what's coming next.

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