Meet the Apple Watch Series 4.
Since its introduction, the Apple Watch has been a bit of a conundrum. For better or worse, it’s simultaneously a fashion statement, a notification device and a fitness tracker with the latter being the main focus of updates over the past two years.
The newest model, the Apple Watch Series 4, reinforces its power as a health tool by adding an electrocardiogram (EKG), which along with the optical heart sensor, can accurately monitor your heartbeat and even identify an atrial fibrillation — a critically irregular heart rhythm.
The Apple Watch Series 4 is the first smartwatch or fitness tracker with an EKG monitor, or ECG as Apple calls it. But this isn’t the only new watch feature the company announced at its event on Wednesday.
Previous Apple Watches had either a 38-millimeter or 42-millimeter display while the new Series 4 comes with either a 40-millimeter or 44-millimeter one. When you consider that the watch’s body is roughly the same size as last year’s Apple Watch, cramming in a larger display is quite impressive.
There are new watch faces that take advantage of the bigger displays showing animations of fire, water and particles. One new face can display up to eight shortcuts at once, allowing you to launch apps faster. Unlike other smartwatches, there isn’t an always-on display — meaning to look at the time, you have to raise your arm.
Similar to the Series 3, the new watch has an LTE cellular option. The new design means better cellular reception since radio waves can pass through the watch’s ceramic back easier.
Other updates include a new crown with haptic feedback as well as a new gyroscope and accelerometer that can provide more accurate fitness tracking and detect falls. When you have a hard fall, an alert is triggered to initiate a call to emergency services.
There are a couple disappointments. Just like last year’s Apple Watch Series 3, battery life is estimated at about a day of use, which can be frustrating. Also, Apple Watch still doesn’t have sleep tracking — a feature widely offered on other smartwatches and fitness bands.
The Apple Watch Series 4 start at $399, £399, AU$599 for the Series 4 model, and $499, £499, AU$749 for the LTE model. Preorders will start on Sept. 14, and the watches will be available on Sept. 21. Apple lowered the price for older Apple Watch models, too.
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