The Apple Watch design hasn’t changed since the original one. But things are going to change next week when the Apple Watch Series 4 design will get a whole new look and feel, according to past leaks. However, fresh leaks suggest at least one version of the upcoming Watch could feature a round shape. Another leak sheds light on the Apple Watch Series 4’s display resolution, which is getting a healthy bump.
Will Apple Watch Series 4 really have a round shape?
Folks at SlashLeaks have posted hand-drawn sketches of a wearable device placed next to an iPhone. The smartwatch has a round shape similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch. It contradicts the past leaks that emphasized a rectangular design with slimmer bezels. The post on SlashLeaks titled “New AppleWatch Leaks,” goes on to claim that the Apple Watch Series 4 with round shape will sport a 1.3-inch AMOLED display.
The post added that the smartwatch would have a display resolution of 360 x 360. It would also offer WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC support. It draws comparison between the Watch’s round shape and the ring included in Apple’s invite for the Gather Round event. The leak seems sketchy at best. Its authenticity couldn’t be verified independently. The circular design in Apple’s invitation could be a reference to the new Apple Park campus where the September 12 event will be held.
Talking about the Apple Watch Series 4 design, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said the new device would feature a 15% bigger display, thanks to the reduction in bezels. The pictures posted on SlashLeaks depict a display of 1.3 inches, which is even smaller than the Series 3 models. According to Kuo, the Series 4 will be available in 1.57-inch and 1.78-inch screen sizes.
In the comments section of the SlashLeaks post, moderator ANDYMOD says, “BUSTED! Amazfit watches.” ANDYMOD suggests the device is an Amazfit smartwatch rather than an Apple Watch Series 4.
Here’s how the higher resolution will enhance the Watch experience
Separately, 9to5Mac contributor Guilherme Rambo, who has been digging into the watchOS 5 beta, has discovered references to the Series 4’s resolution. The current 42mm Series 3 has a resolution of 312 x 390. But the Series 4 will have a resolution of 384 x 480. Rambo says Apple will achieve the higher resolution by reducing the bezels and making the screen larger. The Series 4 is also expected to have a higher pixel density, which should boost the resolution.
Rambo used a modified Apple Watch Simulator to see how the higher resolution and bigger screen would enhance the watchOS experience. He guesstimated a PPI of 345 for testing, and found that the Series 4 will be able to fit more content on the screen. New watch faces will be able to take advantage of the additional real estate to deliver a better experience.
Apple Watch Series 4 design and features
A few days ago, 9to5Mac shared a leaked picture that showed off the Apple Watch Series 4 design. It had a new watch face with as many as nine complications. We expect Apple to bring a variety of new watch faces to take advantage of the bigger screen.
The Apple Watch Series 4 will run watchOS 5 out of the box. It will bring native podcast support including offline playback, a Walkie Talkie app, new Yoga and Hiking workouts, pace alerts for people jogging or walking, automatic workout detection, and the ability to launch Siri by raising your hand. It will also allow you to respond to notifications without opening an app. Recent reports suggest cellular connectivity could become a default option on the Apple Watch Series 4, meaning Apple could ditch the non-cellular version this year.
Though Apple Watch remains the most popular smartwatch in the world, the Series 3, especially the non-cellular version, didn’t taste much success. According to data from Counterpoint Research, the Apple Watch Series 1 was the most popular smartwatch during the second quarter this year, followed by Fitbit Versa and AmazFit. The Series 3 was ranked fourth.
Counterpoint said only people interested in cellular connectivity were opting for the Series 3. People who wanted a non-cellular Apple Watch preferred the Series 1 because it was cheaper and it had the same design as Series 3. With an entirely new Apple Watch Series 4 design, the Cupertino company could get consumers to buy the latest version, which should boost the average selling price (ASP) and Apple’s profit margins.