The Apple Watch Series 4 is out, and it’s a major step forward for the tech giant’s wearable devices. Last year’s Apple Watch Series 3 was praised for introducing cellular connectivity and some health features. But it had the same old design as the one before that and the one before that. With the Apple Watch Series 4, the company has not only tried to improve the features and health tracking but also revamped its design. Here’s our detailed Apple Watch Series 4 vs Series 3 comparison to help you decide which one is right for you.
According to Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams, the Apple Watch Series 4 aims to be your “indispensable communication and fitness companion.” The device indeed has some “groundbreaking features” to live up to these claims
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Apple Watch Series 4 vs Series 3: Display and design
Over the last few years, it has become a trend to shrink bezels as much as possible on electronic devices. The wearable segment has also caught up with the trend. The Apple Watch Series 4 comes in two new sizes – 40mm and 44mm compared to the Series 3’s 38mm and 42mm. Thanks to slimmer bezels, the Series 4 has a display 30% bigger than Series 3.
The Series 3 had a display area of 563 sq. mm and 740 sq. mm for the 38mm and 42mm models. By comparison, the 40mm Series 4 offers 759 sq. mm display area and the 44mm model has 977 sq mm display area. Pretty impressive. Apple has optimized the user interface to take full advantage of the bigger displays. The app icons and fonts are now larger and easier to read. The Watch complications are also able to deliver more information on the screen.
The new Watch’s back panel is made of black ceramic and sapphire crystal. It allows radio waves to pass through the front and back with less resistance, improving cellular reception. The Digital Crown now provides haptic feedback, offering you a more mechanical and responsive feel through a comforting click. The LTE red dot indicator on the Digital Crown has now become a ring.
Apple Watch Series 4 vs Series 3: Specs
The Series 4 sports a speaker that is up to 50% louder than the Series 3. Apple has also relocated the microphone to reduce echo and enhance the sound quality. These changes should make the new Watch much better than its predecessor for making phone calls, using Siri and Walkie-Talkie. For the uninitiated, Walkie-Talkie is a new watch-to-watch connection that allows you to communicate with your friends over cellular or WiFi.
The Series 4 also has an upgraded 64-bit dual-core S4 chip. Apple claims the new processor is up to two times faster than the S3 chip inside the Series 3 Watch. The new device also comes with an improved gyroscope and accelerometer. Despite all the improvements, it’s too early to say whether the cellular version of Apple Watch Series 4 can truly replace your smartphone.
Battery life continues to be a disappointment, though. The Series 4 Watch has the same 18 hours of battery life as its predecessor. However, Apple has raised the outdoor workout battery life to six hours.
Apple Watch Series 4 vs Series 3: Health & fitness
This is where the latest model takes a giant leap. The Series 3 offered heart rate monitoring and tracking options for swimming, walking, jogging, cycling, and more. The Apple Watch Series 4 features an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor. It has electrodes built into the Digital Crown and a new electrical heart rate sensor embedded in the back sapphire crystal.
When you place your finger on the Digital Crown, it can measure the rhythm of your heart. The ECG app can detect whether your heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether you have symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). This feature will appeal particularly to people worried about their heart health. The Watch will keep all the recordings and associated data in the Health app that you can share with your physician. The US FDA has already granted approval for the Series 4 Watch to be considered a medical device.
Another major feature is Fall Detection. It can detect when you have fallen over. The feature uses a variety of sensors and algorithms to identify when hard falls occur. Upon detecting a hard fall, the Watch will send you a notification, which you can dismiss or use to initiate a 911 call. If you remain immobile for 60 seconds after the hard fall, the Watch will automatically call the emergency services. It will also send a message along with your location to emergency contacts.
Apple Watch Series 4 vs Series 3: Price and availability
The iPhone maker told fans that all the existing Watch bands would work with the Series 4. Pre-orders for the Series 4 Watch will go live on Sept.14, and the device will start shipping on Sept.21st. Apple has priced the GPS version of Series 4 at $399. The GPS+cellular version is going to set you back by $499. Following the launch of Series 4, Apple has dropped the Series 3 price to just $279.
The bigger screen, faster processor, louder and clearer audio, and features like ECG sensor and Fall Detection make the Series 4 a smartwatch worth buying. This is what the original Apple Watch should have been. If you can’t afford to shell out $400 or $500 for the Series 4, the Series 3 is a steal at just $279, especially considering it will get all the features coming with the watchOS 5.