Everything Apple has told us so far about Apple Watch Series 4

All Apple’s Apple Watch Series 4 images

Apple today introduced Apple Watch Series 4. The watch keeps the original iconic design, but adds new hardware and software enhancements. Here’s my first cut based on press release. More here.

Brings an ECG, fall detection and more

“We’re thrilled Apple Watch has become an essential part of people’s lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “The completely redesigned Apple Watch Series 4 continues to be an indispensable communication and fitness companion, and now with the addition of groundbreaking features, like fall detection and the first-ever ECG app offered directly to consumers, it also becomes an intelligent guardian for your health.”

The display is over 30 percent larger and seamlessly integrates into the thinner, smaller case, while the new interface provides more information with richer detail.

Expect advanced activity and communications features, along with revolutionary health capabilities, including a new accelerometer and gyroscope, which are able to detect hard falls, and an electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) using the new ECG app,1 which has been granted a De Novo classification by the FDA.

There’s a new gold stainless steel case as well as silver and space black models.

Design improvements

Apple Watch Series 4 is in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm. The speaker is 50 percent louder, optimized for phone calls, Siri and Walkie-Talkie, and the microphone has been relocated, to reduce echo for better sound quality. The device includes the next-generation S4 chip with a custom 64-bit dual-core processor, delivering twice the speed while maintaining the same all-day battery life.

The back of Apple Watch Series 4 is composed of a gorgeous black ceramic and sapphire crystal, allowing radio waves to easily pass through the front and back for better cellular service. The Digital Crown now includes haptic feedback, offering a more mechanical and responsive feel through the sensation of incremental clicks.

The user interface is optimized for the larger display, allowing for app icons and fonts that are bigger and easier to read, while complications have been beautifully enhanced to be more precise and informative. New watch faces take full advantage of the Series 4 display, from the endlessly customizable Infograph face, to the Breathe face, where the animation is timed around a deep breath. Additionally, a suite of motion faces, including Vapor, Liquid Metal, Fire and Water react uniquely with the curved edges of the case.

More about ECG and fall detection

Apple Watch Series 4 enables customers to take an ECG reading right from the wrist using the new ECG app, which takes advantage of the electrodes built into the Digital Crown and new electrical heart rate sensor in the back crystal. With the app, users touch the Digital Crown and after 30 seconds, receive a heart rhythm classification. It can classify if the heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), a heart condition that could lead to major health complications. All recordings, their associated classifications and any noted symptoms are stored in the Health app in a PDF that can be shared with physicians.

Fall detection utilizes a next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope, which measures up to 32 g-forces, along with custom algorithms to identify when hard falls occur. By analyzing wrist trajectory and impact acceleration, Apple Watch sends the user an alert after a fall, which can be dismissed or used to initiate a call to emergency services. If Apple Watch senses immobility for 60 seconds after the notification, it will automatically call emergency services and send a message along with location to emergency contacts.

Pricing and availability

Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) starts at $399 (US) and Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499, both featuring the updated design and new health features. Series 3 will be available at the new starting price of $279, making it even more accessible to customers. Along with the three aluminum finishes anodized in silver, gold and space gray, Apple Watch Series 4 now comes in a striking gold stainless steel with matching Milanese band, joining the silver and space black stainless steel models. A new collection of bands debut for fall and all bands continue to work with any generation of Apple Watch.

Customers will be able to order Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) beginning Friday, September 14, with availability beginning Friday, September 21, in Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, UK and US, with other countries later this year. For carrier availability, visit apple.com/watch/cellular.5

Customers will be able to order Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) beginning Friday, September 14, with availability beginning Friday, September 21, in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, UK, US and US Virgin Islands.

Apple Watch Nike+ will be available to order on apple.com and in the Apple Store app, beginning Friday, September 14, in select countries, with limited availability beginning on Friday, October 5, in Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macau, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, UK and US. For more information, visit apple.com/apple-watch-nike or nike.com/applewatch.

Apple Watch Hermès will be available to order on apple.com and in the Apple Store app, beginning Friday, September 14, with availability beginning Friday, September 21, in Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, UK and US. For more information, visit apple.com/apple-watch-hermes or hermes.com/applewatchhermes.

Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS) will be available beginning Friday, September 28, in Bahrain, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Macau, Monaco, Oman, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and South Africa.

 

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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