Mobility

Apple Watch Series 4: Cheat sheet

The Apple Watch Series 4 includes a 30% larger screen, an updated UI, and a number of business-friendly and health features, including the ability to take an ECG.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is Apple's latest smartwatch, arriving at a time when the Apple Watch is the no. 1 watch in the world, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, allowing users to stay connected, be more active, and better monitor their health. It also offers a number of features that could be useful for business users, including improved call capabilities and travel notifications.

This Apple Watch Series 4 cheat sheet has the details you need to know to determine whether this wearable is right for you. We'll update the guide periodically as new information about the watch is available.

SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

What is the Apple Watch Series 4?

The Apple Watch Series 4 is Apple's newest smartwatch, announced at a September 12 event in Cupertino, CA. The Series 4 watch includes a redesigned form, with a new display, a 30% larger screen, and a black ceramic and sapphire crystal back. The new watches also include a number of health capabilities, including heart rate notifications and the ability to perform an electrocardiogram (ECG). It will soon run on watchOS 5, which will be released later in September.

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Who is the target audience for the Apple Watch Series 4?

Apple fans and power users are the target audience for the Series 4 smartwatch, though it has several features that may interest business professionals as well. As with previous generations, the Apple Watch Series 4 can be used to track text messages, calendar information, email notifications, news alerts, phone calls, and reminders. Like the Apple Watch Series 3, the Series 4 can also be purchased in a cellular connected version, so users can stay connected to their office even when they are not carrying an iPhone.

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SEE: IT hardware procurement policy (Tech Pro Research)

How different is the Apple Watch Series 4 from the Apple Watch Series 3?

"Everything about it has been redesigned and re-engineered," Apple COO Jeff Williams said during Apple's event on Sept. 12, 2018.

The Apple Watch Series 4 smartwatch includes a new display, with the screen reaching the edges of the device, and curved corners to match the shape of the watch. The screen is more than 30% larger than that of the Series 3. The device is also thinner, with less total volume than the previous version. The Apple Watch Series 4 also includes up to eight complications, compared to six in the Series 3, which users can customize to their liking.

The digital crown has been completely re-engineered to include haptic feedback, giving the device a more responsive feel. This is especially helpful for podcast and calendar apps where users need to precisely flip through each item, Williams said at the event.

SEE: All of TechRepublic's cheat sheets and smart person's guides

The watch's speaker was redesigned to be 50% louder, which will make it better for phone calls, walkie-talkie use, and Siri use, Williams said at the event. The microphone has been moved to the opposite side, as far away from the speaker as possible to reduce echo and make calls clearer.

The back of the Apple Watch Series 4 is made entirely of black ceramic and sapphire crystal. This allows radio waves to pass through both the front and back of the device, making the Series 4 better for staying connected.

The Series 4 phone contains a new S4 chip, and a 64-bit dual core processor designed by Apple that delivers up to 2x faster performance than the Series 3.

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What new health features are in the Apple Watch Series 4?

Apple added a number of new health features to the Series 4 watch. These include next-generation accelerometers and gyroscopes—which power activity tracking—that offer 2x the dynamic range.

The Apple Watch Series 4 can recognize if a user falls, slips, or trips. After detecting any of these actions, the Apple Watch Series 4 will deliver an alert asking if the user wants to initiate an emergency call. If the user is immobile for one minute, the phone starts the call automatically, and sends a message with the user's location to their emergency contacts.

SEE: How to manage job stress: An IT leader's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The watch has several new heart rate features, which includes:

  • Notifying the user if their heart rate is too low;
  • Screening a user's heart rhythm in the background, and sending a notification if it detects an irregular rhythm that appears to be atrial fibrillation (AFib); and
  • Using built-in electrodes that can perform an ECG on a user in 30 seconds.

The watch is the first ECG product offered over the counter directly to consumers, Williams said at Apple's September 2018 event. Users can take an ECG at any time with the watch, and upon completion, will receive a heart rhythm classification. All records will be stored in the Health app in a PDF that users can share with their doctors if they so choose.

All health and fitness data is encrypted on the watch and in the cloud, Williams said at the event.

The Apple Watch Series 4 is "the ultimate guardian for your health," he added.

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What is the battery size of the Apple Watch Series 4?

The battery is the same size as in the Apple Watch Series 3, offering 18 hours of battery life. The Apple Watch Series 4 also offers an outdoor workout time with full GPS tracking of up to 6 hours.

What are the color options for the Apple Watch Series 4?

The Apple Watch Series 4 is available in three aluminum finishes: Silver, gold, and space gray. It is also available in a stainless collection, with color options of polished, space black, and gold.

What accessories are available for the Apple Watch Series 4?

Nike, Hermes, and others have released new watch bands for the Series 4. However, all band colors and styles fit any generation Apple Watch.

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How much does the Apple Watch Series 4 cost?

The Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $399 for the Series 4 GPS model, and $499 for the LTE model. The Apple Watch Series 3 price has now dropped to $279 to start.

What are the major competitors to the Apple Watch Series 4?

There are a number of smartwatches on the market besides the Apple Watch that professionals may want to consider. The Samsung Galaxy Watch was unveiled in August 2018, and includes detailed health and fitness tracking, convenient notification features, and long battery life, and costs $329.99 for the Bluetooth version, and $379.99 for the LTE version. The Fitbit Versa is the latest full-featured smartwatch from Fitbit and starts at $199, and also includes a number of health and other apps.

SEE: Apple Watch 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Polar Vantage: Comparing their heart monitoring capabilities (ZDNet)

Where and when can I buy the Apple Watch Series 4?

You can order the Apple Watch Series 4 watches through the Apple Store online starting on September 14, 2018, and the wearables will be available in stores on September 21, 2018. The Series 4 GPS model will be available in 26 markets at launch, while the LTE model will be available in 16 markets (including Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK, and the US) and 34 carriers—more than twice as many as last year.

WatchOS 5 will be available on September 17, 2018.

What are the specifications of the Apple Watch Series 4?

The Apple Watch Series 4 includes:

  • Two sizes: 40mm and 44mm
  • S4 chip
  • 64-bit dual core processor
  • 50% louder speaker
  • Relocated microphone for sound quality
  • Black ceramic and sapphire crystal back
  • Digital crown with haptic feedback
  • Next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope, which measure up to 32 g-forces

How can I trade in my current Apple Watch for an Apple Watch Series 4?

Users interested in trading in an older Apple Watch can check out the Apple GiveBack program to trade in eligible devices for an Apple Store gift card or a refund on a new purchase. You can also use services like Gazelle or Cult of Mac to get a quote on how much your device may be worth.

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Image: Macy Bayern/TechRepublic

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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