Apple Watch Series 4 is powered by the new S4 processor and is much faster than the earlier version
If we don’t understand the times we live in, we may just dismiss the Apple Watch as a smartwatch. But then Apple Watch is also the most popular watch in the world now, it just happens to be the smartest. It is a timepiece, just like the ones most of us are unknowingly addicted to. And this ability of the Apple Watch to be there all the time, not bothering you if you don’t want it to, quietly observing everything you are up to and taking notes is its biggest strength.
Then comes the question of what is a smartwatch. Is it a watch that lets you track your activity and heart rate, is it about notifications on your wrist, is it about making calls without a phone, is it about controlling a camera or a TV remotely? That is when the Apple Watch stands up to say ‘yes’ to all of the above. The only smartwatch in the world which can do that. But that is not all the Apple Watch can do. In comes the Apple Watch Series 4 which takes the concept of a smartwatch to a whole new plane.
Apple Watch Series 4 brings in some big changes. The most noticeable one is the design. Apple Watches are now larger at 42mm and 44mm, instead of the earlier 38mm and 42mm. But the increase in size feels much more as the display has been optimised to show more than this 2mm jump in chassis size. Then, the speaker and mic have now been moved to different parts of the watch to avoid echo or other interference. The speaker is also much louder now and the mic more capable when you are taking calls on the watch in places where the ambient noise is high.
The larger display means the watch faces can show more. And the way Apple has redesigned the new watch faces, it shows almost everything you would want to keep tab on at any point of time, on one watch face. I am in love with the two new Infograph watch faces, and can’t decide which one to give time to. This is what design should be: stylish, functional and still almost a work of art.
Apple Watch Series 4 is powered by the new S4 processor and is much faster than the earlier version. It is because of this processor that some of the watch faces, especially the vapour one, seems so lifelike. It also helps these graphics are based on actual footage.
Then there are a bunch of features which are unique to this watch. The first is fall detection, which thankfully I have not been able to test. The feature alerts an SOS number if it detects that the person wearing the watch has taken a fall and has been immobile for a while after. The other is the new alert for when your heart rate has been too low for too long. However, the best feature—the ability to take an ECG on the watch—has not yet been rolled out. While it will come to the US soon as the FDA has given it a clearance, we don’t know if Indian authorities will give the permits. Anyway, this technology will just add to the Apple Watch’s ability to save lives.
The Apple Watch actually does too much and in that process a lot of the stuff on the watch seldom gets used, or even remembered. Perhaps Apple could think of a way to suggest the apps that users could actually use based on their routine. The Apple Watch App Store too needs to make it easier to discover new apps as right now it is in the biblical “search and you will find” mode.
Overall, the Apple Watch is clearly the best smartwatch in the world at the moment and it is getting better with the Series 4.
* Estimated street price: Rs 40,000 onwards