Apple this morning unveiled the Apple Watch Series 4 at the Steve Job’s Theatre in Cupertino, alongside three new iPhones.
The Series 4 is a refinement and re-engineering of the Apple Watch, the first major shake-up since the original device which debuted three years ago.
“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,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, at the keynote.
Here are all the details from the announcement.
The display of the Apple Watch Series 4 is now over 30 per cent larger and extends to the edges of the device, while the case is slimmer at 10.7mm thick (11.4 mm previously).
Apple has also increased the size of the case, now offering 40mm and 44mm variants, compared to last generation’s 38mm and 42mm options.
The larger screen size has allowed Apple to design all-new watch faces that can display more information, with some featuring up to eight widgets.
The Series 4 includes the new S4 chip which Apple claims will “deliver twice the speed while maintaining the same all-day battery life”.
The microphone has been relocated to just under the Digital Crown for better sound quality with reduced echo. Apple also claims the speaker is now 50 per cent louder. These updates combined should result in greatly improved call quality and Siri capabilities.
The Digital Crown now includes haptic feedback which provides a subtle vibration as the user rotates the crown for improved feel.
Health and Fitness
The Series 4 receives a raft of new health-related features including an ECG electrical heart sensor that can detect whether a “heart is beating in a normal pattern or whether there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)”. This data can then be exported to a PDF document that can be shared with a doctor for further analysis. The bad news for Aussies? The ECG app and Afib detection will only be available in the United States.
The Series 4 now uses the inbuilt accelerometer and gyroscope to determine if the user has suffered a traumatic fall and provides the option to call to emergency services. The watch will automatically contact emergency services if the user is immobile for 60 seconds.
The Series 4 comes pre-installed with watchOS 5 which was announced at WWDC earlier this year. watchOS introduces automatic workout detection, support for hiking and yoga and a walkie-talkie function for communicating with other Apple Watch users.
Pricing and availability
The Apple Watch Series 4 will be available for pre-order starting Friday, September 14 with availability beginning Friday, September 21.
The Series 4 is available in several variants as follows:
- Series 4 with GPS: from A$599
- Series 4 Nike edition: from A$599
- Series 4 with GPS and cellular: from A$749
- Series 4 with GPS, cellular and stainless steel case: from $1049
All variants are available with multiple band options which can be seen on Apple Australia’s website.