Apple Watch Series 4

I didn’t expect to upgrade this year. I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch Series 3 for the past year and I’ve been very pleased with it, both in terms of performance and with battery life. If this were a normal incremental upgrade year, I most likely would have stayed put.

So, what made me switch?

The health features of the Series 4, and more specifically the heart features, gained my attention. I have heart issues in my bloodlines, so as I get older, this is something I’m becoming increasingly more aware of. Anything that can help me with that awareness is something I’m going to be interested in. With the total redesign of the heart sensors in Series 4, not only do I look forward to what Watch OS 5 will provide me, but I also see this as the groundwork for new types of data in the next couple of years.

Speaking of redesigns, the entire hardware has been redesigned this year, for the first time since the original Apple Watch. Most notably, the screen goes to the edges, much like last year’s iPhone X redesign. I see this as the way Apple is going to do things from here forward which means all design choices will cater to this form factor.

However, the thing about these watches is they’re not cheap. That’s where Apple‘s trade in program comes in. My stainless steel cellular Series 3 is worth $250 on the trade in, so that cuts the price about in half for the aluminum cellular Series 4 I’m going with. This is my first time working with this program, so I’ll give an update when my box comes to send my Series 3 back.

Some first impressions:

  • The screen feels enormous compared to previous models. It’s immersive much in the same way the iPhone X is without a case.
  • The Series 4 seems to charge much faster than the Series 3. I ran the battery down to 25% after wearing it overnight and it was fully charged in about 90 minutes.
  • Apps are definitely loading quicker, although some data pulls seem to take just as long as before.
  • Theatre Mode isn’t as subtle on the Infograph faces. I use Theatre Mode when I wear the watch at night so to not accidentally blind myself. Turning the crown should work like a dimmer switch, but the Infograph faces get bright quick. I’ve been using the Water face at night since it brightens much slower and has no information to distract me with outside of the time.
  • I purchased my first Milanese Loop band, this one being off Amazon for $14. Careful if you have arm hair, as the magnetic clasp could grab a couple.