Apple Watch Series 4: The smartwatch of 2018, by a distance

Apple Watch Series 4: The smartwatch of 2018, by a distance

The Apple Watch Series 4, with a screen bigger than its predecessor, has much more to it than just an impressive, vibrant screen. It has pulled ahead of the competition impressive tweaks to its hardware and UI.

OF ALL THE smartwatch brands and ecosystems out there, no other brand has built a compelling case for the smartwatch the way Apple has done. Apple’s 2017 watch and its latest Watch Series 4 have seen Apple pull ahead of the competi­tion. This year’s watch is equally a hardware and UI success story and it all begins with a larger screen. 

The Apple Watch Series 4 offers more than 30 per cent extra real es­tate over its predecessor. Whether you’re scrolling through text mes­sages or your image gallery, it’s a big deal. Apple hasn’t just tweaked the sizes this year – 40 mm/44 mm vis-à-vis last year’s 38 mm/42 mm options – but has also shaved the bezels. The screen packs more pixels-per-inch and is more vibrant. 

That’s not the only hardware upgrade. The Series 4 is powered by an S4 chip (64-bit, dual-core processor) that Apple claims is twice as fast as last year’s S3 chip. Battery life hasn’t suffered despite a larger display or a more powerful chip: We still clocked almost two days. 

Aside from wellness essentials like the heart-rate monitor, the Series 4 also boasts of an electrical heart sensor that can generate an ECG report with a touch of a button. It’s still pending approval from regula­tory bodies in countries like India, and Apple will be rolling out as part of a software update. There’s also fall detection; the watch will detect a serious fall (made possible by machine learning skills that are able to tell between an emergency and your regular fall) and shoot an SOS alert. Serious watch aficiona­dos might be tempted to make the switch thanks to the new crown with haptic feedback, another example of skeuomorphic design from Apple. You can hear each click as you scroll down menus. 

The re-designed and more power­ful speaker and microphone make calls hassle-free. This will be particu­larly handy if you opt for the Cellular version (Jio and Airtel are the only networks that support this in India) that allows you to send texts, make calls and stream music even if you’ve left your iPhone at home. 

This year’s other big story is Watch OS 5, the biggest update to the Watch UI. It adds a whole new set of watch faces that play up the size of the new screens. Apple has also added a bunch of new straps to complement the new UI. It’s why the Apple Watch Series 4 is the smart­watch of 2018; by a distance. 

->The Apple Watch Series 4 comes in both GPS and GPS + Cellular versions and starts at `40,900. The top-end, Cellular edition

44 mm stainless steel variant with Milanese Loop wristband costs Rs 80,900

Apple Watch Series 4: The smartwatch as a fashion accessory

Apple watches are not just gadgets, they are good fashion accessories as well. The brand has added to the smart watches’ style quotient with a new set of straps. Here are our favourites for this year.

Hermes edition

Single Tour Rallye seeks design inspiration from the classic Hermes driving glove and is crafted in fauve grained Barenia calfskin. You could also buy this band separately.

Hermes edition

Single Tour: Classic Hermès design with a buckle that plays up the equestrian heritage of Hermes. It's available in five colourways and you can buy the bands separately.

Gold Milanese Loop

the perfect match for the new subtle gold colour case. This Milanese loop is a modern interpretation of a design technique developed in 19th century Milan.

Sports Loop

Apple has added cool new shades - the Indigo and Nectarine stand out - to the sports loop range with a double-layer nylon weave.

Modern Buckle

our favourite strap. It looks like a solid buckle but is actually a 2-piece magnetic closure. A boutique French tannery with a 200-year legacy produces the Granada leather for this band.