More people are beginning to recognise the benefits of owning a smartwatch, and it seems as though every tech manufacturer on the market is getting in on the act. Apple are arguably leading the way with their Apple watches, however big name competitors like Samsung aren’t far behind.
If you’re ready to buy your first smartwatch or if you’re ready to upgrade from your existing model, you’re probably wondering which one to buy. You’ll no doubt have heard of the Apple Watch 4 – the latest incarnation from the iconic Apple brand. But what does this latest version of the Apple smartwatch have to offer, and is it really worth the extra money?
The Apple Watch 4 represents the first time the size and design of Apple’s smartwatches has been changed since their first release. This latest version has a bigger screen, a thinner body and a new heart sensor making it an exciting option for anyone who wants the latest tech.
So, what do you need to know about this new watch? And how does it compare to the latest Garmin, Samsung and Fitbit smartwatches? This Apple Watch 4 review tells you everything you need to know.
Design And Appearance
The Apple Watch 4 comes in 40mm and 44mm version rather than the standard 38mm and 42mm version, and the screens are larger, almost reaching the edge. You’ll also notice this newer model is slightly thinner, decreasing the watch’s overall volume, and this makes a big difference when you wear it on your wrist.
If you have slim wrists, you may find it much chunkier than you’re used to in terms of size although bending your wrist is less difficult thanks to the slimmer width. If you’re wearing this watch to play sports, you’ll appreciate the change.
Another change comes in the form of the entire black ceramic underside. This makes it hypoallergenic – great news for anyone with a nickel allergy. It also has an impressive new heart sensor as well as new grooves on the Digital Crown to make it easier to grip the case and to turn it, and additional haptic feedback which makes navigating quickly a breeze.
There are several colours to choose from in both the aluminium-bodied and stainless steel models – silver, Space Black, and a gold finish which is especially striking.
The Speaker Performance
Apple has made the speaker 50% louder for this version of its smartwatch and the microphone has also been moved to the opposite side of the watch from the speaker to improve its calling functionality. Voices can be heard clearly now, even in noisy environments.
The Latest Smart Features
The Apple Watch Series 4 offers some excellent new smart features. It’ll warn you about upcoming things you should know about – such as bad traffic which could affect your journey home or that rain is forecast to begin in a few minutes so you don’t get caught in a shower.
Even better, the Siri interface learns your habits, suggesting your regular driving playlist when you begin your commute and suggest certain HomeKit scenes when you approach your house so you’ll be able to switch the lights on in time for your arrival.
Another new feature for this version is “Shortcuts”. This lets apps tie into the Siri interface so they can be triggered with a single phrase.
Fitness And Medical Features
The Apple Watch 4 can automatically detect when you’re working out, so if you start to jog and haven’t started your workout in the app, you’ll receive a message asking you if you’d like to begin one. If you say yes, you won’t lose out on the initial few minutes since the tracking will commence from the beginning of your run.
There are also improved running features with pace alerts and cadence metrics, although it still can’t compete with the running features Garmin smartwatches have to offer. When it comes to the Apple watch vs.. Garmin on this front, Garmin is still in the lead, although Apple is beginning to close the gap.
There are also new features to track hiking and yoga as well as a new echocardiogram which checks for any serious issues. The Apple Watch 4 also has integrated fall detection functionality. If you hit the ground hard, it will offer to call emergency services for you. If you fail to respond when it speaks to you, an ambulance will automatically be called after one minute, with your location being sent to your emergency contact too. This is an excellent feature for anyone who is prone to heart problems or who is likely to be at risk of falls, and it only goes to show that a smartwatch really can save your life.
Battery And Performance
Apple’s new processor in this version of its smartwatch has double the power of the Series 3, and that means it’s very swift to use. You can switch between watch faces instantaneously and bring up the main apps menu equally quickly. You’ll find scrolling through messages very smooth and zooming in and out of photographs is also judder-free.
Even opening apps and maps is much faster, and even the network feels speedier thanks to the watch’s new ceramic back which provides an improved antenna signal.
While Apple claim their battery lasts for around 18 hours, it can often go for up to 3 or 4 days with no charging depending on how intense your usage is. For an average user, it will probably use around 30% of its total charge with a single day’s use.
How Does The Apple Watch 4 Compare With its Rivals?
So, how do we compare the Apple Watch vs.. Fitbit Versa, Samsung Galaxy Active Watch and Garmin Fenix 5? Let’s take a look:
|Apple Watch 4||Fitbit Versa||Samsung Galaxy |
|Garmin Fenix 5|
|Display Size||40mm or 44mm||34mm||40mm||38mm|
|324×394 or |
|300 x 300||360 x 360||240 x 240|
|Battery Life||18 hours||3-4 days||45 hours||7 days|
|Material||Stainless steel or |
|Yes – Apple Pay||Yes – Fitbit Pay||Yes – Galaxy Pay||Yes – |
|Watch OS5 |
|Not Specified||Tizen 4.0 |
|Compatibility||iOS devices||iOS, Windows &Android||Android & some iOS devices||iOS & Android|
This comparison of the four major smartwatch contenders shows that all of the big name brands are working hard to give consumers the experience that they’re looking for from the latest technology. However, when it comes to comparing the Apple watch vs.. Samsung Galaxy Active, Garmin Fenix 5 and Fitbit Versa, you can see that the Apple Watch 4 has a lot to offer. Speedy, slim, visually appealing and highly functional, this high-performance smartwatch is ideal for all kinds of users.
Apple 4 SmartWatch Summary
From those who want to track their sporting activity and those at risk of heart problems or falls, to those who just want a convenient way to receive notifications on the go, this smartwatch ticks all the boxes. Whether you’re buying your first ever smartwatch or going for an upgrade, the Apple Watch 4 could be perfect for you.