If we don’t understand the times we live in, we might 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 review
Apple Watch Series 4 price in India: Rs 40,900 onwards
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. However, despite this the Apple Watch 4 feels a bit slimmer than before.
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. Also, some of the new watch faces are a testament to how good the watch is with processing graphics. Again I am almost in love with the new Kaleidoscope, especially the artsy version of the same. The vapour watch face is also great. There is so much choice.
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. From responding to messages with a scribble on the screen to cycling between watch faces or apps, the Apple Watch Series 4 is up to the task. The battery lasts well over 24 hours despite all this graphics and LTE coverage when needed.
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. The earlier alerts used to be for just when the heart rate went high, while you were not active — this has really worked well for me over the past year and usually corresponds to periods of anxiety or stress.
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. Maybe 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.
Also, some apps sure need some more fine tuning. The Walkie-Talkie, for instance, is an app I have not been able to use. Initially I was not able to find the relevant contacts from the 3,000-odd numbers in my phone. Now, when Apple has started showing friends who have a compatible Apple Watch, the invites don’t seem to go through.
Do ask yourself if you need the LTE version, because that should be limited to if you want to use the watch without a phone at times. I personally use the LTE mode a lot, especially when I’m running short errands or when I am away from the iPhone that is getting charged.
The latest upgrade has made the Apple Watch more relevant for regular users like me. And I think this has more to do with the design and interface, and how the Watch is now able to give relevant data and access to the right apps at the right time. Also, for users like me with an underlying condition like diabetes that needs monitoring, or for those with heart ailment, the Apple Watch Series 4 is a smart choice to make. The Apple Watch is clearly the best smartwatch in the world at the moment and it is getting better with the Series 4.