Apple just announced a redesigned Apple Watch Series 4, with a bigger display, faster processor, and built-in EKG scanner. The display looks great. It isn’t quite edge-to-edge, but it makes the Series 3 look pretty cramped. The colors are bright and vivid on a fully black background. And though I’m not a fan of the super busy new watchfaces, I could see people really getting into having more information on them.
That’s the main takeaway for me, but for Apple, the main takeaway is that it has much better health features, including fall detection and improved heart rate monitoring.
Inside the Apple Watch Series 4, there’s a new dual-core 64-bit S4 processor that is custom-designed to improve performance. Apple claims this latest Watch should be two times faster than the previous models, which will help with app load times and general use of the Watch interface. During our brief time with the Apple Watch Series 4, I can’t say I noticed it being all that much faster than before, but it will take much more testing to say.
Unfortunately, that feature wasn’t available for us to try out on the demo units here. Another thing I couldn’t do was swap out my old Apple Watch band into the new, differently sized Series 4 casing. Apple says that the bands should still be largely compatible, but I am betting some will look just slightly off on the new watches — especially third-party bands.
The speaker is also louder, and the rear of the Watch is now a smooth black ceramic finish.
All of these hardware changes mean there’s clearly a bigger display, but the Apple Watch Series 4 is actually thinner than the previous models, and it will still work with all existing bands. That’s good news if you’re upgrading from the original model from three years ago.