Apple has expanded the computer clock, integrated new health features and improved details. A first test.
With new sensors, a larger but thinner chassis and significantly more screen space, Apple has thoroughly enhanced the Series 4 of its smartwatch. In addition to fitness, the manufacturer is increasingly focusing on features designed to control their own health, making the Apple Watch 4 a particularly interesting product innovation. The most important test results we publish here in advance; The detailed review will follow in the upcoming Mac & i issue 5/2018, which is available from October 4 in the trade.
Bigger Apple Watch display shows more complications
Externally, the Apple Watch Series 4 hardly differs at first glance from its predecessors. As soon as the display lights up, however, the much larger area that is available for the system and apps is noticeable, and the screen is also brighter and brighter. Noteworthy: The display of the smaller Watch Series 4 is now even larger than that of the 42-millimeter version of the S3.
The new, Watch-S4-exclusive dial called “Infograph” is initially a bit colorful and confusing because of the many options shown. As usual, the colors and details can be largely adjusted. Some complications, especially from third-party providers, are not yet compatible with Infograf, and in the case of the home app for controlling connected home electronics, this is even true of one of the manufacturers themselves. Upcoming updates are likely to fix this, even an adaptation of many apps is still pending.
New watch sensors are designed to detect cardiac arrhythmia
While watchOS 5 can also indicate on older models that the heart rate drops below an adjustable value for 10 minutes, for example 40 beats per minute, the new Apple Watch will soon also be able to point out possible cardiac arrhythmias: On the back black ceramic and sapphire glass, Apple has scaled down the optical heart sensor and next two vapor-deposited electrodes for an electrical heart sensor. With its help, the watch periodically evaluates the measured pulse values of the user. If she detects any irregularities, she points out.
Thereafter (or on request at any time) the user can start an electrocardiogram. She then asks him to put a fingertip of the other hand on the digital crown, which – another innovation in addition to the now haptic feedback – also has electrodes built. So closes a circuit, one speaks of a single-channel ECG. The measurement should take 30 seconds and classify whether the heart beats in a normal pattern or if there are signs of atrial fibrillation, explains Apple.
Professor Thomas Meinertz, cardiologist and member of the scientific advisory board of the German Heart Foundation, says in an interview with Mac & i : “A single-channel ECG for the control of other heart diseases such as myocarditis, infarction or circulatory disorders remains unsuitable.”
The new features should be available at the end of the year initially only in the US, which is why we could not test them yet.
Fall detection with emergency call function
Another important health improvement feature has already been unlocked: The Watch Series 4 is designed to detect serious falls and then make an emergency call. However, users under the age of 65 must manually enable it in the Watch app on their iPhone .
We did not succeed in provoking the distress call with intentional crashes – although Apple points out that in some activities with violent arm movements, the fall detection can be mistakenly triggered. Owners of older watch generations may wonder why they do not get this feature later via software update. According to Apple, their acceleration sensors are not sensitive enough.
Apple Watch 4 faster, battery life longer
In the test, the watch responded with a new S4 chip in many situations jagged and fluid than its predecessor. All new clock variants now have a 16 GB memory.
When using the new walkie-talkie app, the speakers sound a bit louder than those of the Series 3. Siri also speaks louder and calls can be understood much better. For ringtones and timer alarms, we could not hear or measure differences.
Unfortunately, the Apple Watch emancipated itself in the fifth generation is not completely from the iPhone. You still need it to configure, update, or manage workouts.
The Apple Watch Series 4 lasted almost six hours longer in our everyday test – complete with sleep monitoring and smaller workouts – than the Series 3, even though their battery pack offers slightly less capacity. The term given by Apple, which should be “up to 18 hours” for both generations, can be significantly exceeded depending on usage. After a two-hour test of the “hiking” workout, which uses GPS and heart rate monitoring, the battery of the S3 only had a charge of 44 percent when the mobile phone was switched on, and the Apple Watch 4 still had 72 percent. All attention!
All test and measurement results in detail, the description of all functions and improvements as well as our final assessment, please read from October 4 in Mac & i Issue 5/2018.