The Apple Watch Series 4 has many new features: an FDA approved electrocardiogram (ECG or ECG), a faster processor, a better screen and a louder speaker clad in a sleeker exterior. The best thing about the Series 4, however, may be the fact that the Series 3 was significantly cheaper. The previous generation of Smartwatch from Apple has many of the same specifications that make Series 4 great, and the aluminum version is priced at $ 130. Which one is right for you? If you do not mind paying more, you should buy the Series 4. If you want a much cheaper option, you should opt for the Series 3 It is indeed commercially available on Amazon: $ 229 for the 42mm model.) Note that CNET may account for a share of the revenue from the Sale of the products featured on this site. Apple Watch
For those of you who want to know the differences in detail, read on. The Apple Watch Series 4 and its predecessor seem to have the same design: a square dial with rounded edges, interchangeable bands and a variety of metal surfaces in two sizes. To see the differences, we need to take a closer look. The Series 4 has a slimmer case, but the screen is actually 35 percent larger than the 38-millimeter version of the Series 3 and 32 percent larger than the larger 42-mm Series 3. The screen of the Apple Watch 4 is at 40 mm It grows and expands from near to edge with rounded corners, in contrast to the thicker panels and the angular corners of the Series 3. This means that you have more finger spacing to enter your passcode on the 4. You also have more dials to choose from.
The Series 4 uses the extra screen space by complicating some dials so you can see more information at a glance. It also seems brighter and sharper than its predecessor and was easier to read in direct sunlight. The Apple Watch Series 3 (left) has thicker frames with angular corners.
Sarah Tew / CNET
The Series 4 feels more comfortable when pressed tightly around the wrist. The optical heart rate sensor has now been reduced to a single point defined by an electrical cardiac sensor. This is used to drive the ECG function along with a second electrode on the digital crown. Despite the small size difference, both watches still use the same band sizes that you can swap to achieve a completely different look. Audio generally sounds better from the newer Series 4 speakers. According to Apple, the speaker is now bigger and 50 percent louder. Apple has also upshifted the position of the microphone, which now sits opposite the speaker between the digital crown and the home button, making the calls clearer. And on this digital crown – last year, Apple has added a red dot on the digital crown of The Apple Watch Series 3 distinguishes the LTE version from the regular Wi-Fi model. Of course, that's a matter of personal preference, but I was definitely not a fan. This time, Apple made the distinction much more subtle, adding only a red outline of the circle around the digital crown for the LTE version. When using the digital crown you will also notice a slightly different feeling. Series 4 has added haptic feedback when you use it for scrolling, which gives a slightly more satisfying feeling, though for most people this is probably not a game changer. It is also worth mentioning that only the 4 series is available in the stainless steel option (at least in the Apple Store). The Series 3 is only available in the versions Space Gray and Silver. Winner: Apple Watch Series 4Which Apple Watch works faster and smoother: The Series 4 has a faster 64-bit S4 processor, which is twice as fast as the previous version, according to Apple. Theoretically, this means that you are likely to get a slightly smoother and faster experience, but to be honest, I have not noticed much difference on most basic tasks, such as activity tracking and notifications. Apart from that, the software and the user experience should be exactly the same. With the exception of the first Apple Watch generation, each Apple Watch received the update for WatchOS 5. The update added a handful of new features, including automatic workout detection, Siri shortcuts, a walkie-talkie app, and the ability to stream your favorite podcasts to stream. Winner: Both: The Apple Watch has the strongest connectivity: According to Apple, the new black ceramic and sapphire back of the Series 4 Watch simplifies the transmission and reception of radio waves. This should lead to better cell connectivity for you. Do not expect any Apple Watch connectivity at the iPhone level. My two watches were on different carriers, so I had no chance to compare them in the wild, but in general I found the Series 4 to be quite reliable when I call or stream without music. Summoning Siri was a different story and I was constantly hit with a "stop …" response to both. This is only important if you want to buy the LTE-enabled versions that cost $ 100 more than their Wi-Fi counterparts. The Wi-Fi versions should be the same in terms of connectivity. Winner: Apple Watch Series 4Which Apple Watch is Fit for Fitness If your main concern is in the fitness area, there are two main reasons for the Series 4: The larger screen and the – spoiler (see below) – longer battery life. At least these are the main reasons for me. I like to check my pace and heart rate while running, and the bigger, brighter screen really helped. I did not have to keep my eyes off the road for a long time to check my statistics. It's a bit harder to see with Series 3 and I need to slow down to check it out. The same goes for almost all other outdoor sports, such as cycling or swimming, where quick access and visibility are important. Both have the same excellent running and fitness features that came with WatchOS 5 as the tempo warnings. These give you a gentle push when you go over or under your goal, and an automatic workout detection that allows you to do an exercise without having to set your watch. However, this last feature is only for running, walking (inside or outside), swimming (open or pool), elliptical trainer and rowing machine. Winner: Apple Watch Series 4Battery Lifetime that lasts long training sessions after wearing them during my normal working days – which are about a mile walk to work, usually sitting in front of a computer, going back, a 30-minute run, or Pilates I have not noticed much difference Mileage may vary for you, but both my Series 3 and Series 4 survived with just under 40 percent juice after I collapsed in bed at the end of the day. I carried the smaller versions each with LTE on, but no calls or music streams directly to the clocks. At the weekend, when I go for longer hikes or runs, the difference was more pronounced. According to Apple, the Series 4 lasts about six hours continuously, while the Series 3 lasts about four hours. To be clear, that's when you've started training in the training app. I even took a 6-hour hike to Tamalpais Mountain near San Francisco to test the claim (watch the video for play-by-play). And indeed, Series 3 died a few minutes after the 4-hour mark, while Series 4 still surpassed the 6-hour claim. I finished the walk after about 6 hours and 20 minutes and still had enough battery to get me home through my 30-minute commute before finally dying.
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The Apple Watch Series 4 delivers what its fitness promises
To be fair, I do not go to many 6-hour hikes – at least not without a break – but if you're on the slopes or training for endurance races at the weekend, then extra hours are definitely useful. While Series 4 is not a Garmin or Polar smartwatch that can survive through an Ironman, Series 3 would barely survive a marathon. Winner: Apple Watch Series 4Added Health Features One of the Most Important New Features You'll Receive The Apple Watch Series 4 is the FDA-approved ECG feature that allows users to search for potentially life-threatening conditions such as AFib increase the risk of stroke. The ECG even helped me detect a slight irregularity in my own heart rhythm during a cardiologist visit. Nothing too serious, but it still pays to know. This is currently the only direct consumer device that can do this, and for some it could be worth gold.
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We tested the Apple Watch ECG for a hospital ECG
However, the Apple Watch Series 3 has some other great Series 4 cardiac health features that do not require an ECG. You can notify users if they notice abnormally high or low heart rates during a period of inactivity. These features have helped multiple users have serious complaints. With the update to WatchOS 5, even older Apple watches (Series 1 and above) got the notification of irregular heart rhythm. The function takes a look at the distance between the heartbeats and can flag when displaying AFib. But only Series 4 can provide the additional ECG data to a physician for a more in-depth look at electrical activity in the heart. Most doctors still need a conventional 12-lead ECG to diagnose heart disease, but it provides a much richer picture than what visual heart rate can show. The Series 4 ECG is an ECG with a single lead. Place your finger on the lead on the digital crown of the Apple Watch Series 4 to take an ECG.
James Martin / CNET
The other major feature of the Series 4 is the fall detection. It has an improved accelerometer and gyroscope to detect when the user has suffered a serious fall. If the user does not respond after one minute, the Apple Watch automatically calls the emergency services, issues a message informing them that the user has fallen, and communicates their current location. The watch also shares the location with the emergency contacts, if they have been pre-programmed by time. This feature of the Apple Watch Series 4 was recently approved for the rescue of a 67-year-old man in Norway after a nightfall that no longer reacted to him on his bathroom floor. Winner: Apple Watch Series 4Most for your money The Series 4 with wireless costs $ 499, while the Wi-Fi model costs only $ 100 less. The same applies to Series 3 for $ 379 with mobile and $ 279 (for Wi-Fi only). As I said earlier, Series 4 is the best buy if you do not mind paying up to $ 130 more. However, if you want to save some money or you already own the older model then stay with the series 3. Winner: Apple Watch Series 3What Apple Watch Should You Buy? When it comes to watches and technology in general, there are no one-size answers. It really depends on the needs of each person. Your use case may be completely different from mine, but you now have at least a better idea of what you would get from everyone. The cheap skates in me would probably stay with the series 3. As a generally healthy 30s, Series 3 has pretty much everything I need from an Apple Watch for about $ 130 when I spend on Series 4.
I could dedicate the savings to the more expensive LTE version for phone-free runs, or spend it on an extra watchband to disguise it. But if money was not an issue, I would choose the Series 4 for the larger screen, better battery life, and added health features. These additional Series 4 health features could be even more valuable to some individuals, especially those over the age of 65 who need the Crash Detection and ECG Safety Network. Either way, you can not go wrong. Both are a great option if you're ready to add some tech to your watch and keep track of your ticker.