Review: Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch is undoubtedly one of my favorite Apple devices ever. It gives me information and notifications for everything I need, it helps me stay fit, and the new Series 4 device promises to watch my health like no Apple Watch before it.

The reasons to love the Apple Watch are as varied as the people that use it. Some love the fitness tracking, some like the freedom cellular access provides, and others just think it is a cool device. In reality, it’s great for all those things and much more.

For me, Apple Watch provides insight into what’s going on with me—my life. That’s the real key for Apple Watch, it’s a personal device.

I have mentioned many times before how the notifications on Apple Watch save me from going down a rabbit hole when I look at my iPhone. We all do this: pick up your iPhone because it buzzes and you check that message, then you decide you might as well check email; and since you have it in your hand, you should check Twitter, or Facebook, or Messages; and on and on it goes. Before you know it, 20 minutes have passed.

The sad thing about losing that 20 minutes is that the first buzz that caused you to pick up the iPhone probably wasn’t significant anyway.

I get a buzz on my Apple Watch, I glance at it and know right away I don’t need to deal with it immediately, so I keep doing what I’m doing. When I take a break, I scroll through and deal with all of the things that happened while I was working.

If something vital does happen, of course, I can deal with it right away and move on.

As with those notifications, fitness on Apple Watch has become more about information for me. I don’t always close my rings, but I do try. Unfortunately, some days are hectic, and there’s not a lot I can do about that, but I still have the information at my disposal, thanks to Apple Watch.

I try to follow the recommendations for standing every hour and getting in 30 minutes of exercise every day. The fact that I’m trying to keep up with those recommendations is 100 percent more than I was doing with before the Apple Watch came out, so I’m doing good.

Some of the new watchOS 5 and Apple Watch Series 4 features that I’ve enjoyed the most are simple. I really like the auto-detection for exercise. If you forget to turn on a workout, Apple Watch will prompt you after about 10 minutes and bring up an alert saying something like it looks like you’re going for a walk.

You can then turn on the walk, and it will go all the way back to the beginning of your steps, so you get credit for the exercise you did. It also detects when you finished your walk and will alert you to stop the workout. This helps keep all of your information accurate, which is really important when you are tracking your fitness goals.

When I first picked up the Apple Watch Series 4 at Apple’s event, I didn’t think it was much bigger than the previous version—until I touched the screen and turned it on. The watch face is magnificent. The screen is beautiful, and the amount of information you can fit on the watch face with complications is impressive.

I have temperature, activity, timer, Apple Music, date, heart rate, workout, and battery on my watch face. That’s eight items, and there is still lots of room. The 44mm Apple Watch is big enough to display everything and still seem spacious.

Apple Watch Series 4 comes with some new health and safety features too. Fall detection uses the watches next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope to help determine when you’ve fallen. If you haven’t moved in one minute, Apple Watch will automatically call emergency services, and a message with your location will be sent to your emergency contacts.

Fall detection is turned on automatically if you’re over 65. If you’re younger than 65, you have the option to turn it off during setup.

The new watch will also feature the ability to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) directly from the watch—this feature will be available in the U.S. later this year. To use the ECG, you just open the app on the watch and touch the Digital Crown. It has a built-in titanium electrode that completes the circuit with the electrodes on the back of the watch, allowing the watch to measure electrical changes across your heart.

The 30-second test will be stored on your iPhone and can be exported as a PDF to share with your doctor.

There are a lot of other small improvements in the Apple Watch Series 4 like the fact that the microphone has been moved to the opposite side of the speaker. This will lessen echoes during phone calls.

The speaker is 50 percent louder than the previous version, so phone calls and Siri are more easily heard.

The battery lasts all day and then some, so I never worry about running out. In fact, I have forgotten to plug it in on occasion, and it has last almost two days for me.

Apple Watch Series 4 kept everything I loved about Apple Watch and added so much more. I can’t imagine a day when I would get up and not put on my Apple Watch. I have and continue to recommend the Apple Watch to everyone.