Apple Watch Series 4 reviews: The watch of the future is here today

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Apple Watch Series 4 is significantly better than the earliest versions of this wearable.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s next-generation wearable launches Friday, so the first batch of Apple Watch Series 4 reviews appeared today. The experts with early access sound quite positive about this device.

They like the new display and the faster performance. The new ECG heart monitor function can’t yet be tested, however.

Apple Watch Series 4 reviews

It says something about people’s trust in Apple that there were huge numbers of Apple Watch Series 4 preorders even before any reviews landed.

Apple Watch Series 4: display

Possibly the most significant change with these new wearables is the larger displays. This made the overall device a bit bigger, but they don’t seem to feel larger.

As Dieter Bonn from The Verge pointed out in his review, “They really don’t feel that much bigger on your wrist than the old sizes. I was using the 42mm Series 3 and the 44mm size is only subtly bigger, but it’s also subtly thinner.”

But Bonn did notice the larger displays: “The screen on the Series 4 is just incredibly good. Apple says it’s 30 percent bigger, which is one of those specs that’s easy to just sort of pass over when you read it. But 30 percent is a lot, and you absolutely notice it right away.”

Brian X. Chen from The New York Times said, “This enlarged display makes everything on the watch look better, including text.”

Apple Watch Series 4: performance

Apple promises that its latest wearable is up to two times faster than the third-generation Apple Watch. Reviewers noted improvements.

Wired‘s Scott Rosenfield wrote, “By virtue of hardware upgrades, it does almost everything just a little bit better.”

Chen’s review in the NYT described the Series 4 as “faster” six different times.

Apple Watch Series 4: fall detection

A nifty feature of the new Apple Watch is the ability to detect if the wearer has fallen. It can call 911 if the fall makes the user unresponsive. Testing this is harder than it might seem.

“I can attest to the fact that I didn’t register any false alerts while wearing the device. Slamming your hands on the desk or collapsing into your bed won’t set it off,” wrote Brian Heater from TechCrunch.

And his experience is typical. All the reviews reported repeatedly throwing themselves onto couches or mats without setting off the fall alert.

Apple Watch Series 4: LTE

This isn’t the first version of this wearable with optional LTE. But it seems to be better than its predecessors.

The Verge‘s Bohn wrote, “Last year’s Apple Watch had some issues with LTE at launch, though Apple fixed it up fairly quickly. This year, I haven’t had any major problems with LTE. In fact, several people I called with the Watch simply didn’t believe I wasn’t on a phone.”

Apple Watch Series 4: battery life

A Watch is no good once its battery runs flat. Apple seems to have made minimal improvements in this area.

Rosenfield wrote for Wired, “Battery life on the Series 4 is as good or better than on the Series 3 Watch.”

But The Verge‘s Bohn was more optimistic: “Battery life on the Series 4 is as good or better than on the Series 3 Watch.”

Apple Watch Series 4 early reviews: conclusion

The general consensus of the first Apple Watch Series 4 reviews seems to be that the device is much better than earlier versions.

“If you have the original Watch, the Series 1, or the Series 2 — or if you’ve been thinking about buying your very first Apple Watch — you should pull the trigger. The Series 4 is a significant step up from early watch models in every meaningful way,” advises Wired‘s Rosenfield.

Heater from TechCrunch said, “The addition of serious health features like ECG and fall detection further lay the groundwork for what the device — and category — will become, going forward.”