Apple Watch Series 4 helps you take a fall and performs electrocardiograms

Isaac Cain
September 13, 2018

Apple has used its fall 2018 "Gather Round" event to debut four major new devices in its iPhone and Apple Watch lineups. The Series 3 Apple Watch will drop in price to $279.

New watch faces, including one with up to eight customisable complications, or special features. Where the Apple Watch Series 3's display felt like it was surrounded by some indiscernible bezel, the Series 4 adds over 30% more screen real estate to the Apple Watch without making it feel cumbersome.

The digital crown has been completely re-engineered and now comes with haptic feedback to make menu navigation more precise. He said Apple has received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its new ECG app, and that the data will be protected by encryption on the Watch and in the cloud.

Alongside the screen upgrade, the watches are also receiving improved health-tracking abilities, replacing the light-based heart monitor found in earlier models with a new ECG-based system, which is generally more accurate - particularly when used on dark or tattooed skin.

However, for some reason, Apple seems to underplay its battery life - when it first claimed 18 hours on a single charge, we found it would last a little longer. SOS mode will activate in the wake of a fall, allowing the user to make a call to emergency services or, if the user is immobile for one minute, automatically start a call. The speaker on the Apple Watch is 50 percent louder, to aid with Walkie-Talkie or Siri requests, Williams said.

Most importantly, Apple has added new electrical sensors to the back of the Watch to enable an electrocardiogram (ECG). Apple Watch Series 4 wearers can open up the Health app, put their finger on the digital crown, wait 30 seconds and then get a heart rate analysis.

For all that's new in the Apple Watch Series 4, the company says the improvements it made will have no effect on battery life.

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Apple Watch Nike+ features redesigned Nike watch faces that match the new band colours.

"Identifying a fall may sounds like a trivial thing but it takes a lot of data", Williams said.

The Series 4 is available in silver, gold, space gray in aluminum. With a revamped accelerometer and gyroscope, Series 4 is "ideally suited" to identify both motions, Williams said. A stainless collection will also be available, alongside a gold stainless finish.

The Apple Watch Series 4 will be available directly from Apple, either at brick-and-mortar Apple Store locations or online.

Fitbit Inc., the maker of popular fitness devices, fell more than 5 percent as Apple unveiled its Watch plans.

Series 4 is available to order on Friday, Sept. 14 and will be physically available on Sept. 21.

The Apple Watch Series 4 will be available from 21 September, with orders starting this Friday, 14 September on Apple.com for the United Kingdom, or here for the US.

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