Apple’s slickest smartwatch is here
Apple’s smartwatch is the slickest and most feature-laden of this new category of gadgets
Apple Watch Series 4
Cool factor 5/5
Value for money 4/5
Apple’s smartwatch is the slickest and most feature-laden of this new category of gadgets.
The stand-out new feature of the Apple Watch Series 4 (R8,000) is a built-in electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor that reads your heart rate from the veins in your wrist.
The watch’s crown is also a sensor, so you can put your fingertip on that for heart-related readings, completing a circuit through your arms across your chest. Its accelerometer and gyroscope can tell if the wearer has a fall and can alert people if you don’t move for a minute, and include your location.
It’s by far the most sophisticated smartwatch I’ve tested. Like previous models, it can notify you as your phone does for calls, messages and app alerts and control your music.
Personally, I find the notifications intrusive (even on my phone) and turned off most of those. The most useful feature, given that my phone is always on silent, was incoming calls – and you can answer those on the watch itself. It has a better speaker and will pair directly with Bluetooth headsets, so you can take the call or listen to music on them.
Both the music and podcasting apps on the watch let you download and listen, which means you can leave your phone behind, especially handy while you work out. If you’re an active person, its usefulness increases significantly. You can track whatever exercise or sport you’re doing and it will "coach" you to do better. It’s water resistant to 50m so you can swim and surf with it — and a clever feature uses a burst of sound to get water out of the speaker.
This generation of the watch is thinner but the screen is bigger (Apple says by 30%) and you’ll get better battery performance, of 18 hours. This model is a wonderful upgrade and offers compelling reasons to get an Apple Watch.