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Apple Watch Series 4 Adopts Larger Screens, Boasts New Heart Tools

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Sep 12, 2018, 12:24 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated Sep 12, 2018, 1:04 PM

Apple today announced the fourth-generation of Apple Watches. For the first time since the original Watch, Apple is changing the dimensions of its smart wearable. Gone are the 38mm and 42mm sizes and in their place are 40mm and 44mm displays. The screens of the new Apple Watch stretch edge-to-edge, and are able to show more information when compared to the older series. Apple made the watch thinner and says it has a smaller overall footprint than the original. The smartwatch has new faces that support up to eight complications, direct access to select contacts, and a redesigned control center. The "breathe" tool has been refreshed with three new animations. Other faces include fire, water, and vapor. Apple says the digital crown has been re-engineered to include haptic feedback. The speaker was completely redesigned and is 50% louder. Apple moved the mic to reduce echo during calls. The rear panel is made of ceramic and crystal to improve radio signal capabilities. The new S4 processor has a dual-core, 64-bit processor with a new GPU for faster graphics. The next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope are faster, handle more g-forces, and can detect falls. The Watch can initiate emergency calls if necessary, and will call 911 automatically of the wearer doesn't move for one full minute after the fall. The Watch Series 4 introduces new heart rate features, such as when it becomes dangerously low or when it detects atrial fibrillation (uneven heart rate). New electrical sensors in the digital crown can take an electrocardiogram, or ECG, to monitor the heart's electrical activity. This info can be used to diagnose certain heart conditions. The device has been approved by the FDA as a medical device. This feature will be limited to U.S. customers at first and will eventually be available elsewhere. Apple says all the health and fitness data is encrypted on the device and in the cloud. Other features include Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and LTE. The wearable features 18 hours of continuous use, and full GPS tracking for up to 6 hours. It will be sold in three aluminum finishes and three stainless steel finishes. The Watch is compatible with the existing ecosystem of Watch bands, and the new Nike bands have reflective yarn for nighttime visibility. The Watch 4 starts at $399 for GPS and $499 for LTE. The Series 3 Apple Watch will still be available for $279. Preorders begin September 14 and it will be available September 21. WatchOS 5, the new UI, will be available to the Apple Watch September 17.

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