Apple Watch Series 4 Hands-On: Larger Displays, New Finishes, Slightly Thinner, ECG, and More

Following the introduction of Apple Watch Series 4 models at Steve Jobs Theater today, MacRumors and other media outlets were provided with some up-and-close hands-on time with the new lineup.

series 4 8
At first glance, the most obvious difference with Series 4 models is their larger displays, as Apple has significantly reduced the size of the bezels around the screen. The bezels now look similar to those on the iPhone X and newer, although the display is not completely edge to edge.

Apple says the larger displays provide 32 percent and 35 percent more viewing area on the new 40mm and 44mm models respectively, compared to the previous 38mm and 42mm models in previous generations.

series 4 2
Taking advantage of the larger displays, Apple has redesigned the entire watchOS interface to provide more information with richer detail. A new Infograph watch face can accommodate up to eight complications.

Series 4 models are also ever slightly thinner than Series 3 models, measuring in at 10.7mm, compared to 11.4mm. Apple didn't allow me to test my Series 3 band with a Series 4 model, but it did confirm that both new and existing bands are compatible with all Apple Watch generations.

series 4 4
Apple Watch Series 4 has a new electrical heart sensor on the back side for electrocardiography, often shortened to ECG or EKG. This potentially life-saving functionality can indicate whether your heart rhythm shows signs of atrial fibrillation, a serious form of irregular heart rhythm.

Series 4 introduces some finishes, including gold stainless steel casing and a gold Milanese Loop. The back side on all the new models is now crafted from sapphire crystal and ceramic, whereas some Series 3 models had composite backs.

series 4 3
On the side of Series 4 models, the Digital Crown features a thin circle, which is black on GPS configurations and red on LTE configurations. By comparison, nearly the entire Digital Crown is red on Series 3 models with LTE. In my opinion, the new, subdued look of the crown is more aesthetically pleasing.

series 4 5
series 4 7series 4 1
series 4 6
Overall, the Series 4 models do not represent a full-out redesign of the Apple Watch, but the larger displays and improved health monitoring tools are much welcomed features that are worth considering upgrading for.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

dtich Avatar
48 months ago
Huge Apple product user here... Apple Watch was my main hope for this keynote, and while it looks good, they still lack in a few areas FitBit has them smoked in:

1. Sleep tracking
2. Battery Life

I am really on the fence here. I love the products, hate the price, and feel like some basic features are missing when FitBit can deliver this stuff on a $150 device.
go make a phone call on your fitbit. then scroll thru some pix. watch a vid maybe. answer a text. get directions to a concert. oh wait.....

they are NOT the same device. you want a fitbit buy a ***** fitbit. stop making annoying comparisons...
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SteveJobs2.0 Avatar
48 months ago
Apple Watch 4 saved this event.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
e-coli Avatar
48 months ago
I wish the stock Apple Watch faces didn't look like ridiculous toys. I had to buy an Hermès edition to get an attractive face. What's more, if I wanted the Nike watch faces, I'd have to buy a whole separate Apple Watch. It'd be great if Apple just opened a Watch Face section of the App Store. They'd sell like crazy.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lucamegh Avatar
48 months ago
2 hours event and that's the only product I'm (mildly) interested in. Thanks Tim!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiRez Avatar
48 months ago
Bigger screen is nice but that still looks like a real fat bezel to me. They may be "similar to the new iPhones" in terms of the actual width of the bezel, but as a percentage of screen size, they're much larger. It's a shame they couldn't bring it out closer to the edge and either make the screen even bigger, or make the case smaller.

I could also do with a slightly less bulbous curvature on the edges of the screen, make it a little flatter with a slightly sharper rounding, it kind of feels like I'm looking into one of those snow globes or something.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ankaa Avatar
48 months ago
Bummer, it's really not THAT much thinner. It appeared really thin on the pictures that leaked/during the presentation, but I'm not quite sure what difference 0.7mm make in reality, particularly on the smaller model. Add the additional 2mm in size and it might look even bulkier on small wrists (such as women's) than the previous series. Absolutely not thrilled about the larger size, my series 2 looks bulky on my wrist as is. Again, bummer, because I LOVE the new display and functionality.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...