Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 4

Apple today began shipping the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4 out to customers today, and customers have been eagerly awaiting their shipments today to get their hands on Apple's newest devices.

We picked up one of the new wrist-worn devices to see the design changes for ourselves and to provide a glimpse at the new device to MacRumors readers who are either awaiting their orders or who are still on the fence about making a purchase.


Apple Watch Series 4 has a little bit bigger footprint but is slightly thinner than Apple Watch Series 3, and the larger display (35% larger on the 40mm watch and 32% larger on the 44mm watch) is the first thing you'll notice about the updated models.

Yes, the Apple Watch no longer comes in 38 and 42mm sizes - it's 40 and 44mm now. In the video, the watch we're demonstrating is the larger 44mm model, but for those of you getting a 40mm model, it's worth noting that the 40mm screen is bigger than the screen of the original 42mm Apple Watch.

The new display of the Apple Watch Series 4 is a hugely welcome change because it offers up much more area for apps and complications on watch faces. Series 4 comes with a unique Infograph watch face and the new Vapor, Fire/Water, and Liquid Metal watch faces were built for the device and fill up the entire screen.

Inside, the Apple Watch Series 4 has a new S4 chip that's twice as fast as the S3 chip in the Series 3, and the back of the device has been improved with a black ceramic and sapphire crystal backing. All Apple Watches now have this feature, which improves cellular connectivity by allowing radio waves to penetrate the front and back.

Stainless steel Series 4 models are using sapphire glass, which is resistant to scratching from everyday wear, while all aluminum models continue to offer Ion-X glass, which isn't quite as scratch resistant.

New this year is a gold shade, which matches well with the new gold color available for the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. Apple has also introduced an ECG feature, but it can't be tested because it's not rolling out until later this year.

Apple Watch Series 4 models sold out quickly after pre-orders began on September 14, and orders placed today won't ship out until October.

Did you get a new Apple Watch Series 4? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

kingjames1970 Avatar
37 months ago
I don’t say this lightly but perhaps the best upgrade to an Apple product I’ve experienced and that’s coming from a series 2. (Apple user since 1990.) The size and speed makes such a difference.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brentsg Avatar
37 months ago
Mine are sitting on the kitchen counter until the wife gets home, at which time she'll either be glad that she gets to open hers with me.. or pissed that I don't have them charged and ready to go.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FreshBoy Avatar
37 months ago
I finally took the plunge for the Apple Watch yesterday. After being an admirer for the first 3 generations but never feeling it had enough going for it to justify the purchase, I was finally ready after seeing the series 4. I went for the space grey 44mm aluminium and it’s a perfect size for my average sized wrist. After 24hours with the watch on, all I can say is, is that this could possibly be my best purchase ever. The notifications are excellent and a great way at seeing if the message is important at a glance. My screen time more than halved on the phone yesterday and hopefully that’s a trend that will continue. I used it in the gym today and it was so good to see all the info on my heart rate and calories burned etc right there on my wrist and I definitely pushed myself that wee bit harder so I could close the rings. I know I’m mentioning stuff that all previous models could do but this watch ticked all the boxes with it’s bigger screen and slimmer look. I opted for the non lte version as here in Ireland there is no company providing the lte feature and god knows when the dinosaurs in charge here will sanction a move for the technology to be available. Hopefully the EU will also approve the ECG sooner rather than later so I can try it out. Anyone on the fence about upgrading from an earlier model or finally purcashing the AW for the first time should not hesistate as it’s a real beauty and I can only imagine how nice the SS versions are in the flesh but they’re just too expensive for me. Any questions just ask
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lloydbm41 Avatar
37 months ago
The sapphire glass on my Series 0 is now 3.5 years old and still looks brand new. I was thinking of going aluminum for a Series 4 and saving a few hundred bucks, but I am concerned about the durability of Ion-X glass. What's the user experience with this glass?
Even the sapphire glass on the Apple Watch isn't truly sapphire glass. It's embedded into normal glass in small amounts. It's only slightly better than Ion-X, but not much. On the Mohs scale, the Ion-X will scratch at a level 6 and guess what... the Apple Watch's Sapphire screen scratches at 6 too, it's just less visible. Real sapphire screens scratch at 8. Tissot watches for example scratch at 8.

See here:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Game 161 Avatar
37 months ago
Loving mine...the size is a good improvement and so smooth.

I feel the tap for notifications is a lot better and not as annoying
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moakesy Avatar
37 months ago
Got the 44mm for me and the 40mm for my girlfriend.

Apple have pulled off their favorite trick.....make the previous device you had feel out of date, instantly.

Ok, so I didn’t have the series 3 before, but it’s a huge step up from the series 2. No regrets about upgrading.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
General Apps Messages

All Three Major U.S. Carriers and Google Adopt Rich Communication Services, But No Sign of Apple Interest

Tuesday July 20, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
For the last several years, Google has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. RCS is designed to replace SMS, the current text message standard, and it offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file sizes, better encryption, improved group chat, and more. Verizon today announced that it is planning to adopt...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
macOS Malware Feature

Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Wednesday July 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by
A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature teal

AirPods 3 Mass Production Said to Kick Off in August

Tuesday July 20, 2021 8:40 pm PDT by
Mass production of the third-generation AirPods will kick off in August, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. They will reportedly join a number of other products such as the iPhone 13 lineup and redesigned MacBook Pro models as launches coming before the end of the year. Renderings of rumored third-generation AirPods design Rumored launch dates for the third-generation AirPods have...