Category: Favorite Things

Apple Watch Series 4 Review

Originally this was supposed to be a video review, which I was eagerly excited to do, however my guest reviewer was unable to purchase his watch on time for this post so I had to forgo my original plan in favor of this one. However, as followers of this blog I want you to rest a sure that I am a woman of my word-I promised you a review and by golly you are going to get it!

As a first-time Apple Watch owner, I was waiting for the right time to jump in and splurge on this product. My Mother had owned the series 1, I had been eyeing what was new with these watches for quite some time, so when my cousin picked up the series 4 late for her birthday I just knew I had to get in on this.

I planned to do a little more in depth review this evening via video with my friend, Nate Frances. I own the apple watch 44 mm series for, while Nate owns the Nike version of the Apple Watch series 44 mm. I feel like the diversity in this review especially once the video is up, will really help you the reader to decide which one you really want if you are going to take the plunge and get one.

Nate was experiencing some technical difficulties last night so this will serve as just a basic review and rundown of the series 4 Watch. Please bear in mind this is only my first couple days wearing the Watch so I will be sure to update in a few weeks if I notice any awesome new features or even glitches. Ready to rock and roll? Okay, let’s go!

Whiskey. Apple Watches. Got your attention? Great. The two total different products have a lot in common. No, not a rich gold color or notes of sherry. They’re both better with age and I’m glad to have struck while the iron was hot.

The Series 4 comes in 40 and 44 mm displays, which is a bigger display then their prior 4 generations, compared to my Mom’s series one bad boy it makes it easier for the user to see the smaller complications around the time. Prior to series 4, whenever I’d try on an Apple Watch I felt like I was wearing my old Life-Sized Barbie’s (ah 90’s nostalgia) sport watch. Not any more, over the past few years, I’ve said the Watch is a good but I would be holding out until various aspects were addressed, that time is now.

The Series 4 feels a lot like a Cheese It commercial where they check their cheddar for maturation. There are significant upgrades to the screen, the battery, the cellular connectivity and more. What I am excited about though is its new potentially lifesaving EKG and fall-detection features, which is great for people like me where heart disease runs in my family to keep an eye on my heart rate and also for older relatives to notify you and call emergency services in the event of a fall..

The Series 4 is, well, pricey. No sense in beating around the bush and it will cost you $399 for the Wi-Fi/GPS model and $499 for cellular—there were no discount deals for Black Friday but if you get a new watch WITH a new phone you can save upwards to $100 off the watch at purchase. This review is simply my experience, I encourage you to visit your local service provider’s corporate store and find the smart watch that’s right for you BUT if you’re gonna go big, go Apple.

Naturally, I found some areas that could use improvement but the Series 4 was better than previous generations’ which my friends and relatives let me look at/play with through the years. Here’s the D.L.:

It’s a wristwatch

A lot of reviewers don’t love the squircle shape of the Apple Watch, but I think that makes it unique. After all, do you really want something round that’s a quarter of the iPhone XS or XS Max’s size just chillin on your wrist? No, probably not BUT the expansion of the Series 4’s screen by over 30% and the slight slimming of its potbellied underside make the Series 4 more comfortable and attractive than my Mother’s series 1.

Now that I have my Watch, I plan on trying to convince my Dad to get Mom the newer series for Christmas. Why? Because going from the smaller screen she has, to the bigger screen I have is like her putting on a pair of reading glasses. If you have a previous generation, you no longer need Polly Pocket hands to tap the complications—those widgets on the watch face that show weather, activity and infograph.

One of my only qualms with the Apple Watch is that it lacks the ability to always display the time on screen, I have to flick my wrist or turn the Digital Crown which is small potatoes in retrospect and also probably set up to make the most of the battery.

A lifesaver

If you’re interested in the Series 4’s Food and Drug Administration-cleared electrocardiogram feature for advanced heart-rate monitoring, you’ll be pleased at the readings you’ll get and can even set alerts for your watch to tell you when your heartbeat is too fast or slow.

I did not test the other major health addition, however, as much of a real life klutz that I am I wasn’t going to fall on purpose for the sake of this review. A clear competitor to Life Alert, the Series 4 detects falls using a new accelerometer and gyroscope. During setup, if you enter your birthday and are 65 or over, the feature automatically turns on. If not, you can turn it on manually in the Apple Watch’s iPhone app, under Emergency Services.

If this sort of thing intrigues you however there are plenty of reviews around the Internet that test this feature, one such review which I read the blogger actually hired a stunt man to fall and claims that the Watch detected every single one.

A personal trainer and Nextel walkie talkie in one.

If you purchased this watch be prepared for it to push you in ways that you’ve never been pushed before. I have never been much of a hard-core gym rat, I hate working out. I do love me a nice walk though, on a nice day I could easily get in 5 to 6 miles and this watch does a fantastic job of tracking my steps! It also remind me how many steps I need to reach my goal for the day. Being able to share your Activity data with chosen relatives and friends is also a motivator in making sure that you are reaching your goals. You can initiate friendly competitions between friends in different workout categories such as: walking, running, swimming, elliptical, hiking, and many more! I feel like this is the part of the review which I don’t have enough experience in working out to really give you an accurate and thorough representation of what this watch can do.

If you were a 90s kid and loved those Nextel walkie-talkies you will love the walkie-talkie feature which you could chat with your friends once they accept your request. I went back and forth with this feature for a good 30 minutes with two of my friends and it didn’t get old at all. The only requirement is that you have the FaceTime app on your iPhone and the walkie-talkie works great.

If you got the GPS + Cellular version, prior to updating my software to Watch iOS 5.1.1, the calls I made on the Watch were dropped twice and several times I couldn’t be heard by either of my friends. I have not made any calls since updating my software so this issue could very well be addressed and therefore I will wait until I do a more comprehensive review in a month.

The Watch can go up to 1½ days—when it relies on Wi-Fi or my iPhone for connectivity. The battery still doesn’t last long enough to sleep with the Watch, which is probably why Apple hasn’t introduced sleep tracking yet.

A smartphone mediator

It’s not smart to buy the Watch as a mini smartphone, I never did. Most of the time, our phones are in arm’s reach and can do more then our watches any way.

There are two exceptions. First, if you have Apple Pay. Two taps on the side button beats pulling out an iPhone. Second, the Watch has become surprisingly useful to me in my quest to limit my phone usage. Without the temptation to tap Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, I can still get messages and see the time. While there aren’t iWatch apps for such social media giants, you DO get notifications regarding these apps on the watch BUT you’ll need your actual phone to see what was posted or sent. I will say that my phone activity was down 30% from yesterday on my phone which allowed me to stay connected but not TOO connected that I missed out a day of shopping with my husband and family. I will say Apple needs prioritize notifications, though.

Whiskey is best aged and Apple Watches are exactly the same. Whether you’re upgrading from an older Apple Watch or have been waiting to buy one, do yourself a favor and get the 4!

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

Xoxo