Apple Watch Series 4 brings ECG scanning to your wrist

apple watch series 4

The world’s most popular watch “period” now has a new version.

Steve Jobs and company on Wednesday announced two versions of the new Apple Watch.

The Series 4 has a 30% larger screen than the outgoing models, with a thinner body. The company has also added new complications to the Watch Series 4, with added “loved ones” or travel watch faces for different timezones. Essentially, Apple’s letting users customise UI elements on the watch.

Apple lauds its new screen

The Breathe app, which helps you take a moment during stressful moments in the day, is now also available as a watch face. And yeah, if its a particularly cold or hot day, a Fire and Water face should also suit your taste.

These are mainly there to showcase the display though, but the Digital Crown remains. It does however now feature haptic feedback, when a little buzz will alert you when UI elements are selected.

As for hardware junkies, the Apple S4 chipset commands the Watch. It has a custom-made dual-core 64-bit CPU, while it also has a more sensitive gyrometer and accelerometer. This makes it easier give users the option to alert emergency services after serious falls if need be. It you don’t initiate an emergency call within one minute, the Watch will do it for you.

The new health features

Apple has also added three heart features, including a low-heart rate notification and, heart rate screening or “atrial fibrillation” alerts. These are powered by the optical heart sensor.

An additional sensor at the Watch’s rear, which forms a closed circuit when touching the Digital Crown, allows users to take an electrocardiogram — it’s the first over-the-counter ECG measurement device available, Apple claims. It’s used to diagnose heart conditions and other potential diseases.

Apple says taking an ECG on the Watch Series 4 takes just 30 seconds, and doctors can evaluate the data from the Apple Health app through a PDF document. Nifty.

This will be available to US customers first later this year. The rest of the world will have to wait.

Battery life, fit and finish?

Well, here’s the disappointing part. You’ll still have 18 hour battery day life, but the fitness tracking time has increased slightly.

Users also still receive water resistance of up to 50 metres, as well as cellular connectivity.

It will be available in three finishes: silver, gold, and space grey. There’s also a Gold Stainless finish for those who really like gooooold. There’s also a Nike version as well as the Hermes finish, fit with leather straps.

The bands from previous generation Watches are interchangeable.

Prices

The US$399 Watch Series 4 won’t have cellular, but the LTE version will be priced at US$499. They will be available from 21 September, with preorders opening this Friday.

US$279 is the new price for the Watch Series 3.

WatchOS 5.0 will be available 17 September.

South Africa’s not on the first wave list, so you’ll have plenty of time to save for the device when it eventually arrives.

Feature image: Apple

Andy Walker: Editor
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