Apple Watch Series 4 — Quick First Impressions


My new Apple Watch finally made it onto my wrist yesterday. I’m going straight from a steel Series 0 in Space Black to the aluminium Nike+ 44 mm in Space Grey, so this is going to be a huge jump in terms of… everything basically. I’ve only been using the new one for a few hours, but here are a few quick notes on the things I’ve already noticed…

  • The speed increase is astounding! I have always had to wait for the Series 0 to respond to my input, even on watchOS 1.0, but with the Series 4 it’s just like using an iPhone — touch something and it does what it’s supposed to immediately.
  • The new size and shape are extremely welcome. It actually looks more like a watch than a computer now. The slight increase in dimensions also makes it sit prettier on my wrist — the Series 4 actually looks thinner than my Series 0, despite being slightly thicker1.
  • The new Digital Crown feels buttery smooth and the new haptic “clicking” convey what’s happening naturally. I don’t recall Apple saying anything about the Taptic Engine being improved, but they obviously made some changes to it.
  • I’m still playing around with the new watch faces but I already feel as if they need some serious improvement. I defaulted to the new Infograph but it feels a little busy. I really like the old Utility watch face but it feels as if it wasn’t adapted properly to the new screen size.
  • The Nike Sport Loop is amazingly comfortable. I put it on the other way around because it just works better that way on my wrist (the loop part is on the top of the watch, the velcro tab on the bottom). The reason for this is that while Apple’s PR photos suggest the part which loops around the lugs is completely flat, it actually isn’t.
  • My wife said the Sport Loops look extremely cheap2.
  • I didn’t go for the stainless steel model this year because:
    • I don’t need or want the LTE version but I’d still have to pay for it.
    • It’s too expensive for me to justify the purchase, especially since it won’t retain any meaningful value in 2-3 years (looking at previous generations.
    • Going down the aluminium route allows me to upgrade more often, should I need or want to.

The jump from the Series 0 to the Series 4 feels like a larger leap than from the 1st generation iPhone to the iPhone 4. The new Watch model is probably the best product released by Apple in 20183 — I’m really pleased that I waited so long with replacing my Series 0.

  1. My Series 0 had a depth of 10.5 mm and weighed 50 grams; the Series 4 has a depth of 10.7 mm and weighs 36.7 grams (the new stainless steel model is actually lighter too, by 2.1 grams)
  2.  ?.
  3. We’re still expecting new iPads, so that could change soon.

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