The Apple Watch Series 4 (read Zac’s full review) is the biggest upgrade to the Apple Watch since the product launched back in the spring of 2015. New features include an all new design, stainless steel gold color, faster internals, brand new watch faces, and more. Watch our hands-on unboxing and overview, as we discuss the top Apple Watch Series 4 features.

A major redesign

The Apple Watch Series 4 marks the biggest change ever to the product’s fundamental design. The watch case is now thinner, and the screen is larger with a more prominent corner radius.

The corners of the display match the corner radius of the case itself, allowing the screen to adopt an almost iPhone X-esque edge-to-edge look. This change in design has allowed Apple to provide a bigger display without drastically increasing the size of the watch casing.

Video walkthrough

Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videos

The 38mm watch has been replaced with a new 40mm size, and the old 42mm size has been replaced with a new 44mm size. This is a notable change, especially for those who are upgrading from a 38mm Apple Watch.

The 40mm watch features a display area that’s larger than the previous generation 42mm, while keeping a case profile similar to the 38mm case.

Reuse the same watch bands

If you’ve invested a lot of money into acquiring different types of bands for the last three generations of Apple Watch, you’ll be happy to know that those same bands will work on the Apple Watch Series 4.

Faster S4 system in a package

The new S4 system in a package is, according to Apple, two times faster than the previous S3 chip. The result is an Apple Watch that boots faster, launches apps faster, and feels more responsive overall. This is the first version of the Apple Watch that feels downright fast to me with virtually no delay for any operation.

Redesigned Digital Crown

The redesigned Digital Crown is 30% smaller, yet features more components than previous versions of the Apple Watch. And for the first time, Series 4 comes with haptic feedback when scrolling with the Digital Crown. Read our in-depth post exploring the new Digital Crown to learn more.

Electrical heart sensors

You’ll notice a new sensor housing design on the rear of the Apple Watch casing, which now incorporates a new electrical heart sensor along with the standard optical heart sensor. In addition, the Digital Crown receives a built in electrical heart sensor. Both sensors work together to allow users to generate an ECG via the forthcoming ECG app for measuring heart health data.

Stronger Haptic feedback

Stainless steel Apple Watch models have always lacked a bit in the area of haptic feedback when compared to lighter aluminum models. With the Apple Watch Series 4, haptic feedback seems noticeably stronger in watches with stainless steel casing.

Same All-day battery life

Even though the new Apple Watch is thinner and more powerful, the watch still provides the same all-day battery life, which should average around 18 hours with normal use.

New stainless steel gold

Like the iPhone XS and XS Max, the Apple Watch gets a brand new stainless steel gold color for 2018.

50% Louder Speaker

watchOS 5 supports the ability to interact with Siri hands-free without using a “Hey Siri” command. And now Apple Watch Series 4 get the best Siri experience thanks to a redesigned speaker that’s 50% louder.

Relocated microphone

Previous versions of the Apple Watch featured a microphone placed on the same side of the case that housed the speaker. Such placement can cause echo and other unwanted feedback during phone calls. Apple Watch Series 4 addresses this issue by placing the microphone on the opposite side of the case.

Brand new watch faces

Infograph and Infograph Modular are two brand new watch faces exclusive to Apple Watch Series 4. Both new faces provide an info-dense layout that takes up most of the display area. Infograph, for instance, provides users with up to eight complications on screen at once. Learn how to customize the Infograph watch face using our hands-on tutorial.

Fall detection

Fall detection is a new feature exclusive to Series 4 owners that can be enabled via the Emergency SOS settings. If the user doesn’t respond to prompts when Apple Watch detects a fall, it will automatically contact emergency contacts via text, and call emergency services.

watchOS 5

You don’t have to be an Apple Watch Series 4 owner to enjoy many new features made possible by the latest fall software updates. watchOS 5 provides many new features to Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 owners as well.

watchOS 5 comes with new apps like Walkie-Talkie and Podcasts, and new features like automatic workout detection, accessing Control Center and Notification Center within apps, additional new watch faces, and so on. Be sure to tune in to our full hands-on walkthrough of watchOS 5 where we explore 50 new Apple Watch features.


The Apple Watch Series 4 is a major improvement over every previous edition of Apple Watch. Even if you own last year’s Series 3 release, you’ll find Series 4 to be a major upgrade. Not only is it thinner and sleeker with a larger screen, but it’s noticeably faster and more responsive. Other niceties, like a louder speaker, relocated microphone, and haptic feedback for the Digital Crown, are just icing on an already tasty cake.

Have you already purchased an Apple Watch Series 4? If not, are you considering one? Leave your thoughts down below in the comments.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Jeff Benjamin

Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.