Apple unwrapped a new Apple Watch, the Series 4, at an event in Cupertino, California, on Wednesday. The new version has roughly the same body size as last year’s Series 3, but has more than 30% more area for content with its 1.9-inch display.
The Series 4, like the Series 3, comes in a GPS-only version, and a more expensive option with both GPS and cellular connectivity.
The Series 4 looks bigger without actually being bigger than earlier watches. Apple accomplishes this by removing the black bezel space normally surrounding the display. As on the new iPhones, the screen appears to extend to the edges of the device. There’s now enough room for nine “complications,” or bits of useful information (such as temperature, date, exercise progress, etc.), situated around the analog or digital clock.
Apple says every aspect of the OS has been designed to take advantage of the new display space.
The company has also pushed deeper and more meaningful health measurements into the watch, and some of them debut in the Series 4. For instance, a new sensor algorithm can detect when the wearer has suffered a fall.
Most importantly, Apple has added new electrical sensors to the back of the watch to enable an electrocardiogram (ECG). The user places a finger on the watch’s digital crown, so a tiny electrical signal can be sent through the body by one sensor and received and measured by the other.
The device is powered by a new 64-bit dual-core S4 processor, which will carry the load of the larger display area and make app switching and scrolling smoother.
Apple says it has redesigned the speaker on the watch to make it 50% louder. Meanwhile, the back of the new Apple Watch is made of black ceramic and crystal.
The Series 4 comes in silver, gold, and space gray colors. Stainless steel versions will be available in silver, gold, and space gray. All the bands that fit earlier Watches will fit the Series 4. A GPS-only version starts at $399. A GPS and cellular version starts at $499. Apple will continue to sell the Series 3 at a reduced starting price of $279.
Preorders for the Series 4 starts this Friday, and it goes on sale on September 21.