Apple Watch Series 4: Everything you need to know

Apple Watch Series 4 may have larger screens, advanced heart rate tracking

Wear OS vs. Apple Watch
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It’s that time of year again — the time when Apple rumors begin to fill up every corner of the internet. While there’s already plenty of speculation about the next iPhone, iPad Pro, and even MacBook, the rumors for the upcoming watch have been pretty sparse … until now.

Although we’re just starting to hear rumors about the upcoming Apple Watch Series 4, it looks like this may be a huge year for the smartwatch. Here’s everything we know about the forthcoming Apple Watch Series 4.

Design

best smartwatches apple watch series 3
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

While the overall design of Apple Watch has become iconic and has been the inspiration for many a smartwatch, it seems time for change. Well, according to a report from KGI Securities, first spotted on 9to5Mac, a design change is coming to the Apple Watch Series 4.

While KGI Securities does not provide a lot of specifics, it predicts that this year’s Apple Watch will feature “a more trendy form factor design.” The firm also suggests that the display on the Apple Watch Series 4 will be 15 percent larger. In July, analyst Ming Chi-Kuo elaborated a bit and predicted the Apple Watch Series 4 will have 1.57-inch and 1.78-inch displays. While we can’t imagine that Apple would actually make the overall case on the Series 4 smartwatch any larger, it could add more display real estate by decreasing the size of the bezels.

Specs

Apple Watch Series 3 buying guide heart rate

This year’s Apple Watch will almost certainly ship with an upgraded Apple S4 processor. As with every processor update, we’d expect to see better performance and improved efficiency. Since the Apple Watch Series 3 shipped with 16GB of storage, we think it’s unlikely to see a bump in storage for the 2018 refresh.

As for memory, the Series 3 Apple Watch shipped with 768MB of RAM, so we don’t think it would be unheard of for Apple to bump it up to an even 1GB on the Series 4. We’d also like to see Apple move to Bluetooth 5 for the Apple Watch Series 4.

In terms of display, there’s a chance we may see some changes on the Apple Watch Series. First off, the display itself may be larger since KGI Securities is predicting Apple will increase the display size on the Apple Watch Series 4 by 15 percent. There’s also the possibility that Apple will transition to more efficient MicroLED displays for this year’s crop of Apple Watches.

Operating system

The Apple Watch Series 4 will almost definitely run on Watch OS 5. Right now the detail are slim around Watch OS 5, however we should learn all about it at WWDC in June. While we can’t be certain, there are a few features we’re expecting for the next rendition of Watch OS.

New watch face options are the most obvious addition we’d expect to see on Watch OS 5. There’s also a more than decent chance that we’ll see upgraded customization options since the last few iterations of Watch OS have increasingly allowed users to customize the interface.

We’re also expecting see improved health tracking in Watch OS 5.  In July, Kuo also predicted the upcoming Apple Watch Series 4 will feature advanced heart rate detection. We also Apple may introduce native sleep tracking (especially since Apple bought Beddit in 2017), and period tracking on Watch OS 5.

Battery and charging

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Will the Apple Watch Series 4 pack a bigger battery than its predecessors? If a report from KGI Securities is to be believed this Apple Watch Series 4 will sport a bigger battery than its predecessors. In addition to a larger battery, it’s also likely we’ll see better battery life overall on this year’s refresh since Apple continuously finds ways to make its chips more energy-efficient. The transition from OLED to MicroLED display could also significantly increase the battery life for the Apple Watch Series 4.

In terms of charging, we’d hope to see more wireless charging options for the Apple Watch Series 4. Since Apple introduced a wireless charging option with Apple AirPower for it’s Series 3 smartwatch, it’s not too far-fetched to think this year’s Apple Watch may offer wireless charging via Qi Standard.

Price and Release

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Pricing for the next Apple Watch is unknown but we would anticipate a modest price increase over the Apple Watch Series 3 to account for the larger display and improved internals. We also anticipate a Wi-Fi model as well as a more expensive LTE version as we saw last year.

While it’s tricky to guess exactly when the Apple Watch Series 4 will be released, our best guess is in September 2018. For the past few years, Apple has announced Apple Watch refreshes alongside its iPhone, and we expect that tradition to continue.

Updated July 11: Added Ming Chi-Kuo predictions about heart rate tracking and a larger display.

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