Get your wrists ready because the Apple Watch 4 (or Apple Watch Series 4 if you’d rather use the company’s official vernacular) is supposedly right around the corner. There are already plenty of rumours, leaks and hypotheses that hold key tidbits into the wearable’s launch date and what it’ll bring to the table.
Apple Watch 4 Design and Specs: What will the Apple Watch 4 look like, and what new features will it have?
The Apple Watch has evolved to incorporate some powerful new features over the years, with the likes of integrated GPS and swim tracking being among them, but the Watch’s overall design has remained practically unchanged since its original incarnation first launched back in 2015.
This year it looks as though we’ll finally see a cosmetic difference or two. For starters, the 326dpi OLED displays that appears on both the 38mm and 42mm versions of the Watch will be taking a leaf out of the iPhone X’s book and move closer to the edge of the watch’s front, meaning slimmer bezels all round.
According to a feature posted on Bloomberg back in May, 2018’s watches will sport similar dimensions to previous iterations but feature edge-to-edge displays that are 15% larger than the screens that feature on Series 3. We’ve not seen any leaked specs relating to these new panels but we’re also hoping for rounded corners 8211; again like the iPhone X. What this does imply, however, is that the Apple Watch won’t be going circular any time soon, something Samsung will no doubt lord over it when the Samsung Galaxy Watch hits stores.
Another significant change that would bring the Apple Watch more in line with the company’s smartphones is rumoured to move to solid-state buttons. As per an article from Fast Company, Apple will leave the button configuration on the Apple Watch 4 unchanged from its predecessors, with a rotating digital crown positioned above a pill-shaped side button, but neither will physically press down, instead responding to touch and pressure from the user with feedback driven by the watch’s Taptic Engine.
Here8217;s how Concept Creator envisages the Apple Watch Series 4 looking, based on recent rumours:
Apple already made this move with 2016’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus by making their Touch ID-laden home buttons solid state to great effect. The move wasn’t as well received on the HTC U12 Plus, however, whose side-mounted hardware controls proved unresponsive and unreliable.
Former KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a remarkable record when it comes to forecasting Apple8217;s next moves, believes that the bump in screen size is a safe bet, but the move to haptic buttons could be shelved for the 5th anniversary Apple Watch (or Apple Watch Series 5), which should launch sometime in 2019.
One aspect of the Apple Watch 4 that seems less likely but is still worth exploring surrounds talk of integrated EKG monitoring. Apple’s already touted its previous Watch’s ability to detect irregular heart rates and assist in the diagnosis of heart conditions but this would elevate its heart-monitoring credentials and bolster the Apple Watch’s positioning as a recognised diagnostic device in the eyes of medical organisations. If this particular rumour doesn’t come to fruition, however, AliveCor’s third-party Kardiaband already delivers similar functionality by slotting over a standard Apple Watch band.
Apple Watch 4 Software: What new features will be coming to watchOS 5?
On the software side, when Apple first unveiled watchOS 5 at WWDC 2018 it introduced the Walkie Talkie feature to the world. As the name suggests, this will let Apple Watch users send quick, convenient voice clips to one another by way of a simple button press.
Like clockwork, each year Apple holds a September keynote that plays host to the launch of its next iPhones and will most likely double as the launch platform for this year’s Apple Watch; not least because that’s been how the company’s done things since it launched the wearable three years ago.
As for pricing, we’re not expecting any real change, despite the new functionality that’s on the cards. A starting price of £329/$329 for the base 38mm aluminium-bodied GPS-only version and an additional £70 for the GPS + cellular skew, with the top-spec 42mm ceramic-bodied GPS + cellular iteration costing around £1349/$1349.