Apple Watch 4 vs Apple Watch 3: Should you pre-order the new Apple Watch 4?

The Apple Watch 4 was the first device announced by Apple at its 2018 September event, and a lot of effort went in to making it look like the fantastic and fast watch of the future. But how does it actually differ from the Apple Watch 3?

Now that the dust has settled from Apple’s event, and the Apple Watch Series 4’s pre-order phase has begun, we can sit down and go through the various features of the device in question to understand how it’ll look and run different to the Watch 3.

You can pre-order the Apple Watch 4 here

Apple Watch 4 vs Apple Watch 3: How is it different?

Apple Watch 4 vs Apple Watch 3: What features does it have?

Perhaps the biggest improvement undergone by the Apple Watch Series 4 is the roster of health and wellbeing features that have been added. In addition to a fall sensor, which will notice when you have an accident and call emergency services if need be, an ECG feature is built in to the device which can calculate your heart rhythm. While this feature isn’t available at launch, and hasn’t yet been approved for use in the UK at all yet, this will be a groundbreaking feature when it is available.

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Changes in the device’s design means that it has better mobile connectivity and a louder speaker, making calls easier, but for the most part, the actual functionality of the Watch 4 is the same. It is water resistant to 50m, can track your workouts using GPS, and has social functions too, just as the Apple Watch Series  3 was.

Apart from the health benefits, the Apple Watch 4 is purely an upgrade from the Apple Watch 3 with limited new features. It has many new watch complications that sit around the watch face and runn with greater ease (as will be explained below), but not a huge deal else that differentiates it from the Series 3.

Apple Watch 4 vs Apple Watch 3: What does it look like?

A big difference between the Apple Watch 4 and its predecessor is size; as well as both sizes of the watch being 2mm bigger than previous watches, at 40mm and 44mm as opposed to 38mm and 42mm, new edge-to-edge technology means the screen size is just over 30% larger. On top of that the Apple Watch 4 will be slightly thinner, making it more comfortable to use for athletic purposes.

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The larger screen aids the functionality of the Apple Watch Series 4 – you can view more complications around the watch face at the same time, or view photos and maps in greater detail. It also means that the basic functions of the watch, such as the time or health information, is easier to read than on the Series 3.

Another important detail that differentiates the Apple Watch 4 from its predecessor in terms of appearance is the face and bands. As well as the standard Apple Watch, variants designed by Nike and Hermes provide many different faces and straps, meaning that there are currently 36 different versions to buy. Nike designed 8 of these, and 11 are by Hermes. In comparison, the Watch 3 currently only sells in six different versions, two of which are by Nike.

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The huge number of different straps and faces available mean you have free rein over the looks of the watch, and complement the wider, thinner screen nicely.

Apple Watch 4 vs Apple Watch 3: How does it run?

According to Apple, the Series 4 runs at twice the speed of the Apple Watch 3, thanks to the dual-core S4 processor inside it. This means you can run multiple watch complications on the fly without having to worry about any drops in performance speed.

The Apple Watch 4 will also retain the same whole-day battery life that the Apple Watch 3 had, meaning you’ll be able to use it out and about for 19 hours at a time without charging. Part of these 18 hours include one hour for exercise, checking the time 90 times, reading 90 notifications and using apps for 45 minutes. Since most users won’t do all these activities every day, it seems that Apple has accounted for various uses for the watch.

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The real difference between the devices then depends on app usage –if you’re a heavy app user, and like to use many at once, the Series 4 will facilitate that with greater ease than the Series 3.

Apple Watch 4 vs Apple Watch 3: How much does it cost?

When the Apple Watch Series 4 was announced, the Series 3 received a price cut; now, the cheapest Series 3 devices are available from £279 with GPS or £379 with GPS and mobile coverage.

This price cut makes the Apple Watch Series 4 over £100 more expensive than its predecessor, with the cheapest GPS device going for £399 and GPS and mobile going for £499. That may sound a lot, but your opinions on the various features of the newer device may justify this higher price tag.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Apple Watch 4 has a much wider range of variants than the Apple Watch Series 3, as previously detailed, with a range of different prices. Particularly, the Hermes Watches are currently all above £1,000 in price.  In comparison, the Apple Watch 3 only has Nike variants which are all the same price as the watch’s standard iteration.

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Apple Watch 4 vs Apple Watch 3: Verdict

The Apple Watch Series 4 is essentially a super-charged version of the Apple Watch 3; it can run more apps simultaneously and will do so faster, it’s got a more ergonomic design and there’s a greater variety of complications available.

For some, the health functions will be extraordinarily useful, especially the ECG reader (when and if it launches in the UK). All this without culling the fantastic workout features of the Apple Watch 3, many of which are still present in the Series 4.

However, some may feel that, apart from the ECG reader and fall sensor, there isn’t enough to distinguish the Apple Watch 4 from the watch it purports to supersede. Of course, the Apple Watch 4 isn’t out yet, and it could be that Apple has more tricks up its sleeve that’ll make the brand new device a necessary purchase. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.

You can pre-order the Apple Watch 4 here

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