Apple Watch comparability: Sequence three vs. Sequence Four which must you purchase? – CNET

Apple packed plenty of nice new options in its newest Apple Watch Sequence Four: a quicker processor, brighter, larger display screen, louder speaker and an FDA cleared electrocardiogram characteristic (ECG or EKG) that may assist display screen for probably life-threatening situations. However for lots of people, one of the best factor about Sequence Four is that it is made the earlier technology Apple Watch that rather more inexpensive. The Sequence three has the same design and shares plenty of the identical specs that make us love the Sequence Four, however for lots much less. So, which one is best for you?

Certain you will discover offers on the market on each fashions at any given second, however typically count on to pay about $400 for the most affordable (non LTE ) model of the Apple Watch Sequence Four, and about $130 much less for its Sequence three counterpart. If you happen to’re on a tighter funds, this can be the deciding issue, particularly as a result of the Sequence three tends to have higher offers than the Sequence Four and you will get away with spending lower than $200 if you perform a little digging (proper now it is on sale for $199 at Walmart). Observe that CNET might get a share of income from the sale of the merchandise featured on this web page.

Nonetheless, for these of you who could also be keen to spend just a little extra on the bells and whistles and wish to know the variations intimately, hold studying.

Apple Watch

Which Apple Watch seems to be and feels higher?

At first look, each the Apple Watch Sequence Four and its predecessor appear to share the identical fundamental design: sq. watch face with rounded edges, swappable bands and quite a lot of steel finishes to select from in two sizes. To identify the variations we have to take a more in-depth look.

The Sequence Four has a slimmer physique, however its display screen is definitely 35 p.c bigger than the 38-millimeter model of the Sequence three and 32 p.c bigger than the bigger 42mm Sequence three. The display screen on the Apple Watch Four has grown to 40mm and extends virtually edge to edge with rounded corners, contrasting with the thicker bezels and sq. corners of the Sequence three. This implies you will have extra finger house to sort in your passcode on the Four. Plus you will have extra watch faces to select from.

The Sequence Four takes benefit of the additional display screen actual property by including extra watch problems on a number of the watch faces permitting you to see extra data at a look. It additionally appears brighter and sharper than the earlier mannequin and was simpler to learn in direct daylight.

The Apple Watch Sequence three (left) has thicker bezels with sq. corners.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Sequence Four feels extra comfy when pressed tightly across the wrist. The optical coronary heart fee sensor has now been diminished to a single dot outlined by coronary heart sensor. That is used to energy the EKG characteristic, together with a second electrode on the digital crown.

Regardless of the slight measurement distinction, each watches nonetheless use the identical sized bands which you’ll swap out to get a completely totally different look.

Audio typically sounds higher coming from the audio system on the newer Sequence Four. Its speaker is now bigger and 50 p.c louder, in accordance with Apple. Apple additionally switched up the place of the microphone, which is now situated reverse the speaker between the digital crown and the house button, making calls sound clearer.

And on that digital crown — final yr Apple added a crimson dot on the digital crown of the Apple Watch Sequence three to distinguish the LTE model from the common Wi-Fi mannequin. Clearly it is a matter of non-public desire, however I used to be positively not a fan. This time round Apple made the excellence much more delicate by including only a crimson define of the circle across the digital crown for the LTE model.

You will additionally discover a barely totally different really feel when utilizing the digital crown. The Sequence Four has added haptic suggestions once you use it to scroll, which has a barely extra satisfying really feel, although most likely not a recreation changer for most individuals.

Additionally value noting that solely the Sequence Four comes within the chrome steel possibility (not less than on the Apple Retailer). The Sequence three is just accessible is House Grey and Silver aluminum finishes.

Winner: Apple Watch Sequence Four

Which Apple Watch has the quicker, smoother expertise?

The Sequence Four has a quicker 64-bit S4 processor, which Apple says is twice as quick because the earlier model. In concept this implies it’ll most likely provide you with a barely smoother and quicker expertise, however to be trustworthy I did not discover an excessive amount of of a distinction for most simple duties like exercise monitoring and notifications. Apart from that, the software program and person expertise needs to be precisely the identical.

Each Apple Watch, excluding the primary technology Apple Watch, obtained the replace to WatchOS 5. The replace added a handful of recent options like automated exercise detection, Siri shortcuts, a walkie talkie app and the power to stream your favourite podcasts.

Winner: Each

Which Apple Watch has the strongest connectivity?

In line with Apple, the brand new black ceramic and sapphire again panel on the Sequence Four Watch makes it simpler to transmit and obtain radio waves. That is alleged to translate into higher cell connectivity for you.

Do not count on iPhone stage connectivity on both Apple Watch. Each my watches had been on totally different carriers, so I did not get an opportunity to match them within the wild, however typically I discovered the Sequence Four to be fairly dependable once I taking calls or streaming music phone-free. Summoning Siri then again was a special story and I used to be continually met with a “Maintain on…” response on each.

This solely actually issues if you happen to’re planning on getting the LTE-enabled variations which value $100 greater than their Wi-Fi counterparts. The Wi-Fi variations needs to be the identical by way of connectivity.

Winner: Apple Watch Sequence Four

Which Apple Watch is greatest for health?

In case your predominant concern is health, there are two key causes to splurge on the Sequence Four: the bigger display screen and the — spoiler, see extra beneath — longer battery life. No less than these are the important thing causes for me.

I prefer to examine my tempo and coronary heart fee whereas I run, and having that bigger, brighter display screen actually helped. I did not must take my eyes off the highway for lengthy to examine my stats. With the Sequence three it is a bit more durable to see and I must decelerate to examine. Identical may be mentioned with nearly some other outside sport like biking or swimming the place fast entry and clear visibility is vital.

That mentioned, they each share plenty of the identical nice operating and health options that got here with WatchOS 5 just like the tempo alerts, which provide you with a mild nudge once you go above or beneath your goal, and automated exercise detection which helps you to begin an train with out having to set your watch. This final characteristic although solely applies to operating, strolling (indoor or outside), swimming (open or pool), elliptical and rowing machine.

Winner: Apple Watch Sequence Four

Battery life that holds up on these lengthy exercises 

After sporting them throughout my common work days — which roughly include a mile-walk to work, sitting principally in entrance of a pc, the stroll again, a 30-minute run or pilates class and chasing after a toddler — I did not discover an excessive amount of of a distinction between the battery drain.

Mileage might fluctuate for you, however each my Sequence three and the Sequence Four survived with nearly 40 p.c juice to spare after I collapsed in mattress on the finish of every day, with the Sequence Four often forward by a number of share factors. I used to be sporting the smaller variations of every with LTE turned on, however no calls or music streaming straight on the watches.

However on weekends, once I’d go on longer hikes or runs, the distinction was extra pronounced. In line with Apple, the Sequence Four lasts for about six hours of steady train in comparison with the Sequence three which works for about 4. To be clear, that is if you happen to’ve began a exercise within the train app.

I even went on a 6-hour hike up Mount Tamalpais close to San Francisco with each of them to check the declare (make certain to take a look at the video for the play-by-play). And certain sufficient, the Sequence three died a couple of minutes previous the Four-hour mark, whereas the Sequence Four stored going nicely past the 6-hour declare. I ended the hike at about 6 hours and 20 minutes, and nonetheless had sufficient battery to get me by my 30-minute commute again residence earlier than lastly dying.

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The Apple Watch Sequence Four delivers on its health guarantees


To be truthful, I do not go on too many 6-hour hikes — not less than not with out some sort of break in between — however if you happen to do hit the paths on the weekend, or practice for longer distance races, these additional hours of cost positively come in useful. Whereas the Sequence Four isn’t any Garmin or Polar smartwatch which may final you thru an Ironman, the Sequence three would barely make it by a full a marathon.

Winner: Apple Watch Sequence Four

Added well being options 

One of the crucial vital new options to return to the Apple Watch with the Sequence Four is the FDA cleared EKG characteristic that may assist customers display screen for probably life threatening medical situations like Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) which may enhance your threat of stroke.

The EKG even helped me detect a slight irregularity in my very own coronary heart rhythm throughout a heart specialist go to. Nothing too severe, however nonetheless value me realizing about. It is the one direct-to-consumer machine that may do that in the mean time, and for some that could possibly be value its weight in gold.

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We examined the Apple Watch EKG in opposition to a hospital EKG


That mentioned, the Apple Watch Sequence three does share another nice coronary heart well being options with the Sequence Four that do not require the EKG. They’ll each alert customers in the event that they detect abnormally excessive or low coronary heart charges throughout a interval of inactivity, options which have helped a number of customers catch some fairly severe medical situations.

With the replace to WatchOS 5, even older Apple Watches (Sequence 1 and later) acquired the irregular coronary heart rhythm notification. The characteristic takes a take a look at the house between heartbeats and might flag if it is indicative of AFib.

However solely the Sequence Four can present the extra EKG information for a health care provider to get a extra detailed take a look at the electrical exercise occurring within the coronary heart. Most docs will nonetheless require a standard 12-lead EKG to diagnose a coronary heart situation, but it surely gives a a lot richer image than what the optical coronary heart fee can present. The EKG on the Sequence Four is equal to a single lead EKG.

Put your finger on the electrode on the digital crown of the Apple Watch Sequence Four to take an EKG.

James Martin/CNET

The opposite large well being characteristic distinctive to the Sequence Four is fall detection. It has an improved accelerometer and gyroscope which permit it to detect when the person has taken a nasty fall. If the person is unresponsive after a minute, the Apple Watch mechanically calls emergency companies, performs a message that tells them the person has fallen and shares their present location.

The Watch additionally shares the situation with emergency contacts if they have been programmed in forward of time. This characteristic on the Apple Watch Sequence Four been credited for saving a 67-year-old man’s life in Norway after a night-time fall that left him unresponsive on his rest room ground and different comparable tales have continued to floor because it’s launch. 

Winner: Apple Watch Sequence Four

Most bang on your buck 

If you happen to’re buying your watch by Apple, the Sequence Four with mobile prices $499, whereas the Wi-Fi solely mannequin prices $100 much less. Identical goes with the Sequence three at $379 with mobile and $279 for Wi-Fi solely. 

As I mentioned earlier, the Sequence Four is your greatest purchase if you happen to do not thoughts paying extra for the extras, however if you happen to’re attempting to avoid wasting money, or you have already got the older mannequin, then the Sequence three remains to be an important selection.

Winner: Apple Watch Sequence three

Which Apple Watch must you purchase?

With regards to watches, and expertise typically, there is no one-size matches all reply. It actually comes down to every particular person’s wants. Your use case could also be fully totally different to mine, however not less than now you will have a greater concept of what you would be getting from every.

The cheapskate in me would most likely find yourself sticking to the Sequence three. As a typically wholesome 30-something, the Sequence three has nearly every thing I would like from an Apple Look ahead to much less.

I personally would slightly spend the additional cash on the LTE connectivity (on the Sequence) to free me from my cellphone on runs and exercises, or spend it on an additional watch bands to decorate it up. But when cash weren’t a problem, I’d go all in for the LTE model of the Sequence Four, due to the bigger display screen, higher battery life and added well being options.

And people added well being options on the Sequence Four could possibly be much more helpful for sure folks, particularly if you happen to’re above the age of 65 and wish that security internet that comes with the autumn detection and EKG options. Both manner you’ll be able to’t go incorrect, each are nice choices if you happen to’re prepared so as to add some tech to your watch and hold tabs in your ticker.


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