Today is the 1095th day I wear Apple Watch.
After experiencing doubts, troubles, madness and adaptation, the electronic device on the wrist eventually became a tool like my glasses, and more accurately, it became a natural extension of my body.
In the past four years, in this war for the user's wrist, Apple Watch is not only against the hundreds of cost-effective but feature-rich bracelets and watches, but also user exclusion and prejudice. But the bigger enemy is Apple itself. It not only solves the problems and shortcomings left by each generation of Apple Watch, but also needs to answer the ultimate question that has been plaguing users: What is Apple Watch?
The Apple Watch was born in an era of long-awaited and questioned, and it is more applicable than any Apple product: Apple's products have to wait until three generations to buy.
We finally waited for its fourth generation.
Wearing the Apple Watch Series 4 (hereafter referred to as Series 4) for a week, it seems to me that, regardless of design, performance and industry benchmarking, today's Series 4 is like the stunning four-seat iPhone 4 of the year.
I am familiar with the new design of Series 4, I can't get back.
The conflict between hardware and software design seems to be a contradiction that cannot be reconciled on Apple Watch. A round with a regular and symmetrical beauty has always been the most widely used element in industrial design, but as a user interface to present text and icons, the efficiency is not satisfactory.
Since its inception four years ago, Apple Watch has always maintained the design of the rounded rectangle that Apple loves. This has also made some users obsessed so far. Why is Apple's dial not round?
▲ Series 3 and Series 4 comparison
The Series 4 didn't turn round, but it became more rounded, and the arc of the four corners of the fuselage increased significantly, even surpassing the iPhone. In addition, the attached screen is also closely attached to the case frame, and it is integrated from any direction. The hand does not deceive, the Series 4 is held in the palm of the hand, like a cobblestone polished by running water.
Unexpectedly, Apple's most perfect full-screen screen first appeared on a watch. Thanks to the rounded screen like the iPhone X, the Apple Watch display screen is parallel to the arc of the fuselage. Due to the OLED and the black UI, most of the time you don't feel the border.
The display area of the Series 4 is 30% larger than the previous generation, and the resolution is improved, but the display accuracy has not changed.
The only thing that confuses me is that the size of the screen has not been able to maintain the size of the whole machine. The size of the two Series 4s has increased to different degrees. The original 42mm has become 44mm, and the original 38mm has become 40mm. . For me with a thin wrist, the 44mm version reminds me of the feeling of wearing G-SHOCK in my student days.
Fortunately, the Series 4 has a thinner 0.7mm, and because the heart rate sensor module is thinner, the watch fits better on the wrist and doesn't look as bloated as it used to be.
The body of the Series 4 has also become more compact. For example, the Dock button is no longer raised, and the speaker is also displaced. The more significant change is the digital crown on the side. It becomes smaller and thinner. The previous generation has a huge red dot. Also adjusted to a more refined red ring.
▲ GPS+ Honeycomb's iconic red ring
The larger mystery inside the digital crown, it accommodates more parts, can still be pressed, and adds support for the Taptic Engine: when rotating, I can feel the paragraph feel of turning mechanical gear, the shock is very Subtle, but you can hear the sound of the gear bite, with the operation of turning pages, the experience is very subtle.
Perhaps the change of the Taptic Engine makes me feel that the shock of the Series 4 is a bit numb, not as strong as the previous generation.
In addition, the Apple Watch's speaker position has been adjusted to a 50% increase in volume, and the sound quality of Siri is significantly thicker than the previous generation. The microphone of the body also moves from the left side to the right side, which is said to reduce echo and improve the clarity of the call.
Getting used to the Series 4 and wearing the Series 3 is like going back to the iPhone 3GS from the iPhone 4.
Series 4 has a super-full dashboard, and boys can also purchase small models.
The larger display area, the benefits are not only aesthetic, it also makes display and operation more convenient.
Compared to the previous generation, the Series 4 interface has been enlarged as a whole, especially on the 44mm dial. The page with large information density looks more comfortable, and I have never had any accidental touch.
Before the third-party app was supported, the significance of this large screen was only scaled up, and it did not provide more dense information for the time being.
One exception is the dial. Apple has customized several exclusive dials for the large-screen Series 4. My favorite is the following, which can include up to 8 complex functions on a dial, such as air quality index, UV index. Heart rate data, schedules, weather, and world clocks make my watch a comprehensive dashboard and a quick entry.
Through careful comparison, this generation of small 40mm version of the screen is actually comparable to the previous generation of large 42mm version, on some interactive pages, the button area of the control is almost the same.
This means that the size of the Series 4 is no longer the boundary between men and women. If you are a small brother, 40mm is really suitable for you.
The Series 4 strap is the same as the previous one, the only difference is that the small line on the strap becomes 44mm and 40mm.
Apple Watch is running fast to catch up with the iPhone
Since its inception, Apple Watch has been running at a speed that has been stretched, and even as it progresses to the third generation, dragging round icons on the app interface can feel subtle stagnation and dropped frames.
Thanks to the 64-bit S4 chip, this generation has a quantum leap. The S4 chip is a system-in-package (SiP)-based chip, and Apple says it can increase speed by up to 2 times. In addition, Series body storage has been upgraded from the previous 8GB to 16GB.
Unlike the case where the phone uses the app, using the app on an Apple Watch requires the user to raise the wrist, so the loading speed of the app is critical.
After testing, almost all of the Series 4's own apps can be opened in 0.5-1 seconds, and those that don't need to sync phone data can be click-and-click. Like WeChat, a third-party app that needs to refresh the data every time, you can still achieve seconds, but refresh the chat history for a few seconds. In contrast, Series 3 applications load speeds between approximately 2-3 seconds.
The most direct change is that I rarely see the animation of the circle that the app loads.
If you've seen our previous reviews, the first Apple Watch has a 7-second load time and the Apple Watch Series 2 has a load time of about 5 seconds.
If you often need to open some kind of application on your watch, it is recommended to keep the commonly used app resident in the Dock for seconds. I am used to adding "Physical Training" and "Playing" to the Dock. When listening to music with AirPods, I can use the Apple Watch to directly perform volume and next songs. It is very convenient.
After four generations of evolution, Series 4 has finally reached the level of the iPhone, and you no longer have to wait for the app to load until the acid is applied, and the app's usability is greatly improved.
▲ Apple Watch handwritten quick reply WeChat
However, I have rarely taken the initiative to open the Apple Watch app. For me, Apple Watch is not a suitable interactive gadget. It is a passive information notifier: it is more convenient than a mobile phone, and a lot of WeChat, email, etc. inform me that I only need to take a look. The whole point of it is to reduce the frequency of my phone.
watchOS 5 The most practical update is on sports and fitness
The Series 4 comes with watchOS 5 by default, and the most useful features are related to sports and fitness.
The first is to automatically identify the training program. For example, when I started running, the Apple Watch was able to intelligently determine if I was exercising. After about 3 minutes, it will vibrate me: you seem to be doing physical training. The watch will give two types of movement according to the action. You can also change the type of exercise. After clicking the record, the amount of exercise before the completion will also be accumulated. In the same way, Apple Watch will automatically prompt me to finish the exercise shortly after I stop.
This feature is quite practical. Before I went hiking outdoors, I forgot to turn off the monitoring. Not only did I quickly run out of batteries, but I also left a motion data of up to 3 hours.
watchOS 5 also completes the running project, adding “speed-adjustment reminder” and “step frequency”. The target pace can control your speed, and the reasonable “step frequency” can help users avoid sports injuries.
With the addition of "Yoga" and "Hiking", watchOS 5 has supported 14 sports.
Watch OS 5 also adds more ways to encourage you to exercise. For example, you can choose a friend to start a 7-day competition, and Apple Watch will convert the percentage of the daily fitness record ring into a component. During the competition, users can receive their own leading or backward notifications, just like a personal trainer behind you.
To be honest, for me who is not soft and hard to eat, it may be more useful to add a function that automatically transfers money to a friend.
There is also a "lifting the wrist dialogue" function, because the action of raising the wrist exists, now you can directly call the Siri, instead of saying "Hey Siri", this function helps to ease the conversation between you and Siri in public. Oh, but the activation is not successful, it seems to be more embarrassing.
watchOS 5 also has a Walkie-Talkie walkie-talkie feature, but since this feature is based on FaceTime Audio, it is not available in China.
Health monitoring is the new direction of Apple Watch, but unfortunately, the two new features can't be experienced.
At the September 12th conference, the only thunderous applause and climax appeared when Jeff Williams announced that Apple Watch was added to the ECG, which is the first medical-grade feature for wearables.
When I mentioned the electrocardiogram, the first thing that came to my mind was: in the hospital bed, the muscles of the muscles were gripped with clips, and the chest was sucking on the electrode.
Series 4 won't evoke any painful memories: put your finger on the digital crown for 30 seconds, and with the sensor on the back, the Apple Watch will display a real-time ECG. It can also be linked to an iOS device to fully record the ECG on the iPhone and iPad for self-checking or providing personal information to the doctor.
Since this feature is only validated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is not available in any other country. However, Apple employees told me that the hardware features of Series 4 are not missing. Except for the cellular version, all countries have the same Series 4 hardware. They are working hard to provide ECG functionality in China.
This hardware is the Series 4 exclusive electrode heart rate sensor, which is used in products such as electrocardiographs that can reach the medical device level. The electrode type heart rate sensor requires two contacts, that is, both hands to detect data, which explains why the ECG function. The user is required to place a finger on the digital crown.
The optical heart rate sensor structure mounted on the back of the Series 4 has also changed. Although it seems to have changed from the original 4 to 1, the number has not changed. The principle of the traditional optical heart rate sensor is very simple. It measures the heart rate by light reflection. If the blood changes slightly, the heart is considered to be beating once.
Health monitoring is the new direction of Apple Watch, and its main monitoring is your heart. Apple believes that high or low heart rate may be a sign of serious health problems, but many people do not recognize these symptoms, often leading to the inability to detect the cause in time.
For example, when Apple Watch detects that you haven't been active for 10 minutes and your heart rate is below a certain threshold, Apple Watch will give you a low heart rate alert. This may be a symptom of bradycardia, which can have serious consequences if the heart is unable to deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the body.
Very strange, I have received several heart rate notices, all on the plane over the ocean.
Another key scenario for health monitoring is "fall monitoring." When Series 4 senses that you are falling, an emergency call is automatically made. If you don't respond or ignore the prompt within 60 seconds, Apple Watch will automatically call the emergency number and send location information to the emergency contact.
This is a very friendly feature for the elderly. It will automatically be turned on for users over the age of 65 and monitored at any time in the background.
This feature is exclusive to the Series 4 because it is equipped with a new acceleration sensor and gyroscope. When a person falls, the watch can quickly capture the point where the impact is greatest. The gyroscope monitors the wrist track at any time. In the strenuous exercise of exaggeration, I still really fell.
Regrettably, I am also fortunate that I have not been able to enjoy this intimate function, and I really have no courage to fall down deliberately.
I tried to simulate a few times on the bed, and the bed was loose and I couldn't fall out of this function. It seems that Apple's mathematical model is indeed accurate.
Life is far more than 18 hours, but it is not realistic to charge for two days.
Life may be the most immature place for Apple Watch. It is said that Wilson, the CEO of Love Fan, is busy changing the world, wearing a black-screen Apple Watch all the year round. After all, the charger of the watch is not as common as the Lightning data cable, and it is easy to get away from the employee station.
As in the previous generation, the 18-hour official battery life is a conservative data. In the lightest environment, I used more than 10 pushes, no GPS, and no movement. The Series 4 survived for 48 hours and achieved a two-day inspiration.
Even in the case of moderate use of dozens of pushes and one-hour fitness time, the Series 4 can maintain more than 60% of its electricity when it comes home from work one day.
This battery life still has no way for Apple Watch to hold your hand to sleep with you. Putting your watch on the charger every day before going to bed is the safest way to use it.
Why does the Series 4 maintain its constant endurance while increasing the screen? Series 4's new LTOP screen technology is indispensable.
LTPO is a new type of backplane technology called Low Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide. Compared to IGZO, another OLED backplane technology, it can dynamically adjust the update rate of animations to make the entire display screen. The power consumption is lower.
So, we can expect the iPhone to also be equipped with this kind of screen.
Apple Watch Series 4 is the smart watch for iPhone 4
In 2007, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone's conference, which has now become a historical event with trans-century significance. But that's more about the popularity of the iPhone after the iPhone became famous. In fact, the iPhone's wind evaluation was not good at the time: 3G network was not supported, no GPS, the main camera only had a poor 2 million pixels … … weak configuration made it questioned by the market.
What really makes Apple stand out is the iPhone 4, a smartphone that is fully integrated in the industry in all aspects: the smart design of the mid-frame as an antenna, the ultra-thin body, the Retina display that doesn't see the dot matrix, and that Can be compared to the photo of the card machine.
▲ Jobs released in 2010 iPhone 4. Image from:Thegolobeandmail
The iPhone 4 became the benchmark for the smartphone market at that time, not only because it was leading the industry in terms of hardware indicators, but also because it solved the problem of how to use a computer on a palm screen. Personal computer in everyone's pocket.
But the success of the iPhone 4 is not a one-time success. It benefits from the sweep of the 3G wave, benefiting from the democratization of multi-touch interactions, benefiting from the years of technology accumulation of the A-series processors, and benefiting from the extensive Internet services of the App Store eco-connection. It is a concentrated expression of the combination of Apple's software and hardware.
As John Gruber said:
People always mistakenly believe that Apple should launch a stunning new four-piece product in one fell swoop, but Apple is better at iterating year after year.
In just a few years, Apple Watch has become the world's most popular wearable device, sold in the second quarter.4.7 million unitsWith 17% market share, it took 60% of the sales in this market.
Today's Series 4 is like the iPhone 4 8 years ago: almost blamelessly designed, powerful enough to despise the performance of the opponent, comprehensive sports health features, it may not be the perfect smart watch form, but it is The existence of industry benchmarks.
Like the iPhone, the Apple Watch was initially questioned at the beginning of its release, with a vague positioning, a weak battery life, and slow running. It took Apple more than three years to make Apple Watch a great product.
Unlike the iPhone, Apple Watch stands in an immature market environment —— it may not even be a mass market, it bears greater market expectations and pressure than the iPhone, and requires a longer-term market than the iPhone. Adapt to the curve.