The Apple Watch Series 4 delivers on its fitness promises
The Apple watch series 4 has stepped up its fitness game.
It's got more activity options, better training tools, a longer battery life, and in a sleeker more comfortable design.
But $400 or more is a lot to pay for, for a fitness tracker that shares a lot of the same features as its predecessor.
Having that bigger screen during workouts really made a difference.
I wasn't expecting it to, but it's not just the screen that's bigger.
It's actually the numbers.
So finding your data on a run, when you're on the go, and you really have to keep your eyes on the road is a lot faster.
And those extra seconds could mean you don't trip on that run.
I for one track my heart rate, and I like to do it on the go.
And this pretty much applies to any other activity.
Where you do have to keep your focus.
The other big advantage of the Series 4 in terms of fitness is the battery life.
Apple says it can last up to six hours of continuous outdoor activity tracking compared to the roughly four hours you'd get on the Series 3.
It's still a lot less than other designated fitness trackers in the market, but it's a big bump for distance athletes considering an Apple watch.
Where it's really gonna make a difference is if it holds up to that six hours of continuous activity tracking that Apple says, and that's why we're here.
I'm gonna go on a six hour hike, or pretty much until both of these watches die to see if there really is that much of an advantage.
So we're pretty much on the one-hour mark over here and I kind of want to check the battery.
So now, this is the Apple Watch Series Four and we're at 88% an hour into the hike and this is the Apple Watch Series Three And we are at, 73%.
We are at the half way point, which means three hours into this hike I'm definitely gonna wanna check.
To make sure that the Series 4 is at least at 50% battery life.
I'm gonna start with this one.
Wow, it is doing better than expected at 56% at the three hour mark, which means this is probably gonna hold up for the claim and then some.
Now let's check the Series 3, three hour mark 28% battery life, obviously not gonna hold up the 6 hours, but I'm curious to see how long it goes.
Three hours is a pretty decent amount of time.
Okay, the Series Three just died at 4 hours and 13 minutes, and I'm really hoping that it recorded this hike.
It was at 1%, and I thought I had time to stop the workout, but it just died.
But this one is still going with 39% battery life, that's a significant increase over last year's series three.
So here we are at the six hour mark.
I honestly did not think we'd make it this far, myself or the Apple Watch for that matter.
And the Series 4 is still going strong.
I'm at 11% battery life which means I might still have another 15-20 minutes of hiking to go.
That's compared to the four hours of the series three.
Now obviously your milage may vary becaues well I for one didn't have the music playing.
You might like to workout with music.
But at the same time I could've conserved battery by reducing the brightness.
I probably didn't need about 100%.
Either way the series four definitely holds true to the six hour claim that Apple stated in the keynote and that itself might be the reason why you would splurge on a series four if it's important to you.
For all the new fitness features, you don't really need a Series 4. Older models of the Apple Watch, up to the Series 1, also got some important fitness updates from watchOS 5, starting with automatic workout detection.
Within a few minutes of your workout, you'll get an alert and vibration on your wrist prompting you to begin tracking.
And if you decide to accept, you'll even get retroactive credit for anything you did up until the alert.
But it doesn't work for any kind of workout.
The watch can only detect indoor and outdoor running, walking, swimming, open water or pool, elliptical, and rowing machines, but no cycling.
Apple has also added hiking and yoga tracking to the roster of activities you can now select on the watch.
And if you're a runner like me, then you're getting a whole new set of tools to train with.
My favorite has been the Pace Alert.
Essentially the watch is giving you a gentle nudge when you're below or above your target pace, and it's really kept me from slacking off during my usual running route.
And I can see it being beneficial when you're training for a race.
Or just race against your friends.
WatchOS 5 adds a competitive streak to the activity sharing by allowing you to challenge your friends to a seven day ring closing competition.
I'm gonna be honest.
I was already competing against my friends who shared their activity, they just didn't know about it.
Now it's official, and it adds a whole new level of competitiveness to the game which is good because it has made me step up my workouts But on the other hand it's made me borderline compulsive about closing those move rings, even if it's just for a medal at the end of the week, I need it.
The Series Four has more to offer for athletes, but the Apple Watch was already a great workout buddy.
And if that's what you're looking for in a smart watch then you'll still get most of the same great features on the older models, for less.
But then of course you still have to factor in all the other non fitness features in the watch.
So make sure to checkout our full review of the Apple watch Series 4 on CNet.com
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