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Apple Watch Series 4 is here with full-screen OLED display, slimmer chassis

By Andrew O'Hara

After months of rumors, the Apple Watch Series 4 is here. It sports a new, edge-to-edge OLED display, and a faster processor.

Apple's latest wearable, known as the Series 4, was announced at the Steve Jobs Theater during Wednesday's "Gather round" iPhone-centric event.

New features

The biggest headlining feature is the expansive edge-to-edge display that we saw leaked ahead of time that is over 30-percent larger.

To go with the new display is a series of new and updated watch faces that take advantage of the newly available real estate. Developers can take advantage of the new complication types that have room for added graphics. Much of the UI as well has been redesigned for the larger interface.

Digital Crown has been re-engineered to include haptic feedback, and the speakers have been redesigned to be 50-percent louder. To avoid echoes, the microphone has been moved to the opposite side.

Instead of different models of the Apple Watch using different composite materials for the backs depending on model, all models of the Series 4 will come with ceramic backs, affords better cellular signals and allowing for the advanced cardiac monitoring that the device now provides.

Apple is improving the heart features of the Apple Watch Series 4 with three new features. The first, is low heart rate detection.

Secondly, the Apple Watch attempts to monitor a wearer's heart in the background and to identify atrial fibrillation.

Additionally, the new Apple Watch allows you to take an electrocardiogram -- or ECG. This marks the first time an ECG product has been available over the counter, direct to consumers. Aside from endorsements from the American Heart Association, Apple has also received clearance from the FDA for the ECG and aFib detection.

Technical specifications

When it comes to the specs, there's a lot to love. The processor has been upgraded to the 64-bit S4 processor with 2x performance.

Apple has upgraded the 3-axis gyroscope with twice the dynamic range, which now allows them to be able to detect falls. Falls, trips, and slips can be identified and will automatically trigger an alert and allow you to call emergency services. If the Apple Watch detects that you haven't moved for 60 seconds, it will automatically make that emergency call for you, as well as sending your location to your emergency contact.

Apple Watch also now supports Bluetooth 5.

Apple is still promising the same 18-hour lifespan we saw in the last generation.

Pricing and availability

Apple Watch Series 4 with GPS will be available for preorder Friday, September 14. Shipping commences the following Friday, September 21.

It is still available in two sizes and several different finishes. There is silver, gold, and space gray available in aluminum $399 with GPS and Wi-Fi, or $499 with cellular connectivity in polished silver, gold, and space black in stainless steel at an added premium.

There is also once more a Nike+ model available at the same price points as the aluminum sports models. Nike also added reflective yarn to the special edition Nike Sport Loop.

The existing Apple Watch Series 3 will continue to stick around at a reduced price of $279. At present, it appears that the Apple Watch Edition in all ceramic has been removed from the product line.

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