Reviewing the Apple Watch Series 5 – Always on & always perfect, the best one can have
Apple’s watch has often gained top-class features each year, but it still remains overshadowed by the iPhone. The iPhone 11 may have dominated this year’s current news cycle (following leaks of its specifications) but Apple’s Watch Series 5 is something that has taken us all by surprise.
In fact, its release was announced when the iPhone 11 was launched on September 10, 2019.
- The display is always on.
- An in-built compass.
- International emergency calling feature.
- A faster processor.
- An app measuring ambient noise (also present in Series 4).
- 32GB of in-built storage (the previous series had 16GB).
The Apple Watch Series 5 has been launched at the same price as the Series 4. Let’s have a look at how well it fares.
The design aspect of Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch Series 5 does not look different in comparison to the Series 4 one. It comes in a 40 mm case size for people with slimmer wrists and a 44 mm case size. It weighs only 36 grams which makes it barely noticeable on anyone’s wrist.
Even better, it never gets tangled under a shirt’s cuff and its curvy base is ergonomic in delightful terms.
Well, it does look like it was designed by an expert on watches (and it really was!). Its design proves it.
Gone are the days when consumers were upset over the Apple Watch not having a round shape. Its current shape has become an icon, and Apple further refined the features without enlarging the body which not only gave it a further visible screen area but also made it quite attractive as well.
What is more heartening about the Apple Watch Series 5 is the way it has been presented. It comes in an elongated box (giving customers an occasion to open it). It is wrapped in a protective bag that is soft and tiny.
The watch’s straps are kept separately in the box. They come in an elegant leather version, high-performance fluoroelastomer strap, flexible nylon weaves or a metal band one (customers can choose from any one of them). They all come in multiple colors.
The finish? Customers can choose from stainless steel, aluminum, ceramic and titanium.
The best part of the watch’s materials? They all are recycled hence its environment-friendly.
There is no change in the watch’s design because there simply wasn’t a need for such. In the future, the watch might become not just thinner, but the bezels could be shrunk too. But, at the moment, the Apple Watch Series 5 is exceptionally marvelous.
The Apple Watch Series 5’s display – ‘Always-On’ is a big deal!
Almost all smartwatches in the market have had displays that were always on. In case of Apple’s Watch Series 5, it’s a little more than that.
The Series 5 has a screen which is always on indeed and shows more than just the time. When inactive, the display shows information on the screen but in a dimmer mode. When you raise your wrist to see the time, the screen turns on.
Another positive point the watch has is a fitness tracking display. If you are jogging and want to see the number of meters run without the need for stopping, the display will show it to you (which alleviates a previous complaint on the series 4).
The series 5’s always-on display is more than just anything. Users get to choose the correct watch face. Apple overcame considerations for battery life, to make it function properly.
There is a whole new collection of watch faces to select from; ranging from the California watch face to the simple numerals’ duo. Apple made it easy for users to match the numbers’ color with that of the watch’s strap for a real matching look.
Is there a noise app in it?
The Noise app is interesting, as it signifies Apple’s continuing commitment to users’ health. It notifies users when they are entering a noisy environment and even warns them about the consequences of excessive noise.
For instance, if you are in a disco and the sound levels reach 90 decibels (dB) then it will warn you about the noise level. It may not be instantly helpful, but it does provide users a step above in level of awareness of our surroundings.
Which OS does it run on?
Apple Watch Series 5 runs on WatchOS 6 (which is also available for previous generations too) has new additional features that are fun to have.
After each hour passed, the watch makes a ‘beeping’ sound which is reminiscent of watches the current generation had in their childhood; minus the annoyance it would cause today.
How well do the Apple Watch Series 5 and WatchOS 6 work together?
They both work together quite well, with exceptional performance and an easy to learn user experience. It has beaten all other platforms.
The usability is fun, and the feedback is tactile in nature. Users can also use the digital crown to zoom in and out of the screen, which looks great due to its cohesiveness & smartness.
Battery and performance of Apple Watch Series 5
Previous models have fared better in comparison to the current series 5 in this regard. The Apple Watch Series 5 lasts 16 hours in a day and the older models lasted longer. Hence, a nighttime charging is needed.
The good news is that Series 5’s always-on display does not suck much battery life. The battery only drains when it is intensive use: such as installing apps, testing the compass and maps, tracking fitness cycles, using Siri and the like. It would then leave it with 10% with such robust use.
Depending on the user’s usage of the watch, the Apple Watch Series 5 requires almost daily charging (provided the usage is strong)
Smartwatches offered from competitors such as Fitbit, Garmin, Moto and Samsung offer a longer battery life, but they lack the features Apple Watch Series 5 has. At the moment, it is still pretty much a trade-off.
Compass and Maps made better
The Apple Watch Series 5 has a built-in compass, a feature most consumers would have yawned at.
In fact, consumers and die-hard Apple fans need to realize how useful the compass feature really is. Imagine taking a hike in the forests of Colorado, or a hike on the shores of Manhattan beach.
The compass is not only synced well with the maps but also gives users an idea of where they were heading. It is essential when users are either hiking, camping or traveling in a distant area.
The compass does take advantage of the watch’s built-in magnetometer and Apple is opening its API to third-party apps.
However, it should be noted that certain watch bands can interfere with the built-in magnetometer present in Series 5. In fact, a band with a magnet will put the compass’s performance out of loop. Hence, when going out on an adventure, leave the Milanese loop strap (or the modern buckle) at home.
Price and Availability of the Apple Watch Series 5
The Apple Watch Series 5 is available on Apple’s online store, it’s retail outlets and its partner locations. The pricing options are as under.
For Aluminum body:
- 42 mm costs USD$ 400.
- 44 mm costs USD$ 430.
- 42 mm with GPS & Cellular connectivity costs USD$ 500.
- 44 mm with GPS & Cellular connectivity costs USD$ 530.
The stainless steel one starts at USD$ 700, the titanium one costs USD$ 800, Ceramic one costs USD$ 1300 and the Hermes version starts from USD$ 1250.
When compared to older models; such as Series 2 (GPS & water-resistant), Series 3 (cellular connectivity) and series 4 (medical-grade health measuring features), Series 5 is a serious upgrade. Apple has set the bar for smartwatches quite high which is impossible to match.
Rival smartwatch makers lag behind the series 5 in other features despite matching it with the screen part.
Series 4 owners can have new features if they install WatchOS 6. Whereas, Series 3 owners can get heart health watch and the always-on display with the WatchOS 6 upgrade. But Series 5 is best in its own style, sense, and uniqueness. It is simply un-matchable.