On September 10, Apple traditionally held its autumn presentation, which presented three new iPhones at once (iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro / Pro Max), and also showed a new series of watches. Last year, many buyers already shared their opinions on the Apple Watch Series 4, and then everyone liked this watch very much. Let’s see if the new generation will succeed in surpassing the old one and answer one important question: is it worth selling your Series 3/4 and buying a Series 5?
Packaging and design
In previous reviews, a lot of time was devoted to the story about the packaging of watches, because Apple really radically redesigned it and the process of unpacking was in some sense magical. The feeling of a New Year’s gift that you have been waiting for all year – this is the feeling that haunts you when you open the box with your new watch.
However, this year the box has not changed in any way, except some prints have been slightly updated. Otherwise, it’s still the same beautiful box with the exact same kit. The function of choosing bundle straps has appeared in some countries. Therefore, we will not linger on it for a long time and immediately proceed directly to the watch.
The new watch design has not changed much: it still has the same large display. The company introduced new gadget made of titanium and ceramics. By the way, all the straps even from the first series can traditionally be used with the new watch as with all others. We carefully examined the watch and found only two differences in the case:
- On the back cover, they changed the name to Apple Watch Series 5.
- In the white version of the watch, the stroke in the Digital Crown button was changed to white instead of black.
Display and features
The most important difference of the new Apple Watch Series 5 is the Always On function, which is implemented thanks to the new display, built on OLED LTPO technology. Thanks to new developments, gadget can now control the refresh rate of frames from 1 to 60 Hz (1 Hz means one execution, implementation, of such a process in one second, in other words, one oscillation per second).
Now, when switching to Always On mode, the second hand disappears in some dials and the entire display fills with a black tint. And when you exit this mode, all widgets literally “jump” onto you – such animation trifles are really made in the Apple style.
In Always On mode, the watch becomes darker and the frame refresh rate drops to 1 Hz. If in this mode you receive a notification, you will receive only a vibration response, and no one will see the message itself. If you open it, and then turn your hand again or lock the watch, they will automatically blur the text and show the time.
You can also see Always On mode, for example, in the apps for workout. Milliseconds and running animations disappear, while the device still updates the data in real time. Apple claims that they have opened the API for third-party applications, so you can safely wait for all other developers to release the relevant updates.
The software of smart Apple watch has also been updated: S5 came to replace last year’s S4 processor. It, like last year, is up to two times more productive than the old Series 3 system and somewhat more efficient than S4, but how much is still unclear. Since even on the Apple website we can’t compare these processors, we can assume that the performance increase is insignificant or not at all. At the same time, there is even more memory in the watch, now it is 32 GB instead of 16 GB last year.
Compass and location features
The company from Cupertino never positioned the Apple Watch as just a watch or accessory to complement a fashionable look. First of all, it is an innovative product. And although in everyday life smart watch has long become the most common accessory, Apple brings a number of innovations every year. This year, the Compass has become one – not the most obvious, but very useful update.
Compass, of course, can be useful for tourists. Indeed, in some situations, information about where the north is located is really vital. In this case, the compass will also show you information about the slope, your exact coordinates and altitude. When you turn on the Compass app for the first time, Apple strongly recommends that you do not use magnet straps during use, as they may distort information.
I personally would not consider the Watch Series 5 as a professional solution, because tourists always go on a trip for more than a day and in this regard the charge of the gadget is not enough, of course, if you do not take Power Bank. In this case, this is an additional weight, and for example, the old-style non-digital compass does not require charging.
You may also need a compass in the city, and I personally like such a case with maps much more. If before the watch very vaguely understood in which direction you are moving and where you are looking, now it works just fine. And although such functionality so far only supports built-in Apple Maps, the API is open to all developers and, most likely, we will see them on Yandex.Maps.
In addition, the compass supports a very cool application – Night Sky. Now it has become much easier to conquer your girlfriend with knowledge in astronomy: you just need to launch the application and you already know in what place and where in the starry sky various constellations are located.
Summary: what conclusions can be drawn
In general, the new generation of watches has a number of significant advantages that take them to a new level. I think you read about all of them in the text above. And if I did not write about something, it means that this functionality is also available for past generations of watches.
With all the benefits in the fifth reincarnation, the same disadvantages of the previous watch generation remained: Apple did not solve the problem of autonomy – the watch works a maximum of two days and after that it is asked to be charged. The digital ECG system is also in question: it’s not a fact that it will work in Eastern Europe, since Apple must obtain the appropriate permissions and approvals for this.
The price of the 5-series on the official website starts at $399, and for official retailers, the cost of the new Watch Series 4 starts at $325. You get a new display and Compass for $75, and in my opinion, they are worth the money.
At the very beginning of my review, I promised to answer one important question: is it worth selling your Series 3/4 and buying Series 5? And for me personally, the answer is obvious – if you really liked the Apple Watch Series 3, then you should definitely switch to the 4 or 5 series. For 4 series owners, I would recommend, at a minimum, go to the store and test Always On and only then draw conclusions. Personally, I switched to a new series, because with my eternal trips to unfamiliar cities, the new compass features help me a lot. But this is all very individual and depends on your lifestyle and thoughts.