Apple Watch Series 5 review: You can see the time now
This is the new Apple Watch Series five.
And it hasn't always on display.
Is that worth upgrading for?
Last year the Apple Watch aimed into become a doctor on your wrist, with things like an FDA cleared ECG.
Heart Rate notifications that told you if you were having an abnormal heart rate and it would notify in case you found call someone in case of emergency this year.
It's just trying to be a better watch.
MMM What's the most important thing about a watch being able to tell what time it is easily Now with an Apple Watch, you've probably gotten used to the wrist turn, which is annoying.
I got used to it but most other smart watches out there already have always on modes.
Now the Apple Watch has it so it stays on if you're typing or holding something.
You don't have to do the wrist turn.
Doesn't sound exciting but seriously, it's the most useful feature that Apple's introduced on a watch in a while.
The always on display in the Apple Watch happens because Apple has a new technology and it's OLED that cycles down the refresh rate so it stays in a low power dimer state, and is able to be checked all the time.
But there are thing that always on does and that it doesn't do.
Let's go through them.
Let's talk about watch faces.
If you want to check the time all the apple watch watch phases have an always on state so they'll change a bit some of them will get dimmer or the colors will shift but they're all there every single one of them and you can glance at them apple's added some new watch faces into watch os six some of them like solar dial look really stunning Apple has a lot of watch faces right now.
I think there are 34 of them and there are hundreds of different of types of combinations you can customize but Apple does not have a Watch Face store.
The only one out there that I can think of that doesn't have a Watch Face store.
I don't know why.
Another thing is that while always on means the display is always on it does give them the brightness.
So unless you lift your wrist to increase the brightness, it means that some of the watch faces in certain light may not be all that readable.
I found that some of the analog watch faces and some of the ones that weren't big bright numbers were a little hard to make out.
But all of the other watch things.
Don't stay always-on.
So if you're using a third-party app, if you're using any other feature on the watch, checking mail, getting directions, if you don't use it for a few seconds, it frosts over.
And you get this generic Apple Watch readout, that just has the time.
It's kinda strange But sometimes that's not a bad idea if you're looking at sensitive information let's say you pull up something in one privacy at least it won't be active and for other people to glance at.
Always on also only works when it's on your wrist is ever thinking about having this sitting on a table or sitting in a charger That part gets deactivated, it's actually looking for contact with your skin to kick in that always on ambient mode.
And this is kind of interesting, always on is not supposed to affect battery life.
So far, wearing it all day long it does seem like it lasts a full day.
I would say battery life maybe seems a little bit shorter than the Apple Watch Series four.
But you can turn always on off.
Why would you do that?
Well, let's see if it helps us battery life.
There's also a compass.
Maybe that doesn't sound too exciting.
Other watches have had campuses too, but it's that type of thing that you thought might have been on the watch and wasn't and now that it is, it can be pretty useful.
MM The compass does, well, what do you think it does?
It will tell you what direction you're facing, there's a compass act that will tell you where true North is, you can also set varying and just have fun with that, you can set it as a complication on a watch face and know what direction you're facing.
Where it gets more useful is the map set.
If you navigate somewhere on your wrist, now you've got that little blue cone like you have on your phone to tell you what direction you're facing.
So far, it's worked pretty well.
I don't do a lot of on wrist navigation.
I tend to use my phone, but it's there if you need it, and it helps the watch get a better sense Of where you're going.
That's true for all the navigation apps.
So nice that it has it.
I don't know if you'll necessarily rush to get it.
Because one more feature that's a little fine grained on the Apple Watch Series five, and you need to have a cellular version to use it.
It's international SOS.
And that means that if you have a cellular watch, and you're walking around and you're in a variety of countries that now support it.
You could press and hold the side button, and it will eventually call emergency services.
And that'll work even if you don't have a cellular plan on your watch.
Even though I played around with cellular I don't think it's worth the money because I ended up paying $10 or so a month.
I didn't use it away from my phone all that much.
And why would you buy a cellular Apple Watch Series 5 and not activate the phone service.
But FYI it's there.
Apple added new case options for the Apple Watch Series five.
There's not just aluminium which I'm wearing right now and stainless steel but there's titanium which is more expensive and ceramic which is even more expensive.
Personally, I wouldn't buy those versions because I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on something that's eventually going to get outdated.
But those case designs do potentially mean more durability.
I dropped the aluminum series five accidentally during this review, and it's already gotten dinged up.
So just be careful with these.
Those are the new features with the Apple Watch Series five, the rest of it is exactly the same as the series for last year.
Same health features, same processor, same strap support.
It's the same watch, just with a couple of extras added on.
And that's the way you should think about it.
A few new bits to last year's watch.
And there's one more thing the Apple watch doesn't do yet.
It doesn't work without an iPhone.
You still need to buy an iPhone, the setup the Apple Watch, it would be great to support Android, it will be even better if the watch didn't require any phone.
If it wants to become a super health device or something that everybody's going to use, sooner or later, they're going to have to cross that road.
Every year there are a couple of new features And they get introduced and they stay there and they keep getting built upon.
So it's building up this arsenal of features that the Apple Watch has that are becoming really great.
It doesn't do all the things that will be looking for in a watch or smartwatch yet, but it's getting there bit by bit.
We keep waiting for those extra pieces to fall into place.
I'm sure next year there'll be another couple of key features and if you've been waiting for others keep waiting or get this or consider the 199 apple watch series three which is a lot more affordable and does all the basic things that you've been looking for my history always on minus the ECG Otherwise, I think you'd be pretty sad.
Honestly, the Apple Watch Series five is kind of a boring update.
But if you think about where Apple needs to go in the future, making a better watch and always on display is a necessary part of that.
And I don't want to go back.
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