Apple Watch Series 5 – A worthy upgrade from 4?

Apple Watch Variety

What's new?

Here's what's new with the Apple Watch Series 5 compared to the Series 4:

  1. It has an always-on display
  2. Compass to tell you which way you're facing
  3. Ceramic and titanium case material options
  4. Maximum of 32GB of storage compared to 16 GB on the Series 4
  5. Calls emergency services anywhere in the world where emergency services are available
  6. Improved ambient light sensor
  7. Black Hermes option

Battery life

Because of the always-on display, the battery life on the Series 5 is slightly worse than the Series 4.

If real-world use, you'll likely end up with 10% battery life by the end of the day. It takes 2 hours to charge the Apple Watch from 0% to 100% and 1.5 hours to 80%.

If you intend to use it for sleep tracking, there might still time to charge it before bed but you won't have a fully charged Apple Watch in the morning.

Series 5 vs Series 4 Battery life

Sports use

An Apple Watch is more of a Smartwatch than a Sports Watch. But it is pretty capable as a Sports Watch and cheap compared to dedicated ones like Garmin models.

The Series 5 has an updated version of its previous heart rate monitor. In general the heart rate readings matches well with some of the best fitness watches. However some tests done by DC Rainmaker and others indicate some seemingly random spikes and dips in heart rate that lasts a few seconds.

When it comes to GPS tracking, the Series 5 is not as accurate as other sports watches like the Garmin Fenix 6 as it can be seen literally cutting corners and missing bridges.

Nike Apple Watch Series 5

The main differences between the Nike version and the standard Apple version are the exclusive Nike Run Club app, Nike Watch Faces, and Nike complications.


  • Alway-on  display
  • Compass might be helpful
  • Less bulky than Series 4
  • Swimproof
  • Intuitive controls
  • Smooth animations


  • Buggy (but might get fixed with updates)
  • Slightly worse battery life than Series 4
  • Not much improvement over Series 4
  • Seem to cut corners in GPS tracking
This guy's not keeping the Apple Watch Series 5

There's a lot to like about the Apple Watch Series 5 but it's far from perfect. It's buggy, the battery life with always-on display is worse than the Apple Watch Series 4,  and not much is improved from the previous version.

Apart from it being the latest Apple Watch, the reasons you would want to upgrade to the Series 5 is the always-on display and the 32GB storage.

For someone who doesn't have an Apple Watch but is considering one, probably get the Series 4 if it is significantly cheaper. If not, a few bucks more is a worthy upgrade to the Series 5.

Despite all its shortcomings, the Apple Watch Series 5 is still considered to be one of the best smartwatches you can buy.

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Apple Series 5 Reviews

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