Apple Watch Series 5 Review: Overview & Price
In this Apple Watch Series 5 review, we go over everything from the design to the specs and everything in-between.
We also showcase the cheapest Apple Watch Series 5 deals here in the UK, ensuring you get the best deal possible at the time of reading this review.
So the Apple Watch Series 5 can only be linked with an iPhone, meaning if you own an Android phone then this is as good as useless.
This is to be expected as Apple loves to force users to stick with Apple, with their MacBook’s, Tablets, Watches and everything else.
The Apple Watch Series 5 was released alongside the iPhone 11 on September 10th 2019, being released to purchase on September 20th.
The Apple Watch Series 5 price is a hefty £399 here in the UK for the 40mm size or £429 for the larger 44mm size.
One thing to note is that Apple has stopped selling the Apple Watch Series 4, so we suspect there will be some serious Apple Watch Series 5 Black Fridays deals coming shortly.
The watch is available in either a GPS-only model or a cellular-connected one that is supported by the likes of EE, Vodaphone and O2.
Let’s take a closer look at what the Apple Watch Series 5 has to offer…
Apple Watch Series 5 Review: Design & Display
When looking at the Apple Watch Series 5 design we found it is extremely similar to the Apple Watch Series 4.
This certainly isn’t a bad thing, as the series 4 watch is incredible and looks fantastic.
The watch is 10.7mm thick and weighs in at 47.8g.
This is identical to the weight of the series 4, making it feel lightweight on your watch and not clunky or in the way.
The Apple Watch Series 5 comes in either Space Grey, Silver or Gold colours.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on the Space Grey watch for a couple of days to review the watch.
Just like the previous model Apple Watch you get a square display and the Digital Crown, this allows you to navigate through menus and access other functions from the crown.
The crown also has haptic feedback, which gives you that satisfying click feel when scrolling through the menus.
Just below the digital crown, you will see a small button that allows you to see your most recent applications, this always can activate Apple Pay that allows you to make purchases through your watch.
This can be extremely handy if you forget your bank card or mobile phone, as just placing your watch onto the card reader will enable a transaction.
This years Apple Watch Series 5 comes with many new materials, you get to choose from Ceramic and Titanium as well as Aluminum and Stainless Steel, the Ceramic and Titanium being the more expensive design choices.
The Titanium model comes in either Silver, which showcases the metal in natural light very well, and Black Titanium, which look extremely stylish and masculine.
The Ceramic Apple Watch Series 5 is only available in a White colour but has a super clean polished finish, which looks great.
In addition to these new materials, Apple is also introducing a new Hermes and Nike version of the Series 5 Apple Watch.
These have the same specifications and design but are most customized to fit the brands, with the Nike aimed at a fitness audience.
You will be glad to know that the straps from the previous Apple Watch Series 4 will fit straight on to the Series 5 watch, meaning you are not forced to go out and purchase new ones.
As a whole the Apple Watch Series 5 design is great, it has not changed too much from the Series 4 but works exceptionally well and the new materials and designs are fantastic.
The Apple Watch Series 5 display is where the watch has had a more noticeable upgrade, something we have been asking for since the beginning of the Apple Watch line.
An always-on display, this allows you to glance at the watch like you would a regular timepiece and be able to see the time and date.
Rather than the watch faces going black when the watch is by your side, the display now slightly dims which allows the watch to save battery when not in use.
If you currently own the Apple Watch Series 4 you will know how frustrating it can be to have to flick your wrist every time you want to see the time, now when you raise your hand the screen is ready to show you the time.
This may sound like a small upgrade but believe me when I say the annoyance of having to flick your wrist every time you check the time is real.
We even found our self using our phone to check the time when we have just paid a premium price for a new Apple Watch because it was often quicker.
This technology that keeps the display always on is called ‘LTPO (Low-Temperature Polysilicon Oxide)’ and it is only found in the Apple Watch Series 5.
This means that the previous model Apple Watches are not able to receive a software update that will include this feature, so if you want the always-on display on your watch then the Apple Series 5 is the only one that can do it.
The Apple Watch Series 5 display can use different refresh rates to improve the efficiency of the watch, switching between 60fps when the watch is being used and 1fps when not being used, this, of course, helps save on battery life.
- Always-On Retina display
- 30% larger screen
- ECG app
One thing we did notice with the display is that when wearing the watch in dark environments the display does not dim enough, meaning your watch is still lit up like a beacon.
This can become distracting if you’re in total darkness, we wish Apple would have added an ultra brightness mode as this would have been great for using the device in low light.
The Apple Watch Series 5 watch display as a whole is fantastic, it is the same OLED you will find in the Series 4 which gives bright and punchy colours that look superb.
Overall the Apple Watch Series 5 display is impressive and it’s a huge upgrade in terms of having that always-on display, we love that it now doesn’t guzzle the battery life as it uses sensors to detect the ambient light, and dropping down the refresh rate to suit.
The actual OLED display itself is the same used in the Apple Watch Series 4, which provides accurate colours and looks awesome.
Apple Watch Series 5 Review: Performance
The watch is seriously smooth and responsive when navigating around the UI.
With it being the same processor as the Series 4 watch we were slightly confused as to why Apple has renamed it to the S5 chip.
Nevertheless, the watch is a dream to use; there is no lag or slowing down even when using the watch quite heavily.
One of the biggest upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 5 performance-wise is that it now has 32GB of internal storage; this is great for downloading applications and storing music on your phone.
Those who decide not to invest into the cellular model will be able to store plenty of music on the device that can be used in line with the fitness tracking features of the watch when in the gym.
For us personally, we do feel it is more effective to purchase the cellular model, as this ensures you have access to your favourite playlists no matter where you are.
When it comes to the features the Apple Watch Series 5 has it is equally as impressive as the Series 4 plus more.
The first is fitness tracking, this allows you to track runs, hikes, swims and much more.
With auto-detection, the watch will track your workouts without you asking it too, which is great for those who love to check how many calories they have burned throughout the day.
The software used in the new Apple Watch is called WatchOS 6; this has plenty of new features that enhance the watch further from the previous generation devices.
One of which being ‘Activity Trends’, this will identify patterns in your activity over an extensive period (90 days) which allows you to take a more in-depth approach to your workouts and calorie counting.
Apple has also tweaked its ‘Health smartphone app’ to show more useful data immediately, with a new summary section of your whole day as well as highlighting recent workouts and activities.
The GPS tracking features work well to keep an eye on exactly where you have run on your workout to help you plan new routes and try set record run times.
We did find that this feature isn’t quite as accurate as we would have hoped, as it would often cut bits out of our pathway out which is super annoying.
We suspect this was because the watch was connected to our smartphone, therefore, the GPS feature was used from our smartphone and not the watch, so we tried the feature again using only the watch and found it to be much more accurate but still not perfect.
The built-in heart rate monitor is one of the most accurate we have ever used, just like the one seen on the Apple Watch Series 4.
The monitor gives you logged readings within a couple of heartbeats and will inform you if you are hitting dangerous levels.
Another epic upgrade that has been added to the Apple Watch Series 5 is the new compass; the watch now has a super accurate compass that is more than capable of getting you home if you do happen to find yourself lost.
The compass has a dedicated app, which shows you which way you are facing, your precise incline as well as latitude and longitude readings.
We love how the watch now shows you elevation and elevation gained; this is awesome for hikers or rock climbers, as it does not need a cellular connection to give you this data.
The Series 5 watch is now capable of making international emergency calls from almost anywhere on the globe (150 countries), and you don’t need a cellular connection to make these calls either.
The ECG, which was first seen in the Apple Watch Series 4, is simply groundbreaking and it is present in the Series 5 watch too.
This is incredibly easy to set up and configure and will inform you of any irregular heart rhythms.
The ‘Fall Detection’ feature is still present here too, which will check to see if you are OK after detecting a fall; it will automatically call an ambulance to your location if there is no response.
This technology can be a lifesaver and there are countless examples of where the Apple Watch Series 4 fall detection feature has saved lives.
This adds to the guardian approach Apple has gone for with their Apple watches, ensuring if you do get into a sticky situation you always have a way out by calling the emergency services.
The Series 5 Apple Watch now has a noise monitor that informs you how loud the environment you are in is, this is useful if you happen to be in an industrial area where loud noises can constantly be heard.
As the monitor will show you the exact decibels of the sound and inform you whether or not it is damaging to your hearing.
This can be useful if your someone who happens to ride the London underground, as we found the decibel levels would often be damaging to your hearing in the long term, so it may be worth checking your commute to work in case your hearing is at risk.
Apple has now integrated an App store for the Series 5 watch, which allows you to easily download useful applications on to your watch.
With the watch now having 32GB of internal storage this is great news, as you can download music and apps at your leisure.
As a whole the Apple Watch Series 5 performance is seriously impressive, with plenty of features that keep you safe and giving you easy access to the emergency services at any time, anywhere.
We love that this watch works well to help fitness lovers lose weight by the watches incredibly fitness tracking features, as well as sleep tracking and much more.
The Series 5 watch is really an innovative piece of technology and we thoroughly our time with it when conducting this Apple Watch Series 5 review.
Apple Watch Series 5 Review: Battery Life
The Apple Watch Series 5 battery life is surprisingly impressive.
On the launch day of the device, Apple stated that the device has more than enough juice to power you through a full day.
We are happy to confirm that this is the case, we found that on average when placing it back on charge in the evening we had around 25% of charge left.
The reason for the watch not using much battery is due to the variable refresh rates from the always-on display, as it drops so much power when the display isn’t being used.
- Always-On Retina display
- 30% larger screen
- ECG app
You do have the option to turn the always-on display off if you know you are going to be having a long day, as this will help preserve battery life.
Using the likes of GPS tracking and fitness tracking will drain the Apple Watch Series 5 battery life much quicker than without the use of these features, but even when using them you can still expect a full day of use from the watch.
As a whole the Apple Watch Series 5 battery life isn’t going to blow you away, but it will definitely last you a full day of usage quite comfortably, even if you are using the tracking features heavily.
One thing we should note too is that with the release of the iPhone 11, the phone now supports two-way wireless charging, however, this is disabled for the time being but will no doubt be activated in the future.
This feature will allow you to charge the Series 5 Apple Watch from your phone, so if you are lucky enough to own both the iPhone 11 and Series 5 watch then this combination will ensure your watch has plenty of juice to last the day and more.
Apple Watch Series 5 Review: Summary
So should you buy the Apple Watch Series 5?
Well, it is the latest Apple Watch that has some pretty impressive features. From a brand new always-on display that allows you to use the device as an actual watch, without having to awkwardly flick your wrist every time you want to check the time.
To a new compass, GPS and fitness tracking and much more.
The Apple Watch Series 5 performance is impressive, as it glides through the UI effortlessly and super smooth without any hiccups or lag.Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS, 40mm) - Space Gray Aluminum Case with Black Sport Band
The straps from the Apple Watch Series 4 work perfectly fine on the Series 5 too, meaning you don’t need to go out and buy brand new straps.
Overall the Apple Watch Series 5 is an impressive smartwatch, it has everything you expect from a 2019 smartwatch and more.
We hope you have enjoyed our Apple Watch Series 5 review, feel free to leave a comment and check out the best Apple Watch Series 5 deals at the top of the post.