Apple’s latest iteration of its now-iconic wearable has been winning rave reviews since its release on September 20, 2019 – but what if you want to cut past the ‘fluff’ and focus straight on this acclaimed smartwatch’s headline features?
Well, what you do in that case is read our definitive cut-out-and-keep rundown of the features the Apple Watch Series 5 serves up, and whether or not you should care about them.

Always-On Retina display

This is definitely the big eye-catching change to the Apple Watch Series 5 from the Series 4, and helps to make Apple’s wearable just that bit better at the main function you probably own a watch for in the first place – telling the time.
While the display itself is the same LTPO panel that you’ll be familiar with if you own the Series 4, new and enhanced internals on the Series 5 enable the screen to remain genuinely ‘always on’ without any compromise to battery life.
What this means with regard to day-to-day use is that while the displays of previous Apple Watches would go completely black when not in use – only turning on when the user turned their wrist upward to check the time – putting your wrist down while wearing the Apple Watch Series 5 merely causes its screen to dim and lower its refresh rate, instead of turning off.

Enhanced battery life

One of the most eyebrow-raising claims that Apple made for the Series 5 was that its battery would continue to last for 18 hours, even given the greater demands placed upon it by the always-on display.
As it happens, the Apple Watch Series 5 really is capable of lasting for that long, even if you wear it continuously through the day and night.
Not only that, but you can potentially lengthen the battery life of your Series 5 still further if you take advantage of the option to turn off the always-on display mode. If you do, this will cause the Series 5’s screen to behave like that of the Series 4, only turning on when you raise your wrist.

Compass and international SOS

With the Apple Watch Series 5 sharing the Series 4’s CPU and GPU, the only other ‘under the bonnet’ changes to the hardware are the new built-in compass (magnetometer) and improved cellular bands.
A Compass app has been introduced to enable you to make the most of the former feature, using the magnetometer to tell you which direction you’re moving in. The app’s integration with Apple Maps, meanwhile, also allows it to show the direction you’re moving in when you’re trying to find your way to a particular destination.
As for the enhanced SIP and cellular bands, these are likely to be a godsend for many users due to the fact they make it possible for the Watch Series 5 to use its Emergency SOS feature in more than 150 countries. That feature, of course, allows you to quickly and easily call for help from local emergency services if you find yourself in a life-threatening situation.

Visual changes

Another notable thing about the Apple Watch Series 5 is the fact that some new case materials have been introduced. You can still pick from aluminum or stainless steel in a 40mm or 44mm case size, but you’ve now got the option of titanium or ceramic, too.
The Apple Watch Series 5 may represent only a relatively incremental update from the Series 4, but every little change helps to make what was already a formidable wearable no less than the best smartwatch you can buy today.