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Apple Watch Series 5 review roundup: There’s (still) no other smartwatch like it

Published Sep 18th, 2019 8:17AM EDT
Apple Watch Series 5
Image: Apple Inc.

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While the latest iPhone already has plenty of competition from the Android camp, there is another Apple product that has absolutely no rival, other than itself. With each Apple Watch iteration, Apple has to outdo itself since no other alternatives come close to what Apple has achieved. The Apple Watch 5, which is already available for preorder, further proves that point. The new device hasn’t received too many updates compared to its predecessor, but the updates that were made are fairly significant. Unsurprisingly, early reviewers agree that the newest Apple Watch is still the best smartwatch out there.

Here are some of the first Apple Watch Series 5 reviews out there, complete with videos where available.


Brian Heater for TechCrunch:

Announced alongside a repositioned line of iPhones, the Apple Watch Series 5 doesn’t include any hardware additions quite as flashy as the LTE functionality and ECG (electrocardiogram) monitor it introduced with previous updates. There’s an always-on display and a built-in compass — as far as smartwatch features go, neither is the sort of thing that’s likely to win over longtime holdouts. But taken as a whole, the new features go a ways toward maintaining the device’s spot at the top of the smartwatch heap.

The Verge

The full review is available at this link..


Lauren Goode for Wired:

Speaking of chips, the Apple Watch Series 5 has the same performance specs as the smartwatch before it. It technically has a new SIP—that’s system in a package—because Apple has added the sensors needed to power a digital compass on the watch, plus a modem that supports international emergency calling. But the processor speeds are the same as last year’s, a surprise from a company that boasts about its mobile chip innovation almost annually.

USA Today

Ed Baig for USA Today:

But while Apple claims about 18 hours of battery life with Series 5, same as prior models, the battery on the first cellular watch the company supplied for testing died mid-afternoon after getting a full charge overnight. The battery on a replacement unit Apple swapped out fared far better; it had 10% of juice remaining at 11:20 p.m. after also being charged the night before, suggesting something more line with what Apple is saying. As always, battery results vary depending on how you use the watch. It’s also entirely possible that I got the odd bum unit. I’m raising a red flag just the same.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Alice Clarke for The Sydney Morning Herald:

In the end, the Apple Watch is still hands down the best smartwatch on the market, the only tough part is deciding on which model to get. There aren’t a lot of reasons to buy the Series 5 over the Series 4, and since the 4 was cheaper this is likely one of the reasons it’s been discontinued.

Whether you should get the 5 over the 3 depends on how likely it is that you might need fall detection and a more accurate heart rate monitor, and have an extra $330 you can afford to spend on a watch.


Todd Haselton for CNBC:

There are two highlight features of the Apple Watch Series 5, and both are really useful. The first is an always-on display, and it’s now a must-have feature for me. It means that instead of turning off when you’re not looking at it, the screen dims down and still shows you important information.[…]

There’s now a new compass.

Daring Fireball

John Gruber for Daring Fireball:

The obvious reason why Series 0 through 4 didn’t offer an always-on display is battery life. I’ve been wearing a black stainless steel Series 5 since last Wednesday, on loan from Apple, and battery life has been more than fine. I even turn the brightness on my watch display to the maximum setting. If you charge it overnight you’ll have nothing to worry about. If, like me, you wear it to sleep, it takes a little over an hour to charge in the morning or at some other point during the day. There’s a setting to turn the always-on display off, which presumably will extend battery life, but I’ll never know because I wouldn’t want to spend a single day wearing this watch with the always-on display turned off.

To me, the always-on display is the Apple Watch’s retina display moment — once you see it, you can’t go back.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.