Apples latest edition of the Apple Watch, the Series 5, is out and available for purchase this fall 2019. While the look of the watch is identical to that of the Series 4 there are many upgrades to the Series 5 that continue to push it ahead of the competition. There are key upgrades to the Series 5 in its display and operating system. But before we get into what’s new and what’s missing on the Series 5 let's check out what variations are available and for what price.
Apple Watch Series 5 Available Variations
When it comes to picking the perfect Apple Watch there are several customizations available on the Series 5. You can pick and choose from these variations to build the perfect watch for you at the price point you want.
The Series 5 comes in two sizes
- 40mm face
- 44mm face
You can then choose between four different case materials.
- Stainless Steel
- Sport Band
- Sport Loop
- Stainless Steel
- GPS + Cellular
When it comes to pricing it is all about which options you choose.
Building a $399 watch
To build out a Series 5 watch for $399 you need to selct from the following options:
- 40mm Face,
- Aluminum Case,
- either the Sport Band or Sport Loop Band, and
- GPS Connectivity
You’ll have a choice of colors for the case and bands to customize the watch further at this price point.
Now that we know what a base Series 5 Watch is made from you can upgrade from here with the price of the upgrades listed below:
- Upgrade to 44mm Face – add $30
- Upgrade to Stainless Steel Case - add $300 from base
- Upgrade to Titanium Case – add $400 from base
- Upgrade to Ceramic Case – add $900 from base
- Upgrade to Leather Band – add $100 from base
- Upgrade to Stainless Steel Band - $50 from base
- Upgrade to Cellular Data - $100 from base, plus you need a data plan
Apple has partnered with Nike and Hermès to release two special editions designed and styled by these well known brands.
Apple Watch Nike
For the fitness enthusiast The Apple Watch Nike edition is the perfect workout partner. Every Nike watch face has been optimized for the always on watch face and the watch is branded and styled consistently with the Nike brand.
Apple Watch Hermès
The Apple Watch Hermès is designed and styled to be an elegant and sophisticated version of the Apple Watch. Using the high end options available and a style that Hermès is known for this version of the Apple Watch makes a real statement.
The New Always On Display
The biggest change available on the Series 5 is the new always on display. The watch face is never completely off. This is made possible by a new display technology called LTPO which stands for low-temperature poly-silicon and oxide. LTPO technology is designed to reduce energy consumption and allow the screen to stay on all the time without destroying the battery life.
This is a big deal as it is the first watch to offer this technology and it provides the user with a more natural way to interact and use the watch. Now without needing to swipe or make exaggerated arm motions to activate the screen the watch is viewable at all times and from any angle. The user can now at a glance gain access to their default display and it provides a new look as the watch face is digital and customizable.
Watch OS 6
With the release of the Series 5 Apple has also released a major update to its Watch OS. The new Watch OS 6 has been built to take advantage of the new hardware built into the Series 5 making it a more insightful and more delightful experience for the user.
There are upgrades to the fitness and health tracking like enhanced Activity Trends, Cycle tracking, and Hearing Health. These features let you see more about your daily activity so you have the information necessary to help you stay active and stay fit. Hearing health monitors the background sound around you so you can tell when the things are loud enough to potentially pose a risk to your hearing and let you either step out or plug your ears to keep your hearing as good as it can be.
There is also enhanced Siri to make doing things with voice even easier. With cellular connectivity Siri combined with Shazam can help you figure out what that song it is you’re hearing even when you don’t have your phone.
When it comes to searching for information on a topic Siri can do the search and let you scroll through web pages for the top results right on your watch face.
With Watch OS 6 you have better connectivity to the App Store on your watch and with new apps such as Audiobooks that syncs with your phone, tablet so you can pick up right where you left off regardless of which OS device you’re using.
The biggest feature missing from the Apple Watch Series 5 and Watch OS 6 is a native sleep-monitoring app. It had been rumored that this feature would be available on this iteration of the Apple Watch but to the disappointment of many it was left off.
Many people believed that native sleep tracking is the last thing missing from the Apple Watch that would have sealed the deal and put the Apple Watch truly in a class all by itself as the best the Smart Watch on the market.
Now having said that you can still monitor your sleep with the Apple Watch but you’ll have to do it through a third party app like AutoSleep Tracker Watcher for Watch, Sleep Pulse, Sleep++, or a host of other apps available for download through the app store.
The Apple Watch Series 5 along with Watch OS6 is a solid update for the Apple Watch. The new screen technology and updated trackers and insights are the main draw along with a variety of case and band options to make the watch as fitness focused or as a function replacement for a high end watch as you want.
If you’re looking to get into an Apple Watch for the first time or if you have a Series 3 or less and are looking for an upgrade the Apple Watch Series 5 is a great choice. If you have a Series 4 it is probably not worth the upgrade this year as there just isn’t enough new in the Series 5 to justify the cost when you have a Series 4 already.