Apple Watch series 5 – review 

So, you’re in a key meeting and your client gets ticked off with the number of times you glance at your watch during that meeting. What she probably didn’t realise is that you were wearing an Apple Watch or a rival smartwatch without an always-on display and you needed to keep shaking your wrist to activate the display to tell the time. This is a true story that many smartwatch users can relate to. It’s why Apple’s simple new tweak to the Apple Watch 5 might be the most useful ever.

Each year Apple keeps adding new functionality to the Apple Watch as it keeps widening the gap over the competition. While many users are still playing fence-sitters on the smartwatch, there’s little doubt that the Apple Watch is the most sorted smartwatch out there. Of course, it’s only for you if you own an iPhone – it doesn’t pair with Android devices. This year’s Apple Watch series 5 may not be a radical overhaul like last year’s Series 4. In 2018, Apple shaved the bezels and expanded the screen of the Apple watch in the biggest design update for its smartwatch. This year’s big story is the always-on display and it’s something that smartwatch users can appreciate only when they fasten the Apple watch 5 on their wrist. 

An always-on display might seem like a no brainer but battery life is the obvious reason why Apple and other smartwatch manufacturers have opted to keep the lights off. That’s our favourite feature of the new Apple Watch Series 5. Every watch face  has been optimised for the new display. The screen dims when your wrist is down and returns to full brightness with a raise or a tap. Apple has used a whole bunch of advanced tech to make this work including a low-temperature polysilicon and oxide display (LTPO). 

We experienced a similar battery life to the Watch Series 4 with this always-on display, that validates Apple’s sales pitch on the LTPO display. The other cool additions include a new compass that’s handy when you’re on a run or a trek. That’s not the only feature targeted at an active lifestyle and wellness. Apple’s ECG feature (that was first introduced with the Apple Watch 4) is now available in India and allows users to take an electrocardiogram right from their wrist. This year’s Watch OS 6 update also adds a new Cycle tracking app that allows users to log daily information about their menstrual cycles. 

Some of the pre-launch leaks suggested that Apple might add sleep tracking to the Apple Watch. This is a feature many Apple Watch rivals offer. But Apple has skipped sleep tracking in this annual refresh. Apple continues to restrict watch faces –  you can’t add watch faces from third party apps. But this is a feature you may not miss given a whole new bunch of cool new watch faces that have been added as part of the Watch OS 6 update. Battery life stays in the same zone; you will still need to charge your Apple Watch every day. 

If you own an Apple Watch 4, the only reason you might consider an upgrade is the always-on display. This might be critical for some users especially during a run or a gym workout. But if you’re a first time smartwatch buyer taking that leap of faith or a jump from the Apple Watch 3 or earlier, you won’t be disappointed. The Apple Watch Series 5 is easily the best smartwatch out there. 

Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS) starts at Rs 40,900 and Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) starts at Rs 49,900There’s a cashback of Rs 4,000 on HDFC cards.