Apple Watch Series 5 is official - here's everything you need to know

The latest Apple smartwatch starts at $399 and is available 20 September
Apple Watch Series 5 is official
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The Apple Watch Series 5 is now official, with Tim Cook unveiling the new smartwatch at the Apple Special Event in Cupertino on 10 September.

We've detailed all the key information you need to know below – and delivered our initial Apple Watch Series 5 review – but check back for our full verdict once the Apple Watch 5 is officially released on 20 September.

What's the biggest change with Apple Watch Series 5?

The fifth iteration of the Watch represents more of an incremental upgrade than we got with the Series 4, with the headline change being a new always-on retina display.

Crucially, though, Apple says that the Watch will be able to maintain the same 18-hour battery life as before, while offering the option for the new feature.

What does this actually mean for the wearer? Well, basically, the screen will now switch to a dimmed mode when not in use, displaying the time and, depending on your choice of face, a few complications.

Time to upgrade: Apple Watch Series 5 v Series 4

All of the new watchOS 6 faces support the feature, along with a few old ones. Previously, the watch display would only light up when tapped or when the wrist was raised, and you can still keep it that way on the Series 5 if you want.

The Series 5 will know when to illuminate based on where the wearer's wrist is, thanks in part to the new low-temperature polysilicone and oxide display (LTPO), the ultra-low power display driver and an ambient light sensor.

Apple Watch Series 5 is official - complete with new display that's always-on

Other new features debut on Apple Watch Series 5

Lesser tidbits include a built-in compass and an upgrade to the Emergency SOS application on cellular models, which can now call services internationally and will direct you to the appropriate emergency response team.

That rounds up the big new features present through the Apple Watch Series 5, but we expected plenty more – including native sleep tracking and a better battery life. Check out our Apple Watch Series 5 missing features to see what could appear on a future iteration – you might decide it's better to hold out and wait.

Apple Watch design stays the same

The Series 5 matches the exact same specs as last year's model; the depth of the device remains at 10.7mm, while the height and width specs sit at 40mm x 34mm for the smaller version, stretching to 44mm x 38mm for the bigger model.

New Apple Watch Series 5 finishes and special editions

As ever, the Apple Watch will be available in a number of finishes, including the standard aluminum (available in silver, space gray and gold) and, for the first time, titanium.

It's also bringing back ceramic – an option removed for the Series 4 – and continuing to offer stainless steel casing upgrades.

Collaborations will be continuing with Nike (with the name changing from the Apple Watch Nike+ Edition to just Apple Watch Nike) and Hermes, too, with a number of bespoke bands and faces available. Interestingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the Series 4 is going away completely to make way for the Series 5, while the Apple Watch Series 3 gets a price cut and will represent the new entry level.

What's new with watchOS 6?

Some of the most noticeable changes in the next generation will come through the watchOS 6 update, which was first previewed back at WWDC 2019 in June.

We still don't have native sleep tracking through the Apple Watch, but we do have a new on-watch App Store, a selection of apps and women's health features. Check out our full watchOS 6 guide for all the details on the new software coming to Apple Watch devices soon.

Apple Watch Series 5 price and release date

The price of the Series 5 remains in line with the last generation, coming in at $399 for the 40mm GPS-only model and rising to $429 for the 44mm edition.

If you want the version with GPS and cellular, you'll have to fork out an extra $100 when the Series 5 goes on sale on 20 September.

As the Series 4 currently sits firmly at the top of our best smartwatch rankings, we expect the Series 5 to push on even further and cement this crown. We'll have a full review for you soon.


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2 comments

  • yogibimbi·

    Android compatibility would be the last straw for me. I am not going to buy an iPhone just because I want to have a watch that ticks all of my boxes. Especially if the Galaxy Watch already does that AND is Android compatible. Once my Nixon Mission bites the dust, I am in the market for a tough watch with LTE and waterproofness. Or maybe there will be a Wear OS watch that has all of this? oK, I have been waiting for two years, Godot took less time.

  • vivan.suresh·

    I always prefer Apple products only which is very comfortable for me. I am using apple watch series 4. The series 4 has advanced features it is very helpful for my day to day life, I'm very happy that product. It comes with advanced features like ECG is very useful for everyone. Apple watch series 5 brings more features, new health sensor, battery life, smart bands, and mainly android support. I'm waiting for Apple watch series 5. Thanks for sharing the knowledgeable article.