Written by Robyn

Expert review Apple Watch Series 5

The Apple Watch Series 5, also known as iWatch 5, is the latest smartwatch in the Apple family. The appearance of this smartwatch is similar to the design of its predecessor, the Apple Watch 4. I'm curious to find out what kind of new things are behind this appearance. Time to test the Apple Watch Series 5 myself.

Apple Watch Series 5

Optical heart rate sensor and ECG function | Always on Retina screen | 32GB storage
no longer available
  • The Retina display is always on. You can also view your most important functions and time at rest.
  • You'll never lose sight of your target with the integrated compass.
  • Measure your heart rate with the heart rate sensor and make heart videos with the ECG function.
  • To set up the Apple Watch, you need an Apple iPhone. After setup, you can also use various Apple Watch functions without your iPhone being nearby.

Always On display

Apple Watch Series 5 Always On display

I set up the Apple Watch 5 with my iPhone. What strikes me right away is the screen. Unlike the screen of the Apple Watch 4, this screen is always on. Even if I rest my arm on the table, I can still see the time. The screen is slightly dimmed, though. The screen lights up as soon as I raise my arm to read messages. That way, I can easily see my running stats without lifting my arm up high.

Integrated compass

Apple Watch Series 5 integrated compass

With the Apple Watch Series 5, you won't lose your way anymore thanks to the integrated compass. If I follow a route in the Maps app, my Apple Watch shows which direction I'm heading towards. During a walk in unfamiliar territory, I'm always aware of my location thanks to the Compass app. The compass also displays the elevation at my location. The Apple Watch 5 even knows my latitude and longitude. The Compass app works best when I keep the Apple Watch as flat as possible.

watchOS 6

Apple Watch Series 5 watchOS 6

With the latest software update for Apple Watch, called watchOS 6, I have more new functions on Apple Watch Series 5. One of them is the Noise app. It's meant to prevent hearing damage. The app measures how loud the ambient noise is and gives a notification when it's too loud for a longer period of time. In addition, I can easily download apps directly on the Apple Watch 5 thanks to the new App Store on the smartwatch itself.


Apple Watch Series 5 design

At the surface, the Apple Watch 5 hasn't changed much compared to its predecessor, the Series 4. The watch has the same dimensions, 40 or 44 millimeters, and is available in the same colors. Since the arrival of the Apple Watch 5, new watch faces have also been available. I also use the new watch straps for the Apple Watch Series 5 on the Series 4. I make sure that I choose the right size of strap for the Apple Watch.

Battery life

Apple Watch Series 5 battery life

In terms of battery life, I don't experience a big difference between the Apple Watch Series 4 and the Apple Watch Series 5. Both models have an 18-hour battery life. Although the Apple Watch has an Always On screen, I can safely wear this smartwatch all day.


I've swapped the Apple Watch Series 5 for my Apple Watch Series 4. I miss the Always On display of the Series 5 right away. The time is always visible and I don't have to lift my arm up in an obvious way to read my messages. The integrated compass shows me exactly where I am and which way I need to go. The Apple Watch 5 still wasn't empty after a day of testing, thanks to the 18-hour battery life. The exterior has nothing new to offer, but the display and battery are even better than those of the predecessor, the Series 4.

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