Apple Watch Series 5 Review
You might be surprised to learn Apple Watch Series 5 is the first iWatch I’ve tried. I’ve seen previous models adorning many wrists but being an Android user I’ve never been able to experience Apples take on a smartwatch.
That changed when The Gadget Show got in touch and asked me to review it for their YouTube channel.
TLDR: Apple Watch Series 5 is the best smartwatch you can get if you’re an iPhone user.
Apple Watch Series 5 Design
I’ve got to hand it to Apple, they know how to design products. Series 5 is a lovely looking and feeling bit of tech that’s very easy to setup. Along with the watch I was supplied a sports band which came in two sizes, one for small/medium wrists one for larger wrists.
Straps click onto the watch and can be easily removed if you want to swap them out, e.g. changing a plastic sports strap for a smarter work strap.
The front display screen looks fantastic, it’s very clear and looks better than a lot of mobile phone screens I’ve seen. Around the back are the heart rate sensor and magnetic charging point.
Powering up Apple Watch Series 5 you’re asked to have your iPhone near. The start-up process is really simple and involves scanning a cool looking pattern displayed on the watch with your iPhone, they’ll be paired and you’re ready to get started.
Series 5 comes preloaded with loads of apps and a range of watch faces, more are available via the iPhone watch app. There is some really great watch faces available and it’s easy to changes between them so you can pair your watch face with your current style.
A big new feature for the Series 5 is an always-on display. As a Fitbit Versa user, I can really appreciate this feature, I miss the Pebbles always-on display and having to deliberately move my wrist or press a button to see the time/notifications isn’t very subtle.
When not in use the display changes very slightly. For example, solid numbers look faded, or where a watch face has a second hand this disappears. This doesn’t stop you from telling the time, it just removes some of the animated detail, allowing the watch screen to stay on without massively draining the battery.
In terms of battery life, I found the watch lasted the day, sometimes a day and a half depending on how heavily it was used. You’ll want to get into the habit of charging it daily, it doesn’t take long to charge so it’s not something you need to leave charging overnight.
It’s an Apple device so of course there are apps available, although it came pre-loaded with so many I didn’t have reason to add more. Apple has designed the Series 5 watch to be heavily integrated into the health ecosystem they’ve developed on iPhone, it tracks your activity, tells you when to stand up and move around, tracks your heart rate and can even take an ECG.
You might wonder how you control all this on a tiny screen, at first I was concerned the small icons would be difficult to press. Apple once again proves themselves to be fantastic UI designers with a watch interface that is easy to use and didn’t result in the wrong icon being pressed.
I especially liked using maps for directions, rather than having to check your mobile for where to go you can casually ‘check the time’ and see a full map with your location. You don’t need to look at the screen often, just keep walking until you get a gentle vibration on your wrist notifying you of a change in direction, for example when approaching a crossroads.
One area I noticed lacking compared to my Fitbit Versa was the sleep tracking. The Versa does an excellent job of giving you good information regarding how long and which stages of sleep you’ve been in, this is currently missing from the Series 5.
It’s been fascinating trying out the Apple Watch Series 5. If I had an iPhone I’ve no doubt this would be the smartwatch for me.
A beautiful designed feature-packed smartwatch.
- Gorgeous screen
- Always-on display
- Preloaded with apps
- Only works with iPhone
- Needs charging daily
- No sleep tracking out the box