Apple Watch S5: Some thoughts

It’s been a couple of weeks wearing my new Apple Watch Series 5 and I have some thoughts about it.

Performance

First off, the performance on this watch is a pretty big upgrade from the series 3. While there was nothing to complain about in terms of overall performance, the series 5 is a much snappier watch. Apps load much faster, you see less of the spinning dots denoting that the app is loading or fetching data, and switching from one watch face to another resulted in less lag overall. You just don’t realise how much faster the series 5 watch is until you compared it against the series 3.

Same size, bigger screen, gorgeous new watch faces.

The series 5 watch has a bigger screen, but retaining the same size overall. This resulted in narrower bezels. The amount of usable screen now almost touches the edge of the watch. With a bigger screen, everything else is larger and more prominent. Typing my passcode to unlock my phone is much more accurate and the digital buttons are much bigger. With a bigger screen, you get a whole range of new watch faces that a series 3 user just isn’t able to enjoy. The new watch faces can now cram in more information then ever before. Now, you can have a really crowded watch face showing all sorts of information and data or you can have a simple but stunning watch face that really draws you in, thanks to the bigger screen.

Slightly thinner profile, more glass on the back.

The back of the watch which contains the sensors for detecting your hear rate now has a bigger glass surface. Because of that, the back of the watch feels more premium. It is also slightly flatter than the series 3, making a larger contact to your wrist. Overall the watch has a slightly thinner profile that the series 3, which is much appreciated.

Superb battery life (if you switch off the Always-On-Display)

The battery life on the series 5 is superb, much better than the series 3, which in itself is already great based on my usage. Wearing the series 3 watch from 9am to 9pm, I can easily get it down to 65 to 70% battery life. Plenty of room to spare. With the series 5, I can get it slightly better, 70% to 75% battery life left after wearing the whole day.

However it comes with a caveat. Based on my experience, if you want to have the best battery life you can possibly get out of the watch, then you should turn off the always-on-display feature. While the option to have a display that is switched on permanently is nice, I find that after a week, this feature is kinda overrated and that I would prefer having a longer battery life than the ability to have my watch’s display to be always switched on. Eventually, I switch off the AOD so that I don’t have battery anxiety on my watch, especially when I am about to wear it from dawn till dusk, while squeezing in an hour of workout at the end of the day.

Noticeably louder speakers

The speakers in this tiny little package is a noticeable upgrade to the series 3 watch. The volume emitted by the series 5 watch is much louder and more solid. Using Siri on the watch, I noticed the voice to be louder and words to be more clearly enunciated.

Overall a better experience

Overall, I am glad to make the upgrade. I was afraid that the new features that comes with the series 5 will not bring up meaningful upgrades for someone who already owned a series 3 watch. However, I underestimated how much I enjoyed using the new watch faces, cramming more info in it and looking at it every now and then. The AOD feature is overrated in my opinion but I can see its usefulness in certain situations and it is good to have the option whenever you need it. I have yet to use the ECG feature and the noise alert feature extensively so I can’t really make a comment on those two features yet.