Apple Watch Series 5: All you need to know about Apple’s new smartwatch

While the iPhone 11 and iPhone Pro largely stole the show at Apple’s September 2019 event, the company also unveiled a new Apple Watch — called the Apple Watch Series 5. The new device is the best Apple Watch ever, and while it doesn’t represent a huge change from last year’s model, there are still some meaningful upgrades that make it the smartwatch to get.

Interested in the Apple Watch Series 5 for yourself? Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s latest and greatest smartwatch.


Perhaps the biggest update to the Apple Watch Series 5 comes in the form of a new always-on display — which allows you to sneak glances at your watch and see information without having to explicitly raise your wrist. The display will still dim, but it won’t turn completely off.

According to Apple, the always-on display can save on battery life by dynamically switching refresh rate from 1Hz to 60Hz, depending on what you’re doing with it. The device also leverages a new ambient light sensor and other sensors to change the display brightness — and it supports all watch faces, complications, and workout metrics. According to Apple, the Apple Watch Series 5 will still offer the same 18-hour “all day” battery life.


The Apple Watch Series 4 breathed new life into the Apple Watch’s design, giving it a beautiful edge-to-edge display, more rounded corners, and other nice touches. That overall shape has carried over to the Apple Watch Series 5, which was to be expected. After all, Apple rarely redesigns a major product two years in a row.

Apple Watch Series 5 custom strap | Apple September 2019 Event Keynote
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

There are a few new build materials for the Apple Watch Series 5. Notably, the device is now available in Titanium and Ceramic, so if you like the look of those devices, they may the way to go for you. That’s on top of the existing aluminum models.


Apple has made a few tweaks under the hood too. While it didn’t note any changes to the processor, it did announce that the Apple Watch Series 5 offers a built-in compass that allows you to see things like the direction you’re facing in the Maps app, like on the iPhone. There’s also a new Compass app, which offers information like your longitude and latitude and more.

Other features

Most of the new features in the Apple Watch Series 5 actually come as part of WatchOS 6 — meaning that they’re available on other watch models too. Notably, the Apple Watch is getting an App Store, so you’ll be able to download stand-alone apps straight to your watch without having to go through your iPhone.

They can track how loud your environment is through a new Noise app, and will offer the ability to track periods through a new app called Cycle. These features will be available for other existing Apple Watch devices that are able to install WatchOS 6.

Every cellular model of the Apple Watch Series 5 also has international emergency calling, meaning that if such an incident occurss, you’ll be able to make an emergency call no matter where you are.

Pricing and availability

The Apple Watch Series 5 is now available for pre-order, with sales set to begin in-store on September 20. The device costs $400 for the GPS model and $500 for the cellular model. Apple also announced that it was dropping the price of the Apple Watch Series 3 to just $200.

Updated on September 10, 2019: The Apple Watch Series 5 has been announced.

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