Apple Watch Series 5 Hands on: That always-on Screen is Very Long overdue

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The brand new Apple Watch Series 5.


James Martin/CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Apple introduced the newest iteration of its own fitness wearable, the Apple Watch Series 5, on Tuesday since it introduced the iPhone 11 in its annual September event. While that the iPhone grabbed all the focus, the brand new watch, that succeeds the Watch Series 4, adds a couple of new capabilities. It will begin at $399 (£399, AU$649) for its GPS-only model, and $499 (£499, AU$799) for the two GPS and mobile. You can dictate the Apple Watch Series 5 today and it’s going to be available in shops on Sept. 20.

As the fifth iteration of one of the best-selling fitness wearables, the Apple Watch and its suite of programs focuses on consumer wellbeing, biometrics and wellness research. The Watch Series 5 will probably possess an abysmal screen whilst providing, Apple states , the same all-day, 18-hour battery life as previous models. It’s something other watches have hadand we’re excited to see it come on the Apple Watch.


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Up close with the Apple Watch Series 5’s always-on display



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Much like other smartwatches, especially last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 3100 Wear OS watches, the color watch faces go into a dimmer, yet still slightly animated mode when you turn your wrist away. The watch faces change colors a bit and brighten up when you turn your wrist back. The always-on mode works only when it’s on a  wrist, and with Apple’s watch faces and the Workout app.

Other features include a native compass. During our brief time with it, we could get directional bearings quickly, and it seemed to perform fine in a crowded Steve Jobs Theater demo room. Compass complications show up in a few watch faces, too. 

The new case designs, particularly ceramic and titanium, are sharp. They better be, topping off at $1,200 or so for the ceramic model. The titanium case has a brushed-metal look that’s pretty different from the polished mirrored steel of the stainless versions.

The Apple Watch Series 5 doesn’t feel dramatically different, but having an always-on display is a big and overdue change that we didn’t expect, but are glad to welcome

In addition to all the debut of also the Watch Series 5, Apple announced it has permanently lowered the price of its Apple Watch 3, which launched at 2017, to $199 (£199, AU$319).