Swapping out straps is super quick and easy with quick-release buttons on either side of the watch. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
The default app view is still the old honeycomb matrix of apps, which is hard to use, but can be switched to an easier and faster simple list with a hard press
Taking calls on your wrist is novel and works amazingly well, but embarrassing when people stare at you in public (which is similar to attempting to talk to Siri)
4G is only useful if you happen to go out without your phone, so you can stay in touch seeing notifications, receiving messages and calls, or using maps if youre lost
The Apple Watch Series 5 comes in two sizes, various different materials and models with the option of 4G.
The aluminium or Nike versions are available with or without 4G. The 40mm costs
399 or 499 with 4G. The 44mm costs 429 or 529 with 4G.
All other Apple Watch versions support 4G. The stainless steel model costs
699 (40mm) or 749 (44mm), while the titanium Edition starts at 799, the ceramic Edition starts at 1,299 and the Hermes starts at 1,249.
For comparison, Samsungs Galaxy Watch Active 2 starts at
269, the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch starts at 279, the Huawei Watch GT 2 costs 200 and the Fitbit Versa 2 starts at 200. Verdict
Since its second generation the Apple Watch has been the best smartwatch for the iPhone. But for the Series 5 thats changed. Its not just the best smartwatch for the iPhone. The Apple Watch is now a solid reason to buy an iPhone in the first place.
The screen being on all the time that was the last piece in the Apple Watch puzzle. What started out as
a bit of a let down in 2015 has since been refined, sped up and had meaningful features added to it that make it far more than the sum of its parts.
After five generations Apple has finally nailed it, but thats not to say the Series 5 is perfect. It would be great to have sleep tracking to close the circle on health tracking. It would be better if it lasted at least two days so you could go on a weekend away without bringing the charger.
I wish there was a circular version too for variety, and it would be better for everyone if they didnt all look the same like some sort of clone army. Strap one of these to your wrist and you become part of a tribe: the Apple Watch wearers.
Then theres the price. At 399 and up the Apple Watch Series 5 is in no way cheap. The Series 3 is still on sale from 199, but doesnt do it for me with that mostly-off screen. With the competition mostly coming in at under 300 the Series 5 has Apples typical premium but its a premium anyone considering an Apple Watch has already paid for their iPhone.
Simply put, the Apple Watch Series 5 is the best smartwatch you can buy right now. You might just need to also buy an iPhone to get it.
Pros: excellent haptics, always-on screen, ECG, great health tracking, great activity tracking, solid running watch, 50m water resistance, all-day battery life, offline music, loads of watch faces, quick-swap straps, comfortable, Apple Pay
Cons: expensive, only works with an iPhone, no sleep tracking, too popular
You can alter lots of things on each watchface, but somehow theyre never quite perfect. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian Other reviews
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