The táo bị cắn Watch Series 5 has been eclipsed by the Series 6, but it’s still packed with useful features và was once the best smartwatch you could buy.

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The apple Watch Series 5 was once our favorite smartwatch. It introduced an always-on display và compass to the company"s flagship wearable.


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The apple Watch Series 5 was the first apple Watch to thể thao an always-on display — & what a difference it made. In previous years, the táo bị cắn Watch"s face remained dark until you raised your wrist. Now when you glance down at your wrist, no matter what position it"s in, you can see the time, và whatever other information you"ve configured.


Size: 44mm / 40mmDisplay: 977 sq mm / 759 sq mmThickness: 10.7mmProcessor: 64-bit dual-core S5 processorCapacity: 32GBDisplay: LTPO OLED Always-On Retina display with Force Touch, 1000 nits brightnessBluetooth: 5.0WiFi: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz


It sounds a bit silly, that the hãng apple Watch can now tell you the time all the time, but it"s updates like this that have cemented the apple Watch"s leading position in our ranking of the best smartwatches right now.

Of course, the new táo khuyết Watch Series 6 now holds that title, with the táo khuyết Watch SE not far behind in features (check out ourApple Watch 6 vs. Táo khuyết Watch 5comparison for more on that.) The Series 6 builds on the Series 5"s success with a brighter always-on display & blood oxygen monitoring.


Elsewhere, its standout features include the heart health diagnostic tools that we found essential in our hãng apple Watch Series 4 review —including the ECG app. It also benefits from the latest watchOS 7 software update, which introduces sleep tracking & new watch faces.

Read on for our full táo bị cắn dở Watch Series 5 review. And if you decide to pick one up for yourself, be sure to check out our complete táo Watch Guide for getting the most out of your smartwatch.


If you vì have your eye on an táo bị cắn dở Watch, it might be worth waiting, as táo bị cắn has announced the release of the apple Watch Series 7. Hãng apple has promised their latest watch will be their best yet, with a brighter screen, thinner display borders & faster charging.


Apple Watch Series 5: Price & availability

The Series 5 is no longer available to lớn buy new. Instead, the Series 6 starts at $399 (£399) for the smaller aluminum 40-millimeter model with GPS. For an extra $100, you can splurge on a cellular-enabled watch (which also requires a monthly data plan from your wireless carrier for an additional cost). The larger 44-mm watch costs $429 (£429), và $520 (£520) with LTE.

Be sure to check out our táo khuyết Watch deals page to see the latest discounts on Apple"s smartwatches, as well as the best táo khuyết Watch bands to find the right straps for you.

MORE: Smartwatch buying guide

Apple Watch Series 5 review: Display

I’ve used almost every other smartwatch on the market, & most of them have always-on displays. But that just means you can always see the time — that’s it. Apple’s version of an always-on display is a little extra.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

The Series 5 doesn’t simply show you what time it is. When inactive, the display shows you a dimmer version of all the information on your watch face. I usually use the Infograph Modular watch face, which has six complications along with the time, so I have access khổng lồ my most-used apps (Workout và Messages) as well as bits of information like the weather & battery percentage. I can still see all of that when the display dims.

MORE: Your guide khổng lồ the best fitness trackers

The difference is even more stark with brighter watch faces like Meridian, which has an almost entirely trắng background that dims to black when you lower your wrist.

The display’s ambient light sensor can detect how bright your environment is & adjust itself accordingly, so the display is never too bright or too dark.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

When you’re using an app, the always-on display dims and blurs the background to lớn show you the time when it’s inactive. This applies to lớn all but the Workout app, which still displays all of your metrics even when you’re not actively looking at the watch.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

The only difference is the time elapsed, which refreshes every second instead of counting milliseconds. This feature is incredibly useful while running, because I no longer have khổng lồ fully raise my wrist to see my pace or the time. Even in bright morning daylight, I had no problem seeing my stats on the darkened display.

To save battery, you can turn the always-on part off (just xuất hiện the watch’s Settings app and toggle it off under Display và Brightness).

Apple Watch Series 5 review: Compass

I think I might have actually yawned when táo bị cắn announced that one of the headlining features in the táo bị cắn Watch Series 5 is a built-in compass.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

It just didn’t thrill me the way the FDA-cleared ECG tiện ích did when the Series 4 was announced last year. But I realized just how useful the Compass app could be when I wore the watch on a 2-mile hike through Runyon Canyon. I’m a new transplant lớn Los Angeles, where dozens of urban hiking trails are just a few miles from my doorstep. A compass isn’t really necessary on these trails, because I can usually see L.A. Landmarks like the Hollywood sign khổng lồ orient myself. If I can see Griffith Observatory to the east and the ocean khổng lồ the west, I’m set.

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But Compass isn’t the only phầm mềm that takes advantage of the watch’s built-in magnetometer. Apple is opening the Compass API lớn third-party apps, và is also using it in its own Maps phầm mềm to enable a feature that shows you which direction you’re facing. This was incredibly useful after I parked at the base of Runyon Canyon Park & had lớn figure out which trail lớn take. Maps consistently showed me which trail I was on & how far into the park I was, which helped me realize when I needed to lớn cut the hike short và head back.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

I can see this feature being even more essential when camping or hiking in more remote areas. Thinking back lớn a time I got lost hiking in Sedona as a teen in the pre-smartphone area, this feature would’ve been a life-saver. (Not literally for me — I clearly survived —but for someone else.)

It should be noted that certain watch bands will interfere with the Series 5’s built-in magnetometer. Basically, any band with a magnet in it will throw off the compass’s ability lớn perform, so if you’re heading out for an adventure, leave the Milanese Loop or Modern Buckle at home.

Apple Watch Series 5 review: Battery life

I usually wear my táo bị cắn dở Watch from the time I wake up lớn work out in the morning ‘til the time I take it off lớn go lớn bed — usually around 16 hours a day. Older watches, particularly the Series 3 and Series 4, could last much longer than that, but I never wore them to lớn track my sleep & so I charged them every night.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

The táo khuyết Watch Series 5’s always-on display doesn’t seem khổng lồ be much of a battery drain — at least not as much as the Series 3’s cellular connectivity was when that watch debuted. After a full 14-hour day of putting the new watch through rigorous testing, which included installing apps, testing out Maps & Compass, logging my cycle, asking Siri various questions, & tracking a 3.75-mile run and a 2-mile hike as separate workouts, I was down khổng lồ 10 percent. And I almost never use my watch that intensively.

MORE: Best cheap fitness trackers

I’ve resigned myself lớn charging my apple Watch daily. I wish I could squeak by on two days, just in case I forget lớn put it on its charging stand, but now it’s become a routine: plug in my iPhone khổng lồ charge & put the watch on its magnetic charging cable just before bed.

Rival smartwatches from Samsung, Fitbit and Garmin offer multi-day battery life, but those watches also aren’t as fully featured as the Series 5. For now, it’s still a trade-off.

Apple Watch Series 5 review: Design


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

The táo Watch hasn’t seen a major redesign in, well, ever. The Series 5 looks identical to lớn the Series 4 in every single way.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

Apple introduced a new titanium finish, which is lightweight to slip on & looks stylish in person, và brought back the trắng ceramic edition, which is a premium watch with a price tag ($1,299) lớn match.

The classic aluminum version is still the one most people will buy. Và Apple is now allowing you to lớn customize the watch finish & band before you buy, instead of having to lớn take whatever comes in the box and then picking out the strap you actually want.

Apple Watch Series 5 review: watchOS 6

You didn"t need a Series 5 to gain some of the best new táo apple Watch features. Most of what I love about using the Series 5 is the, watchOS 6, which was available as an over-the-air nâng cấp for the Series 3 & 4, too.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

My favorite features included the Cycle Tracking ứng dụng for logging period flow và symptoms (more on that in a minute), the Calculator app, which saves relationships with a built-in tip calculator, the Noise app for monitoring decibel levels và the launch of an independent Watch ứng dụng Store. Và that’s not even half of the improvements apple delivered in this release. There was a lot lớn love about watchOS 6.

I’m not surprised that it took so long for a Calculator phầm mềm to arrive on the watch, given that the máy tính bảng ipad still doesn’t have a native version, but I might never use my iPhone’s calculator again. The watch app’s tip calculator is a god-send, particularly because you can adjust the percentage & calculate how much each person owes for a group dinner. If you have a few drinks và forget how to lớn math, the táo bị cắn Watch does the work for you.


(Image credit: Future)

The Watch tiện ích Store is perhaps the most obvious game-changer, because you no longer need lớn install watch apps from your iPhone. This means that app developers don’t have to lớn create game ios apps first and then make watch extensions, which should make watch apps more useful và specific.

Apple Watch Series 5 review: Cycle Tracking

Apple isn’t reinventing the wheel with Cycle Tracking, but the fact that women can now track periods on the best smartwatch on the market, in addition khổng lồ all of the other features that make it great, is a welcome change.


(Image credit: Tom"s Guide)

I’ve used similar features from Fitbit (see our Fitbit Versa Review) & Garmin, and the functionality is the same. You self-report your periods to start, and then the watches can start accurately predicting when the next one will begin. I’m still in the early stages of using the táo khuyết Watch’s Cycle Tracking app, so I haven’t tested out its predictions or notifications, but I appreciate the level of detail I’m able lớn enter when it comes to period flow, symptoms & spotting. You can also showroom details about ovulation demo results, cervical mucus chất lượng and basal body temperature in the iPhone Health app, & allow Cycle Tracking to lớn predict your fertile window if you want lớn use the app to plan or prevent pregnancy.

To get started with period-tracking, you’ll need to input your information in the tiện ích ios Health app, including details like the first day of your last period, length of your cycle and typical period length. Then you can start logging your period in the Cycle Tracking tiện ích on the watch, & even showroom the app as a complication on the watch face for easier access. I plan lớn keep it as a complication during my period & then swapping it out for another ứng dụng in between. (Thankfully, the complication icon is subtle, if you’d rather the always-on display didn’t announce the app’s presence khổng lồ the world.)

After a Privacy International study showed that popular period-tracking apps might be leaking information about your personal health và sexual activity khổng lồ companies like Facebook, Apple’s on-device, hands-off approach lớn health data makes its version of this feature even more compelling.

Apple Watch Series 5 review: Verdict

Compared khổng lồ past táo apple Watches, which delivered then-groundbreaking features like GPS và water-resistance (Series 2), cellular connectivity (Series 3) and medical-grade health features (Series 4), the Series 5 is an incremental upgrade. But apple set the bar for smartwatches almost impossibly high — even for itself. Rival smartwatches may have had always-on displays first, but they lag far behind the táo bị cắn Watch in almost every other way.


Caitlin is a Senior editor for Gizmodo. She has also worked on Tom"s Guide, Macworld, PCWorld và the Las Vegas Review-Journal. When she"s not testing out the latest devices, you can find her running around the streets of Los Angeles, putting in morning miles or searching for the best tacos.