Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Apple Watch Series 5

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

Apple Watch Series 5 features an innovative new display that allows the time and important information to remain visible at all times. Each watch face has been carefully optimized for the new display and to preserve battery life, the screen intelligently dims when a user’s wrist is down and returns to full brightness with a raise or a tap. Several advanced technologies work together to deliver this new feature, including the industry’s only low-temperature polysilicone and oxide display (LTPO), ultra-low power display driver, efficient power management integrated circuit and new ambient light sensor. This combination of hardware innovation and incredible software design allows Apple Watch Series 5 to offer all-day 18-hour battery life.

Didn’t see that one that coming. I still can’t see anything Apple Watch does that’s worth $400 to me, but it will be more interesting when this eventually makes it into the base model.

Ryan Jones:

5 years later, Apple launches the TOTALLY FRIGGIN OBVIOUS way to sell Watches.

Update (2019-09-13): Michael Kummer:

In this article, I’ll look at what Series 5 has to offer and how it compares to Apple’s previous wearable, the Series 4. Hopefully, the information I provide here will help you decide if you should upgrade to the new model or stick with the one you have.

Update (2019-09-25): Jeremy Horwitz:

During my testing, Series 5’s battery life was noticeably worse than Series 4’s. After a normal day of use, the new watch was at 35%, while its predecessor had twice the remaining power. So while Apple’s promise of “all-day” battery life is still accurate this year, that’s only because the official 18-hour number hasn’t changed, despite undisclosed annual advances in prior models. Unless Apple improves watchOS, it looks like you’ll have to avoid using Series 5’s new features to get Series 4-like battery results.

Update (2019-09-27): Marques Brownlee:

Gave it a 2-week shot, but I’m finally gonna have to turn off the always-on display on Apple Watch Series 5.

It nukes through battery about 30% faster with it on and I don’t care about it enough to keep it. Back to gestures ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Nick Heer:

iFixit took apart a couple of the new Apple Watch models and found a wildly different battery in the 40mm model than in the 44mm. They also took the time to snark about the recycled aluminum case.

Update (2019-09-30): M.G. Siegler:

I like the new Apple Watch. The always-on screen is great and I’m okay with a trade-off. But come on, let’s just be honest: the battery life is far worse than the previous couple generations as a result.

A few folks following this tweet noted that the WatchOS 6.1 beta helps a lot with the battery issues. Seems like a bunch of little tweaks they can do with software (i.e. maybe don’t need to immediately fully illuminate screen on casual raise, etc). Here’s hoping. 🤞⌚️

Matt Birchler:

The newest Apple Watch is an odd duck when it comes to updates for Apple’s “more personal device ever.” Depending on your measurement, it’s either the most or least significant update to the hardware Apple has ever put out, and that just makes it a funky product to review.

Update (2019-10-15): Matt Birchler:

The worst part of the Series 5 Watch is that it doesn’t automatically turn off the always-on screen when you’re sleeping. I’d also take a much dimmer always-on mode.

Not for battery saving which isn’t a problem for me, but because it lights up the whole bed.

Update (2019-10-21): Rene Ritchie:

It’s so good I sometimes still forget it’s in always-on mode and I need to tap to return it to normal before I can check notifications. That’s how well integrated it is.


As for me, both on the aluminum at first and the titanium now, I’m getting a little less with always-on-on than I got with no always-on at all on the Series 4. I typically finish the day with between 20 and 40%, depending on how intense my usage is. That’s down from between 30 and 50% on the Series 4. But, it’s not much of a price to pay at all for always-on, at least not for me.

8 Comments RSS · Twitter

"to offer all-day 18-hour battery life"

Introducing Apple Day…

5 years later, Apple launches the TOTALLY FRIGGIN OBVIOUS way to sell Watches.

Lol, yes, this. I was watching all the "you can see the time without having to look directly at your watch!" use cases and thinking of all the inexpensive mechanical watches (I think mine's a Seiko SNZG15 ) that have had this groundbreaking featureset!!1! for years.

The iPhone's not [primarily] a phone, so no surprise that the Apple Watch isn't [primarily] a watch, I guess. /shrug

@Ruffin I suppose it’s not clear without the timing context of the tweet, but I think Ryan Jones was referring to the Apple Retail segment at 1:36:30 in the keynote, where O’Brien describes “Apple Watch Studio.” You’ll now be able to mix and match different watch cases and bands as you try them in the store.

>"to offer all-day 18-hour battery life"

My Samsung Galaxy Watch also has an always-on display and the "lift watch to fully turn on display" feature. It lasts three days with every feature turned on, including constant heartbeat monitoring. I'm pretty sure this has been the standard behavior on non-Apple smart watches ever since they first came out. Am I missing something?

Also... It's kind of important for a watch to last at least 24 hours, given that it does things like SLEEP MONITORING. Otherwise, you're going to charge your watch twice a day, which seems just incredibly bad.

I have a series 3 that I'm very happy with. It's great for tracking runs, hikes, and workouts at the gym. I love leaving behind my phone, instead taking just the Apple watch and air pods. Using Apple Pay via the watch is also a great convenience.

The "raise to wake" motion to see the display / time works for me 99% of the time.

I'm not interested in sleep tracking for many reasons, but also simply because I don't want to wear a watch to bed. So charging the watch one night every 1-2 days works fine for me. But I can see how charging might be a problem for people that eventually want sleep tracking.

Overall the series 5 sounds like nice incremental progress, but without major reasons to upgrade. I'll look forward to owning a series 5 (or higher) a few years down the line.

As much as I like the new "always on" feature, the battery hit is so huge that I may actually return the watch. I'm not sure yet, but given how there are really no other improvements, it is a pretty high price to pay, when my Series 4 worked fine and had 2-day battery life.

Sören Nils Kuklau

As much as I like the new “always on” feature, the battery hit is so huge that I may actually return the watch. I’m not sure yet, but given how there are really no other improvements, it is a pretty high price to pay, when my Series 4 worked fine and had 2-day battery life.

It’s looking like the 6.1 beta offers better battery life with the always-on display.

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