Series 5 “Always-On” Apple Watch Review, Apple Watch Charging and Battery Life

Why buy the latest Apple Watch Series 5?

If you are looking to upgrade your Series 3 or 4 Apple Watch the biggest feature improvement is always-on.

Thanks to the LTPO (low-temperature polysilicon oxide) a hardware upgrade on the series 5, the watch can show a dimmed watch face or another screen on your wrist even when not active — instead of looking like a clunky black jeweled bracelet.  This is especially nice when you want to glance at the time without conspicuously checking the time.

This feature, of course, comes with a trade-off, battery life. Battery life is still the Apple Watch’s Achilles’ heel. The Series 5 will usually make it through a day of regular use, but you’ll be pushing it to make it two days. Compare that to the recently released Fitbit Versa 2, which has a battery that lasts almost a week.  To get the most from its battery, the Apple Watch’s “dormant” screen uses a few other clever tricks to save battery power. In sleep mode, for example, a bright white watch face inverts its colors and loses its sweeping second hand so that it only refreshes every minute.  Despite Apple’s innovations the always-on mode does consume more juice, the battery will last almost 2 times as long with the featured turned off.

But, that might not be a big deal to some given the beautifully designed desktop surface charging stations.   Just as the smartwatch, iPhone and Air buds help with organizing all your information into efficient and accessible devices it makes sense to keep those devices organized and powered while you work or when you power down for the day.  Do yourself a favor and simplify your charging process with surface charging and having everything in one place.  This will literally add minutes to your day.

Aside from always on, the new Apple Watch is hard to distinguish from Series 4. Both watches are the same size, the bands used are identical, and there is no change at all to the physical design. The Series 4 is an excellent smartwatch, with superb fitness tracking, a gorgeous OLED display, and a sleek, stylish form factor.

To some, the Series 5 version might feel like a small jump forward, to others, always on is the feature they’ve been waiting for.  The Series 5 starts at the $399 price point. The older Series 3 watch, is still around and is now a bargain at $299.

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