Tech

Apple Watch Series 5 Review – May just convince this analogue dinosaur to go smart.

I think the people at Apple get quite annoyed and frustrated by me.  Despite making an Apple Watch available to me to wear and review, I keep turning up to events with an old fashioned timepiece on my wrist.  Perhaps, perhaps that’s about to change.

I love my watches, I’ve got quite a collection going and frankly, for a daggy dad like me, it’s about the only way I can express myself in any form of fashion day by day.  I’ve got some stunning G-Shocks, some limited edition Red Bull stuff from my days supporting that team, and more recently I’ve snagged a couple of TAGs, because hey – every now and then a fella needs to reward himself.

Well, sign me up for the Apple Watch Series 5 44mm Space Black Titanium Case with Space Black Link Bracelet thanks. AT $1,979 it’s up there with an entry level TAG, but it’s all the bits!

Titanium is new to Series 5 this year, and in the hand it’s lighter than the Stainless Steel too.

The reason for my change of heart is simple.  I want to see the time.

With an Apple Watch – no matter what model over the years, you had to twist your arm for the screen to come on and show you the time.  Sure, that doesn’t sound like a chore, but for a watch wearer from way-back it’s a different thing.

Right now, typing away I can glance my eyes down to my wrist and see the time – I don’t have to stop, twist and wait.  Massive difference, Trust me.

This is all possible thanks to an all-new Display which is “Always On”.

The watch face you choose continues to show, it just retracts a bit, removes the bold colours, it might go to lines not blocks, but all the information continues to show.

Not that I tried it, but it was demonstrated to me – when you’re in workout mode that workout counter will show in the Always On display too – it might just remove the tenths and hundredths of a second from the counter though.

It – Just – Works.  As Apple products seem to.

After thee days I’d adjusted my notifications to cut back on the rubbish, now it’s just what I need.  And I’m remembering the joys of Apple Pay on the wrist – which is faster to use than an iPhone with FaceID too.

Battery life has been maintained despite the new display, and my experience has been “all day” – certainly not a chance of getting even half way through a second day.

There’s one other new feature – the Compass.  I have no plans to hike or go orienteering any time soon, but if I need to, I know which way is North.

This will be handy when Apps like maps and food recommendations are able to point you to a location rather than you starting to walk only to realise it’s the wrong direction.

Apple has also added a new International Emergency Calling feature which means you can “call 000” in any of the supported countries, by just holding the side button.  This has always worked locally, but will now work when you travel too – without needing to know the local emergency number.

No word yet on ECG support for Australians, that’s still yet to pass regulatory approvals here – but I for one think it’s a game changer and can’t wait for it to get through.

Top to bottom, it’s a cracker. The Apple Watch Series 5 is the best smartwatch available, and it’s enough to convince yet more people to switch from analogue to Smartwatch – I’m sure of that.

It starts at $649, or $799 with mobile connectivity so you can take calls and stream even without your phone around.

But for me, the real winner here are the kids and those reluctant to shell out for a new Apple Watch.

The Series 3 Apple Watch is now priced at $319.  I can foresee a lot of Apple Watches under Christmas Trees this year.

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