If you’re wondering if the Apple Watch Series 5 is worth the money, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you’re buying your first smartwatch or upgrading your current model, the information below will help you decide if it’s worth your hard-earned money this 2020.
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As with all tech devices, the value it can give you depends on several factors that are unique to you. The Apple Watch Series 5 is no exception.
All gadgets have strengths and limitations. Weighing what matters most will depend on your lifestyle, goals, and priorities.
In this article, we’ll go over how this Apple watch can help you, and the parts where it can fall short. We’ll also present you with possible alternatives if some of its setbacks happen to put you off.
The goal is for you to have enough information to move forward (or backward) with your purchase.
Off the bat, here are Apple Watch Series 5 pros and cons:
If you want to dive into more detail and see how these can affect you, keep reading.
If you keep going until the end, you'll also find cool alternatives to the Apple Watch Series 5.
What are the benefits of the Apple Watch Series 5?
Here are 5 reasons why you should buy it:
- It’s a stylish fashion piece.
- It helps you be fully present while being accessible.
- It promotes healthy habits and tracks workouts.
- Effortless maintenance
- It has improved safety and navigational features.
Reason #1 It’s a stylish fashion piece.
Look at that beut!
Apple products have always been designed to look sleek and minimal. This gives them the capability to blend nicely into all sorts of surroundings you encounter.
Customizable band and build
Upon purchase, you’ll get to choose your watch’s color, case, and the band that it goes with.
Cases come in four materials: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Titanium, and Ceramic. The least expensive option is Aluminum, while the most pricey one is the Ceramic.
You can customize your watch band too!
There’s a band for that!
This makes the Apple Watch Series 5 look just as perfect with your snazzy suit at work, as it would with your comfortable jeans in the grocery or a dry-fit get-up at the gym.
Get the Nike Sport Loop for a lightweight and breathable gym companion.
Sports bands, loops, and the Nike Sport Brand are great companions when you work out because they’re lightweight, breathable, and easy to clean. They go nicely with casual outfits too.
Dressier variants are stainless steel and leather. They also have an Hermes line that allows you to wear leather luxury on your wrist.
Wear luxury on your wrist with the Apple Watch Series 5’s Hermes loops.
Excellent always-on display
If the bands aren’t enough, you can also modify your watch face to fit your mood and outfit.
Apple Watch Series 5 has an always-on and vibrant display. Undoubtedly, your effort to beautify it won’t go unnoticed.
A watchface for all seasons
Accessorizing with your Apple Watch 5 can be a fun experience because of the multitude of options it gives you. But even if you prefer a one-size-fits-all kind of watch, it can do that for you too.
Overall, the Apple Watch Series 5 does well in upgrading your look with minimal effort.
#2 It helps you be fully present while being accessible.
Concentrate worry-free with the Apple Watch Series 5.
Your phone is filled with appointments you can’t miss and information you can’t lose. You use it to keep track of your schedule and tasks, stay in touch with your loved ones, and access music and books that inspire you.
But as phones grow bigger and better, they also become more and more difficult to lug around.
At some point, you'll need to leave them somewhere so you can cook, drive, or simply participate fully in the workout, lecture, movie, or conversation that’s front of you.
Find that unsettling? This is where a smartwatch comes in.
Best Third-Party App Support
The Apple Watch Series 5 complements your iPhone’s power with convenience and functionality. It allows you to be fully present with the peace of mind that you’ll have notifications and access to relevant information when needed.
So many apps!
At the time of this writing, the Apple Watch Series 5 supports more third-party watch apps than any other smartwatch in the market. With 32 gigabytes of storage, it also allows you to store music, photos, audiobooks, and more, as an independent device.
This makes it extremely useful in complementing your iPhone.
Take calls without your phone.
Taking it a step further, you can opt to purchase the LTE series. This allows you to make and receive calls without your phone.
Of course, be sure to fix your notification settings so you can filter valid interruptions. With this in check, your Apple Watch Series 5 can help you be fully present while still being accessible.
#3 It promotes healthy habits and tracks workouts.
Live healthily, get moving!
Living in the digital age means living in a world of distractions. Access to a world of information can mean endlessly scrolling for hours without you realizing it. This unmindful spending of time and resources can lead to bad habits such as procrastination, lack of sleep, laziness to exercise, etc.
Luckily, you can use technology to your advantage, too, by using it to build good habits.
Healthy habit tracking and reminders
Habit-tracking is a tried-and-tested way to build healthy habits that help you get closer to your goals. Setting notifications with your phone and Apple watch can help pull you out of rabbit holes and get you on track again.
Natively, the Apple Watch Series 5 can track and remind you to walk around (steps), stand up, and breathe. Suppose you want to track your reading, hydrating, journaling, sleeping, and miscellaneous habits. In that case, you’ll find third-party watch apps that’ll suit your needs.
Record your stats and workouts
Tracking isn’t just good for building consistency. It helps you ensure improvement, too. This is especially true in sports and training.
Target improvement with sports tracking.
The Apple Watch Series 5 can track over a hundred workouts. These include (but are not limited to) strength training, ball sports, martial arts, running (indoor and outdoor), and even swimming (it can be submerged for up to 50 meters). It records the type of workout, workout duration, schedule, calories used, and average heart rate.
Monitoring your heart rate is an excellent way for you to check how healthy your cardiovascular capacity is. Recovery and intensity can also be gauged based on how your body uses oxygen. Especially if you're training without a coach, read up on how your heart rate affects your workout quality and overall health.
#4: Effortless maintenance
Let it stay with you, rain or shine.
Smartwatches are maximized when worn all the time (or at least, as often as possible). You expect it to provide you mobile functionality without having to hold your phone. The assurance that you’ll receive notifications and your activities are tracked as intended allows you to be in the zone when you go about your day.
The last thing you want is to have to worry about keeping your wrist secure, so you won’t accidentally break or scratch your timepiece.
The Apple Watch Series 5 screen can come in two possible materials. The Sapphire glass in the Titanium, Stainless Steel, and Ceramic build is more durable. Alternatively, the glass Ion-X in Aluminum isn’t so bad either. It’s lighter and is comparable to gorilla glass, often used for smartphones.
Protective screen protectors and cases that make the Apple Watch Series 5 more sturdy are available.
But overall, the Apple Watch Series 5 is a pretty sturdy timepiece that can allow you to peacefully go about your day.
Using your smartwatch while working in the kitchen, up on a hike, or sweating in the gym is worry-free because it’s water-resistant. It won’t malfunction in the rain or when accidentally splashed with water. It can also be submerged for up to 50 meters, which is suitable for pool swimming.
One thing that the Apple Watch Series 5 does not claim to be is dust-proof. This can be a setback if your job involves being around sand and small solid particles.
Reason #5: It has improved safety and navigational features.
It’s no argument that smartwatches help you stay connected to people who matter to you.
No matter what you’re doing, you’ll receive a notification when someone you love needs your help. You’ll also get to respond quickly and conveniently, even when you’re not holding your phone.
Similarly, the Apple Watch Series 5 with cellular LTE is equipped with the capability to send out notifications to emergency response teams. At a time when you need help, it can reach out to your recorded emergency contacts, too.
Fall detection and automatic SOS
The Apple Watch Series 5 has a fall detection feature. Aptly named, your smartwatch can sense if you’ve suffered a hard fall and sounds off an alert.
You can then choose to dismiss it (by pressing “I’m OK.”), or call an emergency response team (SOS).
Help is at hand, wherever you are.
The watch awaits your response if it detects that you’re moving. However, if you’re immobile for a minute, it proceeds to a 30-second countdown and automatically starts calling SOS. Then, it notifies the emergency contacts you saved in your Medical ID.
International emergency calls
Although the automatic emergency call feature is also present in the Apple Watch 4, Series 5 takes it further by allowing international calls.
This makes it an excellent way to stay safe if you travel abroad often, for leisure or work.
It has a compass!
The new Apple Watch also has a compass, which makes it handy for navigational purposes too. This makes it a great companion in outdoor runs and hikes. With it, you’re sure that you’ll always find your way.
Always find your way.
These features make the Apple Watch an even more ideal gadget for you and your loved ones.
3 Common Issues with the An Apple Watch Series 5
Now that we’ve looked at the pros, it’s time to look at the other side of the coin. Here are things you’ll have to consider before you invest in an Apple Watch Series 5.
- Limited battery life
- High price point
- Short lifespan
Issue #1: Limited battery life
With great features comes the sacrifice of battery life. This has been a known issue for Apple watches, and the Series 5 is no exception. While it boasts better battery management even with its always-on feature, it can still only withstand 1-1.5 days of battery on average. For heavy users, even less.
One way to prolong battery life is to go on its Low Power Mode. This practically removes all its smartwatch features, though. It shuts down all functionality except the time display. While it can prolong your battery life for up to four times, having a smartwatch with no smart functionality isn’t really that cool, now is it?
There are several techniques you can explore to manage your battery. Manage your complications and make sure that you keep processes happening in the background, in check.
Some Series 5 users decide to turn off the always-on feature altogether, too. While this can be unfortunate considering that it’s one of the star features of the Series 5, it could be better than having your watch die on you before you end your day.
Issue #2: High price point
The premium price point is already given when it comes to Apple's latest devices. The Apple Watch Series 5 is no exception.
While it makes sense for better products to cost more, its difference in price compared to its features can be hard to justify.
Not even looking too far away, a suitable alternative (more on this later) is its older sister, the Apple Watch Series 3. This model is still available in stores and offers pretty much the same functionality, but with less memory and smaller screen size. It carries the same Apple support and upgrades, too.
The Apple Watch Series 5 is only compatible with iPhones and has its advantages and disadvantages.
A clear advantage is that it seamlessly integrates with an Apple ecosystem. A disadvantage is that it’s not ideal if you’re not loyal to iOS, and tend to change phones often, switching between models from different manufacturers.
This limits the extent to which an Apple watch can benefit you because it won't support you when deciding to try something new.
Issue #3: Short Lifespan
This could be obvious to most. But if you’ve given or received a watch passed along for generations, a smartwatch can’t do that for you –not even if it’s the premium Apple watch.
Apple typically releases new models yearly. If you’re the type who can hold off annual upgrades, this will probably not affect you very much. But suppose you care about having the best and the latest. In that case, it should be worth noting that affordable Swiss watches that can last you decades (or a lifetime) are equal to four to five Apple watch upgrades.
Even when you don’t upgrade your Apple watch yearly, Apple eventually stops supporting older models after five years.
The Apple Watch Series 4 is even an interesting exception: Apple phased it out while continuing to support the earlier version, Series 3.
Apple watches also rely on non-replaceable rechargeable batteries. This makes it even more vulnerable to fast wear-and-tear. Batteries are meant to grow weak in around two to three years.
With new Apple watches only lasting one to two days on average, can you imagine how bad it can get in two years?
Apple Watch Series 5 Alternatives
While the Apple Watch Series 5 is currently the best smartwatch in the market, here are alternatives you can explore if there are setbacks that bug you.
Apple Watch Series 3
Apple Watch Series 3
When it comes to integrating into an Apple ecosystem, it's definitely hard to top a watch from Apple itself.
So before we look for alternatives elsewhere, let’s start with the Series 5’s younger sibling.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the Apple Watch Series 3 is still available in the Apple store for a fraction of the price. But when it comes to features, they aren’t so far between.
The most significant factors that set the Series 5 apart from Series 3 are the following:
- Always-on display
- International SOS
- Increased memory
- Bigger screen and display
Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t have much of a difference in terms of battery life.
Comparing the Apple Watch Series 5 and the Apple Watch Series 3
It has a few more differences under the hood, but it doesn't compromise the older model's speed and smoothness.
Suppose you're looking to skimp on a few bucks while still getting a great Apple experience. In that case, this is definitely a viable option.
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is often compared to the Apple Watch Series 5 because it offers many of the same features for a fraction of the price. Plus, it’s compatible with both Android and iOS too.
Like the Apple Watch Series 5, the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 is a premium and reliable smartwatch. It can track workouts just as well and in the same variety as the Series 5 can. It’s also water-resistant and can be submerged for up to 50 meters. Sleep tracking is native to the Samsung model, however. But it doesn’t have the noise detection feature that Apple, on the other hand, carries by default.
Build variety is less compared to the latest smartwatch by Apple. For Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, you can choose between Stainless Steel or Aluminum. It also offers two screen sizes.
You can choose between a standard GPS version and a GPS+Cellular LTE. Just make sure to check with your carrier for your phone’s compatibility.
Key differences between the Apple Watch Series 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 can be weighed based on display and navigation preference.
While the Apple Watch Series 5 has a rectangular screen, the Galaxy Watch Active2 has a circular face, carrying a more prominent resemblance to traditional wristwatches. It’s also navigated through a touch bezel in contrast to Apple’s digital crown. The touch bezel allows you to scroll by running your finger around its edges.
Unfortunately, a setback both the Apple Watch Series 5 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 shares is the battery life.
Series 5 is still better when it comes to supporting third-party apps. Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2, however, has a nifty My Style feature. This lets you take a photo of your outfit so it can recommend the best watch face that goes with it.
When it comes to integration into an Apple ecosystem, the Apple Watch Series 5 is still naturally better. Still, the Samsung Galaxy Active2 is an excellent alternative in many ways, and with a more economical price tag.
Is the Apple Watch really worth it?
If you're still thinking if you should buy or upgrade to the Apple Watch Series 5, then here are some final words.
Find your focus.
It’s essential to be clear about three things when deciding if you should get it:
What’s your budget?
What will you use it for?
What are your priorities?
The Apple Watch Series 5 has many strengths. It's the latest and the best Apple watch in the market right now. But it also has limitations that can hinder you, depending on your lifestyle.
Suppose you're an outdoor enthusiast who often likes going on 48-hour excursions. In that case, the battery life may be too much of an inconvenience for you, despite its navigational features. Suppose you're usually out on your own on business trips. In that case, the international SOS capability might save you in the case of an accident.
Be clear about your priorities so you can identify the features you’ll need the most from your smartwatch. Think about what matters to you every day.
Reviews and specs can only go so far. In the end, you need to go ahead and pick the device that will best support you.