• Serena McGowan

March Tech Review: Series 5 Apple Watch

Updated: Mar 18

I’ve always been a fan of smart watches. I received a Fitbit for my 18th birthday, wore it every single day and thought I was the coolest kid around because I was able to receive text messages on my watch before it was the new “normal.” Then I received the Series 3 Apple Watch as an anniversary gift (shout out to Dan if you’re reading this) September of 2018. And now, as of about a week ago, upgraded to the Series 5 Apple Watch. The difference between the Series 3 and Series 5 is unmatched. Originally, I wasn’t going to upgrade because I didn’t think it was worth the extra money and I didn’t know how I felt about the “Always on” display. After doing some more research and talking to my “Apple enthusiast” friends, I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade.

There are a few similarities between the two such as both being waterproof, having heart rate monitors, and coming with an option for an aluminum model. However, the differences outweigh the similarities. Starting with the appearance, the Series 5 has a slimmer look than the series 3. The standard sizes also vary between the two. The Series 3 comes in a 38mm, and 42mm screen size. The Series 5 comes in a 40mm and 44mm screen size. Originally, I was looking at the 40mm because my wrists are super small, but after trying on the 44mm, I fell in love.

Another difference to weigh is what “material” for lack of a better word, you want the watch to be made out of. Both come with an aluminum option, but the new Series 5 also comes with stainless steel options, ceramic options, and titanium options. Both come in a Nike version as well. The Series 5 also offers a Hermes option.

Moving into the hardware, the Series 3 has a dual core processor, W2 wireless chip, and Bluetooth. The Series 5 comes with all these features, but upgraded. The Series 5 processor is claimed to be twice as fast and named S4 instead of S3 in the Series 3. The wireless chip is also upgraded from W2 to W3. Some new features introduced are a heart rate monitor, fall detection, a built-in compass, and Bluetooth 5.0. An interesting feature that the Series 5 has to offer

is adding an electric heart rate sensor in the digit crown. This allows users to take an ECG on themselves.

The “Always on” feature quickly moved from my least favorite feature to favorite feature. It makes you feel like you’re wearing an actual watch. When I had the Series 3, I would raise it to view the time or see a notification and sometimes the screen would stay black, or it would freeze. The new display is very convenient when I’m driving, writing, or teaching. I can easily glance down and view the time, weather, or see if a notification came through.

Now if you’re wondering if it’s worth it to spend the money to upgrade, think about your everyday life and how the watch would benefit you. If you’re active like myself, you can’t go wrong with either option. If you’re just using it so that you can get your texts throughout the day, I would say stick with the later Series 3 model. You’re only missing out on the always on display. If you’re looking for something with a bigger screen and use the features such as the heart monitor, compass, etc, on a daily basis and enjoy the always on screen, spend the extra money on the Series 5. Keep in mind that there is a $200 difference between the two watches so if you are looking to save some money, stick with the Series 3. Overall, I think the watch is a good investment. Wearable tech is the future and we’re just seeing the beginning.