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Apple Watch Series 5: Everything you need to know

At the Sept. 10 press event, Apple unveiled its next-generation Apple Watch. Though very similar to last year's model, the Apple Watch Series 5 does have some new goodies packed inside.

Available in titanium and ceramic

apple watch series 5 titanium

This year's models are available in ceramic and titanium (for the first time). The latter comes in natural titanium and space black. Apple Watch Series 5 is also available in white ceramic for the first time since the Apple Watch Series 3 was announced in 2017.

Classic styles like the stainless steel case in gold, silver, and space black remain, while the aluminum case in silver, gold, and space gray are now made from 100 percent recycled 7000 series aluminum.

Always-On display

Yes, the Apple Watch Series 5 offers an always-on display for the first time. The feature doesn't affect battery life, however. You'll still get up to 18 hours of battery life per day.

Several advanced technologies work together to deliver this new feature, including the industry's only low-temperature polysilicon and oxide display (LTPO), ultra-low power display driver, efficient power management integrated circuit and new ambient light sensor.

New compass

Apple Watch series 5 compass

Updated location features on Apple Watch Series 5 provide customers with new navigation tools to use throughout the day. The new built-in compass and updated Maps app allow you to see which way you're facing. With Apple Watch Series 5, you can use the new Compass app to see the heading, incline, latitude, longitude, and current elevation. You can also add one of three Compass complications to their watch face to see direction at a glance.

International emergency calling

If you get a cellular Apple Watch Series 5 model, you also can complete international calls to emergency services, regardless of whether a mobile plan has been activated. International emergency calling also works with fall detection, if enabled, to automatically place an emergency call if Apple Watch senses you have taken a hard fall and remains motionless for about a minute.

Same sizes

Series 5 comes in 40mm and 44mm like the 2018 model. The case of the Apple Watch Series 5 measures 39.9mm wide for the smaller model and 45.2mm wide for the larger model. For comparison, the Series 3 Apple Watch measures 33.3mm wide and 35.9 wide.

What colors for the Apple Watch Series 5?

Series 5 will be available in the following varieties:

  • Stainless steel gold, silver, and space black
  • Aluminum in silver, gold, and space gray, now made with 100 percent recycled 7000 series aluminum
  • White cellular
  • New Nike and Hermes models

How much do I have to steal from my piggy bank for one of these

You can get the Apple Watch GPS Series 5 starting at $399. The Apple Watch GPS + Cellular Series 5 starts at $499.

Series 3 remains and now starts at just $199.

When, where, how (do I get one)?

Apple Watch series 5

Apple Watch Series 5 Gold Aluminum Case Pomegranate Band And Space Gray Aluminum Case Pine Green Band (Image credit: Apple)

You can preorder the Apple Watch Series 5 GPS and GPS + Cellular beginning today, Sept. 10.

Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS) is available to order today from apple.com (opens in new tab) and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 20 in the US, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and 38 other countries and regions.

Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) is available to order today from apple.com (opens in new tab) and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 20 in the US, Puerto Rico and 20 other countries and regions. For carrier availability, visit apple.com/watch/cellular.

Apple Watch Nike is available to order today from apple.com (opens in new tab) and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, October 4 in the US, Puerto Rico and more than 51 other countries and regions. For more information, visit apple.com/apple-watch-nike or nike.com/applewatch.

Apple Watch Hermès is available to order today from apple.com (opens in new tab) and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 20 in the US and more than 14 other countries and regions. For more information, visit apple.com/apple-watch-hermes or hermes.com/applewatchhermes.

Any questions?

We're updating this FAQ as the news comes in, so keep it bookmarked and come back often for more information. Do you have any questions about Apple Watch Series 5 that we haven't answered yet? Put them in the comments, and we'll find out for you.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.

9 Comments
  • I wonder what the EOL Series 4 will sale for? Hopefully it will get a small discount before it goes extinct.
  • Seeing as these updates are just software, I assume they wont be adding these 'features' to series 4?
  • Does the casing make a difference for swimming laps in indoor pools
  • No mention of cover glass material on Watch Series 5 - still Sapphire crystal on the premium models?
  • I'm trying to contact Apple about that very point right now... I'll update when I have an answer. I would really hope that the Edition (Titanium/Ceramic) ones would, but I would also thing the Stainless Steel ones would also stay Sapphire. Stay tuned.
  • When you build one on apple’s website or in the Apple Store app you can scroll down to “tech specs” it lists Sapphire crystal front on all case types except the aluminum ones. The aluminum case is still Ion-X strengthened glass. The aluminum case has the choice of GPS or GPS + Cellular. All other case materials are GPS + Cellular only.
  • I would like to know it that was titanium plate or solid titanium. And if there are weight differences between case material.
  • Series 5 using the same processor/storage as series 4?
  • While I like the always on display conceptually and would find it quite useful as I have Raise-to-Wake disabled because it has way too many false positives, I'm concerned about it causing light pollution in places like theaters, concerts, and the like. I certainly don't want to be distracted by random glowing rectangles flaying about.