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Apple launches the Watch Series 5 with an always-on display

A year after the fourth Apple Watch arrived, Apple has launched the updated Apple Watch Series 5 alongside its new iPhones today, the latest and most powerful version of the smartwatch. This year's upgrades include an always-on display, a built-in compass, and yet more case choices.

That always-on display means you'll no longer need to raise your wrist to see the time or complications with the Apple Watch Series 5, though the display dims when you're not looking at it – perfect for a discreet glance at the time or for checking your exercise stats when you can't raise your wrist like normal.

Apple says it's managed to add the feature while maintaining the same "all day" 18-hour battery life as the previous version, by optimizing the internal processing and the watch faces for this new version of its smartwatch.

Also new with the Series 5 is a built-in compass, which means the watch is going to be able to tell watch wearers which direction they're facing, as well as where they are. The existing emergency calling feature is going international too, and will be supported in 150 countries for extra peace of mind.

There are more cases and straps to choose from than ever before, with aluminum, stainless steel, ceramic, and a new titanium the casing materials you can pick from. New watch faces are being added as well, something we're accustomed to from previous Apple Watch launches.

As with the iPhone announcements we've seen today, there's not a huge amount to get excited about with the new Series 5 watch, though it is admittedly Apple's best smartwatch yet. Sleep tracking is one of the features that was rumored for this year, but that will have to wait for the Series 6 or beyond.

We do know that the Apple Watch Series 5 will run watchOS 6, with new cycling and noise detecting apps among the improvements in the pipeline. As yet we don't know exactly when watchOS 6 will get pushed out, but it won't be long.

The Apple Watch Series 5 starts at US$399 for GPS models, and $499 for cellular models, with pre-orders open now and shipping on September 20. The Series 4 and Series 3 wearables are going to stay on sale at reduced prices.

Apple has also released a promo video for the new smartwatch:

Introducing Apple Watch Series 5

Product page: Apple


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