Apple Watch Series 5 review: The best smartwatch gets better

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Unboxing the Apple Watch Series 5 last week was an anticlimactic experience. The day the device arrived for review, I unfastened last year’s Series 4, with its 40mm gold aluminum case and pale pink sports band. I put on the new watch, also with a 40mm gold case and pink silicone strap. The new Series 5 ($399 and up) looks identical to the model it replaces — so much so that it wasn’t until I turned the device on that I felt I had a new toy in hand. This is a minor product update, one that should leave recent Apple Watch buyers feeling secure in their decision to purchase when they did.

But this review isn’t for people who already own a watch. Roughly 75 percent of people who buy an Apple Watch are doing so for the first time, according to Apple. For those of you who were already thinking about buying your first smartwatch, you can take some comfort knowing the Series 5 is just as good as the Series 4 you’ve been reading about, if not a little better.

Pros

Bright screen

Always-on display is useful and power efficient

Compass is handy for hiking and walking directions

International emergency calling on cellular models

Generally fast performance

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