Should You Upgrade To The Apple Watch Series 5? Well…. That Depends….

Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 5 earlier this week. And I’ve been asked a few times if the Apple Watch Series 5 is worth buying. Thus I figured that I would take a few minutes to put some random thoughts together on that topic.

If you are a Series 3/2/1/0 owner: The Series 5 is worth buying. You’ll get a faster, much more capable Apple Watch. You’ll get all the enhancements that the Series 4 brought such as the bigger screens, better audio, ECG, etc. Not to mention the faster processor.  Plus all the new features like the always on display, the compass, the new case materials, and the emergency calling without an iPhone in most places on Earth.

Oh and then there’s this:

What I am talking about above is Apple’s upcoming requirement to build Apple Watch apps with the watchOS 6 SDK (Software development kit) and support the Series 4 or later. The Series 4 part is important because it sounds like Apple is going to be transitioning to only supporting the 64 bit processors found in the Series 4 or later. Which would mean that anyone who owns a Series 3 or earlier may be orphaned at some point. Keep in mind that Apple did something similar with the iPhone when iOS 11 appeared. And Apple is doing this right now with macOS Mojave being the last version that supports 32 bit apps before macOS Catalina ships in October. Thus it cannot be a shock that the Apple Watch will eventually go through the same process. Given that, it means that now might be a good time to make the jump to a Series 5.

If you are a Series 4 owner: My answer is don’t buy it. Unless of course you REALLY need the always on display. Or you REALLY need the compass, or you REALLY need 32GB of storage which is up from 16GB in the Series 4 for music or pictures, or you REALLY want the new ceramic or titanium case materials, or you REALLY need the ability for it to call for help in most places on the planet. I own a Series 4 and so does my wife and none of that really entices us to make the jump to the Series 5 as the Series 5 seems to us to be just an incremental improvement unlike the Series 4 which was a huge leap forward. Thus we’ll wait and see what Apple comes out with next year. And I recommend that other Series 4 owners do the same.

What if you don’t have an Apple Watch at all?: You should at least look at the Series 5 as it is a very capable smartwatch. Hands down. But you may want to consider the Apple Watch Series 3 if you have to keep the cost down as Apple has priced it at $199 USD to start which must be causing Fitbit to freak out. I say that because Apple was already the dominant smartwatch brand on the planet. But that move may take that market dominance to the next level at Fitbit’s expense. But having said that. But the Series 5 should be your first option for the reasons that I mentioned in the Series 3/2/1/0 section above.

What about the Series 4? Isn’t that an option?: Yes it is. And a very good one as you can likely find one that is discounted now that the Series 5 is out. Plus you’ll get an Apple Watch that does 85% of what the Series 5 does (in other words you don’t get the always on display, the compass, the new case materials, and the emergency calling without an iPhone in most places on Earth). You likely won’t find any at the Apple Store, but check around independent Apple Retailers or online to see what deals exist.

Hopefully that clarifies some things on the Apple Watch front. But if it doesn’t, drop me a note and I will happily help you out.

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