I linked to Marques’ review of the series 5 Apple Watch recently and I have to start by agreeing about the battery life. It is excellent when the display is set to not be always on, but noticeably shorter than the series 4 when this much hyped feature is enabled. The question is, does this feature life the series 5 to a new level or is the battery drain too much of a disadvantage to make it worthwhile?
The novelty part of my brain says that the always on feature is worth keeping enabled because it lifts the Apple Watch one step closer to working like a traditional watch while offering numerous advantages at the same time.
On a theoretical level the Apple Watch destroys any quartz or mechanical watch-
It is 100% accurate. You can use multiple watch faces and almost any complication you want. What traditional watch offers date, day, temperature, fitness stats, sunset sunrise times, multiple timezones, phone calling, voice assistant, heart rate monitoring, activity tracking etc etc? It takes a seconds to change the strap (no pin bars!) and the standard sports band is ultra comfortable, more so than almost any other strap in existence. Thousands of apps and complications to fit your bespoke needs. And a selection of other advantages such as wireless payments, less phone usage and even wrist-based navigation.
The downside, on a theoretical level, is the battery. Yes, back to that battery performance.
You will be charging the series 5 overnight if you keep always on enabled and if you are aiming for a high level of fitness you will need to charge during the day as well (see here for an example).
I must say that the always on feature alone lifts the Apple Watch on an emotional level to being a product that really does feel and act like a real watch and it has me wondering if this alone will lift it over the fence for even hardened watch enthusiasts. I don’t know if that is true at this time, but if we get to see 2-3 day battery performance in the future things could change rather quickly and I wouldn’t want to be Seiko, Citizen or any other budget to mid-range manufacturer at that time.
If Apple can sort the battery the entire watch industry could suffer to a level we could never have expected just a few years ago.