Ashwin Rajagopalan

It’s been four years since the first Apple Watch was unveiled. Not everyone has taken the plunge though. Many potential customers are still playing wait and ‘watch’, still undecided if they want to add another gadget to their daily routine. But one thing’s clear, Apple continues to pull ahead in this race. It’s done this with a combination of major overhauls like the one we saw last year when it reimagined the design and introduced incremental upgrades like this year’s Apple Watch Series 5. You could skip the upgrade if you already own the Apple Watch 4 but there’s one big enhancement that might still tempt you.

An always-on display might seem like a no-brainer for a smartwatch. If these devices have to replace your conventional watch, they need to be able to do that one thing – tell the time, without you having to shake your wrist. Battery life is the obvious reason that Apple and other brands have steered clear of an always-on display. That’s what’s changed with the Apple Watch 5 and it’s more complex than you can imagine.

Apple has used a whole bunch of advanced tech to make this work including a low-temperature polysilicon and oxide display (LTPO) display. The screen dims when your wrist is down and returns to full brightness with a raise or a tap. So, you have a display that’s always on without sacrificing on battery life; we experienced the same all-day battery life as the Apple Watch 4 in our tests. Of course, you still have to charge your Apple Watch every day and pack that charger when you head out of town.

Wellness has been a big part of the Apple Watch Sales pitch. Apple might have skipped sleep tracking yet again but Indian users can finally use Apple’s ECG feature (you can take an electrocardiogram in 30 seconds right from your wrist) that debuted along with the Apple Watch 4. The new Watch OS 6 brings a whole host of new features including a new Cycle tracking app that allows users to log daily information about their menstrual cycles. Siri adds new tricks and you can download Apps directly on to your watch.

One of the other useful additions to the new Apple watch is the new compass feature. Whether you’re walking down a street with Maps on or trekking in the wild, a tiny cone on your display shows you which direction you’re heading. If you own an iPhone and are looking at a new smartwatch or an upgrade from an early generation Apple Watch, this year’s Series 5 is almost a no brainer. The combination of design, wellness features and a bottomless App eco-system designed for the Apple Watch makes it unassailable at least for the moment.

Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS) starts at Rs 40,900 and Apple Watch Series 5 (GPS + Cellular) starts at Rs 49,900

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