Apple is Always-On with Watch Series 5

Apple Watch Series 5 strap change. {Tech} for Travel.
The new Always-On Apple Watch Series 5 // Image Apple.

Apple Watch Series 5

One thing many Apple fans were hoping for during the Fall event was a new Watch Series 5, and they weren’t disappointed!

Although there were no groundbreaking new features, the Series 5 Watch does pack a couple of new additions that are perfect for travellers.

Watch Edition Series 5 titanium. {Tech} for Travel.
Watch Edition Series 5 finished in Titanium // Image Apple.


For the more outdoor and adventure type of travellers, the inclusion of a built-in compass is welcome news. Although Apple has stated some of the older Apple bands with magnets might impact the performance, the compass itself is more than just another app.

The new built-in compass and updated Maps app allow users to see which way they are facing.

Users can even add one of three new Compass complications to their watch face to see direction at a glance.

Built-In Compass

It will work pretty much anywhere and doesn’t rely on you having a WiFi or a Cell signal. The top of the Watch Series 5 acts as the reference point to show the direction.

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Additional information such as elevation, incline, coordinates is available along with a choice of magnetic or true north.

Built-In Apple Compass. {Tech} for Travel.
A powerful built-in compass // Image Apple.
Stay Safe in an Emergency

Another new addition that will benefit frequent travellers is the International Emergency Calling feature. This is only available on the Cell model and does not mean Apple has finally worked out how to roam with the Watch.

All Apple Watch models with Cell capabilities are unable to roam outside of the home country network.

The feature enables the wearer to contact local emergency services wherever they are in the world. It even works automatically with Fall Detection should this be enabled.

Same Distinctive Look, Smarter Tech

Both models now have the larger displays (first seen in Series 4) than the Series 3 which is the only other model of Watch you can purchase from Apple now.

Now, however, they come with a much-needed improvement. Always-On display.

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No more flicking of the wrist is needed as the display will always be viewable, and what’s more, Apple has managed to do this without impacting the battery life.

Apple Watch Series 5 showing how always-on display works. {Tech} for Travel.
Switching refresh screen rates achieves an Always-On display // Media Apple.

As you can see from all the images, Apple has made little change to the aesthetics. If you do fancy a new look, along with the standard aluminium case you can choose either Titanium or a ceramic one, for an added cost!

The battery life is quoted as up to 18 hours from a full charge, which is around about the same as the Series 4 but with an always-on display.

Watch OS6

Many of the smaller changes are not physical ones restricted to the Series 5 but are instead software updates on the soon to be released Watch OS6.

These included a new App store just for Watch, better user interfaces to make the most of the onboard sensors and an improved Siri experience.

You can read the full report on what to expect in Watch OS6 on the Apple site.

Different Watch faces. {Tech} for Travel.
A Bigger display gives more information about your health // Image Apple.


Why the Cell models cannot support international roaming for voice calls is beyond me. Wearables such as Apple Watch Series 5 are great for travellers and being able to make full use of the Cell connectivity worldwide would surely stand Apple at the top of the market.

I still don’t think Apple Watch, in general, is the best-looking smartwatch compared to some Garmin or Samsung offerings.

Where substance should always trump style, in a wearable market, some would demand both!

And sadly, once again Apple has left Android support out.

While you could own an Apple Watch and an Android smartphone you really need an iPhone to unleash the full potential.

  • Display Options – 40mm or 44mm
  • Thickness – 10.7mm
  • Storage – Both Models 32GB
  • Case Finishes – Aluminium | Stainless Steel | Titanium | Ceramic
  • Special Editions – Nike | Hermes
  • LTPO OLED Always-On Retina display with Force Touch
  • Digital Crown with Haptic Feedback
  • Water Resistant to 50m
  • Up to 18 Hours Battery Life
  • Sensors –
    • Electrical & Optical Heart Rate | Fall Detection
    • Accelerometer | Gyroscope
How Much Does the Apple Watch Series 5 Cost?

A base GPS only model Apple Watch Series 5 with a 40mm Display and standard sports wrist band will start at $399/£399.

At the top end, the Hermes Edition Stainless Steel Case with Single Tour Deployment Buckle will set you back $1499/£1499.

It’s worth noting one of the biggest announcements during the Apple event was not the new devices, but that Apple dropped the price on the Watch Series 3.

// Media Apple YouTube Channel.
Join the Conversation

Do you use an Apple Watch for travelling? What’s your most-used App or function?

Does the Apple Watch Series 5 Cellular model offer you added peace of mind with the new International Emergency calling feature?

Comment below or join the conversation on Twitter.

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