Apple Watch Series 5 Unboxing and First Impressions

Apple had introduced the 5th generation of the Apple Watch earlier this month and it is going on sale in India today. We managed to get our hands on the 44mm  Cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 5. Here are my first impressions after using the watch for the past few days.

Unboxing Video

Box Contents

  • Watch
  • Bands
  • 5V AC Charger
  • USB to magnetic charging cable
  • Paperwork

The setup process is the same as before. You still need to have an iPhone to set up the Watch and use the Watch app on the iPhone to pair it the Watch to it.  You long press on the side button to power it on.

Initial Impressions

In term of the overall design, the Watch Series 5 looks similar to the previous generation Watch except for the display. The biggest change and most requested feature on the Watch : Always-On Retina display is finally available in this version thanks to some new tech LTPO ( Low Temperature Poly Oxide) which clocks down the refresh rate of the display from 60Hz to 1Hz and Apple manages to offer the same all day battery life  on the Watch Series 5. You can also hide sensitive content in the idle mode to prevent eavesdropping. You can get the Watch out of the always-on mode by the movement of your wrist or tapping on the screen. This is a great addition to the Watch and is going to make the user experience much better. I wish there was a way to force the Watch to be in this low power mode to extend the battery life further.

Apple has included a compass which lets you measure heading, incline, latitude, longitude and current elevation in apps which can benefit from the feature including Workouts, Maps etc.

WatchOS 6 brings a host of new features including ECG capture for India for both the Series 5 and older Series 4 watches. You also get some new features including  Menstrual cycle tracking, Noise level monitoring and Activity Trends . This update is available to previous watches as well.

I like that fact that Apple is still sticking to the same mechanism of the Watch bands/straps , so all your old bands will work on the new Watch.

Powering the new Watch is the new Apple S5 64bit dual-core chip which is a slight upgrade over the Watch Series 4.

Cellular or GPS ?

The Cellular version of the watch lets you stay away from your iPhone and still make calls and access apps independently through the cloud. Apple has introduced International Emergency Cellular Calling on the Cellular version and will let you call local emergency services anywhere in the world by just holding the side button. With Fall detection built-in the Watch will automatically call emergency services if the person is motionless for 1 minute after a fall.

If you are someone who carries your phone along with the watch, the GPS version would suffice. But if you are going to be away from your phone for extended periods of time like swimming, hiking, running or in a secure environment where cell phones are not allowed , the Cellular version is worth considering.  Bear in mind that you might have taken an additional data plan for the Watch from your network operator.

Should you upgrade to the Series 5 ?

Apple Watch Series 4 was of the best versions of the Apple Watch till now and I have been using it for a year now. The always-on display and the built-in compass are two reasons to consider upgrading to the new Watch. If that does not matter much to you, you can stick to the Series 4. If you are on the Series 3 or below , it is a great time to upgrade.  If you don’t want the latest and greatest, there are some interesting offers on older versions of the Watch for those of you looking to jump on to the Watch ecosystem.

The Apple Watch Series 5 GPS starts at Rs.40,900 and Apple Watch Series 5 Cellular version starts at Rs.49,900. You can get them from and other online and through Apple Authorized Resellers.

Author: Varun Krish

Varun Krish is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast and has been blogging about mobile phones since 2005. His current phones include the Apple iPhone 13 Pro and Google Pixel 6. You can follow him on Twitter @varunkrish and on Google+ You can also mail Varun Krish