7 Reasons To Upgrade Your Apple Watch & 3 Reasons To Wait!

The Apple Watch turned five in April. In those five years, it’s sold over 30 million units, making it the most popular smart watch in the world. It’s now in its fifth release, and its operating system, watchOS, is in Version 6. But if you have an older model, or have yet to buy an Apple Watch at all, is it the right time to invest in a Series 5 Apple Watch? Or should you keep your money in your pocket for a little while longer?

Reasons to Upgrade

1. More Choice – There’s a far greater choice of watches and straps available now. If you buy online or in a high-street Apple Store, you can choose the case you want and combine it with a band of your choice, giving you over a thousand combinations to choose from. There’s bound to be something that’s just right for you.

2. Always On – The Apple Watch Series 5’s Retina display is always on, giving instant access to important information without tapping or lifting the screen. Just the thing when you’re doing a workout or riding your bike and you simply can’t turn your wrist. It does, however, dim itself to preserve battery. A tap or raise returns the watch face to full brightness. Each watch face has been optimised for the new always-on display, and the battery life remains at around 18 hours on a full charge.

3. Titanium Case – The latest Apple Watch features a case made of titanium. This prized metal has a superb strength-to-weight ratio; it’s lighter than stainless steel. Available in two brushed finishes, the natural titanium has a custom-engineered surface which help it maintain its colour and resist staining, while the space black titanium achieves its deep colour from a diamond-like coating. If you thought the older Apple Watch cases were stylish, the latest release will blow you away.

4. Better Navigation – With the latest Apple Watch on your wrist, it’s easier to find your way around. For explorers and adventurers, it has an on- screen compass featuring heading, incline, latitude, longitude, and current elevation. There are three new Compass complications for your watch face so you can see direction at a glance. The Maps app has also been updated, so the less adventurous among us can more easily find our way around towns and cities.

5. Hermes And Nike Editions – For the fashionistas among us, there are some beautiful new Hermès Apple Watch designs which introduce several new styles, including an update to the popular colour block band, now in a new Della Cavalleria print, and an all-black version with an exclusive Hermès gradient watch face.

The athletically minded will appreciate the new Apple Watch Series 5 Nike editions. Look out for a new watch face inspired by the classic Nike Windrunner jacket design, accompanied by new colours of the Nike Sport Band and reflective Nike Sport Loop.

6. International Emergency Calling – For added personal safety while traveling, users with cellular models of Apple Watch Series 5 can complete international calls to emergency services, regardless of where the device was originally purchased or if the cellular plan has been activated. International emergency calling also works with fall detection, if enabled, it automatically places an emergency call if Apple Watch senses the user has taken a hard fall and remains motionless for about a minute.

7. watchOS 7 – The next version of the Apple’ Watch’s operating system was unveiled in June 2020. watchOS 7, as it’s known, won’t work on Series 1 or 2 Apple Watches. If you have one of these and want to take advantage of watchOS 7’s great new features such as face sharing, sleep tracking, and automatic hand-washing detection, you need to upgrade. And if you’re going to upgrade, why not go for the latest model?

Reasons to Wait

1. Is There a Newer One Around the Corner? – Of course there is. If there’s one thing you can rely on in technology, is there’s a better version of what you’re about to buy in the pipeline. But should you buy now or wait for the newer one? Apple traditionally announces its new products at a keynote event in September, and releases them a no more than a week or so later. Could this year’s showcase see the release of an Apple Watch Series 6? We won’t know until it happens, but the keynote is likely only two months away.

2. No Need to Upgrade Every Year – Upgrading your personal tech to the latest model every year is an expensive and somewhat pointless pursuit. If you already have an Apple Watch Series 3 or 4, you can already run the next release of the watchOS operating system, so do you really need to splash out on a Series 5 model? If your current watch still satisfies, ask yourself whether the extra features you’d get with an upgrade are really worth the price of a new one. They might well be, but on the other hand, they might not.

3. Alternative Choices – When the Apple Watch was first released, there was little in the way of competition. Today, you can buy all sorts of smart watches from all sorts of companies. The FitBit Versa Lite, for example, lacks some of the bells and whistles of the Apple Watch, but it’s less than half the price and has a battery that lasts over four days on a full charge. Could one of the Apple Watch’s competitors better fit your needs? That’s something only you can decide.

Conclusion: Upgrade or Wait?

So what do you do – buy or wait? If you take our advice, you’ll wait until after Apple’s new product announcements in September. Buying the latest Apple Watch in July and then having a new one come out two months later would be really annoying, and even if we don’t know for certain whether there will be a new watch that month, we know the next release of its operating system is out this Autumn. If you wait and Apple Watch v6 doesn’t appear, at least you can get a fifth-generation Apple Watch with watchOS 7 pre-installed.

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Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

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