New to Apple Watch- would like some advice

I’m thinking about getting an Apple Watch for my birthday- this will be the first Apple Watch for me. Is there any reason (other than cost) that I shouldn’t buy the Series 5 watch? Are the older watches any better or more preferable? The always-on Retina display seems like a frivolous waste of battery power. Is there an option to turn the display on only when you lift your arm, as with the older models?

I’ve just read an ad about getting 6% back when buying with the Apple Credit card, between now and Dec 31.


If you are not interested in the always-in display, get a S4: it’s the same watch (apart from the fact that it doesn’t have an integrated compass).


My battery life between the 5 and the 4 hasn’t been much different and I find the always on display useful for glancing at to tell the time, especially when carrying on something.

I have the 44mm though, I guess the 40mm has a smaller battery so someething to bear in mind if you wanted to go for that.

The 3 doesn’t have ECG either.

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How do you deal with WiFi passwords when connecting the watch to a hotspot?

I turn on theater mode while sleeping. This turns off the display and saves the battery for few hours daily.


Just a comment, it uses a lot of battery power but that’s not a waste.

I have been very happy with the S4. If i were to buy new today i would get the same one again. Id go with 4.

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The Watch pick up wifi credentials from the paired iPhone. Once the phone has connected to a wifi network and it’s in the “known network” list, the watch can connect on its own.

On the original question - the only differences between the 4 and 5 are the compass and always on. The 3 is a little smaller (both sizes) and doesn’t have the ECG. Also cheaper.

If I were buying new, I’d buy the 5 - it’ll be supported for longer into the future, if that’s a factor for you. That said, WatchOS 6 supports all models apart from the very first.

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If I were buying for the first time or had a watch older than the 4, I’d buy the 5; it’s the same price the 4 was last year.

That said, I have the 4 and love it. I didn’t see the always on and compass features as compelling reasons to upgrade, though they’re nice. I don’t need the international emergency dialing, either.

If none of those features really matter to you, then the 4 at a discounted price is a great buy.

I personally wouldn’t go back as far as the 3. For me, the upgrade from 3 to 4 was major in terms of screen real estate. You wouldn’t think that an increase from 38mm to 40mm would make a big difference, but it does.

As for battery life on the 4: I have the cellular model, so I can go running without having to carry my phone. I wear it about 22 hours per day — I charge it for a couple of hours in the evening before bed.

That’s nearly always all it needs. I’ve only rarely hit the low battery warning, and that’s typically been on days when I’ve done a longer run or workout out of range of the phone. And when I run, I’m using GPS tracking and listening to podcasts, so I’m taxing the battery pretty heavily.

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I don’t want the cellular feature, the compass would be nice but not a deal breaker. Looking at apple’s website, they sent selling the 4 any more.

For those with the 5, can the always in feature be changed so that it only comes on when you lift your arm?

Thanks for all of the input- everyone!!

Did u buy it from Apple or a reseller? Apple doesn’t have the 4 on their site any more.

In general always buy the most recent versions of Apple hardware has been my advice, unless there is a very solid and specific reason not to. You can turn off ‘always on’ I believe. The macbook pro with butterfly keys that break is a case in point of some hardware where the general principle failed though. I would say that is the only example where I would not buy the most recent. Now even that one has changed.

It looks like Apple has some in the refurb store. Right now all the models are stainless steel with cellular, though — so pricey, even with the refurb discount.

I am in South Africa, so probably not helpful. Hope you find what you want!

It seems any early issues with battery life on S5 are gone. Last week I had a day that started when I woke up at 5AM and I did not get home until 2AM and my watch still had 20%+ battery. I live in a city so use it a lot when walking around or on the subway etc.

This is my first watch and the game changer for me is actually having the LTE built in. Being able to go to the gym or go for a run and leave my phone behind is unreal. Between messages, phone, and the big one “Apple Pay” I am good to go.

Treat yourself and buy the new one :slight_smile:

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I don’t see what the attraction to stainless steel is, nor why it’s so expensive.

Just replaced my Al Series II with SS Series 5. I’m hoping for retention of new appearance for longer. My S2 had scratches on the face and on the body. The SS Space black looks almost indestructable. The slightly extra heft is also quite welcome. If you want cellular the upgrade may be worth the extra few hundred $$ over Al

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Me, either. I’ve been perfectly happy with the aluminum.

But then, I’m an academic, and my athletic pursuits are all of the non-contact variety, so there’s just not a lot of opportunity for the watch to get banged up.

Thanks to all who replied. I’m getting a series 5 tomorrow. I have a friend at Apple who offered to pass his Apple discount onto to me. The only thing I haven’t decided on yet is the size. My wrist is a bit small, maybe too small for the 44. I don’t want it to be a catch/scratch/bump hazard because it sticks out from my wrist. I’ll try them both on tomorrow to see for myself.

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