Although we have just called the Apple Watch Series 5 the "best lifestyle assistant and fitness wearable you can get", this does not mean that this is the model you should get. Whether you shop for yourself or someone else and have a tight budget, the Series 4 offers most features that the Series 5 offers up to $ 300 less than the newer comparable models.
If you compare the basic functions side by side, the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 are almost identical. Same display and cover size, resolution, touchscreen, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, LTE, water resistance, battery life and band styles. Although the Series 5 has an S5 processor, the CPU and GPU are the same as in the S4 processor of the Series 4. They also have most of the same sensors, and both support watchOS 6.
The Series 5 only adds a compass, an always visible display, international emergency call, more storage and more body finishes. But for many it's not worth the extra cost if the Series 4 models are solid enough without those things. And those functions may not even be necessary, depending on who will use it.
Best deals for Apple Watch Series 4
The compass on the Series 5 is in our opinion the best new feature. Apart from the standard magnetic north, you can change this to real north if necessary. Moreover, the compass works with and without WiFi or mobile connections. That's great if you're an avid walker or outdoor person, but if you spend most of your time in the city and trusting on Apple Maps, do you really need a compass? Probably not. Especially if you already have an iPhone in your pocket that also has a compass.
The next major addition that the Series 5 has that the Series 4 does not have & # 39; t is an always display. It always shows the time on the screen, as well as everything else on your watch face, and instead it can also show the most recent app. All without lifting your wrist or tapping the screen. In addition, it has a variable refresh rate, so it changes anywhere from 60 Hz (brighter) to 1
But there are problems with the always active display. First, it is technically not "always on". There are no second hands for analog clocks in the always-on state with lower power because the time is only refreshed once per minute . And many complications, the processes that appear on the watch face, are not current in Always-on mode, because they are also only updated every 60 seconds – or longer. So it can be a bit shocking to see different information on the screen when you raise it to wake it up versus the information displayed in low power mode.
Second, not all complications displayed on the dial provide really useful information in the low power state. Many of the processes are excluded and some do not even work at all. For example, the Compass and Noise apps are not even active in Always-on mode.
Third, there is the life of the battery. Yes, the refresh rate helps with this, but some people have even reported a faster battery drain compared to the Series 4. The only way to drain the battery is to completely disable the always-on mode.
Always-on display can be very useful for users who do a lot of cycling and other activities where they cannot always raise their wrist to view the time. But is that you? Or the person you are looking for? If you're not sure, why are you blowing money on a Series 5?
Do you need international emergency calls?
While you are using the Apple Watch Series 4 with a simple long press on the on / off button, the Series 5 expands it so that you can also contact local emergency services abroad. That way you are always a quick push away from help when you need it.
But if you or the person you shop for almost never travel outside of the United States – or never do – it is a useless upgrade. So the Series 4 also wins here. And if you don't intend to get a GPS + mobile model, which is usually $ 100 more than the GPS-only version, the international emergency call function doesn't even work.
Need more storage?  All Apple Watch Series 4 models come with 16 GB of space, while all Series 5 models come with 32 GB. Is that extra space really needed? Not unless you want to store tons of music and photos on the Watch.
You can only sync one photo album with Apple Watch, and if it's a huge album, it takes up a lot of space. But if you don't want to look at photos on a small screen, you don't need 16 GB of extra space.
If it's not photos that eat the store, it's music. And unless you want to save a lot of playlists on your watch for running or exercising in the gym or walking or whatever, the 16 GB Series 4 models are more than enough to handle your favorite and most listened to music.
Apart from the above functions, the last big thing that you should consider is the actual Watch case. They all have the same color options for the aluminum and stainless steel bodies. The only important change here is that the aluminum housing of the Series 5 is made of 100% recycled aluminum from the 7000 series. Does that matter? Probably not for most people.
The Series 5, however, has options for titanium and ceramic bodies, while the Series 4 does not. But if you're looking for the best Apple Watch that can buy your money on a tight budget, these case materials are a joke and will take you back from $ 400 to $ 1,000, give or take.
Now that you know that there are really only five determining factors that distinguish the Apple Watch Series 5 from the Series 4, is it enough to justify the extra costs? Probably not. Of course the starting MSRP is the same after everyone's release, but now that Apple no longer even sells Series 4 models, you get a reasonably good discount elsewhere. Even better when you think of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where older models usually get the best deals on newer ones.
GPS (44 mm)  Best deal: GPS + Cellular, 44 mm – Gold stainless steel case with gold Milanese loop on Amazon for Amazon $ 499 (normally $ 849) – $ 350 discount