Apple Watch Series 5 Packs a (Slightly) Larger Battery Than the Series 4

Apple Watch Series 57 Credit: Business Insider Japan
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Popular repair site iFixit is continuing its teardowns of this year’s new Apple products. Last week, it published its iPhone 11 Pro teardown. This week, it took a peek under the hood of the Apple Watch Series 5.

So what’s new on the Apple Watch Series 5 in comparison to last year’s Series 4 model? In a nutshell, not that much.

In fact, the Series 4 and the Series 5 are nearly identical internally, iFixit says. Of course, that’s probably to be expected. The Apple Watch Series 5 didn’t change anything about the general design or layout of the Apple Watch. Its headline features are the always-on display, a compass and new case options.

On the subject of the always-on display, iFixit hoped to see some sort of internal component related to that technology. But, ultimately, the site says that the tech that makes it possible is largely “invisible.”

There are still some changes under-the-hood, however.

  1. iFixit spotted a new ambient light sensor located directly underneath the OLED panel, and an actual built-in compass on the Series 5’s chip.
  2. The chip itself also now has 32GB of NAND — otherwise known as internal storage space — instead of only 16GB.
  3. The Series 5’s battery is also slightly larger than the Series 4. It’s a 296 mAh battery instead of 291.8 mAh — a change of about 1.4 percent. iFixit notes that any battery life improvements are likely related to the always-on display technology and not the modest bump in battery capacity.

As far as more minor changes, the teardown seems to suggest that Apple tweaked the internal layout of the Series 5 slightly. There are also some modified connectors for the Taptic Engine, display and battery when compared to past Apple Watch generations.

All in all, the Apple Watch Series 4 and Apple Watch Series 5 are nearly identical. That was hinted at earlier this year by a report suggesting that the Series 5 uses the same processor generation as its predecessor.

Still, if you think those changes aren’t significant enough to warrant a change in Series, consider that the only difference between the Apple Watch Series 0 and Series 1 was an updated processor.

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