Disassembling the latest Apple Watch doesn’t find very much that’s different from last year’s model. That doesn’t mean there aren’t improvements in the new Series 5; they’re just not visible in a teardown, even one done by the experts at iFixit.
Apple Watch Series 5 is more like Series 4S
The most notable change in Apple’s fifth-generation wearable is the new low-temperature polysilicone and oxide display (LTPO) that allows the screen to remain on for up to 18 hours. However, most of the relevant internal changes didn’t show when this wrist computer is taken apart. “The real improvements are baked into the display tech invisible to the human eye,” notes Craig Lloyd from iFixit.
The battery in Apple Watch Series 5 is just a tiny bit larger than its predecessor; the power cell in the 44mm model is a mere 1.4% bigger, according to this repair company.
Those who want a bit more battery at the expense of the always-on screen can easily turn it off.
There are some changes
The 2019 version of this wearable has the same CPU and GPU as last year’s, so don’t expect a big jump in performance. Still, Apple did increase the storage capacity from 16GB to 32GB.
There’s also the new compass. This “supposedly uses a very tiny gyroscope (and presumably some very fast math) to compensate for interference from the magnets inside the watch,” according to Lloyd.
The iFixit teardown finishes with Lloyd’s note that “the Series 5 is very similar to the Series 4 on the inside. But Apple has made enough minor changes that many parts are not interchangeable, thanks to redesigned connectors on the taptic engine, display and battery.”