The Apple Watch is a great smartwatch, consistently enjoyable to use, through every version.

And Apple Watch Series 5 is the culmination of Apple’s journey towards a smart, capable timepiece that’s useful, accurate and a joy to wear.

Apple Watch Series 5. Space Black Stainless Steel, Space Black Titanium, Ceramic (L to R)

DAVID PHELAN

Though some have felt this was an iterative upgrade, there’s a lot more that’s changed than you might think.

My watch of choice has been the Apple Watch since the first version appeared back in Spring 2015. Since then, successive Watches have added speed, direct cellular connectivity and more.

Then, last year, everything changed, as the Watch added a much bigger display in a barely-bigger case. I’ve been using the new Apple Watch Series 5 since literally minutes after it was announced. Here’s all you need to know.

Apple Watch Series 5 in ceramic finish.

DAVID PHELAN

Design

The new Apple Watch looks identical to last year’s model. Is this a disappointment? A surprise? Hardly. Series 4 (which is no longer available) was Apple Watch re-designed, with that bigger display, not to mention its ECG capability and Fall Detection. So to continue the Series 4 design was both expected and desirable: it’s a great-looking Watch.

Apple Watch Series 4 also pulled off a clever trick: although the case size was different, it didn’t feel any bigger. And it was an encouragement to upgrade not least because all older straps, dating way back to 2015, still fitted perfectly, despite the increase in size.

The display may look the same, but the tech that powers it is entirely new, as we’ll see below. And although the case looks mostly similar, there are extra new-look options.

Three of the four different case finishes for Apple Watch Series 5.

DAVID PHELAN

More cases than ever before

Last year, you could choose from aluminum cases in various colors, plus stainless-steel Watches in three different finishes: silver, Space Black and gold. All those options are available in Series 5 but now there are two new case finishes. First, there’s an entirely new metal, titanium in an Apple Watch that’s very classy. It’s slightly more expensive and slightly lighter than the stainless steel models and it comes in two colors, titanium and Space Black stainless steel. Both are matte-finish, brushed metal. Both look fantastic.

Then there’s ceramic, the material used in Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 3 but not available in Series 4. It comes in the bright, unmissable white finish that is just beautiful to look at. The gray ceramic that was such a success in Series 3 has not returned. Never mind. Take one look at the gleaming white ceramic and it’s hard to choose anything else (although, if you ask me, Space Black in stainless steel is the perfect balance between show-stopping and understated).

Essentially, there is now an Apple Watch for every price point and every desire, especially when you add in the fact that Series 3 is still available and at a sticker price ($199 and up) that beats frankly every rival smartwatch into the dust.

Apple Watch Series 5 in ceramic finish.

DAVID PHELAN