“Apple Watch puts groundbreaking health, fitness and communication capabilities on the wrist of millions and millions of people,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. He then introduced a video segment showing how Apple Watch users are healthier.
The Apple Watch automatically adjusts the brightness of the new always-on display. When you lower your wrist, the brightness goes down. It features an LTPO display with an adaptive refresh rate. It can go down to 1Hz, or one screen refresh per second. That’s how Apple can reach 18 hours of battery life with a display that stays on.
The new Apple Watch also features a built-in compass. There’s a new app that tells you your latitude, longitude and direction. It could be particularly useful when you’re hiking.
When it comes to emergency calling, Apple is extending emergency calling to 150 countries. When you press and hold down the side button, it automatically calls local emergency services.
Aluminum models come in silver, gold and space gray. Those cases are now made from recycled aluminum. Stainless steel models come in gold, space black and and plain stainless steel.
And finally, there are two new titanium models (brushed and brushed space black) and a ceramic model. Apple is refreshing special editions of the Apple Watch with Nike and Hermès as well.
Apple Watch Series 5 with a GPS starts at $399 (for the aluminum model). For $499, you also get a cellular modem. Pre-orders start today and they will be available on September 20. The Apple Watch Series 3 first introduced in 2017 now starts at $199.
Apple also announced three new health research studies with health facilities. Apple is starting a hearing study with the World Health Organization and the University of Michigan, a women’s health study with NIH and Harvard thanks to the new cycle tracking feature, and a heart and movement study with the American Heart Association and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.