Brightness Difference Between Series 4 and 5

asafblasberg

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2018
17
7
Hello,
Today on launch day i was excited to upgrade my Series 4 to Series 5. However, when i compared both watches, i noticed that for some strange reason, my S4 watch was brighter than the S5 at the maximum brightness setting (not the S5 setting where it dims to do it's always-on thing)

Because of that i was quite surprised and you can tell a difference. I wonder if any one else saw this difference?
I was comparing aluminimum models only.
Thanks!
 

Maxxor

macrumors newbie
Mar 22, 2011
2
0
Amsterdam
I'm coming off a first gen Apple Watch and I feel the same. The display seems like it's definitely not as bright, even at max settings. I'm also slightly disappointed at how dimmed the always-on is in some conditions
 

ISKOTB

macrumors 6502a
Aug 6, 2011
619
90
FL
I was just checking a friend AW5...I noticed the dimmed always-on was kind of invisible to me when it was bright out

I'm coming off a first gen Apple Watch and I feel the same. The display seems like it's definitely not as bright, even at max settings. I'm also slightly disappointed at how dimmed the always-on is in some conditions
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,323
2,195
US
Was about to make a thread about this. Thought I got a defective Series 5, but yeah, it is definitely less bright than my previous Series 4.
Well that would be disappointing. Hope to see for myself later today.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,323
2,195
US
Is it something that can maybe be changed with an software update??
Maybe. Maybe not. Could be there's a screen constraint. Could be just a calibration factor for the ambient light detector. Time will tell.

I see I've had my S4 on medium brightness. If I need to set the S5 for max to get that same effective brightness I could live with that. We shall see.
 

fel10

macrumors 68000
Feb 2, 2010
1,620
956
Woodstock, GA USA
Ok, so I was in my office, which is kind of dark, the screen brightness was kind of low even when maxed out, then I went outside, where its really bright, the watch got as bright as my old Series 4. Kind of like the iPhone does with the auto brightness on.
 
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Maxxor

macrumors newbie
Mar 22, 2011
2
0
Amsterdam
I've definitely noticed a stark difference between inside and outside. Biking home after work and I could read the blurry Watch Face while listening to Spotify no problem.

But while on the normal Watch Face, I do wish the Always-on was a tad brighter.
 

asafblasberg

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 19, 2018
17
7
Yeah 4 is very bright, 5 not as much with identical conditions. Literally it was a really sunny day in NYC and in the Apple Store and two of the Apple techs did admit the S5 looked a bit darker than the S4 in max bright settings. :(
 

PBz

macrumors 68030
Nov 3, 2005
2,514
1,370
PVB, Florida
I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at them as I was there to checkout the phones.. but I did see the AW5 on display and noticed it being more dim. I tapped the screen to ‘wake’ it up but it didn’t change. It could be that I didn’t ‘wake’ it up.. but if that was the actual brightness of the screen.. it’s noticeably less bright than the 4.
 

PBz

macrumors 68030
Nov 3, 2005
2,514
1,370
PVB, Florida
Any one notice the light bleed issues that affected the 4? I am so sorry if so.. but you can test by looking at the HR graph/table or press into the HR list (current, resting, etc.). There were issues with the 4 where one side would be significantly brighter th an the other. IMO, a SLIGHT difference is normal with the white text but if it’s there you will know it when you see it.

I noticed they changed the pull down menu in watchOS6. It is now all black. That used to be a way to test for the issue as well. I picked up an AW4SS yesterday from the AS and it’s fine. I could be crazy OCD and find a difference but IMO it’s normal.
 

DreamPod

macrumors 65816
Mar 15, 2008
1,135
62
I just wish you could disable automatic brightness control so you could set it as bright as you want during the day. Sure it would harm battery life, I'm personally fine with that, I don't do things Apple does to test battery life like stream music directly from the watch for 45 minutes.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,323
2,195
US
Having had my SBTI (we doin' that now?) S5 for a couple hours now, I'm not noticing any perceptible brightness difference from my SBSS S4. Always kept my S4 on medium, and that's where my S5 is set.
 

Macalway

macrumors 68030
Aug 7, 2013
2,728
1,100
The reviews explain this. It's auto-brightness by default. They use this and the other tech to squeeze out battery life. Makes sense, no? . So in full daylight it should be the same.
 

Crowbot

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2018
444
1,052
NYC
According to Apple this is a new type of OLED. That probably accounts for the difference. Going from a W2 to a W5 is a big jump for me.

And Safari is snappier....Oops, sorry. Wrong forum. ;)
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,323
2,195
US
According to Apple this is a new type of OLED. T
Not intending to challenge you, but the specs page lists the identical thing. Could you guide me to where Apple discusses the differences between the S4 and S5 LPTO OLED displays?

I remember the keynote talking about the display but don't recall it discussing differences other than driver hardware allowing 1hz refresh and new ambient light sensor.
 

FrankySavvy

macrumors 65816
Mar 4, 2010
1,303
286
Long Island, NY
I received my Apple Watch series 5 and concur, the brightness is less in darker environments but about the same in brighter environments. This could definitely be adjusted in software.