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Is the S5 mechanically different than S4?

Macloven

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 25, 2008
208
18
The changes to the 5 seem to be mostly software changes. Wondering if there are hardware differences or just get a good deal on an S4 and upgrade OS?
 

BSG75

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2015
256
146
Tennessee
I really didn't see any upgrades to the internals during the keynote. The always-on display and the compass are nice additions.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,940
36,836
The changes to the 5 seem to be mostly software changes. Wondering if there are hardware differences or just get a good deal on an S4 and upgrade OS?

Well that depends, do you want the Series 5 being what it offers? If not, then you probably can score one in the next few weeks, you’ll start seeing the Series 4 being discounted through retailers, probably for about $100 off the MSRP.
 
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cryptonator

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2015
43
35
It wasn’t mentioned in the keynote but the Series 5 runs on a "new 64-bit dual-core S5 processor".
 
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Macloven

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 25, 2008
208
18
Well that depends, do you want the Series 5 being what it offers? If not, then you probably can score one in the next few weeks, you’ll start seeing the Series 4 being discounted through retailers, probably for about $100 off the MSRP.
I definitely want the latest greatest, have waited a few years to finally get one. And I love ti watches. Mostly curious as the changes, though very nice, don't seem to require new hardware. Whatever the case, I'll be getting a space gray ti :)
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,940
36,836
It wasn’t mentioned in the keynote but the Series 5 runs on a "new 64-bit dual-core S5 processor".

Direct from Apples website:

3F747C5F-7541-4A09-AE7D-88D6AC5635B7.jpeg
 
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tdar

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2003
1,389
965
Alpharetta GA.
New SIP
New display (Apple Patent Pending)
Twice the storage
Always on Display
Compass
New Watch Faces
International SoS on Cellular models
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
10,616
4,318
US
I really didn't see any upgrades to the internals during the keynote. The always-on display and the compass are nice additions.

Pretty sure the following aren't just software changes...
  • Always-on display is based on changes to the display hardware (and possibly display itself) to enable variable refresh rate
  • Compass hardware would have to have been added, don't think it was in the S4
  • Storage capacity increased to 32GB
 
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oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
697
409
West Jordan, Utah
Pretty sure the following aren't just software changes...
  • Always-on display is based on changes to the display hardware (and possibly display itself) to enable variable refresh rate
  • Compass hardware would have to have been added, don't think it was in the S4
  • Storage capacity increased to 32GB

There are apps that provide compass (Anchor Pointer, Compass, Big Arrow, to name a few), and several trail type apps (Hiking project, View Ranger, All Trails, etc) that provide information. I don't think the Compass thing is "hardware", but more software.
That being said, I do like the design of it though, and would like to see it implemented in an OS update.
 
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BSG75

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2015
256
146
Tennessee
Pretty sure the following aren't just software changes...
  • Always-on display is based on changes to the display hardware (and possibly display itself) to enable variable refresh rate
  • Compass hardware would have to have been added, don't think it was in the S4
  • Storage capacity increased to 32GB

Thanks! Should have checked the Apple site after the keynote! :)

They didn't compare the S5 to the S4, but there must be a slight bump for the always on display regarding power management. The compass apps are already available, I think on the Series 5 it's now native to the watch and a nice addition, too.

I have the Series 4, which is in a rotation with my traditional watches, but that always on display sure is tempting!

Must...maintain...self control!!! (that goes for all of my watch purchases, Apple and mechanical!!! :D:D:D)
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
10,616
4,318
US
They didn't compare the S5 to the S4, but there must be a slight bump for the always on display regarding power management. The compass apps are already available, I think on the Series 5 it's now native to the watch and a nice addition, too.

The little bit I've played with compass apps on my S4 it seems they're leveraging GPS positioning to gauge your direction -- i.e. take a couple position readings and see which direction you're moving in. I've had running watches in the past which did this as well.

From the videos of the S5 it appears there's an actual electronic compass built into the watch. See here at 0:50

So I am led to believe there is indeed a hardware difference.

But I could be wrong. We shall see.

From my S4 and the Compass app:
IMG_2551.png
 
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leman

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2008
12,299
7,323
There are apps that provide compass (Anchor Pointer, Compass, Big Arrow, to name a few), and several trail type apps (Hiking project, View Ranger, All Trails, etc) that provide information. I don't think the Compass thing is "hardware", but more software.
That being said, I do like the design of it though, and would like to see it implemented in an OS update.

S5 compass is almost certainly certainly hardware. These apps rely on various tricks to estimate the orientation, they are not accurate.
 
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oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
697
409
West Jordan, Utah
The little bit I've played with compass apps on my S4 it seems they're leveraging GPS positioning to gauge your direction -- i.e. take a couple position readings and see which direction you're moving in. I've had running watches in the past which did this as well.

From the videos of the S5 it appears there's an actual electronic compass built into the watch. See here at 0:50

So I am led to believe there is indeed a hardware difference.

But I could be wrong. We shall see.

From my S4 and the Compass app:
View attachment 857394

This is an app called (obviously) Compass. If I knew how to upload, or take a video of my iPhone screen, I would show you that sitting at the table, and turning the phone makes the compass go "round", following magnetic north. This is a still screenshot. Give it a try, and save yourself @$500

70193624_420032648629550_3871088838889701376_n.jpg
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
10,616
4,318
US
This is an app called (obviously) Compass. If I knew how to upload, or take a video of my iPhone screen, I would show you that sitting at the table, and turning the phone makes the compass go "round", following magnetic north. This is a still screenshot. Give it a try, and save yourself @$500

We're talking about hardware differences in the Apple Watch series 5 relative to the series 4.

Thanks for the condescension, though you've mistakenly assumed the compass related to my choice to upgrade.

It's not.
 
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oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
697
409
West Jordan, Utah
We're talking about hardware differences in the Apple Watch series 5 relative to the series 4.

Thanks for the condescension, though you've mistakenly assumed the compass related to my choice to upgrade.

It's not.

It was not my intent to condescend, nor try to convince you to not purchase the Series 5, that's your choice, obviously. I was merely pointing out that I'm not sure that the compass in the Series 5 is a hardware item, but rather software. Sorry if you misunderstood, or if I misled. :)
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
10,616
4,318
US
It was not my intent to condescend

Then I misunderstood. I apologize. :oops:

I was merely pointing out that I'm not sure that the compass in the Series 5 is a hardware item, but rather software. Sorry if you misunderstood, or if I misled. :)

Fair enough. I *think* it's a hardware change, but we shall see in time. Not a big deal for me either way. Until someone comes up with an app that makes it a big deal and we never knew how we lived without it! LOL
 
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