In this article we will take a look back at the first 5 years of the Apple Watch’s lifetime and highlight what features and hardware was added along the way. But we will also look ahead and share our expectations for the future! The current Apple Watch flagship is the Series 5 and the entry model still retails for $399. It’s powered by watchOS 6 and is more independent than ever from the paired iPhone.
The First 5 Years Of Apple Watch History
2015 – The Original Apple Watch
As mentioned above, the first Apple Watch model was announced on April 24, 2015. Looking back at it we can describe it as being quite slow and highly dependent on the paired iPhone (although it included 10 features that worked offline). However, back in 2015, that wasn’t general impression. It was a revolutionary smartwatch and everyone wanted to wear it on their wrist. Apple sold it in 38mm and 42mm sizes. The device included most of today’s trademark Apple Watch features like the Digital Crown scroll wheel or the Activity rings.
One of the most attractive features was the heart rate tracking option which allowed users to measure their heart beats in real time and also check detailed info about measurements made randomly during the day.
Fact: Did you know that the most expensive original Apple Watch was priced at $17,000. We’re talking about the 18-karat gold Apple Watch that was since discontinued.
2016 – The Apple Watch Series 2 (GPS)
The 2nd generation was released on September 16, 2016. It came with better hardware, a dual-core S2 chip and was advertised as being 50% faster than the original Apple Watch model. It also packed a two times brighter display! You also had the option to buy the smartwatch with its own GPS hardware included.
The Apple Watch Series 2 was the first one that was advertised as having a water resistance for up to 50 meters, which made it fit for swimming. Although users’ tests showed that the original model was also water-friendly!
Fact: In the same time Apple discontinued the original Apple Watch model and started marketing the Apple Watch Series 1, which was the original Apple Watch upgraded with the S2 chip.
2017 – Series 3 (With Optional LTE)
The 3rd generation was an important step forward as it offered more independence to the smartwatch. The LTE cellular connectivity option available on select models, offered users the option to make phone calls, send messages and even listen to Apple Music without being in range with the paired iPhone.
The Apple Watch Series 3 also packed an S3 chip that was 70% faster than its predecessor. A W2 chip also increased the watch’s Wi-Fi speed up to 85% and made it 50% more energy efficient.
Last but not least Series 3 also included a barometric altimeter that could easily mention elevation.
2018 – Series 4 (Redesign and ECG)
The 4th generation was the update with the first design changes. Apple shrunk the bezels and enlarged the screen size to 40mm and 44mm. The S4 chip was the first with a 64-bit architecture which allowed it to be twice as fast as the S3.
However, the most welcomed new additions have been the two health and safety features. The ECG app made the Apple Watch the first smartwatch ever that allowed the user to check if the heart beats in a sinus rhythm pattern and instantly share the results with a doctor. This is a potential life-saving feature because it can accurately discover Atrial Fibrillation.
Fall Detection was also a revolutionary new addition. The Apple Watch could now detect if the user experiences a fall. In this case it will tap you on the wrist and play alarms. In case you don’t react the smartwatch is able to call the emergency services to the rescue!
2019 – Series 5 (An S-like iPhone update)
The 5th generation is rather an S-like iPhone update. It was released on September 20, 2019 and packs an identical design with its predecessor.
The hardware extras are the built-in compass and the 32GB large internal storage.
New features include:
– an always-on display (when enabled a simplified watch face and the time are displayed even when your wrist is down.)
– international emergency calling for those models that are equipped with cellular connectivity.
What To Expect From The Upcoming Apple Watch Models
The Apple Watch Series 6 should be released this fall alongside the iPhone 12. Depending on the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic, the announcement could be delayed up to October, that’s one month later than usual.
Some of the features that we look forward to see in the upcoming Apple Watch models are:
– Sleep tracking
– Blood Glucose level measurements
– Blood oxygen figures
– Body temperature sensors
They could be implemented either in the watch itself or with the help of smart watch bands.
What’s your take on the Apple Watch? Do you want to add some features that you would like to see in the upcoming generations? Let us know in the comment section available below.
Related: Learn how to connect to Wi-Fi networks directly from your Apple Watch!