Teardown Suggests Apple Watch Series 5 Components are Close to Identical to Series 4

The internals of the Apple Watch Series 5 are almost identical to the internal components of the previous-generation Apple Watch Series 4, according to a new teardown conducted by repair site iFixit.

That should come as no surprise as the two devices are identical in design, with the major differentiating factor being the Always-On display in the newer model.

series5teardown
iFixit hoped to get a look at the changes implemented to allow for the Always-On display, but much of what's new relates to display technology and is "invisible to the human eye."

The site did spot a new ambient light sensor embedded under the OLED panel, and Apple says there are more advanced display drivers and an improved power management chip in the Series 5 as well.

There's a new built-in compass and the battery is slightly bigger than the battery in the Series 4 (1.4% larger in the 44mm model). The Series 5 chip includes 32GB of storage, up from 16GB, and the new compass, but it features the same GPU and CPU as the Series 4 so there are no real performance improvements.

series5battery

Series 4 battery on left, Series 5 battery on right

iFixit says there are minor changes to connectors for the Taptic Engine, display, and battery, which means components are not generally interchangeable, but otherwise, the two devices are "very similar" on the inside.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

Patriot24 Avatar
38 months ago
This is a bad title/article. From the article itself:

* Always-on display
* New ambient light sensor
* Better display drivers
* New power management chip
* Compass
* Bigger battery
* Double storage
* Minor changes to connectors for the Taptic Engine, display, and battery

In other words, not "Close to Identical." I get it that it isn't an earth-shattering update, but people tripping over themselves to claim this is the Series 4 with a "5" slapped on it are being disingenuous.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
locoboi187 Avatar
38 months ago

The AOD is the huge new feature. Nothing else matters this year.
It makes Series 5 a no-brainer purchase for pretty much everyone.
Yeah no, I'll hold on to my Series 4 lol
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
benshive Avatar
38 months ago

Innovation at its best. On the other hand there are so many "I have to have the latest Apple fashion accessory" people that you really can't blame Apple for catering to ignorant indoctrinated buyers. After all they spend millions to make that a reality.
Or maybe after the major improvements of last years release an incremental upgrade was expected for this year. Many S4 owners will stick with last years model (myself included) and the S5 is great for people upgrading from an S3 or earlier or no watch. Do you expect a revolutionary new device packed with fresh technology every year?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Steve686 Avatar
38 months ago
So this is basically an

Apple Watch 4s
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nt5672 Avatar
38 months ago
Innovation at its best. On the other hand there are so many "I have to have the latest Apple fashion accessory" people that you really can't blame Apple for catering to ignorant indoctrinated buyers. After all they spend millions to make that a reality.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dan9700 Avatar
38 months ago
First Apple product in years I haven’t brought on launch and gonna skip its much darker brightness compared to S4 my mate has it and the beta didn’t help it’s not good, also the fact the s5 chip has no speed improvements is a no sale from me, always on is a gimmick


The AOD is the huge new feature. Nothing else matters this year.
It makes Series 5 a no-brainer purchase for pretty much everyone.
Not really how hard is it to touch the screen or move it to look at it, the screen on max brightness is much dimmer than s4
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpods pro black background

AirPods Pro 2: Five New Features and Improvements to Expect

Sunday August 14, 2022 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro are finally nearing launch, with a release expected later this year. If you are considering upgrading to the new AirPods Pro once they are released, keep reading for a list of five new features to expect. In addition to all-new features, the second-generation AirPods Pro will likely adopt some features added to the standard AirPods last year. H2 Chip ...
iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
10th Generation iPad Render

10th-Generation iPad With Major Design Changes Reportedly in Production Ahead of September Launch

Monday August 15, 2022 8:02 pm PDT by
Apple's rumored 10th-generation iPad is currently in production and will feature "major" design changes, according to a report from Taiwanese website DigiTimes. A mockup of the potential 10th-generation iPad design by Renders By Shailesh The report did not provide any specific details about the 10th-generation iPad's new design, but rumors suggest the device will feature a larger 10.5-inch...
ios 16 lock screen feature2

Apple Seeds Sixth Betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Monday August 15, 2022 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the sixth betas of upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the updates coming a week after Apple released the fifth developer betas. Registered developers can download the iOS and iPadOS 16 profiles from the Apple Developer Center, and once installed, the betas will be available over the air. iOS 16 introduces a revamped Lock...
apple watch se

Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series 8: New Features to Expect If You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday August 15, 2022 2:44 am PDT by
The Apple Watch SE was announced in September 2020 and has been a popular Apple Watch model for customers looking for their first smartwatch or an affordable Apple Watch. Apple Watch SE customers may be wondering, however, what's in store for them with the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 and what new features they can expect. Continue reading to find out. Apple Watch SE vs. Apple Watch Series ...
odyssey ark 1

Samsung Launches $3,500 'Odyssey Ark' 55-Inch Curved Gaming Display

Monday August 15, 2022 7:15 am PDT by
Samsung today announced the launch of the Odyssey Ark, which the company says is the world's first 55-inch 4K curved display with a 165Hz refresh rate for improved gaming performance. Samsung first previewed the monitor at CES, but it is now available to order. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Priced at $3,500, the Samsung Odyssey Ark features mini-LED technology...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...