Apple Watch 5 vs 6: Which one should I choose?

Published March 29, 2024 - Which Apple Watch series should you choose between the Apple Watch 5 and the Apple Watch 6?

Which smartwatch should you choose?

Whether you're an athlete who likes to measure your performance digitally or you simply love high-tech products and are looking for a smartwatch, then you've probably already stumbled across the Apple Watch models. You've probably also noticed that there are several Apple Watch models and so you're interested in understanding their differences.

The newer versions are inevitably going to be better than their predecessors, but sometimes the slightly older smartwatches are still great options. Here at Back Market, we'll help you find the watch that suits you best without having to spend hours reading reviews.

Apple Watch 5 vs 6: price differences

What do you get for your money? 💸 That's bound to be a key question that’s on your mind. Let's go through both models in detail to find out.

  • The current price for an Apple Watch 5 refurbished in "good" condition starts from $199 (at time of writing).. For that, you get the fancy aluminium space grey case version, and a 12-month warranty from Back Market.

  • It gets more expensive with the Apple Watch 5 if you opt for a larger strap (44 mm). For example, the stainless steel 44mm Apple Watch Series 5 currently starts at $309 in the same "good" condition (at time of writing).

  • The renewed Apple Watch Series 6 40mm costs $249 in "good" condition (at time of writing). Prices vary because you have a few options for customisation: 40 mm or 44 mm for the strap size; aluminium, steel or titanium for the case; and different strap materials.

Do you also want to use your Apple Watch 6 to make calls? Then opt for the Apple Watch 6 with LTE (GPS + Cellular). It’ll cost you about $269 (at time of writing) for the Apple Watch (Series 6) GPS + Cellular 40mm Aluminium Blue with Sport Loop Band in Blue.

Apple Watch 6 Colours

Apple Watch 5 vs 6: What are the technical differences?

To make it easier for you, here’s a side-by-side table with all the most relevant information.

Apple Watch 5

Apple Watch 6


40 and 44mm

40 and 44mm


Always-On Retina LTPO OLED

1000 nits

Always-On Retina LTPO OLED

1000 nits

Brighter always-on display


GPS+ Cellular

Bluetooth 5.0

2.4GHz Wi-Fi

GPS+ Cellular

Bluetooth 5.0

2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi


Apple S5 with 64-bit dual-core processor

Apple S6 with 64-bit dual-core processor


32GB internal memory

32GB internal memory


Aluminum, stainless steel, titanium

Ion-X strengthened glass screen

Aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, ceramic

Sapphire crystal screen


GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS


Barometric altitude sensor

Electrical heart sensor (EKG)

Second-generation optical heart sensor

Accelerometer up to 32 g-forces with Fall Detection


Ambient light sensor

GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS


Always-on altitude sensor

Electrical heart sensor (EKG)

Third-generation optical heart sensor

Accelerometer up to 32 g-forces with Fall Detection


Ambient light sensor

Blood oxygen sensor

Emergency SOS


Black, white, pink, gold

Silver, grey, gold, blue, (PRODUCT) red

Battery life

Lithium battery with a runtime of up to 18 hours.

Lithium battery with a runtime of up to 18 hours.

Operating system




Apple Pay, waterproof up to 50 meters (according to ISO 22810:2010)

Apple Pay, waterproof up to 50 meters (according to ISO 22810:2010), 

U1 ultra-wideband chip

Emergency service function for seniors

Apple Watch 5 vs 6: These are the differences

While the Apple Watches have many features in common, which we will discuss in greater detail below, there are also differences that distinguish the Apple Watch Series 6.

⌚ The performance

The Apple Watch 6 is equipped with an Apple S6 SoC (Security Operations Center), which is 20% faster than its predecessor and is combined with an Apple U1 chip to ensure smooth and fast response. Whether you can see a difference in current every day use, well that’s doubtful in most cases.

⌚ The design

The Apple Watch 6 is 0.3 mm thinner than its predecessor, the Apple Watch 5, but the difference is basically imperceptible. The 3D Touch technology of the Series 5 is replaced by Force Touch in the Apple Watch 6. 

⌚ The battery

The Apple Watch 5 has a battery with a total capacity of 296 mAh. This is improved in its successor, which has a 303.8 mAh battery. Additionally, charging from 0-100% takes about the same 2.5 hours in both models.

⌚ The sensors

Among the most exciting differences between the Apple Watch 5 and the Apple Watch 6 is that the Apple Watch 6 includes two new sensors: an altimeter and a blood oximeter, which measures oxygen levels in the blood. This should excite health enthusiasts and athletes who like to hike at high altitudes.

⌚ Connectivity

The Apple Watch Series 6 supports 5GHz Wi-Fi, while the Series 5 only works on the 2.4GHz network.


Apple Watch 5 vs 6: What are the similarities?

You now know the main differences between the two models. Here are their similarities, and there are many of them.

⌚ The display

The Retina display built into both models has the same 368 x 448 pixel resolution. It is also protected by sapphire glass, the strongest glass material available. The time is always shown on both smartwatches from Apple thanks to always-on display. So in both cases, there are no more excuses when you're late. 

⌚ The case and the wristbands

On both the Series 6 and Series 5, the case is water resistant to a depth of 50 metres. This is good news for swimmers who can keep their watch on during their swims. The case is also sweat and rain resistant. Want to customise your refurbished Apple Watch, sold at Back Market at great prices by certified professionals? There are hundreds of aluminium or stainless steel combinations and just as many straps with different designs for a personalised watch.

⌚ The memory

Both watches have the same internal storage capacity of 32 GB. This may not seem much, but it is perfectly sufficient even for users who use the watch intensively throughout the day.

⌚ Connectivity and sound

The Apple Watch 5 and 6 have the same speaker, which is water resistant. You can connect the watch to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 to conveniently use the AirDrop feature to transfer files. On top of that, NFC is included in both models if you want to pay for your purchases without a credit card using Apple Wallet. I find the feature really handy and it's a favourite among many users.

⌚ Apps and accessories

The choice of apps is similar between the Apple Watch 5 and Apple Watch 6. For example, you can read your Facebook Messenger messages or listen to your favourite songs on Spotify. For an even better experience, there are audio accessories that are compatible with both versions, such as the AirPods or AirPods Pro wireless earphones or the HomePod Mini Bluetooth speaker

Otherwise, there are many exciting apps to help you measure and track your workouts. Especially if you have athletic or health-related goals, they can be very helpful. My personal favourite is the Meditation app which comes pre-downloaded on the Apple Watch and reminds you to take a few minutes to relax throughout the day.

Our conclusion

Now that we have analysed the Apple Watch 6 and the Apple Watch 5 from all sides, it is clear that the latest model is different from its predecessor. But which model is best for which user?

  • If you have the budget: buy the refurbished Apple Watch 6 to get all its features at a great price. If you want as much information as possible about your health and sporting performance, then the Apple Watch 6 is right for you. On top of that, you get the bloody oxygen sensor, which is important for your health.

  • If this is your first smartwatch and your budget is around £200, you'd better go for the Apple Watch 5, which has almost all the same crucial features and costs less. We are sure that it’ll be enough to satisfy you as an athlete, health enthusiast or just as a person on the go. 

If you really only need the basic functions of a smartwatch, buy the Apple Watch SE, which you can buy at very reasonable prices at Back Market.


Written by Haziq

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