Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro hands-on: Still a classic?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro hands-on: Still a classic?

Update: Read our full Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review!


Samsung’s game plan for the Summer 2022 Unpacked event appears to be “an improvement, not a rebuild”. Rather than reimagining foldable smartwatches from the ground up, it’s improving existing designs to add strength and longevity where it’s needed most. The Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro are two great examples, and we had the opportunity to spend some time with the new wearables. These are just some of our first impressions.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Extended battery life • Wide range of activity tracking features

$449.99 on Samsung

Familiar faces

Chris Carlon / Android Authority

If you strap the Galaxy Watch 4 on one wrist and the Galaxy Watch 5 on the other – as we did – you might have a hard time telling them apart. One thing is for sure, the physical board is really dead. Alternatively, the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro have a digital ring if you want to quickly navigate up or down through the menus. This isn’t a new feature — it’s been around since the days of the Galaxy Watch Active — but it seems to be getting more refined with each new generation.

Aside from the corresponding controls, the Galaxy Watch 5 series looks familiar. The standard model comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm, which fit right in with the previous generation. If you opt for the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, it will be slightly larger at 45mm, but we did notice the change in build materials more than the increase in size during our short time with the watches. The premium smartwatch relies on a titanium body instead of the Galaxy Watch 5’s Armor Aluminum, but both are as strong as the screws.

The Galaxy Watch 5 series is ready for adventure, but no matter the condition — or model — you’ll need to use the Digital Ring to get around.

We haven’t had much of a chance to test the durability, but Samsung has also moved from its Gorilla Glass DX display to a new sapphire crystal for both Galaxy Watch 5 models. It’ll also get an IP68 rating and MIL-STD-810G all-round durability rating, which should quiet those who do not venture.

Chris Carlon / Android Authority

One of the few differences that you might notice with the Galaxy Watch 5 series is the updated rear sensor. The new “BioActive Senor” aims to provide better skin contact, allowing for more accurate measurements of body temperature and heart rate. It looks a little different in the hand, but you probably won’t even notice the difference when it’s stuck on—we definitely don’t.

Also fashionable are the watch faces available from Samsung. We have to delve into some completely new options, but there are plenty of old favorites in case you had a choice from a previous Galaxy Watch. Likewise, the processor at the heart of the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro is the same Exynos chip found in its predecessor.

Wear OS is growing

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 in silver with a metal bracelet in hand showing apps close-up

Chris Carlon / Android Authority

The Samsung-Google Wear OS partnership is pretty strong at this point, with the Galaxy Watch 5 series based on the Galaxy Watch 4 software. The previous generation of Samsung smartwatches didn’t support Google Assistant out of the box, but newer models do, Bixby can be sent to the pasture Immediately. Voice navigation via Google Maps is another great feature — not entirely new to Wear OS, but an update to the vibration directions that were added to the Galaxy Watch 4 series earlier this year.

Some of the best updates on the Galaxy Watch 5 come from updated Samsung sensors. More accurate readings give you a better view of your sleep, including sleep stages, breathing rates and blood oxygen levels, which Samsung can use to create a personalized sleep training plan. We haven’t worn (or slept) the watch long enough to know exactly how sleep training works, but we’ll give it a try as soon as we get a chance.

There are also some new features that appear to be exclusive to the Galaxy Watch 5 series. For example, you can add GPX files to your Galaxy Watch for the first time, which means you can record your walking or running route to share with other fitness enthusiasts. You can also take a knock from friends if you want to beat their time. We couldn’t shake the watch during our training session, but we’re sure to see how it stacks up against competitors like Garmin.

If you end your adventure anywhere other than where you started, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has a tracking feature that can guide you back the way you came. He didn’t recommend us too far during our clock control time, but we’ll be putting it on some trails and around a few city blocks to test accuracy when we have a review.

Enhanced battery

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 with black and white close-up strap

Chris Carlon / Android Authority

One of Samsung’s biggest pushes with the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro is the battery improvements. Of course, we haven’t had enough time to get the big cells through their paces, but we should feel better when our full analysis comes out.

Samsung was happy to talk about the Galaxy Watch 5’s 40mm and 44mm capabilities growing by about 15%. He claims that the increase should result in an additional 10 hours of battery life, bringing the total to nearly 50 hours. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is even more impressive with a 590mAh cell, which should last you around 80 hours or 20 hours of continuous GPS use. Again, we haven’t been able to test these limits, but our wearables team is more than willing to get their hands on the watches.

Samsung has looked into addressing some Galaxy Watch 4 battery issues with the Watch 5 duo.

We also remember that classic headache where your watch doesn’t have enough battery to track your sleep through the night. You can usually just put it in the charger and get enough juice, but no one likes to delay bedtime. The Galaxy Watch 5 series now supports charging fast enough that just eight minutes on a magnetic charger provides eight hours of sleep tracking. If you’re only charging for an average day, you should get about 45% in half an hour.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series specifications

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Exhibition

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

44 mm: 1.4 inches
Super Amoled
450×450 . Resolution
sapphire crystal

40 mm: 1.2 inches
Super Amoled
Resolution 396×396
sapphire crystal

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

45 mm: 1.4 inches
Super Amoled
450×450 . Resolution
sapphire crystal

Dimensions and weight

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

44 mm: 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8 mm
33.5 grams

40 mm: 40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8 mm
28.7 grams

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

45 mm: 45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5 mm
46.5 grams

Colors and materials

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

aluminum case armor
Graphite, silver, rose gold (40mm only), sapphire (44mm only)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

titanium case
black gray

drums

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

44 mm: 410 mA

40 mm: 284 mA

WPC-Based Wireless Charging

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

45 mm: 590 mA

WPC-Based Wireless Charging

Healer

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

5nm Samsung Exynos W920
Dual core 1.18 GHz

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

5nm Samsung Exynos W920
Dual core 1.18 GHz

He hits

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

1.5 GB

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

1.5 GB

a store

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

16 GB

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

16 GB

Connection

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

LTE (available on select models)
Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n
2.4 + 5 GHz
NFC
GPS / GLONASS / Beidou / Galileo

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

LTE (available on select models)
Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n
2.4 + 5 GHz
NFC
GPS / GLONASS / Beidou / Galileo

sensors

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

accelerometer
glass
gyroscope
geomagnetic sensor
light sensor
Samsung BioActive Sensor: Optical Heart Rate (PPG), Electrocardiogram (ECG), Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) Sensor

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

accelerometer
glass
gyroscope
geomagnetic sensor
light sensor
Samsung BioActive Sensor: Optical Heart Rate (PPG), Electrocardiogram (ECG), Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) Sensor

durability

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810G

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810G

Programming

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Wear OS
Samsung Watch One UI

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Wear OS
Samsung Watch One UI

Compatibility

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Android

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Android

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro hands-on: a high-end experience

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Watch 5 Pro

Robert Treggs / Android Authority

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (L) and Galaxy Watch 5 (R)

Samsung smartwatches may have become “Pro,” but there’s clearly a lot of iteration of innovation with the Galaxy Watch 5 series. However, the Galaxy Watch 5 duo makes an impressive pair, and we can’t wait to test them out to get a while. Full review very soon.

But now for the important part: When can you really get the Galaxy Watch 5 series? The Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro are currently available for pre-order from Samsung until August 25. Wider availability begins on August 26, but you’ll miss out on some Samsung pre-order bonuses.

As for pricing, the Galaxy Watch 5 starts at $279 for the 40mm version with Bluetooth only and jumps to $329 for the LTE version of the same size. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 Pro starts at $449 for the Bluetooth version or $499 for the LTE model. If you’re an avid golfer, you can also check out the special edition Galaxy Watch 5 or 5 Pro Golf Edition, which starts at $329. It features unique watch faces, a special two-tone band, and unlimited membership. Smart Caddy, but (concept) Samsung won’t let us swing our putters indoors.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Extended battery life • Wide range of activity tracking features

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is aimed at outdoor enthusiasts, with new training features and the promise of longer battery life.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Much better battery life • Full compatibility with more phones • Slim design

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 improves on most aspects of the smartwatch’s form factor. A refined experience in a familiar design.


What do you think of the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro? Cast your vote in the poll below and let us know in the comments.

Is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 worth it?

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