Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro review: The best Android watch gets a modest update
Most of the changes here, arent immediately visible, like a more durable build, and software updates samsung also tweaked the curvature of the underside to make the watch 5 hug your wrist, better and added a skin temperature sensor. That does nothing for now. The most notable difference about the watch. 5 is the new pro model. It comes in a 45 millimeter titanium case uses a more durable screen and has a much larger, 590 milliamp hour battery. Frankly, the most exciting thing about samsungs watches this year is the watch 5 pros estimated 80 hour run time. Still, the fact that the tweaks are small doesnt mean the galaxy watch. 5 cant still be an exciting device that is still possibly the best smart watch around for android users. The galaxy watch 5 looks just like its predecessor and comes in the same 40, millimeter and 44 millimeter sizes as before. Both of them are just a few grams or less than a quarter ounce heavier than the previous generation, but its barely noticeable. The lack of change isnt, a bad thing. The galaxy watchs round face and minimalist design make it look more like a conventional timepiece than the apple watch, its not immediately obvious, but samsung used a more durable sapphire crystal glass for the watch 5s screen like its predecessors, the watch 5 is also rated ip68, 580ms And mil standard a10g for durability, which is water dust and pressure resistance. I wore it swimming recently and though it wasnt as accurate as the apple watch at tracking laps, it at least survived those who liked samsungs, bezel based navigation will appreciate the touch sensitive ring.
Framing the screen that you can use to scroll through the wear os interface, as well as the mild haptic feedback. As you whizz past apps, i still prefer a physical rotating bezel, but i get that not everyone wants the added bulk. One of the main differences samsung brought to the watch 5 is the refined curvature of its underside. This is meant to keep the watch in contact with more of your wrist, so its sensors can deliver more reliable readings. Unfortunately, i found this kind of uncomfortable. Both the galaxy watch 5 and watch 5 pro would leave round indentation marks on my wrist after i removed them, no matter how much i adjusted the fit. This was only mildly annoying and i put up with it because i thought i was getting more reliable scans in return, but i realized that the galaxy watch 5 was consistently giving me almost exactly the same readings as the apple watch series 7 that i wore in My other wrist and the latter never felt as tight. Another reviewer i spoke to said they found the watch 5 very comfortable, so this might be a matter of personal preference. This also applies to wearing a watch to bed. Some people dont mind it. Others hate it. I belong in the latter camp, but i still wore the galaxy watch and apple watch to bed to compare their sleep tracking tools. As ive said before, apples system is atrocious. You have to either set a bedtime or enable your sleep focus before the device can tell youre asleep.
Even then it doesnt really actually know if youre awake or passed out. Meanwhile, samsung can figure it out all on its own one night i wore both watches to bed making sure to know the time right before i flipped over and closed my eyes. The galaxy watch 5 accurately noted that i fell asleep. Around 1 30 am and woke up at 4 am, while apple simply told me. I got a full nights rest from 11 pm to 9 a.m. The galaxy watch 5, like fitbits watches, will also use your heart rate information to gauge what sleep zones you hit and tell you how much time youve spent in rem deep or light sleep tracking itself, isnt new to the galaxy watch. 5. But samsung did add a sleep coaching tool. Thats meant to guide you towards better rest. However, it requires 5 weeknights and 2 weekend nights of data before any tips are generated, and i just havent logged that many hours yet plus my data would be skewed anyway, anytime. I wear any accessory to bed. I sleep horribly. This might be a useful feature. I just cant tell you right now. Another thing i cant evaluate at the moment is whether the skin temperature sensor that samsung introduced on the galaxy watch 5 will be helpful since its not currently doing anything. There are plenty of potentially useful applications for that data, though so it will be interesting to see what the company is able to achieve with.
This samsung has also long been better than most wear os watches at monitoring your activity and the watch 5 is no different. When i was stuck at my desk for hours on end pounding out this review, it reminded me to get up and move ive always appreciated that, in addition to walking galaxy watches would also suggest movements. You could perform at your desk like torso twists or stretches even better. The device would be able to detect exactly how many twists youve done, something the apple watch and other wear os devices dont do the flip side of that is that theyre also hyperactive at noticing, when youve paused and will not only suspend tracking but will buzz you To let you know its not counting the time while youve stopped like chill samsung besides the sleep poaching feature. Not much is different between the watch 4 and watch 5. When it comes to software, youll still be able to get a body composition. Reading using the built in body, impedance analysis tool or bia, you can take ecg scans reply to messages, control, music, playback and more. The watch 5 also uses the same 5 nanometer xnose processor as the older model and for the most part it was just as responsive. I only really had to wait when creating new watch faces or taking a body fat scan. Otherwise everything happened. The instant i tapped, the screen. I actually forgot that this was a wear os device, because the watch 5 software still feels so much like tizen.
Besides swiping up and down from the home screen to pull up all apps and settings, the majority of the site, swiping interface, feels no different from samsungs original os. One thing i wish this wear os tizen mashup did better was displaying workout information apple uses a large, bold font that shows how long youve been working out as well as your heart rate and calories burned. Samsung delivers similar information but uses a font thats a lot thinner and smaller. When my watch five screen was locked during my swim and i couldnt tap it. I couldnt see any info at all and i had to unlock water mode mid lap to bump up the brightness to the max. Even then, it was only slightly better, its also worth noting that, because theyre typically secondary devices, a significant part of the smartwatch experience is interacting with its companion apps on your phone. In this case, youll need to install the galaxy wearable app to set up your watch. 5 and samsung health to see details about your workouts and sleep sessions in general. These apps were easy to use and navigate, and i found settings or health summaries quickly. Samsung also shows what cardio zones youre in during a workout or sleep session, and this information is only coming to watch os 9 when its publicly available later this year, i wore the apple watch series 7 and the galaxy watch 5 on each wrist for a week And every day they delivered almost exactly the same runtime.
Both devices clogged slightly over a day before conking out, although enabling the always on display caused the watch 5 to drain noticeably faster, both watches also recharged quickly. So i never had to wait longer than 30 minutes to get enough juice for half a days wear when i wore the watches overnight to test sleep tracking, the apple watch used less power than the galaxy watch, but the latter actually delivers better results. So i dont mind it using more juice. The pro model of the watch 5 typically lasted a few hours longer than the 40 millimeter model, with its always on display enabled, and i got close to a day – more juice. With that setting turned off, though samsung markets, the watch 5 pro as having been designed for the great outdoors theres really little about it. That makes it feel that way. The main difference in my experience is that the pro is noticeably bulkier. I have fairly petite wrists, so the 45 millimeter titanium case felt overwhelming. It also has a chunky frame around the screen where a rotating bezel might sit, although there is no actual mechanical spinner here and while i like that, the d buckle closure makes the pro fit more securely, it adds to the general heft basically compared to the watch. 5, the pro feels like an ankle strap that might not be a bad thing if youre a fan of oversized watches and the bonus is that the watch 5 pro feels strong enough to withstand being smashed.
The other feature differentiating the pro from the regular watch 5 is its support for the gpx route. Format for workouts like hiking and cycling. Youll have to go into the samsung health app on your phone to pick a previous route and export it as a gpx file. Then go into hiking or cycling and import that information later you can select from the watch 5 pro one of the routes you loaded under one of those exercises to start the same journey and the device will show you turn by turn directions its a little tricky To set up but potentially helpful for those who are in a new place and want to try out a local route by downloading gpx files from databases, samsung also added a track back feature that will take you home. The way you came and its only available for certain exercises for now, even though most of the changes samsung brought to the watch 5 line are minimal. The fact remains that for android users this is the best smartwatch around. I might not like the refined curvature of the underside, but it does make for more reliable sensor readings. The watch 5 pro is also a little bulky for my taste and the only real improvement it offers over. The regular model, aside from size and durability, is a bit more battery life still thanks to its well rounded and capable health and fitness tracking tools, alongside its prowess as a smartphone companion device.