Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Buyer’s guide

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Watch 5 Pro

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

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

Samsung’s smartwatch series for 2022 is a clear case of evolution over revolution. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro share several similarities with the outgoing Galaxy Watch 4 line but improve the facets that matter. The Pro model is particularly interesting, as Samsung’s actively targeting outdoor enthusiasts with new training features and the promise of longer battery life. But how do these two models differ, and how do they stack up against the competition? Here’s everything you need to know about the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro: At a glance

Samsung announced two models, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, on August 10, 2022 at its summer Unpacked event. The two watches share similar core features but differ regarding unique selling points and target audiences.

The Galaxy Watch 5 is a direct successor to the Galaxy Watch 4. It’s the lighter option and features the more intriguing colorway palette. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is effectively the same offering at its core but includes a thicker, heavier body to accommodate a larger battery. It also gets a larger dial, a D-buckle strap, and comes with additional workout planning features. In addition, it trades the aluminum build used by the base Galaxy Watch 5 models for a titanium body with a protective lip around its face.

Neither Galaxy Watch 5 series model features a physical rotating bezel, but Samsung will continue selling the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic for those seeking this particular feature. All Galaxy Watch 5 offerings now feature a touch bezel with stronger Sapphire Crystal lenses.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 strap selection

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Although the Pro model’s monster battery size is now a headlining feature, all Galaxy Watch 5 models pack larger batteries when compared to the Galaxy Watch 4. There’s also a new addition to the health tracking kit, namely a skin temperature sensor. Google’s Wear OS 3 with Samsung’s One UI Watch 4.5 continue as the operating system and skin of choice out-of-the-box.

There are two sizes of the Galaxy Watch 5 available — 40mm and 44mm. Both sizes are also available in Wi-Fi-only and LTE guises. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is available in a single size — 45mm. You can have it with or without LTE as well.

Are the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro worth buying?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro straps

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

All things considered, yes. Though we’re yet to test both in greater detail, the Galaxy Watch 5 series builds on several aspects of the already solid Galaxy Watch 4 experience. The latter was already marked in our book among the best smartwatches you could buy, but the latest series seems poised to usurp that crown.

Of course, questions should be asked if you’re looking to upgrade from the Galaxy Watch 4. Arguably, the improvements made might not be worth forking out an additional few hundred dollars, at least if you’re not trading in your old watch. But if you’re a new user, the Galaxy Watch 5 is a more mature, advanced jumping-off point.

While the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic were visually different, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro are fairly similar. Unlike the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, both Galaxy Watch 5 models now feature a touch bezel. This addition means they share core aesthetics. The Pro option, however, gains a larger dial size, bigger battery, and tougher shell than its counterpart. It also brings some interesting Garmin-inspired training features to the table, which we’ll discuss later. Samsung’s positioning this model as the option for “outdoor adventures.”

Unlike the Watch 4 duo, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro are fairly similar in design.

The two Galaxy Watch 5 options share core fitness tracking technology. The loadout includes an optical heart rate sensor, an ECG for monitoring heart health, the BIA sensor for surveying body composition, continuous SpO2 monitoring, and a new skin temperature sensor. Both models also feature NFC, built-in GPS, dual-band Wi-Fi support, and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 isn’t much pricier than its predecessor was at launch. The Galaxy Watch 4 debuted at $249, while its newer sibling asks for $279. The LTE option will set you back an additional $50. Overall, that’s less than its core rivals from Apple and Garmin. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is where things get pricey. It starts at $449 for the Wi-Fi-only option, jumping to $499 for the LTE variant.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Extended battery life
Wide range of activity tracking features

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Much better battery life
Full compatibility with more phones
A slimmer design

What our readers think about the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Before launch, we polled users about rumored upgrades and which upgrade they’d most like to see land on the Galaxy Watch 5 series. It seems that Samsung was secretly listening in to your demands. More than 70% of our polled users earmarked “better battery life” as the upgrade they’d appreciate most. Temperature monitoring came in a distant second, with wider compatibility placing third.

Which upgrade would you like to see most on the Galaxy Watch 5?


Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Hardware and design

As mentioned, Samsung opted to polish its existing hardware and design rather than reinvent the smartwatch. For those seeking a wholly overhauled aesthetic, you’ll be disappointed to note that the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4 are practically the same devices visually and, to an extent, physically.

You can have the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 with either a 44mm or 40mm lens. The latter is the smallest, thinnest, and lightest option in the range, packing a 1.19-inch 396 x 396 AMOLED screen, a depth of 39mm, and a weight of 29g. The larger Galaxy Watch 5 option packs a 1.36-inch 450 x 450 AMOLED display, with a 43.3mm thickness and a weight of 33g.

Samsung’s opted to polish its existing hardware and design rather than reinvent the smartwatch.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the new kid on the block and replaces the short-lived “Classic” line. It employs a smaller 45mm dial, but it still uses the same 1.36-inch display as the standard Galaxy Watch 5. That slightly larger lens makes room for a raised bezel, providing added screen protection from errant knocks.

Like the Galaxy Watch 4, both Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 models feature a pair of flatter, longer pushers on their right-hand flanks. Gone are the round knobs used on the Watch 4 Classic. It’s probably a good thing, especially for the Pro model, as you’re less likely to ping the flatter buttons against an object while adventuring.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in black titanium color with open black metal strap laying on table

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

While both Galaxy Watch 5 models use standard 20mm watch straps, Samsung has improved the fit of the standard bands. The company claims this improves the accuracy of the sensors when monitoring core health metrics. The standard Galaxy Watch 5 comes with a similar sports band option to the Galaxy Watch 4. The Pro model gains a more secure D-buckle band that looks particularly premium and provides a more secure fit.

As for hardware, Samsung is finally making battery longevity a core feature. The 40mm Galaxy Watch 5 packs a 284mAh battery, while the 44mm model uses a 410mAh power pack. The Pro includes a massive 590mAh cell, shading previous Wear OS battery heavyweights. Samsung claims the base models should last for 50 hours between charges. For the Pro, this number jumps to 80 hours of regular use or 20 hours with continuous GPS usage. Your mileage will vary, though.

Beyond this upgrade, there’s nothing fundamentally new on the Galaxy Watch 5’s silicon. Samsung is still using the Exynos W920 SoC it employed last year on the Galaxy Watch 4, with 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.


Fitness, health tracking, and software features

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in silver color with fluoroelastomer strap on wrist showing body composition screen

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Galaxy Watch 5 series brings the usual list of health tracking tech to your wrist. If you’ve glossed through the Galaxy Watch 4’s specs sheet, many of these features will be familiar to you.

For starters, the Galaxy Watch 5 line sees the return of the “BioActive” sensor array — a trio of sensors for monitoring heart rate, electrical heart signal, and body composition. The latter most notably debuted on the Galaxy Watch 4 series last year. While it’s the same set of sensors as found on its predecessor, Samsung claims the Galaxy Watch 5 line’s accuracy is improved thanks to a better fit on the wrist. The Galaxy Watch 5 series also features continuous blood oxygen monitoring thanks to an SpO2 sensor.

A new skin temperature sensor uses infrared to sample a user’s body temperature fluctuations.

There is one new notable addition to Samsung’s sensor array. A new skin temperature sensor uses infrared to sample a user’s body temperature fluctuations. We’ve found this feature helpful on newer Fitbits, as it serves as an early warning for potential sickness. Samsung likely has similar plans.

Samsung’s also making a point of improving sleep tracking and analysis with the Galaxy Watch 5 series. Sleep Scores make a return while snore monitoring and recording using your phone’s mic, and overnight blood oxygen monitoring return. The company’s also touting its Sleep Coaching system, which debuted on the Galaxy Watch 4 line. You tell your watch what your sleep issues are, and it’ll suggest a month-long guided plan to address them. For those in the Samsung ecosystem, SmartThings integration also lets users control smart devices to encourage better sleep hygiene.

See also: The best sleep trackers you can buy

Look specifically at the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, and you’ll find some new training-friendly software features. The flagship brings GPX route support to download and display routes on your wrist, record new routes, and share them with others. It also features track back, which helps you find your way home if you stray from the path. Finally, the Pro also features turn-by-turn directions, which should further please cyclists and runners on route.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 in silver color with metal bracelet in hand showing apps closeup

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Samsung’s Tizen days are well and truly gone. Following the Galaxy Watch 4, the Galaxy Watch 5 series continues with Wear OS 3. While there’s nothing fundamentally different to note, Samsung has launched the watch with One UI 4.5. Considering that there’s currently a beta program in progress, we expect One UI Watch 5.0 to debut in the coming months.

The Galaxy Watch 5 series sees Google Assistant support baked in from the get-go, while phoneless Google Maps voice navigation support is billed as “coming soon.” The company is also adding its Smart Switch data transfer service to the watch, making the setup slightly swifter.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro specs

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Display

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

44mm: 1.4-inch
Super AMOLED
450 x 450 resolution
Sapphire Crystal

40mm: 1.2-inch
Super AMOLED
396 x 396 resolution
Sapphire Crystal

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

45mm: 1.4-inch
Super AMOLED
450 x 450 resolution
Sapphire Crystal

Dimensions and weight

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

44mm: 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm
33.5g

40mm: 40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm
28.7 g

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

45mm: 45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5mm
46.5g

Colors and materials

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Armor Aluminum case
Graphite, Silver, Pink Gold (40mm only), Sapphire (44mm only)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Titanium case
Black, Gray

Battery

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

44mm: 410mAh

40mm: 284mAh

WPC-based wireless charging

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

45mm: 590mAh

WPC-based wireless charging

Processor

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

5nm Samsung Exynos W920
Dual-core 1.18GHz

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

5nm Samsung Exynos W920
Dual-core 1.18GHz

RAM

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

1.5GB

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

1.5GB

Storage

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

16GB

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

16GB

Connectivity

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

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

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

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

Sensors

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic sensor
Light sensor
Samsung BioActive sensor: optical heart rate (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor (BIA)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic sensor
Light sensor
Samsung BioActive sensor: optical heart rate (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor (BIA)

Durability

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810G

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810G

Software

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Wear OS
Samsung One UI Watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Wear OS
Samsung One UI Watch

Compatibility

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Android

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Android

What are the best Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro alternatives?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 44mm size

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The premium smartwatch space is filled with impressive offerings from several companies. That list is set to grow longer as we head into the final half of 2022. Other devices may fit your bill if the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 or Watch 5 Pro don’t appeal to you. Here are some of our recommendations:

Apple Watch Series 7 ($399): It’s tough not to recommend the Apple Watch, especially if you own an iPhone. It’s the best smartwatch you can buy for iOS users with seamless smart feature integration and a solid fitness tracking loadout.

Garmin Venu 2 Plus ($449): This is Garmin’s best smartwatch, melding a large OLED screen with the company’s useful health and fitness tracking features. You won’t get the same sweeping list of app offerings found on watchOS or Wear OS, but you do get longer battery life, onboard music playback and streaming support, voice assistant smarts, and on-wrist call features.

Garmin Fenix 7 ($699): The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro may be the company’s most expensive watch appealing to outdoor enthusiasts, but those seeking a genuinely rough-and-tumble companion should consider the Fenix 7. You’ll miss out on several useful smart features, including LTE, but gain impressive battery longevity, real-time stamina, race predictor smarts, and TopoActive maps support for serious trail users.

Fossil Gen 6 ($299): Fossil’s latest smartwatch platform hasn’t yet received its Wear OS 3 upgrade, but it’s among the best Wear OS picks around. It packs an SpO2 sensor to pad out its health tracking kit and a perkier, more efficient chipset.

Fitbit Sense ($299): Finally, the Fitbit Sense is worth a mention. It’s among the oldest devices on this list (with a new model expected soon), but it comes laden with sensors, including an EDA sensor for measuring stress and a skin temperature monitor. Fitbit also brings excellent sleep tracking to the table, while the Sense’s price has come down nicely since its initial launch.


Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Extended battery life • Wide range of activity tracking features

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is geared toward 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 • A slimmer design

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

Both the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro are now available to preorder on Samsung.com until August 25. Preorder bonuses include a Wireless Charger Duo, while users who trade in older eligible Samsung wearables can knock $75 off the Galaxy Watch 5’s price or $125 off the Pro. Official retail availability kicks off on August 26.

Below is the pricing structure for the entire lineup:

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (Bluetooth): $279 / £269
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (LTE): $329 / £319
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (Bluetooth): $449 / £429
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (LTE): $499 / £479

Samsung is offering slightly different body and strap colorways for the 40mm and 44mm Galaxy Watch 5 models and the Pro option. See the breakdown below:

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (40mm)

Case colorways:

  • Silver
  • Graphite
  • Pink Gold

Strap colorways:

  • Bora Purple
  • Graphite
  • Pink Gold

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (44mm)

Case colorways:

Strap colorways:

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Case colorways:

  • Black Titanium
  • Gray Titanium

Strap colorways:

Top Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 questions and answers

Yes, we certainly think the Galaxy Watch 5 is worth buying. Thanks to the larger batteries and tougher build, it’s worth a look for Android smartphone users.

No, Samsung has not launched a Classic model this time around. Instead, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the new range-topper. However, Samsung will continue making the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic for those who want a physical rotating bezel.

Yes, you can purchase LTE models of the 40mm and 44mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 models and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 line runs Wear OS 3 with the One UI Watch skin on top.

Samsung has introduced a new skin temperature sensor to the Galaxy Watch 5. It uses infrared to monitor body temperature fluctuations.

Yes, both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro feature IP68 and 5ATM ratings.

All Galaxy Watch 5 series models work with 20mm straps.

Help other readers out

Is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 worth it?

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Will you be upgrading from the Galaxy Watch 4 to the Galaxy Watch 5?

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Are you buying the Galaxy Watch 5 or Galaxy Watch 5 Pro?

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