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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Review: Adventure-Ready With Some Notable Upgrades
The Samsung Galaxy Watch series is possibly the most viable competitor to Apple's Watches. If you don't want to be locked into Apple's ecosystem and want an all-around wearable experience for your Android device, the Galaxy watches could be a good place to start. Every year, Samsung attempts to improve the user experience of its flagship watches, and this year is no exception.
- Premium Looks
- Sturdy Titanium Case & Sapphire Glass
- Google Services Support (Maps, Assistant, Keep Notes, etc.)
- Decent Battery Life
- Trackback Mode (Needs GPX Format Routes)
- No Rotating Bezel
- Average Speaker Quality
- Lacks body Temperature
The Galaxy Watch 5-series includes two smartwatches: the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and the Watch 5, with the most notable difference being the underlying software. The new wearables are powered by Google Wear OS 3, which provides users with access to Google services like Google Maps, Keep notes, Google Pay, and much more. The design has also changed, which may annoy some customers, particularly those who admired the chunky rotating dial.
Furthermore, there are several improvements in both hardware and software that appear to be quite promising on paper. Do they translate into good real-world performance? Let's find out.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Specifications
Design- Titanium Case, Round Dial, Silicon Strap
Dimensions & Weight- 45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5 mm, 73g
Display- 1.4" Super AMOLED, 450 x 450 Px Resolution
Hardware- Dual-Core CPU (1.18GHz), 1.5GB RAM + 16GB ROM
Software- Google Wear OS
Connectivity- Wi-Fi (2.4 + 5.0GHz), BT 5.2, NFC, GPS
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Design- Bye-Bye Rotating Dial
If you've ever used a Galaxy Watch, you'll notice the absence of the signature rotating bezel. The hardware feature set the premium Samsung wearable apart from the crowd, and it's a shame to see it go with the new generation. Samsung could have kept the rotating bezel on the Pro variant while experimenting with the regular Watch 5 model. Nonetheless, the new Pro wearable looks good thanks to its premium construction and somewhat aesthetic design.
There are two color options to choose from, Gray Titanium and Black Titanium. We're testing the former, and while the color scheme may appear dull to some, the overall design is subtle and pleasing to the eyes. We recommend seeing both colors in person before making a decision. The watch is quite thick and weighs quite a bit.
Feels Bulky On The Wrist?
The overall weight of the watch; dial plus the magnetic buckle is 73g, which you should consider before purchasing. If you've previously worn slightly bulky watches, the Watch 5 Pro won't be an issue. The hefty dial on your wrist, however, makes sleep monitoring difficult.
How Durable Is The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro?
Because of the titanium case and sapphire crystal layer over the display, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is now more durable than its predecessor. Furthermore, the protruding bezel design shields the display from accidental bumps and direct hits into sharp edges, wall corners, and so on. The Watch 5 Pro's increased durability makes it more suitable for outdoor adventures and gym workouts.
Additionally, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is 5ATM + IP68 water-dust resistant. It also gets MIL-STD-810H certification ensuring high standards of durability, something we expect from a premium Samsung wearable.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Display
The display on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is excellent. It has a 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a respectable 450x450 px resolution and a smooth refresh rate, possibly 60Hz. Colors appear vibrant, text appears crisp, and the high peak brightness ensures good visibility in direct sunlight. During outdoor running or cycling sessions, you will not struggle to read notifications and health insights. Furthermore, the screen registers touch well and allows you to type text from the wrist itself.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Software Experience
While the rotating dial is no longer present, there is a software trick that mimics the physical rotating bezel and sends out subtle vibrations. It remains at the circular display's edge and allows you to navigate through the home screens, app drawer, and settings menu. It's a clever software implementation that comes close but falls short of replacing the rotating bezel's convenience. Aside from that, the software is pretty cool and simple to use, and there's a lot to experiment with on a wearable.
Because the new Galaxy wearables run on the OneUI Watch 4.5 joint platform developed by Samsung and Google, you get the benefits of Google services as well as the simplicity of Samsung's watch software. The user interface is well-designed, comes with plenty of utilities, and runs smoothly. The Exynos W920 Dual-Core 1.18GHz chip powers the wearable and is accompanied by 1.5GB of RAM. During our review, we encountered no sluggish app loads or UI bugs.
Plenty Of Software Utilities
Apart from the fonts, typography, and ease of use, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also offers plenty of utilities and personalization features. You can choose from dozens of watch faces, design your own, and even change the elements and information displayed on the screen. Home screens can be customized with tile/widget changes, and the display settings provide a plethora of options such as font style, font size adjustments, visibility enhancements such as high-contrast fonts, colour correction/inversion, and so on.
You can also disable animations, transparency, and blur, as well as enable bold fonts and magnification tools. It's more than you'd normally need on your wrist. Furthermore, Google apps and services improved the user experience, particularly while driving. I could use Google Assistant and Google Maps without having to touch my phone. It is also extremely convenient to check notes on Keep and sync data to Google Fit.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Health & Fitness Features
Let's talk about health. In addition to tracking your daily activities, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro provides body composition insights such as skeletal muscle, fat mass, body fat, BMI data, body water information, and BMR. The feature is hidden within the Samsung Health app on the wearable, which also displays your daily activity, steps, exercise history, sleep data, stress, and heart rate readings.
I liked the newly added sweat loss-based water consumption recommendation insights during intense workout sessions. Such recovery tools make a fitness wearable practical for everyday use. Furthermore, snore detection is a useful feature that ensures better sleep monitoring.
Sensors Accuracy On The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Heart rate, SpO2, and step counter sensors appear to provide accurate readings. The accuracy bump might be credited to the 'BioActive Sensor,' which combines three health sensors - Optical Heart Rate, Electrical Heart Signal, and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis - to provide detailed readings such as heart rate, blood oxygen level, and even stress level. The Watch 5 Pro lacks a body temperature sensor, which is surprising given that it is now available on some entry-level wearables.
Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Has Built-in GPS With Track Back Mode
Furthermore, the built-in GPS is fairly accurate and extends its functionality to a rather useful feature- Track Back, which can serve as a guide if you ever get lost while hiking or running outside. To use the feature, you must first import the GPX format workout routes from a connected smartphone to your smartwatch.
Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Apps- Galaxy Wearable & Samsung Health
To get the most out of the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, you'll need two apps on your smartphone: the Galaxy Wearable app and the Samsung Health app. The Samsung Galaxy Wearable app is required for watch-related settings such as watch faces, notifications, display settings, key customizations, and so on. The Samsung Health app is required for everything related to health and fitness.
I'm not a fan of Samsung's Health app, so I'm glad the wearable supports third-party health apps like Strava and Google Fit. Install these on your wrist and sync your data whenever you want.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Battery Life & Connectivity
The battery life has also been improved. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has a 590mAh battery cell that lasts slightly longer than two days on average use. The battery life will vary greatly depending on how you use it. The watch will die in less than two days if you enable the wearable's health and display features such as an automatic heart-rate monitor, stress monitor, Always-On display, and so on. It is still superior to the Apple Watch and previous Galaxy Watches.
In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is available in two sizes, both with a 45mm dial. The Bluetooth-only variant costs Rs. 44,999, while the LTE variant costs Rs. 49,999.
The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro represents a significant improvement over its predecessor. It has a more sturdy and durable design, a longer battery life, and some valuable fitness-centric features, making it a good all-around wearable for outdoor activities. Some design changes may disappoint prospective buyers, but the overall result will be pleasing in the long run. Another compelling reason to consider the new Samsung wearables is their support for Google services.
In terms of comparison with the Apple Watch 7/8 series, both operate in different universes and are intended for different types of users. If you use Android, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a good option, but it comes at a price. If you want to experience the full capabilities of Samsung's premium wearable, I recommend getting the LTE version. It costs a bomb at Rs. 49,999, but it provides better value than the LTE variant, which costs Rs. 5,000 less.