The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is the latest addition to Samsung’s smartwatch lineup, and it has generated quite a buzz in the wearable tech community. With several improvements over its predecessor, the Galaxy Watch 4, this timepiece aims to deliver a better overall experience for users. In this comprehensive Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review, we will examine its features, performance, battery life, and how it stacks up against the competition.
Overview: What’s New in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5?
The Galaxy Watch 5 builds upon the success of the Galaxy Watch 4 and introduces some notable enhancements. While retaining the sleek design and core features of its predecessor, the Galaxy Watch 5 offers improved health tracking, a more comfortable fit, and better battery life. However, it’s worth noting that the changes are incremental, and users of the Galaxy Watch 4 might not find a compelling reason to upgrade.
Design and Display: A Familiar Look with Minor Tweaks
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 maintains the same overall design language as the Galaxy Watch 4, sporting a circular display and a touch-sensitive bezel for easy navigation. It comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm, making it suitable for a variety of wrist sizes.
One significant change in the design is the slightly flattened bottom, which aims to provide a more comfortable fit on the wrist. This modification also improves the contact between the health sensors and the skin, resulting in more accurate readings.
The display is protected by Sapphire Glass, ensuring better durability against scratches and impacts. It’s a welcome improvement for users who demand a rugged smartwatch that can withstand daily wear and tear.
Bands and Customization Options
The Galaxy Watch 5 is compatible with 20mm quick-release watchbands, allowing users to swap out the included silicone band for their preferred choice. With a wide variety of third-party bands available, users can easily find a band that matches their style and comfort preferences.
Performance and Software: Wear OS 3 and One UI Watch
The Galaxy Watch 5 runs on Google’s Wear OS 3 platform, with Samsung’s One UI Watch skin on top. It is powered by the same Exynos W920 processor as its predecessor, backed by 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.
The combination of Samsung’s hardware and Google’s software results in a smooth and responsive user experience. Google Assistant comes pre-installed, offering a more reliable and useful voice assistant than Samsung’s Bixby. Additionally, users can access a wide range of apps from the Google Play Store, as well as replace Samsung Pay with Google Wallet if they prefer.
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Health and Fitness Tracking: Enhanced Accuracy and New Features
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 comes equipped with an array of health and fitness tracking features, such as heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and workout tracking. The improved contact between the health sensors and the skin allows for more accurate readings compared to the Galaxy Watch 4.
A notable new addition is the body temperature sensor, which is expected to arrive in a future software update. This sensor will enable users to monitor their body temperature, providing valuable insights into their overall health.
Sleep Tracking and Coaching
The Galaxy Watch 5 introduces a new Sleep Coaching feature, which uses data from the sleep tracking function to provide personalized sleep programs. The Samsung Health app requires seven days of sleep data before generating a sleep profile and offering tailored recommendations for improving sleep quality.
Battery Life: Improved but Still Not Stellar
Samsung claims that the Galaxy Watch 5 can last up to 50 hours on a single charge. However, in real-world usage, most users will find that the battery life falls short of this ambitious claim. With features like the Always-on Display and always-listening Google Assistant enabled, the battery might not even last a full day.
That said, the Galaxy Watch 5 does offer fast charging, allowing users to recharge the battery quickly when needed. In tests, the watch went from 15% to 100% battery in under an hour, making it more convenient for those who need a quick top-up before heading out.
Gate-Keeping Features: A Frustrating Limitation
One major drawback of the Galaxy Watch 5 is its limitation on certain health features for non-Samsung phone users. Functions like ECG monitoring and blood pressure tracking are not available for users with Android phones from other manufacturers, making the watch less appealing to those who don’t own a Samsung phone.
Competition: How Does the Galaxy Watch 5 Compare?
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 faces limited competition in the traditional smartwatch space. The Apple Watch Series 7 is a strong contender but is limited to iPhone users and comes with a higher price tag. Other Wear OS 3 smartwatches, like the Montblanc Summit 3, are significantly more expensive than the Galaxy Watch 5.
The real competition is expected to arrive later this year, with the launch of the Google Pixel Watch and Mobvoi’s upcoming TicWatch, both of which will run on Wear OS 3.
Verdict: Should You Buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5?
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is an excellent choice for those who want the latest Wear OS 3 smartwatch with improved durability, health tracking features, and a comfortable fit. It’s a perfect companion for Samsung phone users, but those with non-Samsung Android phones might miss out on some of its health features.
If you already own a Galaxy Watch 4, the incremental upgrades might not warrant an immediate switch to the Galaxy Watch 5. However, if you’re in the market for a new smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 5 stands as the best Android smartwatch currently available, at least until the competition heats up later this year.
Ultimately, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 offers a well-rounded wearable experience with a few minor drawbacks that might not affect every user. It’s a solid incremental upgrade for the Galaxy Watch series and is worth considering for anyone seeking a reliable and feature-rich smartwatch.