Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review

Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review

Samsung's mid-year Unpacked event just unveiled a slew of new mobile hardware, preceded by a pair of new foldable devices in the Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4, the new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, and a new range of devices. wearables on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. and Watch 5 Pro.

While the Watch 5 Pro is an entirely new beast looking to provide a more robust and premium experience than anything we've seen on Samsung wearables to date, the standard Galaxy Watch 5 serves as the most affordable smartwatch for those who haven't picked up a Galaxy Watch 4 and are still interested in what Samsung has to offer or those looking for the more similar Apple Watch alternative on the Android side of the fence.

At first glance, the Watch 5 looks like a mostly incremental update over its 2021 predecessor; still available in two sizes and sporting Samsung's unique take on the latest version of Wear OS; meaning that users can expect a rich portable user experience that offers a host of features supported by Samsung and Google.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 price and availability

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 hand in hand correa blanca

(Image credit: Future/Basil Kronfli)

Samsung introduced the Watch 5 alongside its Pro-branded sibling as part of its Summer Unpacked event, which took place on August 10.

As with the new Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4, the Watch 5 line was pre-ordered the same day (or the next day in Australia), with a promised sale date of August 26 (September 2 in Australia). Australia).

Despite their similarities, prices have risen across the board, likely due to supply chain challenges and economic pressures that Samsung, like many other big tech companies, is not immune to.

Like last year, the Galaxy Watch 5 comes in two sizes, each available in Bluetooth-only and LTE cellular configurations.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (40mm)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (44mm)

Design and screen of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

The biggest change for the Galaxy Watch lineup year over year is the absence of a Classic model within the 2022 lineup.

The Watch 5 Pro brings an entirely new aesthetic of its own, while the standard Watch 5 continues the distinctive, contemporary styles we were introduced to with last year's Watch 4, meaning there's no physical rotating bezel anywhere in the lineup. This year's laptop.

As before, the Watch 5 features clean lines, with brushed aluminum lugs that extend to wrap around the polished black metal body, while the slotted quick release clasp can be changed to suit your style and tastes.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 hands on quick settings

(Image credit: Future/Basil Kronfli)

The smaller 40mm model comes in graphite, silver or rose gold, while the larger 44mm version swaps the rose gold for sapphire (a muted medium blue).

Despite offering larger batteries in this year's range (making both sizes around 3 grams heavier), the Watch 5's dimensions haven't increased at all compared to the Watch 4; an impressive feat, although the added weight may mean they're more visible on the wrist for some wearers.

As for the display, as with the Watch 4, you'll find a circular 1,19-inch (on the 40mm model) or 1,39-inch (on the 44mm model) Super AMOLED display with always-on functionality. active and 330ppi (what it does is a bit sharper than the Apple Watch 7).


(Image credit: Future/Basil Kronfli)

Although the resolution remains the same and the image quality appears to be unchanged, the big improvement here is the use of a much stronger sapphire crystal; which Samsung says is 60% stronger than the protective glass found on the Watch 4.

The Watch 5 also features IP68-certified dust and water protection, 5 ATM swim resistance, and MIL-STD-810H approval, meaning it's tested to withstand outdoor conditions, including bumps and drops. strong, extreme temperatures and more.

Software and formatting of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 marked a turning point in the company's wearable strategy as it abandoned its long-standing Tizen OS user experience following a new partnership with Google; adopting its previously unloved Wear OS platform instead.

While Wear OS 3 is still finding its footing in the broader smartwatch market, the Watch 4 and now the Watch 5 are leading the charge, while dressing the Google experience with Samsung-exclusive aesthetics and features in One UI.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 hands on home screen

(Image credit: Future/Basil Kronfli)

The Watch 5 comes with One UI Watch 4.5 (on Wear OS 3.5), which was introduced in July and brings additions like a better on-wrist typing experience and easier access to your favorite watch faces.

In terms of the software experience seen on the Watch 5 in particular, Samsung has focused on expanding the wearable's wellness skill set, with a particular focus on crafting sleep tracking.

This new sleep tracking system includes more detailed advice and promises to provide better insights; going so far as to automatically suggest a month-long sleep plan in an effort to improve overall sleep quality.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 hands on fitness information

(Image credit: Future/Basil Kronfli)

Additional SmartThings integration also links your sleep cycle to your connected smart home, meaning lights can be set to dim or turn off and other IoT devices will refrain from making noise when Watch 5 detects going to sleep.

Another feature we first encountered on the Watch 4 was Samsung's Bioactive Sensor (which is actually an array of multiple sensors), which offers a similar feature set on the new Watch 5 including the aforementioned sleep tracking, as well as heart rate and blood. oxygen monitoring, as well as ECG and body composition analysis to discern things like water retention and bone density.

Performance and battery of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

While Samsung's smartwatches are rarely criticized for poor performance, last year's Watch 4 introduced a significantly more powerful chipset in the company's 920nm Exynos W5; make an already good value for money smartwatch even better; future-proof performance and better energy efficiency.

The Galaxy Watch 5 runs on the same W920 silicon along with 1,5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage (for apps and media). Performance is solid, based on our first encounter with the laptop, and should serve long-term users well.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 hands on watch face red strap sleep information white strap

(Image credit: Future/Basil Kronfli)

The better the smartwatch, the more demanding the battery experience can be and with just a small 13% increase in capacity, the Watch 5 should offer greater longevity than its predecessor, with the 40mm model dropping from 247 mAh to 284 mAh, while the larger 5mm Watch 44 jumps from 361 mAh to 410 mAh.

Plus, a new USB-C charger means Watch 5 charges 30% faster, too.

first verdict

While the switch from the Watch 4 to the Watch 5 may not seem like such a big deal at first glance, it appears that Samsung has ironed out its predecessor's biggest problems in an effort to offer a more comprehensive and even more competitive alternative to the likes of the Watch XNUMX. apple watch

While some of the new features are likely to come to existing Galaxy Watch 4 users and beyond, Samsung's decision to pair its latest wearable with smart home automation seems like a seemingly obvious but vastly underutilized talent in the category. that the rivals have not yet taken advantage of. of.

Whether the Galaxy Watch 5 offers more significant improvements won't be revealed until we do our full review, so stay tuned.