The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which debuted as the durable replacement for the svelte and moderately secure Watch 5, is a great all-day companion but a challenging smartwatch to evaluate.
There aren’t many all-action smartwatches on the market, particularly ones running Wear OS. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is more than simply a tough exterior. Having said that, the upgrades are significant and may be of interest to people seeking what may be the greatest Wear OS wearable now available.
Video Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review Design and hardware Comfort and fit Software Fitness and tracking features Battery life and charging Final thoughts Where can I get the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro? A REVIEW OF THE VIDEOGALAXY WATCH 5 PRO Subscribe to 9to5Google on YouTube for more videos
HARDWARE AND DESIGN That’s pretty much all you actually need to know when comparing the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro: Samsung has discontinued the Watch Classic series for 2022 and instead enlarged the normal Galaxy Watch design. The brand-new Sapphire glass screen has a lip around the edges because this is intended to be more tough, and the side buttons stick out somewhat more. Additionally, each button provides good clicky response.
It seems strange that Samsung would delete the rotating bezel but that it was done so in order to preserve common design lineage; the titanium case in gray seems almost muddy and has a certain industrial appeal. Whatever the cause, the Watch 5 Pro is stylish despite being significantly larger than the Watch 4 and Watch 5 basic models.
To be completely honest, this wearable is bulky. It would have become even larger if more bezels and buttons had been included, so I’m glad Samsung didn’t do it this time. The digital bezel is still really helpful, and you can easily glide your finger over it because the screen edge curves up to the lip. It’s a lovely detail that just helps with the shift away from a widely used piece of real gear.
The display is slightly sharper this time around and becomes incredibly bright at 450 x 450 pixels. I found it to be totally legible even in bright sunlight, and the adaptive settings are excellent even if they are a little sluggish to respond in environments with varying lighting. As oil and other debris can accumulate on the screen readily, I did discover that fingerprints could be a problem. I don’t know if this is a coating-related issue, but I frequently noticed that I had to wipe the screen of my watch very frequently.
CONFIDENCE AND FIT
I have to be honest about the Watch 5 Pro Fit since right out of the box, using it is the most annoying and uncomfortable experience this smartwatch offers. The brand-new premium D-buckle band is the heaviest, unwieldiest watch strap I’ve ever had the misfortune of using. While releasing the clasp is a difficult and painful process, I lost count of the number of times it pinched the skin on the underside of my wrist.
This started to bother me so much that I decided to disconnect it and use a different cloth band. It fits similarly to Samsung’s $80 band, yes, $80 band, but it just costs $10. Fortunately, this is a blessing because it almost immediately stopped my efforts to review the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. The Watch 5 Pro’s removal to charge or for other reasons was more than a minor irritation. It turned into a painful procedure.
You can find a fit that works for you with most 20mm watch bands, and you also have more color options than the conventional gray and black rubberized D-buckle straps available for purchase. Despite the new strap’s experience-breaking defect, its snug fit guarantees that the vital sensors on your wrist are completely covered.
The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s thickness has received a lot of attention, and with good reason. This garment is large and hefty, therefore it might not be suitable for everyone. You’ll notice that the watch face sits up or sticks out significantly from your wrist, despite the fact that only a few millimeters have been added to practically all dimensions.
Additionally, the titanium chassis adds heft that you may not normally notice on comparable smartwatches. Compared to the ordinary 44mm Galaxy Watch 5, it is almost 50% heavier. Of course, there are good reasons for this, but the most of the time you wear the Watch 5 Pro, you’ll be aware of it.
One UI 4.5 is pre-installed on top of Wear OS 3.5k, which hasn’t changed much since Wear OS 3.0 was first introduced on the Watch 4 last year. It takes a different approach to how Wear OS should seem and function, but in many respects, it’s for the better because before Google renewed its commitment to the platform, things were starting to get a little stale and neglected.
This time, Bixby is the favored companion; the Google Assistant does not come pre-installed or set as the default. Although you can readily adjust this, those of us who prefer Google’s built-in AI assistant find it annoying.
Update: The Google Assistant will be immediately accessible if you restore from an earlier Galaxy Watch 4 backup. This has led to some confusion because that seemed to be the case on three of our four review units. In any other case, you can install a number of apps, including the Assistant, from the first setup screen. To access all of the features and capabilities, you must update via the Play Store, therefore there is no issue if you do so without recognizing it. If you have problems setting up the Assistant, Google provides a dedicated tutorial to help.
Although I can’t say that this experience is significantly better than the Galaxy Watch 4 (or 5), many core programs have received upgrades and improvements. Many Google apps now sport a Material You paint job, which was undoubtedly lacking at this time last year. Although the redesigned Play Store is a better hub, it still has a somewhat empty feeling to it.
Even the platform’s meager assortment of apps has seen some improvement when Samsung returned to the Wear OS market. I’m hoping that the Pixel Watch and the upcoming group of Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 wearables will entice more developers to port their applications to the system. On my wrist, Tidal is dearly missed.
It may seem odd that Samsung made this blunder by sticking with the Exynos W920 and the same core internals. In actuality, I didn’t think about it that frequently. There are relatively infrequent slowdowns. Once warmed up, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is slick, fluid, and performs admirably. However, it would be interesting to see how the internals and performance compare whenever new wearables powered by Qualcomm enter the market in the coming months.
FEATURES FOR TRACKING AND FITNESS
With more specialized additions for hiking, trail running, and other activities, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s comprehensive array of fitness tracking is expanded. There are more than 90 settings accessible, which is standard for a wearable in 2022. Those who are daring will find the Track Back feature useful when trekking or walking on trails because it keeps track of your path back to a starting place.
The few times I’ve used it, I’ve had positive experiences, but since I almost always stay on the ground, it is essentially useless for me. The GPX file upload function is comparable. It will probably be useful for the limited few that need it, but regular wearers won’t be able to fully benefit from it. I’ll leave those to someone who is more knowledgeable about off-roading, trail riding, and hiking in general to thoroughly examine. It wouldn’t be fair for me to remark on features that I cannot and would not use sufficiently to provide useful feedback.
The auto-tracking function for walks and runs is fantastic. It’s great to have your smartwatch buzz and detect even a brief excursion or voyage so that it can be noted within the Samsung Health app, even though this is nothing new. If you’re attempting to lose the COVID lockdown weight, even a little exercise that provides heart-rate data and feedback is helpful.
Given the cost of the Watch 5 Pro, it is wrong to restrict the blood pressure and ECG readings to Samsung Galaxy phones. Although this makes sense from a purely economic standpoint, it is unjust to consumers to demand payment in exchange for features and essential services just because you do not want to use a Galaxy phone. I’m using a Pixel 6a, and this is really annoying. In order to test these features, I chose to combine my evaluation unit with the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
Although they make excellent headline additions, their limitations and my ignorance of the accuracy of such tools imply that I will be able to live without them in the future. If someone bought a Samsung Galaxy phone simply to use the ECG and blood pressure features—the latter of which is still not accessible in the US since it is region-locked—I would be extremely shocked.
For accessibility, Samsung’s sleep tracking remains one of the finest. Sadly, it’s difficult to suggest that you wear the Watch 5 Pro to bed due to its enormous size. Your regular sleeping patterns may suffer as a result of the additional discomfort. Another disappointment is that the skin temperature function is still in development and will require an update before it can be used.
CHARGING AND BATTERY LIFE
After wearing the Galaxy Watch 4 for more than a year, I eagerly anticipated putting off charging the Watch 5 Pro for as long as possible. Fortunately, even when used heavily, this wearable can last for many days. Before I have to put the Watch 5 Pro on the upgraded charging puck, I can go almost three full days without needing to charge it.
That even incorporates GPS tracking, light exercise tracking, and sleep pattern analysis. Throughout my evaluation period, I did wear to bed, but purely from a comfort standpoint, I would not recommend. Since the sensors won’t be active entire night, avoiding wearing it to bed may result in even longer wear time.
Even with the always-on display feature turned on, I was able to go two days without having to worry too much about the Watch 5 Pro needing a charge. Further battery optimization for Wear OS and the Exynos W920 CPU would be fantastic.
Samsung might even be able to break the four-day barrier with regular use with a little more fine-tuning. You might be able to get an even longer lifespan if you only need a wearable for simple notification management and do not care about fitness tracking and related health features. You have plenty of options for those of us who want a little bit of everything.
Another significant improvement with the Galaxy Watch 5 series is Samsung’s choice to increase the charging speed to 10W. By itself, this indicates that you can fully charge the Watch 5 Pros 590mAh in well under two hours. Here too, the charging puck has developed. The magnetic puck is weighted and solid, and the connector has been upgraded to USB-C. As a result, it is stronger and easier to set down on a surface. Although still lightweight, it is not as light as its 5W forerunner.
There are several very good reasons why you might want to consider the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, and practically all of them have to do with the durability. A sophisticated smartwatch still requires charging once every day or perhaps every couple of days at this point in time. During the course of my review, I only charged the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro three times. It’s a great feeling to think of using the charger so infrequently in a single week. One that many potential buyers will probably find sufficient to pounce on.
The increased size and, to a greater extent, the pricing, are without a doubt the tradeoff. With Wear OS integration and better compatibility with your Android smartphone, you get enough of the features more frequently found on GPS sports and fitness watches from Garmin, Coros, and Polar. It’s a delicate balancing act, but one that becomes difficult to recommend for $449.99 when the changes are generally pretty little.
Make no mistake: the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is, at least temporarily, the best Wear OS watch we’ve ever evaluated. This is the only place to look if you absolutely must have a smartwatch running Google’s OS and are willing to pay a big premium.
WHAT STORES DO YOU HAVE THE GALAXY WATCH 5 PRO? The price of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro starts at $449.99 for the Bluetooth device and $499.99 for the LTE one. Both variants come in Titanium Gray and Titanium Black and feature 45mm displays.