Reviewing the top Wear OS watches with the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro {Video}

Samsung is back with the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro after a sporadic reintegration with Wear OS last year. The pair has modified and even removed elements of their predecessor’s DNA while keeping other parts of it.

From a distance, you could understandably question what is really novel about the standard Galaxy Watch 5. With an aluminum chassis and the exact same side-button arrangement, the size, shape, and weight are all pretty identical.

The enhanced Sapphire display, which is touted to be nearly twice as strong as the Watch 4 yet originally seemed to be brighter and more colorful, was one element that immediately struck out. Given that my own Watch 4 is now about a year old and definitely broken in, one could easily claim that this is the placebo effect. The circular panel will be thoroughly examined when we have a longer hands-on opportunity to see if it has been changed or enhanced.

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Once more offered are the well-known 40mm and 44mm size variants with 1.2-inch and 1.4-inch AMOLED panels, respectively. Unfortunately, the nicest color options for the normal Galaxy Watch 5, such as Bora Purple, are only available in the 40mm model. The case options for the 44m model are the more subdued Sapphire, Silver, and Graphite.

To add a little extra flair, you can switch things up with an expanded selection of watch straps and accessories, or you can go one step further and create your own design with the Galaxy Watch 5 Bespoke Studio, which, according to Samsung, lets you select the case color and strap for over 1,000 combinations.

Samsung has managed to cram even bigger batteries into the Watch 5 series this time around, despite neither model having any size increases over their predecessors. The 40mm series has a significant increase from 247mAh to 284mAh, and the 44mm Watch 5 has an increase from 361mAh to 410mAh. This will definitely result in even improved lifetime, especially in light of the Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic’s passably respectable lifespan. One of the few lingering issues from the previous generation might be addressed relatively immediately by this.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a behemoth with a 45mm titanium casing and at over 10mm thick, this is not the most lightweight wearable, even though the ordinary models are identical to what we’ve seen before. Although adding bulk can be accomplished by using harder materials, increased chassis strength is unquestionably beneficial.

While brands like Garmin and Suunto and others can be seen as influences, flavor is still there in the Galaxy Watch. With improved GPS features for trail running, cycling, and hiking in addition to the wide range of fitness tracking modes you would expect, it is obviously targeted at those who are the most active. This resembles the Galaxy Watch Active’s reincarnation in all but name, in my opinion.

We are unsure about the size of the market for those features, however the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has a 590mAh internal battery that is 60% bigger than the Watch 4. Samsung makes the audacious claim that this can last up to three full days, but we’ll reserve judgment until we can test it out for real. We can probably all agree that going more than a few days without needing to find the charger is an alluring notion, even if you don’t like the idea of enhanced fitness features.

Although Samsung touted faster charging times, we were unable to test them during our little hands-on time. With the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro, the magnetic puck is once again employed, although the connector now has a USB-C connection rather than an older USB-A connection.

The presence of a skin or body temperature sensor in the Galaxy Watch 5 wasn’t known prior to its debut. All three models come with the new sensor for improved sleep tracking, which provides even more detailed information than the feature found on prior models.

You might be wondering where this year’s Watch 5 Classic is. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, then, serves as the wearable’s replacement. It sports a bigger frame and lacks the revolving bezel that was a hallmark of the Watch 4 Classic.

We can see how many Galaxy Watch lovers may find this to be a pain point and may be deterred from making a purchase or an upgrade. This indicates that the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro uses the edge swipe digital bezel gesture for navigating between menus and app sections, however it’s unclear if it will ever make a comeback. One advantage of the removal is that a variety of extra-rugged accessories are now available that clip on for improved shock or bump protection.

Wear OS 3.5, which is expected to be loaded on both Galaxy Watch 5 models, first appears to be a significant upgrade over version 3.2, which is presently available for Galaxy Watch 4 customers. There isn’t a visible indicator that a newer version of Google’s wearable OS is installed, and new functions are not immediately obvious, so there isn’t much of a change in reality. Along with various improvements that make use of better sensors, One UI 4.5 provides a few extra watch faces that are inspired by flora and fauna. With just a few minor adjustments, it offers more of the polished performance that you can find on the Watch 4 series right now.

We now have the Google Assistant, better and expanding app support, and the incoming Pixel Watch may help increase it even further a year after Wear OS’s resurgence. This time around, Samsung did not need to reinvent One UI or Wear OS; they simply needed to give more of the same, and the Watch 5 succeeds—at least for now.

Google’s 9TO5 The ordinary Galaxy Watch 5 might not be the upgrade that some people had hoped for at this early stage. The Watch 5 Pro, on the other hand, marks a significant advancement in tough wearables and improves the differentiation between the series’ offers. The regular Galaxy Watch 5 will do for the majority of users. The Watch 5 Pro is an option if you’re seeking for a wearable fitness device with additional integration.

By incorporating the 1.5GB of RAM and the Exynos W920 processor, which is based on 5nm, Samsung gained a significant advantage over comparable Wear OS watches last year. Sticking with the same internals for another year would give some of the incoming wearables powered by the Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 process a chance to unseat the Galaxy Watch, which could provide Samsung a huge boost for the following generation. Samsung is holding to its crown as the greatest Android ally, at least until we get to see the next round of Wear OS-powered wearables from companies like Oppo, Mobvoi, and Fossil.

All Watch 5 variants will be available for purchase starting on August 29. The Watch 5 starts at $279.99, while the Watch 5 Pro costs a staggering $449.99. Given the slight enhancements, purchasing the Watch 4 Classic and Galaxy Watch 4 from last year at a significant discount would be a wonderful alternative.

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