Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro and Galaxy Watch5 review

Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro and Galaxy Watch5 review


Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro and Galaxy Watch5 review

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 The Galaxy Watch5 Pro and Galaxy Watch5 don't change much about what Samsung wants to do with its smartwatches, and they are still two of the best on the market. This time, the focus shifted a bit. 

The Classic goes away and the Pro comes in, which gets rid of the rotating bezel and replaces it with touch-based haptic options.

By making a "Pro" version, Samsung wants to show that it can make a watch that can handle harder workouts and conditions.

 The regular Watch5 is the same as the previous Watch4 Classic, except that it is smaller. Both of these smartwatches have a lot to offer, so it will take some thought to decide which one to buy.

Design and setup

The Galaxy Watch5 comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm. The Watch5 Pro, on the other hand, only comes in one size, 45mm. It's the first time Samsung has used sapphire crystal to protect their screens, which will make them last longer. 

The body of the Pro model is made out of titanium, but the body of the regular model is made out of aluminum. Each one is water-resistant up to IP68 and has military-standard protections of 5ATM and 810H. This means that either one can take some abuse.

A lot of the time, the regular model is just a redesigned version of the regular Galaxy Watch4. The Pro is an updated version of the Classic. Instead of a real bezel, it has a digital one. To put it simply, it doesn't feel the same and it doesn't work the same. That bezel was so precise that it would have been hard to use the screen without it. 

And while the Classic wasn’t considered the “active” smartwatch, the bezel actually make it easier to use in active situations.

That irony doesn't work here because you'll probably use both the digital bezel and the touchscreen. This is also true for a lot of what these watches can do. From notifications to Samsung Pay, how you access the various apps and features available really depends on what you feel comfortable with. 

If you have used one of these watches' predecessors, you will find something that works for you, even if it feels strange at first. If you're new, their features might be enough to convince you.

Both the Watch5 and the Watch5 Pro have two physical buttons on the side.

 The top button is the home button, and the bottom button is the back button. Inside, not much has changed. 

Samsung used the same Exynos W920 processor that it put in its Watch4 models. RAM and storage stay the same, too. The only difference is that the Pro has a bigger battery.

Wear OS keeps going

If you thought Wear OS on a Samsung smartwatch would be a big step forward, you'll have to settle for more of the same. 

That's not always a bad thing, but I want to make sure you don't get too excited. It still has Samsung's One UI and Wear OS, so it looks and feels the same as other Samsung smartwatches.

You get pretty good access to a good number of apps. The number of services Google offers is growing, and using Maps is already a big step up from what it was before. 

You can use Google Fit if you want to, but Samsung Health works better with both watches. Spotify works well, and the built-in storage lets you store music to listen to when you're not online.

 That's great if you want to run or work out without your phone.

The Galaxy Wearable app is also a very important part. 

You can download and install apps through it just as easily on your phone as on your watch.

 You can now talk to Google Assistant on your watch, just like you can on your phone or other compatible devices. If you don't like Samsung's Bixby, you can now get a better voice assistant.

Wear OS makes notifications better in general, no matter what Android phone you have. You do get better integration with Samsung products, whether it's a phone or earbuds. 

For example, if you have a pair of Galaxy Buds, you can use the Galaxy Watch5 or Galaxy Watch5 Pro to control some of their features.

All of this is smooth, which I liked, and it shows that smartwatches and Android are getting along better. Wear OS also feels like it's still being worked on.

Keeping tabs on workouts

How these watches track your movements doesn't change much.

 There are more than 90 exercises on board. About six of them keep track of your progress for you once you start. With GPS built in, you can also see your route, speed, and distance.

 Most exercises need to be started on the watch before they can be tracked.

That information is sent to Samsung Health, where it is put together with all the other health and fitness data. Again, none of this is anything new. 

What I got from the Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro was the same as what I got from the watches that came before them. I will say, though, that the Watch5 Pro feels more rugged.

 My bike hit a table and the handlebar by accident, but it looked like nothing was wrong with it.

With GPX, which stands for GPS Exchange Format, the Pro goes even further. 

These are files with visual information, like routes, trails, tracks and waypoints.

 They can help you stay on track when you need to, even in places where there is no reception or signal. 

However, they can only be used for hiking and cycling at the moment. You can't run, walk, or do any other kind of exercise in them. 

If you wanted to use GPX routes, you would have to add them from Samsung Health, Strava, or another app that supports the feature.

When it comes to third-party app support, there are still many more to try. Cardiogram, MyFitnessPal, GolfBuddy, Google Fit, Adidas Running, 7 Minute Workout, Calm and Lifesum are among them. 

You can swim with either watch, even in saltwater, giving you another great way to stay in shape.

Health monitoring tools

Samsung put a skin temperature sensor in the watches, but I couldn't test it because it hasn't been turned on yet. Other than that, it’s a familiar set of features focusing on health. 

Blood oxygen is measured by the SpO2 sensor. Based on your weight, Body Composition tells you how much skeletal muscle and body fat you have. All you have to do to get a reading is put your ring finger and middle finger on the two buttons. 

I still don't see a lot of use in it, but at least it's there. Sleep tracking is a little more accurate this time around, but I never had major issues with it in the past.

Then you have the ECG (electrocardiogram) and blood pressure monitor. After Health Canada gave its approval, both are now being used. 

They need to be set up before they can be used. Start with the Samsung Health Monitor on your Watch5 plus or phone. 

For the blood pressure monitor, you will need to calibrate it using an actual blood pressure monitor. After that, you can get readings whenever you want until you have to calibrate again in a month.

These features aren’t designed as alternatives to medical equipment or testing, but you could look at them as early warning systems.

 If the ECG shows something strange about your heart rate, you may want to talk to a doctor about it. The same goes for readings of blood pressure that seem too high or too low.

Both the Galaxy Watch5 and the Galaxy Watch5 Pro won't last long on a single charge, so you'll have to charge them often.

 Bring the charger with you if you're going to travel with either one, even if it's just for a short time. With light use, the regular Watch5 could last no more than two days. 

If you have GPS turned on and notifications are coming in, it will take more like 24–36 hours.

In that way, the Galaxy Watch5 Pro is better. I could usually use it for two days. If it took longer than three days, it was because I wasn't doing much on it, so it is possible.

 Both watches use the same wireless charging pad, but any Qi-enabled pad or surface will also work.

Final Thoughts

Samsung tried to set the two Galaxy Watch5 models apart by promoting the Pro model as being better for people who are active.

 Depending on how big or small you want the watch to be, size is important, but the straps are also important. 

The Pro comes with a strap that has a different clasp system, but it's easy to find other straps so that you can wear the watch anywhere. 

Put a leather, fabric or metal band on either one of these, and they start to look considerably different.

Whichever way you go, both smartwatches are among the best you’ll find if you’re an Android user. Even so, neither will work with the iPhone. 

Samsung mostly changed what was already in the Galaxy Watch4, so you don't need to upgrade if you already have that one.

 Otherwise, you probably won’t feel disappointed wearing either of them every day.

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