By Shraddha I 4 October 2022
Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch 5 Pro brings a few minor improvements in hardware and software over other Galaxy Watch models, but is it good enough to replace a GPS sports watch?
- Features & Software
- Design & Build
- Battery Life
At its recent Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung announced two versions of its Galaxy Watch 5 — the standard Galaxy Watch 5 and ‘Pro’ version of Galaxy Watch 5 – Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Point to note that, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has a more durable design and longer battery life. The Watch 5 Pro is a Galaxy Watch powered by Google Wear OS that combines the goodness of Samsung’s Tizen OS. Here’s our quick review of Samsung’s most-premium smartwatch of 2022.
|Good heart rate accuracy during workouts
|Dim always-on display during outdoor workouts
|Wide selection of apps through the Play Store
|Skin temperature sensor not active yet
|Battery lasts longer than Galaxy Watch 5
|Limited recovery metrics
|Only one 45mm size
Features & software
- Runs Wear OS 3 with Samsung One UI tweaks
- One of the best wearable experiences around
Utilizing the best of Wear OS 3 and Samsung’s intuitive UI tweaks, the software experience is impressive; apps load instantly, the various menus and gestures are responsive to the touch, and the extensive Google Play Store library offers the best selection of apps.
The selection of apps provides a greater overall experience, with wearable counterparts for popular apps like Spotify and Google Wallet that can genuinely be helpful in day-to-day life.
It also enables you to swap out Samsung-designed apps for Google counterparts if you so choose – a particular perk considering Samsung doesn’t officially support data synchronization with Google Fit services, and Samsung Pay still doesn’t offer the same wide support for banks as Google Wallet.
Watch 5 Pro comes with the choice of Bixby or Google Assistant – but the Samsung Pay button shortcut still can’t be replaced by its Google Wallet counterpart.
In fitness tracking, only Samsung Galaxy smartphone users will get the full benefit of the Watch 5 Pro, with features like the ability to control Samsung SmartThings devices, remotely activate the camera shutter and use Samsung’s fun AR emoji watch faces not available to non-Samsung users.
However, key functions like downloading standalone apps, actionable notifications, making calls on the wrist, digital payment support and onboard music storage are available with any connected Android smartphone – you’ll just need to download additional apps like Samsung Accessory Service to get things moving.
Essentially, Wear OS 3 with Samsung’s various UI tweaks offers one of the most capable Android wearable experiences on the market.
Design & build
- Premium design and impressive durability
- 45mm casing means it looks quite bulky on the wrist
- Samsung D-band is great after initial setup
Thanks to the Titanium chassis and strong sapphire glass at the top makes Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro feels solid, rugged and at the same time premium. With an IP68 rating, it’s also dust- and water-resistant It is a fitness watch that is big and can ably compete with the likes of top-end watches. Samsung has designed the Galaxy 5 Pro keeping outdoor activities in mind. The watch has a sturdy build that can be your companion during heavy-duty workouts, extreme sports and trekking.
Instead of a physical rotating bezel, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes with a touch bezel that lets you navigate menus alongside the touchscreen and side buttons. It’s easier to use on the Watch 5 Pro compared to the regular Watch 5 because of the Pro’s raised edge. You can almost rest your finger against it as you “turn” the bezel. It’s still not as precise as having a physical bezel that clicks into place, especially if you have wet or sweaty hands — which seems inevitable if you’re really using this watch for its sports capabilities.
In place of the standard silicone strap you’ll find on the Galaxy Watch 5, the Pro model sports Samsung’s new D-buckle band. It aids the premium look of the watch overall while providing a more snug, secure fit. It’s also much easier to put on than most competitors, utilising magnets and a clasp system.
- Biggest battery in a Samsung wearable yet
- Can comfortably last two days on a charge, 3 at a push
- Faster charging provides 45% in 30 minutes
With the biggest battery of any Galaxy Watch to date at 590mAh, I had big hopes for the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s longevity – especially with claims from Samsung that it can reportedly last up to 80 hours, or just over three days, on a single charge, and up to 20 hours using GPS.
Samsung’s prediction is largely on the money, but not if you want to enable optional features like all-day heart rate and Sp02 monitoring, the always-on display and stress tracking. The more you decide to run in the background, the more of a hit there is to battery life.
So, while the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro can last days on end with a single charge, you’ll have to sacrifice data to do so. That seems like an odd move when one of its strongest points is collecting and collating all your health data.
After a bit of experimentation, I found a configuration that allowed for all-day heart rate and Sp02 monitoring, but it came at the expense of an always-on display and stress tracking, features I felt I could live without.
With those power-hungry features disabled, I could comfortably squeeze around two and a half days out of the Watch 5 Pro before it’d need a top-up, and that’s much better than the 276mAh battery of the 40mm Galaxy Watch 5. It is worth noting that extended use of the GPS during workouts will have a knock-on effect on overall battery life though.
When it does need a top-up, the magnetic contact charger can deliver up to 8 hours of use from just 8 minutes of charging and 45% in 30 minutes, though I found a full charge will still take close to 90 minutes. That’s an improvement on the two-hour mark of its predecessor, but it’s still fairly standard in 2022.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the most advanced wearable in Samsung’s collection, offering the same combination of in-depth health and fitness tracking metrics including body composition as its standard sibling along with outdoor exercise-focused features like track back and turn-by-turn navigation, a larger display and much improved multi-day battery life.
There’s also the impressive durability to consider, with a display 90% stronger than the Galaxy Watch 4 series. It’s certainly more robust than the stylish Galaxy Watch 5, though this does also mean that it’s larger and bulkier, with a single 45mm casing option that looked big even on my fairly large wrists.
The catch is that it’s a lot more expensive than the standard Galaxy Watch 5, and a big increase on even the premium last-gen Watch 4 Classic, which makes it hard to recommend for everyone. But, if you’re an avid cyclist or hiker that’ll get the most out of the extra functionality on offer, the Galaxy Watch 5 could be the perfect premium wearable.