Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review: the best Wear OS smartwatch of the moment

PRO
  • Long battery life
  • Strong housing and screen
  • Many apps thanks to Wear OS
CON
  • Strikingly and sometimes uncomfortably large
  • Certain features only for Galaxy smartphones
  • Pricey

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the best Wear OS smartwatch you can currently find with a huge range of functions and corresponding battery life.

If we consider the smartwatch market, we see that the range of top-class devices is perhaps somewhat limited, or that it is often the same players at the top. Apple is fighting together with Samsung for dominance, but manages to charm a few more people with its uniform systems on the Apple Watch. However, Samsung gets one step closer with each new iteration of its Galaxy Watch, and this year too it delivers a standout smartwatch that deserves its place at the top.

Samsung Galaxy Watch5: specifications

  • Dimensions: 45.4mm x 45.4mm x 10.5mm; 46.5g
  • Display: 1.4” AMOLED
  • Resolution: 450 x 450 pixels
  • Sensors: 9-axis IMU sensor (acceleration sensor, gyroscope sensor, geomagnetic sensor), optical heart rate sensor
  • Connectivity: GPS, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, Wi-Fi 2.4 + 5GHz
  • To upload: 5V
  • Water resistant: 5 ATM
  • Software: Wear OS

Design

As soon as you get the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in your hands, you immediately notice that it is a whopper of a smartwatch. The housing is a bit on the thick side and that also translates into a solid weight around your wrist. The device comes in only one size, which is 45mm. In addition to the titanium housing and the sapphire glass of the screen, thanks to this striking size, you know that you have a sturdy and durable device in your hands. With this smartwatch, Samsung invested in a nice battery life, which is also the explanation for the thickness of the watch. If you have quite strong wrists, then it’s not that bad. Otherwise, you and others will immediately notice that you are walking around with a smartwatch. You usually get used to the weight quickly, but while sleeping there is a chance that this can feel a bit annoying.

Credit: Samsung

The smartwatch’s 1.4-inch OLED screen is bright, vibrant and perfectly legible in just about any circumstance. On the right side of the device you have two different push buttons to operate your functions. At the bottom you can find all the sensors. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is available in two different versions, being Gray Titanium and Black Titanium. Both versions look elegant, and thanks to the D-buckle on the strap you can get the watch on your wrist in no time. Setting the first measure can be a bit fiddly, but after one time it normally gets stuck forever.

Fans of the series will notice one notable absenteeism being the rotating bezel around the screen. However, it is not completely gone. The screen sits a little deeper in the housing, with a pressure-sensitive bezel between the glass and titanium. By moving your finger on this you can also interact with the content on your screen or quickly scroll between menus. This can sometimes be a bit too sensitive, or sometimes not, so it doesn’t always work well and so requires some practice and sometimes a drop of patience.

Functions

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro presents itself as a premium smartwatch and comes with a range of different health and sports functionalities. For starters, you get access to a wide variety of sports that you can track. When performing certain sports, such as walking, jogging and cycling, the smartwatch will automatically recognize this and track your activities. There is also a GPS on board that follows and guides you to wherever you want. In addition, you also have the option to add GPX files for sports, so that you can load and follow your own bike rides. You can load it via Google Maps or a third-party service, such as Strava. This loading did not go very smoothly, but we expect to see the necessary improvements one day. Thanks to the TrackBack function, you can also reverse the route you have already traveled, so that you can get back home in no time. The sturdy housing means that you usually don’t have to worry too much about scratching the smartwatch during exercise.

Credit: Samsung

The Watch 5 Pro also offers you health functions, such as a pedometer. The showpiece, however, is the 3-in1 BioActive sensor. This allows you to monitor your heart rate, blood oxygen levels and body composition at all times. These proved to be very accurate during both moments of rest and exercise, which we can expect from a premium device such as this smartwatch. At the bottom of the housing you can find an additional sensor, namely one that measures the temperature of your skin. However, it is currently not active yet, which is a missed opportunity. However, Samsung says it is fully working on the software, so owners of the Watch 5 Pro can expect an extra gadget through an update soon.

The Watch series sleep tracker also gets a nice upgrade with this new iteration. Some more data is collected, and you get your own profile that you can work with. If there are any problems with your sleep statistics, the software will point this out to you and suggest some steps to get you started. The interface has also been completely renewed and has become much more user-friendly.

Software

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro will receive the Wear OS 3 operating system, supported by Samsung. This last part is especially important. So you can get started with the standard Wear OS that you can also find on other smartwatches, but here it has an extra layer from Samsung. This translates into, for example, the manufacturer’s own applications and better cooperation with other Samsung devices. Do you want to pair this smartwatch with an iPhone? Then forget that.

Wear OS works like a charm on this device. We’ve never had any issues with speed and responsiveness, and you get access to a bunch of additional applications, including Google Maps, Google Wallet, Google Fit and more, making it a very accessible smartwatch for Android users right away.

Credit: Samsung

However, Samsung opted for a Samsung-focused approach when releasing the Watch 5 Pro. Do you work with a Samsung smartphone that you pair with the smartwatch? Then you can get started with Samsung Health on your mobile. This app lets you work with the settings of the Watch 5 Pro and collects all information from the device and offers you your sports performance in nice graphs.

However, do you have another Android smartphone? Then you have to make do with Galaxy Wearable. You can also design all settings with this, but for more in-depth information about your blood oxygen levels, you will still have to pair it with a Samsung smartphone.

Battery

As we mentioned, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes with a hefty 590mAh battery. This gives you enough battery juice to sing it out for about 80 hours, according to Samsung. Our own experience showed that to be a bit lower, as is usually the case, but in any case we were still impressed with how long it took before we had to reach for the charger again with this type of device. With daily use and a 45-minute workout every two days, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro lasted 60 hours. With less intensive use, we lasted up to 74 hours.

Charging the smartwatch is also quite smooth. With the included wireless charger you are at about 45 percent after 30 minutes. For a full charge you should count about 70 minutes.

Credit: Samsung

Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the best Android smartwatch you’re likely to see this year. The Samsung version of Wear OS makes everything run smoothly and the available functionalities will keep you busy for a while. Add to that the battery that you keep this watch on your wrist for about three days, and you’re left with a winning combination.

On a physical level, we have to say that the smartwatch is a bit large. The dimensions and weight will ensure that the wearable will not be equally comfortable for everyone. This can cause problems, especially during exercise. The disappearance of the physical rotating bezel will also upset some users. In addition, the smartwatch also gets a price tag of 469 euros. You get one of the better and stronger wearables, but this is not just money that everyone can put aside.

Isn’t that a problem and do you want the most premium Android smartwatch experience you can find right now? Then the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is undoubtedly something for you, especially if you own a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Samsung Galaxy Watch Pro review Wear smartwatch moment

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