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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Everything new, from a better battery to skin temperature sensors

What’s happening

Samsung’s latest watches, the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro, will arrive on August 26. They have better battery life and skin temperature sensors and promise greater durability.

Why is it important

Last year’s Samsung Watch marked the debut of Google’s new Wear OS, and smartwatches are looking for better battery life. But Google’s Pixel Watch is also coming this fall.

What’s next

Samsung’s watch pre-orders are starting now, but stay tuned for our full review. Meanwhile, many other competing watches are expected later this year.

Galaxy Watch 5, presented at Samsung Unpacked event Wednesday is the company’s latest attempt to create the best Android watch after last year Galaxy watch 4. This time it will come with the larger Pro model, with both models set for the August 26 release along with the new one Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, Galaxy Fold 4 and Invert 4.

Last year’s watch served as the debut of the new Google Wear the operating system 3 – which Samsung jointly developed – and while not perfect, it included an ambitious bundle of new health sensors that aimed to bring bioimpedance and wrist fat measurements to Samsung Health.

2022 is a completely new story. Google has Pixel watch it will arrive this fall, promising a mix of automatic smart solutions and design from Fitbit and Google. Meanwhile, Samsung’s new watches promise longer battery life over the past year, a skin temperature sensor, and a supposedly more durable sapphire crystal for the watch face instead of Gorilla Glass. The Pro model’s extra-strong battery ensures long use between charges, which Apple says is in line with next watch This fall.


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The new Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro from Samsung


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Is it worth buying a 5 watch? Or maybe the Pro model? Or maybe you should wait to see what the Pixel Watch is all about? Samsung first came out of the gate on this year’s fall watch wave, so let’s go over what it has. We cannot compare the others yet, because they are not here yet. But Samsung’s latest watch model looks like a more modest update compared to last year, with just a few significant changes to the equation.

Price: A wide range, with some discounts

The Samsung Watch 5 with Bluetooth only will start at $ 280 (£ 269, AU $ 495) and the LTE version will start at $ 330. But the Pro model with a larger titanium case battery starts at $ 450 (£ 394, AU $ 725) or $ 500 for the LTE version. Samsung offers pre-order replacement discounts: $ 75 off the watch $ 5, or $ 125 on the Pro if the “eligible” watch is replaced, along with $ 50 accessory credit. Other retailers may also receive discounted sales and exchanges.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in hands

The Pro model in a titanium housing has a very large battery and a higher price.

Lisa Eadicicco / topwatchbest

Battery life: extra boost

The previous Watch 4 had a 361-mAh battery for the 44mm size or 247mAh for the 40mm version. The Watch 5 has a 410 mAh battery in a size of 44 mm, or 284 mAh in the smaller model. This should theoretically give a bit more battery life, although who knows how much exactly; the last 4 watch lasted about two days on my wrist.

The bigger leap comes in the new Watch 5 Pro, which has a huge 590mAh battery. This could mean three days of battery life depending on usage. Samsung offers the oversized Pro model (with a more expensive and titanium case) to runners using GPS or people who may want extra durability and battery life.

Skin temperature: another watch joins the trend

The Samsung Watch 5 has heart rate sensors, an electric bioimpedance sensor, and an EKG sensor from the previous watch 4, but the infrared skin temperature sensor is new – at least in Samsung watches. Temperature sensing is the latest trend in wearable devices: Fitbit watches I’ve had it for several years, Amazon’s halo bands have it Oura’s Ring has it, and apparently the next Apple watch has it.

Skin temperature will be added to the rest of Samsung’s health metrics to develop different ways to perceive changes in well-being, but it’s unclear how it might evolve. Based on previous experience with other skin temperature sensors, they work this way: results are relative, not specific, focusing more on changes over time than on any specific thermometer-like reading. I found it might help to pre-sense possible disease, but how Samsung uses it remains to be seen.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, two watches on the table

Overall, the appearance of the Galaxy Watch 5 remains the same.

Lisa Eadicicco / topwatchbest

Design: Familiar (and a bit bigger for Pro)

The Watch 5 looks similar in size to the recent Watch 4 models, but is a few grams heavier for both sizes. Color options include graphite, sapphire, rose gold, and silver.

Meanwhile, the 5 Pro watch with a larger battery is much larger, has an additional millimeter of thickness and an additional millimeter of length and width compared to a 44 mm 5 watch. At 46.5 grams, it is much heavier, almost twice as heavy as last year’s 40 mm 4 (25, 9 grams). The titanium case is available in black or gray with a D-buckle on the sports belt.

Samsung is adding several new watch faces this year, in addition to a collection that was already quite excellent last year. These watch faces and their colors will provide the most personalized look for most people.

However, that physical swivel bezel that used to be in the classic Watch 4 design, however, seems to have disappeared. Samsung’s touch bezel is now the default way to interact, but the company will keep the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic on offer if you want a watch with a physical dial.

More durable?

Samsung switched to sapphire crystals for the Watch 5, which it promises will be 60% tougher. Will this mean better scratch resistance or better breaking strength?

The Watch 5 Pro promises, of course, an even better sapphire crystal and a titanium case around the watch (compared to the aluminum in a regular watch 5).

Other specifications

Both watches have optional LTE models with a built-in cell phone (no 5G this year, although no other watch has 5G either) plus 5 ATM water resistance for swimming. Both models feature the same set of health sensors, including EKG, heart rate, temperature, and bioimpedance sensors. The watches also have 16 GB of space for music or applications, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.2.

It’s worth noting that no watch uses the recently announced Qualcomm company Snapdragon W5 chip that promises better battery life and goes to others Wear watches with an operating system later that year. Instead, Samsung uses its own Exynos W920 1.18GHz dual-core processor, which looks the same as last year’s Watch 4. Watch processors aren’t something most people are eagerly waiting for, and it’s still unknown how much better a new Qualcomm chipset could be .

Only Android, but more specifically made for Samsung phones

Like last year’s Galaxy Watch 4 (and any other new Wear OS 3 watches we know), Watch 5 won’t run on iOS. This is only for Android phones (Samsung, Android 8 or higher, with over 1.5 GB of RAM). But more specifically, the ECG, stress, and bioimpedance sensors only work with Samsung phones. Last year, these health features required Samsung phones as well.

If that remains true, this is a big limit to how attractive the Watch 5 will be to most Android phone owners: it’s worth waiting for Google’s Pixel Watch, slated for the rest of the year, to see how its health features compare. The biggest difference to Samsung’s latest watch this year is that it won’t be the only watch with Wear OS 3 anymore.

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