Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Review
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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
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|Bottom Line||Android users will not be disappointed with this product. Samsung improves upon previous models while maintaining what they have done well||This juggernaut of a smartwatch blew our testers away with the sheer performance of its smart and health features||A worthy choice if you are looking for a top-tier Android-compatible option, but definitely not the best model we have tested||Generally unimpressive and underwhelming with a poor battery life to boot||This wearable doesn't have much going for it, we recommend looking at other options|
|Rating Categories||Samsung Galaxy Watch 5||Apple Watch Series 8||Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3||Fossil Gen 6||Mobvoi Ticwatch E3|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Smart Function (30%)|
|Specs||Samsung Galaxy Watch 5||Apple Watch Series 8||Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3||Fossil Gen 6||Mobvoi Ticwatch E3|
|Water Resistance||5 ATM||5 ATM||IP68 and pool swimming suitable||3 ATM||IP68 and pool swimming suitable|
|NFC (contactless payment)||Samsung Pay||Apple Pay||Google Pay||Google Pay||Google Pay|
|Display||AMOLED||Always-On Retina LTPO OLED||Dual Display LCD over Retina AMOLED||AMOLED||HD 2.5D curved|
|Resolution||396 x 396 pixels||396 x 484 pixels||454 x 454 pixels||416 x 416 pixels||360 x 360 pixels|
Low Latency Off-Body Sensor
Low Latency Off-Body Sensor
|Processor||Exynos W920 (Dualcore, 5nm)||S8 SiP with 64-bit dual-core processor||Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 4100 Platform and Mobvoi dual processor system||Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 4100+||Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 4100 Platform and Mobvoi dual processor system|
|Available Sizes||40mm, 44mm||41 mm, 45mm||48mm||42 mm (women), 44mm (men)||47mm|
|Size Tested||40mm||45mm||48mm||42 mm||47mm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Galaxy Watch 5 is an excellent smartwatch that will satisfy most needs. It comes with an array of smart and health functions that are reliable and easy to use. The new sapphire crystal glass gives the screen a glistening aura while at the same time being high-quality and responsive. Compared to Apple, some of the health features are not up to par, but it compensates in other ways. We believe there is no better option as of today for Android users than the Galaxy Watch 5.
The bread and butter of any smartwatch are its smart features. A well-established product line like the Galaxy Watch series improves upon the high standards we expect. Our tests evaluated the Galaxy Watch 5 performance in app diversity, communication capabilities, music control, NFT options, and cellular availability.
The Galaxy Watch 5 has a selection of over 580 apps. For the average person, this selection is more than enough to satisfy most smartwatch needs but pales in comparison to the selection of Apple products. Unfortunately, some noteworthy apps, such as Facebook Messenger, are not available for download on this device.
Even with this shortcoming in mind, the Galaxy Watch 5 performs other smart functions just as well. Call and text perform at the high standards we expect from a respectable firm like Samsung. Our testers were particularly impressed with the clarity of the call quality and how it can minimize background noises. Other essential features include music control, find my phone, noncontact payment options, and cellular capability.
Next, we rated the Galaxy Watch 5 performance in health and fitness capabilities. Our testers evaluated the performance of this device's step counting, workout tracking, HR monitoring, the utility of safety features, and the performance of additional health features.
The step-counting feature produced good results, averaging a 2.5 step differential over three trials. We are happy to see Samsung consistently releasing products that improve on previous models. Often it is difficult to notice a significant difference between two different products from the same product line. Even so, the HR monitoring capabilities of this device leave much to be desired. Sharp changes in heart rate due to varying intensity of a workout are not accurately recorded. HR monitoring is fairly accurate for regular activities like lunges and burpees, but this does not distinguish the Galaxy Watch 5 from its competitors.
There are many workout options to choose from with the Galaxy Watch 5. Activities offered range from standard exercises, such as boxing and burpees, to more obscure ones, like star jumps. Once an exercise is selected, data such as HR average, calories burnt, and duration will be displayed. From this screen, you can slide to the left to toggle music control. It is possible to pair this smartwatch with the Samsung Health app for additional health information.
The bioactive sensor on the Galaxy Watch 5 can track skin temperature and blood oxygen levels. These measurements are useful for delivering accurate sleep data when activating bedtime mode. Additionally, there are helpful features like snore detection and sleep coaching. Sleep coaching can be activated through the Samsung Health app, giving you a 4-week sleeping plan to fix your schedule. Lastly, this smartwatch also features all the standard safety add-ons, such as SOS and fall detection.
A strong aspect of this watch is its impressive battery capacity, given the quality of the health and smart features. We awarded points based on battery life, quick charge, and the total charge time for this metric.
Like every other type of battery, the duration depends on usage and other factors. The improved 284 mAh battery is a big jump compared to previous models in the Galaxy series. In our test, we found the Galaxy Watch 5 lasted about 32 hours after high usage.
Although this amount of battery life is nothing special, thanks to the new 10W USB-C wireless charger, this smartwatch can reach 45% in just 30 minutes. A full charge takes about 45 minutes extra, which is not too impressive. Additionally, this device will ping your smartphone once it reaches 100%.
Ease of Use
Those accustomed to Samsung products will find that operating the Galaxy Watch 5 will be like second nature. We analyzed screen responsiveness, crown scroll, charging setup, and water resistance to see if this watch meets the high standards that we are accustomed to. In this regard, it is clear that this smartwatch exceeds expectations.
You will likely not find many smartwatch products as responsive as the Galaxy Watch 5. Whether you want to navigate the menus quickly or slowly, the screen will act accordingly. With just a finger flick, you can scroll to the end of the page to get where you need to be. If you have larger fingers and find navigating smartwatch screens aggravating, have no fear, the digital crown scroll is in a class of its own and can act as a helpful substitute.
To charge the Galaxy Watch 5, simply attach the magnetic charger to the watch's underside. The charging port is small, but the magnet should easily adjust to the right position and charge. Thankfully, this watch is water resistant, so taking it out on a rainy day is not a problem.
For our last metric, we awarded points based on the quality of the display. We evaluated the auto-brightness, screen quality, and screen visibility under light.
The most striking feature of the AMOLED screen is its clear resolution and fine detail. With a screen about 31mm in diameter and a pixel density of 396 x 396, you won't need to strain your eyes to read small text. The auto-brightness adjusts nicely to the environment, making reading in the light a simple task.
Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5?
We have come to expect a high standard from the Galaxy Watch Series, and this rendition exceeds expectations. The Galaxy Watch 5 weds high performance with an intuitive UI that anyone can use. Navigating through this watch feels organic, and the tracking capabilities are reliable. We recommend this product to anyone who has an Android phone and is searching to complement it with a top-tier smartwatch. In our opinion, Apple products have the edge, but the Galaxy Watch 5 is still a force of its own.
What other Smartwatches should you consider?
It is hard to beat the Galaxy Watch 5 if you are an Android user. Check out our Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 3 if you want the best battery available. iPhone users should check out the Apple Watch Series 8 as this is the best watch available for Apple users.