Last year’s Galaxy Watch 4 was a significant departure for Samsung, as it used Google’s Wear OS software instead of the company’s own Tizen OS. Samsung is now following it up with the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro.
The new watches have a lot in common with Samsung’s earlier wearables, with the same round design, Samsung Health integration, and array of health sensors. It’s designed around Samsung Health, but since it runs Wear OS like the Watch 4, you can also use Google Fit or other services instead. You can also use Google Pay instead of Samsung Pay for the same reason — something I’ve done on my Watch 4, since Samsung Pay is clunky to use.
The Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro have the same “BioActive Sensor” as the Watch 4 series, comprised of various heart rate and blood oxygen sensors, but Samsung is adding a new temperature sensor. The company says it “uses infrared technology for more accurate readings, even if the temperature of your surroundings changes.” Apple has reportedly struggled with adding body temperature monitoring to the Apple Watch, so if Samsung’s implementation provides accurate results (that’s a big “if”), it could be a killer feature.
Samsung is using the same Exynos W920 chipset in the Watch 5 series that was used in the Watch 4, paired with the same 1.5 GB RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. However, the battery is 13% larger than on the Watch 4 and has faster charging. The display also now uses Sapphire Crystal, which Samsung claims is 60% more durable than the glass on the Watch 4.
Samsung sold the Watch 4 in both regular and ‘Classic’ versions, with the latter having a bulkier design with a physical spinning dial along the edge of the screen for scrolling. Samsung is ditching the Classic model this year for a ‘Pro’ variant, with a stronger (and heavier) Titanium build. Notably, the physical spinning bezel is gone, marking the end of a feature that Samsung has offered on (at least some of) its watches for several years. There’s also a Watch 5 Golf Edition with exclusive watch faces, a two-tone band, and an unlimited membership for the Smart Caddie app.
Unfortunately, it seems like the Galaxy Watch 5 can only be used with Android phones — if you use an iPhone, you’ll have to stick to an Apple Watch or another one of the best smartwatches.
How to Pre-order the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Samsung is selling many different versions of the Galaxy Watch 5. The normal Watch 5 is available in 40 and 44 mm sizes, each with in LTE (cellular connectivity) and non-LTE versions. Pricing starts at $279.99 for the non-LTE models, and $329.99 for the LTE versions. On top of that is the Watch 5 Pro, which is only in a single 45 mm size — that one costs $449.99 for no LTE and $499.99 with LTE. Finally, the Golf Edition will be a style option for all Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro sizes, starting at $329.99.
If you pre-order a Galaxy Watch 5, Samsung will throw in a free Wireless Charger Duo, and $50 of store credit for accessories or other purchases. Trade-ins can also take up to $75 off the price of the Watch 5, or $125 off the cost of a Watch 5 Pro.