Galaxy Watch 5: Is this Finally a Great Wear OS Smartwatch?
Galaxy watches are among the most popular Wear OS smartwatches. With various hardware upgrades and better materials, Samsung has launched the Galaxy Watch 5. The 5th generation has some promising specs, updates, and numbers, but how effectively do they translate in real-life scenarios?
In a hurry, read this short overview stating the pros and cons of Galaxy Watch 5.
- Beautiful design and strong frame
- Long battery endurance
- One of the best fitness tracking results
- Vast library of 3rd party apps
- Great sounding speakers
- Fast and friendly interface and navigation
- Detailed charts and helpful charts in the app.
- Need 5 apps to use the watch properly
- No crown
- Minor hardware upgrade
- Some apps consume a lot of power
- No option for button customization
Galaxy Watch 5 – Price
Samsung has launched a complete lineup of the watch series. It is the simple version I have; then there is a small version, Pro and LTE versions. The 44mm non-LTE variant costs 299$, slightly more expensive than the predecessor.
Galaxy Watch 5 – Unboxing
The Unboxing experience is no different than the previous generation. Everything is exactly the same, whether it’s the watch design, box, or the way of putting the paperwork and charging cable. The only difference is the Type-C charging cable.
In the box, we have the Galaxy Watch 5, wireless charging cable, warranty card, and user guide.
Design and Construction
The 44mm watch 5 has a 1.4-inch screen encased in an aluminum housing. Samsung has also upgraded the screen top; now, the watch has sapphire crystal instead of Gorilla Glass. Another noticeable change is a small hole on the left side of the sensors stack. Other than that, dimensions are same, strap width and length are same, and both buttons are also on the left side. I would have loved to see a rotating crown as it is friendly and visually looks better than the buttons.
Overall, the Galaxy Watch 5 looks incredible and feels very strong in hand. Both Aluminum and sapphire crystal construction add significant strength to the smartwatch’s body.
- Screen: 1.4-inch AMOLED display, 450×450 resolution and sapphire glass top
- Processor: Exynos W920 Dual Core 1.18GHz running Android Wear OS 3.5
- Ram and Storage: 1.5GB + 16GB
- Body: Aluminum frame
- Band: Any standard 20mm band
- Weight: 33.5 grams
- Battery: 410mAh with 10W wireless charging
- Speaker and Mic: Yes
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 2.4+5GHz
- Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, optical heart rate, barometer, light sensor, and geomagnetic sensor.
- Waterproof: IP68 water-resistant
- GPS: Yes
- NFC: Yes
- eSim: Only in LTE versions of the smartwatch
Galaxy Watch 5 – Features
We will not notice much difference if we put the Galaxy Watch 4 with the Watch 5. So, I was expecting the same mediocre feeling when using it, but most of it turned it to be quite the opposite. It has many excellent features that make it a great smartwatch and fitness tracker.
Starting with the Wear OS, it is excellent. The hardware is the same, but it has one of the best transitions on a smartwatch. The OS is snappy, responsive, and fast, there is no lagging or glitches, and everything works perfectly well. The scrolling experience is great, and this watch is proof that Samsung has mastered the art of lovely animations.
You can quickly respond to notifications and answer calls through the watch. The watch has a functional keyboard with a great speaker and mic performance.
Speaking of speakers, you can also play music while working out. You can download YouTube Music and Spotify to listen to your favorite songs. Galaxy Watch 5 also has its own music player, where you can add songs via Galaxy Wear App.
In addition to music apps, the Watch 5 has an expansive library of third-party apps, Including maps, calendars, to-do lists, and productivity apps. You can also download third-party watch faces via the links provided in the smartphone app. I will recommend using Facer; the best app is a unified platform for all the compatible watch faces.
With countless features, hardware implementations, and software tweaks, Galaxy Watch 5 is very close to a functional smartphone.
Incredible fitness tracking is the highlight of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. The accuracy and consistency of this smartwatch really amazed me. Almost everything is spot on.
Steps tracking is pretty good on most devices; the same is the case here. The GPS and accelerometer do a perfect job of counting precious steps during the workouts.
One of the best and most distinct features is sleep tracking. It is superb and perfectly detects timespans of deep sleep, light sleep, and moments when I wake up at night. It even beats the precision of best sleep-tracking of the Huawei Watch Series.
Heart Rate Tracking
Galaxy Watch 5 has an excellent optical heart rate sensor. The results are very accurate and consistent. I tried to find a pothole, but everything is simply fantastic, from measurement to detailed charts on the Galaxy Wear App.
The Watch 5 has a great GPS supported by three positioning systems, including Glonass, Beidou, and Galileo. It tracks all the routes precisely and displays them nicely in the watch and smartphone app.
SpO2 has enhanced significantly in the 5th generation; the results are more consistent and accurate. But Ticwatch Pro 3 is way ahead in the league.
After the disappointing battery performance of the Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung has increased the battery size by 50mAh, supported by some software implementations. With better hardware and software, Galaxy Watch 5 can last 1 ½ day to 2 days with all the tracking features on and without always on display. After AOD, the battery life decreases to a day which is still remarkable considering the poor battery performance of the previous generation.
This is the part that I hate the most about the smartwatch. Despite its excellent performance and endurance, the apps are a deal breaker. Overall, they are not bad; the apps are awesome, all the data is perfectly portrayed in detailed charts, and it also provides valuable information and recommendations to enhance your lifestyle and health.
You need three mobile apps and two plugins to use the Galaxy Watch 5 in its full might. The apps include Galaxy Wear, Samsung Health, and Samsung Health Monitor, and the cherry on top is that the last app is not compatible with non-Samsung smartphones.
So, the excellent watch might not work ideally with many smartphones.
- Messy apps Ecosystem
- No rotating crown
- Minor hardware upgrade
- Software imperfections
- Buttons customization is not friendly
Galaxy Watch 3 is indeed a great smartwatch. Looks pleasing, has sound hardware, efficient software, and incredible performance. But I think the watch sales will struggle because it is not a massive upgrade over the previous generation.