- The best example of Wear OS 3
- New and improved sleep tracking
- Solid battery life for a Wear OS device
- Accurate HRM results
- Barely any different to the Galaxy Watch 4
- Temperature sensor is an afterthought
- The workout selection needs improving
It’s probably little surprise to find that the best Samsung Galaxy watch you can grab at the moment is the latest model, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. Though some might be surprised we haven’t gone for the high-end Watch 5 Pro.
The Watch 5 offers a near identical frame to its predecessor, but it now comes in a couple of new colours, including Pink Gold and Sapphire for a little more style, which is what our sample arrived in. There’s also a slight change to the underside of the watch as it has been widened in the name of better contact with your wrist. The top of the casing also has a new Sapphire crystal display, which Samsung says is 1.6x more durable than the previous panel. This is something Samsung says they’ve tested, and the Galaxy Watch 5 comes with the same MIL-STD-810H durability and IP68 rating as the Pro variant of the Watch 5.
The feature set here, admittedly, isn’t much of an upgrade on the Galaxy Watch 4, with the same set of apps and features present, with one notable addition. The Watch 5 now comes with a temperature sensor, which is handy for offering a more holistic approach to health tracking, although at the moment, it feels like nothing more than a gimmick, given it hasn’t been integrated within apps such as Samsung Health.
When it comes to its fitness tracking exploits, the starting point for the Watch 5 is the Samsung Health app, which admittedly borrows a lot from Apple’s Fitness app, with its clean aesthetic and suspiciously similar daily activity tracker.
We also found its heart rate monitor to offer a near match with a proper heart rate monitor, and Samsung’s Bio Active sensor compiles an overall report of your health with decent accuracy. The GPS tracking here is decent enough, although did take a bit of time for it to activate and recognise where we were. With that said, its route tracking was fairly smooth. Besides this, the only gripe we have is that the type of workout on offer to track isn’t too specific or a little fiddly to work with. For exercises such as weightlifting, as opposed to doing it in one go, the Watch 5 splits it down into five separate types, which is a pain, considering most people arguably won’t take time out of their workout to track every individual discipline.
While the rest of the Watch 5 doesn’t really offer an upgrade, Samsung has improved the battery life of the new watch which is a head-turning feature for most people. It boosts capacity from 361mAH up to 410maH, which we found during testing to lead to noteworthy improvements. With the always-on display enabled as well as using the watch for automated walk tracking throughout the day and a tracked 70 minute workout, it took 30 or so hours for the Watch 5 to drop from full charge to 15%. It lasted for over 47 hours before requiring a top up from 5% which is a seriously impressive result, and a charging speed from 15% to full in a total of 80 minutes isn’t bad either.
Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review