Which watch should you wear?

Samsung’s 2022 Galaxy Watch lineup consists of two models: the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Watch 5 Pro. The Watch 5 Pro is a new addition to the series featuring a more durable design that can take on rugged terrains easily. But the Galaxy Watch 5 also features a strengthened screen and a bigger battery. If you are in the market for one of the best Android smartwatches, do you take home the Galaxy Watch 5 or Watch 5 Pro? Is the extra protection worth the cost? Let’s find out.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Specs

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
display 1.19″ Sapphire Crystal Glass AMOLED (396 x 396px) (40mm) or 1.36″ Sapphire Crystal Glass AMOLED (450 x 450px) (44mm) 1.36″ Sapphire Crystal Glass Super AMOLED (450 x 450px) (45mm)
CPUs Exynos W920 Exynos W920
RAM 1.5GB 1.5GB
Storage 16 GB 16 GB
Battery 284mAh (40mm) or 410mAh (44mm) 590mAh
connectivity NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5GHz), LTE (optional) NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5GHz), LTE (optional)
Durability IP68, Waterproof to 50m (5ATM), MIL-STD-810H IP68, Waterproof to 50m (5ATM), MIL-STD-810H
Software One UI Watch 4.5 (Wear OS 3.5) One UI Watch 4.5 (Wear OS 3.5)
Health sensors Optical Heart Rate, Electrical Heart Sensor (ECG), Bioelectrical Impedance (BIA), Continuous SpO2, Skin Temperature Sensor Optical Heart Rate, Electrical Heart Sensor (ECG), Bioelectrical Impedance (BIA), Continuous SpO2, Skin Temperature Sensor
Price From $280 From $450
Strap 20mm 20mm
Dimensions 40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm (40mm) or 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm (44mm) 45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5mm
Weight 29 (40mm) or 32.8g (44mm) 46.5g (45mm)
Watch Material Armor Aluminum Titanium
mobile payments Samsung Pay, Google Wallet Samsung Pay, Google Wallet
Workout detection And it is And it is
Exercise modes 90+ 90+
Color options Silver, Graphite, Pink Gold (40mm only), Sapphire (44mm only) BlackTitanium, GrayTitanium

Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Watch 5 Pro: Durability and design

Design is an area where the Watch 5 differs from its Pro sibling. At first glance, the latter might look like a beefier version of the regular model, but there are a lot of other differences.

The Galaxy Watch 5 is available in 40mm and 44m sizes, while the Pro model only comes in a 45mm casing. The Watch 5’s design looks very similar to the Watch 4, but Samsung has tweaked the curvature to ensure more contact with your wrist. It continues to use an aluminum casing, with Samsung using a Sapphire Crystal Glass for the display, which is seemingly 1.6x times stronger than last year’s model. The more durable build makes the Watch 5 Pro heavier and thicker: 46.5g and 10.5mm vs. the Watch 5’s 28.7g and 9.8mm thickness.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro further builds on its more affordable sibling with a sturdier titanium casing. It also features a protruding bezel that helps protect the display from dings and scratches, though in our Galaxy Watch 5 hands-on, we were not a big fan of it. Samsung claims the Sapphire Crystal Glass sitting on top of the 1.36-inch circular display is 2x tougher than the Watch 4. Unlike the regular model, the Watch 5 Pro uses a D-Buckle Sport Band that can easily handle rugged terrains while offering a clean fit. The entire Watch 5 lineup uses 20mm watch bands, so you can swap bands if the in-box band ends up too loose or too tight on your wrist.

The beefier design of the Watch 5 Pro means it is not suitable for smaller wrists. Heck, for some with narrow wrists, even the 40mm Watch 5 might feel too big, as the in-box band with its sculpted ends can keep it from rotating enough for a proper fit. You can alleviate that by swapping to a high-quality 20mm watch strap with flat ends. If you are not a fan of big and bulky watches, opt for the regular Galaxy Watch 5.

Both smartwatches are IP68 + 5ATM certified, so you can wear them while swimming. Compared to the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, the Watch 5 lineup misses out on a rotating bezel—instead, they use a digital bezel. In addition, there are two physical keys located on the right side for navigation purposes.

Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Watch 5 Pro: Chipset and sensors

Despite their outer shell differences, the Galaxy Watch 5 and its Pro sibling pack the same internals. Both smartwatches use Samsung’s 5nm Exynos W920 chip running at 1.18GHz—the same SoC does duty inside the Galaxy Watch 4. This is paired with 1.5GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. So, in terms of performance, the Pro and non-Pro watches should perform the same.

This goes for the health sensors, too: they match across the entire Galaxy Watch 5 series. This includes an accelerometer, barometer, gyro sensor, geomagnetic sensor, and light sensor. Samsung’s BioActive Sensor—which can measure your heart rate, electrical heart signal, and body mass composition—is also present. The temperature sensor is a new addition that relies on infrared to take more accurate measurements.

Samsung even claims that the sensors on the Galaxy Watch 5 will take your measurements with greater accuracy. That’s because they now have direct contact with your wrist over a larger surface area, which should again help those with thin or narrow wrists.

Irrespective of which watch you buy, it can measure your heart rate and body composition, track your workouts, sleep cycle, and more. All the recorded data is synced to Samsung Health, where you can further analyze it. The only difference is that the “find your way back” hiking guidance feature is restricted to the Watch 5 Pro, presumably due to its better battery life.

Both watches run on One UI Watch 4.5 based on Wear OS 3.5. There’s no difference between them regarding software experience, with Samsung supporting them for up to four years after launch.

Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Watch 5 Pro: Battery life and charging

If you want a smartwatch with the best possible battery life, go for the Watch 5 Pro. Samsung uses a 15% bigger battery on each Galaxy Watch 5 model. The company claims that’s good enough for the Watch 5 to last for 50 hours on a single charge. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, with its massive 590mAh cell, is in another league altogether. It has a 60% bigger battery than the Galaxy Watch 4, allowing it to last up to 80 hours between charges.

We’re still putting both models through their peace to see exactly how well they live up to Samsung’s claims, but in the earliest testing, even the smaller Watch 5 definitely seems to be lasting more than 24 hours. Hopefully, the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro will finally get back to the multi-day battery life last enjoyed on the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active series back in 2019.

Apart from bigger batteries, the Galaxy Watch 5 lineup also supports faster charging speeds courtesy of a new USB-C charger. The company claims you can top off the cell to 45% in 30 minutes or get eight hours of sleep tracking after eight minutes of charge. For the Watch 5 Pro, a full charge should take slightly longer due to its large 590mAh battery.

Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Watch 5 Pro: Price

Source: Samsung

True to its name, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also carries a ‘pro’ price tag. It starts from $450, with the LTE version costing another $50. This makes it substantially more expensive than the Galaxy Watch 5, which starts from $280. The 44mm variant costs $310—a $39 premium over the smaller size.

The Galaxy Watch 5 is slightly more expensive than last year’s Watch 4. And that’s understandable given the Sapphire Crystal Glass and longer battery life. But it is hard to justify the Watch 5 Pro’s $170 premium over the Watch 5 for the same reasons. The good thing is the sturdy construction and beefy battery life mean the wearable will easily last you a few years.

Both smartwatches are currently on preorder, with retail availability scheduled to start on August 26. You can trade in your existing smartwatch or take advantage of Samsung’s preorder offers to get an even sweeter deal: at least a $75 trade-in on any smartwatch in any condition. If you own a Watch 4 or Watch 4 Classic, it’ll cut the watch’s price in half.

Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Which should you buy?

For an additional $170 that you pay for the Watch 5 Pro over the regular model, you get a more durable build quality, a slightly bigger screen, and significantly longer battery life. Unless these improvements are really that important, buying the regular Watch 5 makes more sense. Thanks to a bigger battery, it should last at least a day and a half on a single charge, possibly even two. And when in a hurry, the faster charging times can help top off the cell to ensure the watch lasts for a few more hours with ease.

The Watch 5 Pro is on the bulkier side and that may not look good on everyone’s wrists. Unlike the regular Watch 5, which is available in more funky and bright colors, the Pro model comes in two boring shades — black and gray — that may not be to everyone’s tastes.

While the Watch 5 Pro’s longer battery life is tempting, that should not be the sole reason to spring for it. If you frequently go for hikes and trail walks where you rely on your smartwatch to track your workouts, then the Pro model is an ideal choice. Its rugged build will come in handy in such scenarios, as you can rest assured knowing it can withstand such environments with ease. And that battery life means it can go multiple days between charges.

Preorder the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

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Preorder the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

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