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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Review: Spot the Difference

Pros

  • Premium aluminum frame and sapphire crystal design
  • 5ATM and IP68 certified water and dust resistant
  • Bright and vibrant AMOLED display
  • Smooth performance
  • Reliable health features
  • Familiar software experience
  • Improved battery life

Cons

  • Minimal upgrade over its predecessor
  • ECG and blood pressure monitoring not available in Nepal
  • No current use of temperature sensor

In August 2022, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Watch 5 series along with its new Galaxy Foldables: Galaxy Fold 4 and Galaxy Flip 4. The Galaxy Watch 5 series is a successor to last year’s Galaxy Watch 4 series, which were the first Samsung smartwatches to run on Google Wear OS, switching from Tizen OS.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Review
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Review

Within a month of its unveiling, Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series in Nepal alongside the new Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The vanilla Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is a cheaper model of the series that comes in two sizes: 40mm and 44mm.

There is also the bigger and more expensive Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, but we will just focus on the vanilla Galaxy Watch 5 in this review. The review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is also live on our site.

The price of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 40mm in Nepal is Rs. 39,999, while the 44mm costs Rs. 44,999. Compared to last year’s equivalent models, this year’s 40mm Watch 5 and 44mm Watch 5 are each Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 8,000 more expensive.

These are the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-only variants. The 4G LTE variant with eSIM is not available in Nepal.

With the increased price, what upgrades does the Galaxy Watch 5 bring? Is it worth upgrading to the Galaxy Watch 5 from the Galaxy Watch 4? Is the Galaxy Watch 5 even worth buying? I will answer all your questions in this Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review.

Spoiler alert: The Galaxy Watch 5 brings incremental updates. To skip the lengthy reading and get straight to the conclusion, click here.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Specifications

  • Body: 5ATM water-resistant, IP68 water-resistant, MIL-STD-810H, eSIM
    • 44mm: 43.3 mm × 44.4 mm × 9.8 mm, 33.5 g
    • 40mm: 39.3 mm × 40.4 mm × 9.8 mm, 28.7 g
  • Build: Sapphire crystal front, aluminum frame
  • Display: Super AMOLED, sapphire crystal
    • 44mm: 1.4 inches, 450 x 450 pixels
    • 40mm: 1.2 inches, 396 x 396 pixels
  • Processor: Exynos W920 (5nm) (Dual-Core 1.18GHz Cortex-A55), Mali-G68 GPU
  • Memory: 16GB 1.5GB RAM
  • Wrist Strap: Detachable strap
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz, NFC
  • OS: Wear OS 3.5, One UI Watch 4.5
  • Battery Capacity:
    • 44mm: 410mAh
    • 40mm: 284mAh
  • Charging Type: WPS-based wireless charging
  • Sensors: Samsung BioActive Sensor (optical heart rate + electrical heart signal + bioelectrical impedance analysis), temperature, accelerometer, barometer, Gyro, geomagnetic, light
  • GNSS: GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Galileo
  • Speaker: Yes

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Price in Nepal: Rs. 39,999 (40mm) | Rs. 44,999 (44mm)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Review

Premium Metal and Glass Build

  • 44mm: 43.3 × 44.4 × 9.8 mm, 33.5 g
  • 40mm: 39.3 × 40.4 × 9.8 mm, 28.7 g
  • Sapphire crystal front, aluminum frame
Design
Design

I am using the larger 44mm variant. And like last year, there is also a 40mm variant if you want a smaller smartwatch.

It’s hard to notice any design differences between the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 5. Both the watches look identical.

The more premium and rugged Galaxy Watch 5 Pro may have a titanium frame, but the aluminum frame of the standard Galaxy Watch 5 also feels equally premium.

The front glass has been upgraded. The Galaxy 5 (and the 5 Pro) is the first Samsung smartwatch to feature a sapphire crystal display. What it means is that the glass is now even stronger than before.

Samsung says that it is 60% harder than the Gorilla Glass DX+ used on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

The watch comes with a standard silicone strap, which I find to be comfortable to wear all day. If you want, you can buy another 20mm strap and change it.

Compared to Galaxy Watch 4, one minor visual change can be seen on the back of the watch. The Watch 4 had an almost flat sensor panel, but the Watch 5 has a slightly raised sensor layout.

The surface area of the raised sensor panel is larger than before, and according to Samsung, it can make better contact with the skin and provide a more accurate reading.

Coming to the familiar part, the right side has two buttons, like last year, which act as a home and back button. The home button has a red ring to differentiate it from the back button. Both buttons are very clicky and tactile.

Similar to the Galaxy Watch 4, long-pressing the home button will trigger Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby. But this year, the Galaxy Watch 5 also supports Google Assistant. So, if you prefer Google’s voice assistant, you can replace Bixby with Google Assistant.

And as we expect from a Samsung Watch, the Watch 5 is 5ATM and IP68 certified, so you can use it in the rain, take it with you while showering, or swim without any issues.

Bright AMOLED Display

  • 44mm: 1.4 inches, 450 x 450 pixels
  • 40mm: 1.2 inches, 396 x 396 pixels
  • Super AMOLED
  • Sapphire crystal
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Display
Display

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 features a Super AMOLED display. The display of the watch I’m using, which is a 44mm variant, measures 1.4 inches, while the 40mm watch has a smaller 1.2-inch display.

The display quality of the Watch 5 is similar to that of the Watch 4, which is to say that it is also great with good colors, sharpness, and brightness. The display is easily visible even on a bright sunny day. It accurately registers touch and is very responsive.

Smooth Performance

  • Exynos W920 SoC
  • 1.5GB RAM | 16GB storage

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is powered by the same Exynos W920 chipset, which also powered last year’s Watch 4. Likewise, it has 1.5GB RAM and 16GB storage.

The performance of the watch is very good. I found the watch and all its animations to be very smooth. I like the RAM management as well; the recent apps open exactly where I left off.

However, when I set the double-click of the home button to open the recent apps, I found the response of the watch to be a little slower. I had to wait around 1 second after double-clicking the button, which may not be a big deal, but there were some times when I wanted it to be quick.

Other than that, it does not have much of a performance issue. There isn’t much of a delay with the raise-to-wake feature either. Overall, the watch feels smooth.

Health Tracking Sensor and Features

  • Samsung BioActive Sensor
  • Optical heart rate, Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Temperature sensor
Health tracking
Health tracking

Now comes the main features of the smartwatch — Health features. The Galaxy Watch 5 has Samsung’s BioActive Sensor that was introduced in the Galaxy Watch 4.

This BioActive Sensor has a single chip that integrates three sensors: optical heart rate (PPG sensor), electrical heart (ECG sensor), and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA sensor). Thanks to these sensors, the watch can monitor blood oxygen levels, heart rates, stress levels, sleep, and body composition.

The Watch 5 is also capable of monitoring ECG and blood pressure, but sadly, this feature is not yet available in Nepal. Even if it becomes available in the future, these features require you to have a Samsung phone.

BIA sensor measures body composition from where you can check body fat percentage, skeletal muscle, fat mass, BMI, body water, and BMR. We cannot say the accuracy of this data, but it’s helpful for getting a general idea of your body.

To measure body composition, similar to the Watch 4, you need to put your fingers on the home and back buttons, which have tiny electrodes in them. These features are nothing new for the Galaxy Watch 5.

The new addition is its infrared temperature sensor. But for now, there is no use for this sensor. In the future, there may be apps that will utilize this sensor.

Sleep Tracking

Sleep tracking
Sleep tracking

The sleep-tracking feature of the watch is very accurate. It correctly showed when I fell asleep and when I woke up, as well as sleep duration and sleep stages. You need to have installed the Samsung Health app on your phone to view them. Alternatively, you can also view them on your Galaxy Watch.

It also shows snoring and blood oxygen level data if you have turned on the features in the setting.

The app shows sleep consistency and sleep scores to encourage healthy sleeping habits. In addition, it also provides sleep coaching based on the sleep pattern of the user. For that, it first needs to gather sleep data for five nights.

Active Tracking

Workout options
Workout options

Focusing on fitness, the Watch 5 has many workout options. The watch also has an automatic workout detection feature that identifies different workouts and it works impressively well. It accurately detects when I am walking or taking a pause.

For automatic detection, make sure that you have it enabled and switched on “Alert” under the settings of Samsung Health.

In addition to walking, it is able to automatically detect other workout activities such as running, cycling, rowing machine, swimming, and dynamic high-movement activities. Note that, you need to work out for at least 10 minutes for it to detect.

You also have the ability to enable the location record when walking or running. When enabled, the watch automatically saves your route when it detects your activity. Or, you can do all these manually by selecting the workout.

Furthermore, the watch also has a fall-detection feature. If the user trips, the watch will notify the emergency contact if there is a network connection.

OS

  • Wear OS 3.5
  • One UI Watch 4.5
One UI Watch 4.5 based on Wear OS 3.5
One UI Watch 4.5 based on Wear OS 3.5

Samsung has applied its One UI Watch 4.5 skin on top of Google’s Wear OS 3.5. All the settings look very familiar to Samsung phones running on One UI.

The OS still has Samsung’s digital bezel. This bezel mimics the physical rotating bezel of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Using the digital bezel, you can scroll through menus by sliding your finger across the rim of the display.

There are now different ways to type. You can use the dictation-to-text feature or handwriting feature. Although both are generally reliable, the handwriting feature is only useful for a limited set of letters. Otherwise, it takes too long.

I personally prefer the swipe-to-type feature for typing. Even though it has a tiny 1.4-inch screen, I found this feature to be surprisingly accurate. It’s not perfect. There are times when it fails to detect correctly, but at other times, it is really helpful.

You can also download third-party apps from the Play Store.

Battery

  • 44mm: 410mAh
  • 40mm: 284mAh
Battery
Battery

The battery on this watch is larger than before. The 44mm watch has a 410mAh battery, while the 40mm variant has a 284mAh battery.

The first day after I got the 44mm Watch 5 was my day off. I stayed home all day without doing much, but I had turned on the Always On Display. With a single full charge, the Watch lasted two nights of sleep tracking and a day, which is over 36 hours. I found that very impressive.

But on other normal days, when I use the watch moderately, go out, and do some light walks, I was getting around 24 hours of battery life. So, the smartwatch still needs to be charged every single day. You may get an even shorter battery life if you do heavy workouts and use GPS for an extended period of time.

The Galaxy Watch 5 comes with a magnetic USB-C cable for charging. The charger wirelessly charges the watch, which charges around 35% in 30 minutes. Fully charging the watch took me exactly two hours.

Should You Upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5?

This year’s Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is not that interesting. This is a very iterative update. Almost all the features of the Watch 5 are already on the Watch 4. It’s difficult to even find a difference between the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 4.

So, if you already own the Galaxy Watch 4, you do not need to upgrade. I do not think it’s worth upgrading just for the sapphire glass, temperature sensor, and slightly better battery life.

But if you are looking for a smartwatch for an Android device, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 could be the best option.

The UI is very smooth, the display is bright and colorful, the build quality is premium, and it also has many fitness tracking options.

If you are a bit more adventurous, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro may be better for you. The Watch 5 Pro is a more expensive watch that has a titanium finish, a few new features for outdoor activities, and a larger size and battery life.

READ NEXT: Acer Aspire 5 Review: A Solid Budget Laptop

What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5? Let us know in the comments!


Also, watch our review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 in Nepali

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