comscore Samsung Galaxy Watch5 review: Best Android smartwatch in the market
Review

Samsung Galaxy Watch5 review: Best Android smartwatch in the market

If you are using an older smartwatch, then the Galaxy Watch5 with its health tracking features, easy-to-use interface, feature set and elegant design is definitely the way to go.

Highlights

  • The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 starts at Rs 27,999 in India for the 40mm and Bluetooth variant.
  • The top variant of the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 with 44mm case and LTE connectivity costs Rs 35,999.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 comes in Graphite, Silver, Sapphire and Pinkgold colour variants.
Samsung Galaxy Watch5 1

Image: Shweta Ganjoo / BGR India



Samsung Galaxy Watch5 4.5 5
BGR Rating :
4.5/5

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch series smartwatches have found their distinct space in the smartwatch market. With their familiar design, easy to use interface, and myriad of health sensors and relatively pocket friendly design, Samsung’s smartwatches have carved out a niche for themselves, especially in India. If anything, reports are a testament to this trend with the company’s Galaxy Watch4 being one of the chartbusters quarter after quarter. Continuing this legacy, Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch5 earlier this year as a successor to last year’s Galaxy Watch4 smartwatch. Also Read - Samsung Black Friday deals: Check top offers on Galaxy S22 series, Galaxy Watch5 and more

Now, the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 isn’t vastly different from the Galaxy Watch4, at least not from afar. Yet, it feels fresh owing to the incremental changes that Samsung has introduced this year. For instance, the company has removed the physically rotating dial this year, which was akin to the Galaxy Watch series and replaced it with a digital dial this year. In addition to this, Samsung has reduced the size of the sensors at the back of the watch marginally and added a skin temperature sensor, which you can’t use yet. It has also increased the battery size this year. While the 40mm variant gets a 284mAh battery, the 44mm variant, which we used, gets a 410mAh battery. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 FE might come with LCD panel, S pen and more

Apart from changing the look and feel of the watch and making some tweaks here and there, Samsung hasn’t completely overhauled its smartwatch with the Galaxy Watch5. So, if you own a Galaxy Watch4, you can skip this generation to see what Samsung has to offer next year. But if you are looking to upgrade from an older Galaxy Watch model or if you are planning to buy a new smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 offers something to everyone. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy A14 5G Geekbench listing hints at Dimensity 700 chipset and more

Before we get into the detailed review, here is a quick rundown of its top features and price.

Samsung Galaxy Watch5: Specifications

Size: 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8 mm (44mm) / 39.3 x 40.4 x 9.8 mm (40mm)

Display: 1.4-inch with a resolution of 450 x 450 pixels (44mm) / 1.2-inch with a resolution of 396 x 396 pixels (40mm)

Processor: Samsung’s Exynos W920

Memory: 1.5GB RAM + 16GB storage

Battery: 284mAh for the 40mm variant, 410mAh for the 44mm variant

Connectivity: Bluetooth, LTE, NFC, GPS

Compatibility: Android 8.0 or higher

Colours: Graphite, Silver, Sapphire for the 44mm variant, Graphite, Silver, Pinkgold for 40mm variant

Price: Rs 27,999 (40mm, Bluetooth), Rs 32,999 (40mm, LTE), Rs 27,999 (40mm, Bluetooth), Rs 30,999 (44mm, Bluetooth), Rs 35,999 (44mm, LTE)

Samsung Galaxy Watch5: Design

The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 features the same distinct design that we saw in the Galaxy Watch3 and the Galaxy Watch4. This means that you get a polished aluminum disc with two physical buttons on the right side. These buttons are a part of the metal disc that extends further on both the sides to connect to the silicon straps.

Image: Shweta Ganjoo / BGR India

However, there are some subtle differences as well. Samsung has replaced its physically rotating dial with a digital dial that gives users access to the apps on board. The company has also reduced the height of the heart rate monitoring and other sensors at the back of this metal disc. As a result, the Galaxy Watch5 is more comfortable to wear even during the night time while sleeping. It also sits comfortably in order to provide more accurate health measurements.

Overall, the Galaxy Watch5 isn’t exactly the lightest smartwatch, at least the 44mm variant, but it isn’t one of the heaviest ones either. It takes some time to get accustomed to the Galaxy Watch5, but once you do, it is definitely one of the most comfortable smartwatches in the market right now.

Samsung Galaxy Watch5: Display

Now, let’s talk about the display.

Both the Galaxy Watch5 models come with a circular super AMOLED display with a resolution of 450 x 450 pixels for the 44mm variant, a peak brightness of 1,000 nits and round and dark circular bezels, which is the same as last year’s Galaxy Watch4. The display of the Galaxy Watch5 is bright with the right amount of contrast. The screen is bright and it holds up against the harsh Delhi sun and the dark rainy mornings nicely. The vibrant colours pop out against the dark bezels of the display, which in turn makes the overall reading experience quite comfortable.

In case you are wondering, display tech is not the big update that Samsung has been aiming at this year. Instead, it has focused on making its smartwatch sturdier. The Galaxy Watch5 features a Sapphire Crystal display, which the company says is 60 percent harder than the cover glass available on the Galaxy Watch4. This, in turn, makes the Galaxy Watch5 slightly more durable than its predecessor.

In effect, the Galaxy Watch5 handles day to day wear with ease. While I didn’t perform a drop test to check just how durable this smartwatch is, I did bump into things at times while using this smartwatch. What I liked about this smartwatch is that the Galaxy Watch5 remained unscathed (without a single scratch) each time even if I didn’t.

Simply put, the Galaxy Watch5 offers a bright and vibrant display that offers a comfortable viewing experience no matter what the lighting conditions are.

Samsung Galaxy Watch5: Software and Performance

Now, let’s talk about the most important part of this discussion: how well the Galaxy Watch5 fares in day-to-day usage.

Samsung hasn’t made any major changes to the Galaxy Watch5 design wise. This is true for the software as well. The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 runs Google’s Wear OS 3-based One UI Watch. The overall look and feel of the smartwatch feels very familiar even if you are coming from a different smartwatch. For instance, you can swipe right to see all notifications, swipe left to get access to all health related features, swipe up to get access to the app drawer and swipe down to access the quick controls. Nothing is out of place and everything feels familiar.

But there are areas where Samsung has made the distinction clear. For instance, you cannot use the Galaxy Watch5 with Google’s Wear OS app. Instead you need the Galaxy Wearable app to function. Also, you need to download the Samsung Health app to use the Galaxy Watch5’s health tracking capabilities, even if you are using a non-Samsung smartphone. Though that’s not the only compromise that you would be making if you decide to use a non-Samsung smartphone.

On the performance part, the Galaxy Watch5 has everything that you could ask for in a smartwatch, especially in this price range. It comes with Samsung’s BioActive Sensor, which includes a host of other sensors that provide various health tracking capabilities from heart-rate tracking to ECG to monitoring blood oxygen level and even stress management, all of which function flawlessly. The Galaxy Watch5 also offers a sleep tracking feature and sleep insights. However, the watch needs at least a week’s data to generate meaningful insights. That said, in my case, the Galaxy Watch5 didn’t provide any astonishing insights, something that I already didn’t know. Additionally, it comes with a skin temperature sensor, which isn’t active yet.

Image: Shweta Ganjoo / BGR India

Coming to the features, the Galaxy Watch5 offers native support for Google Assistant, which is a welcoming respite from using Bixby, especially if you are not using a Samsung smartphone. You also get Samsung Pay, which is helpful only if you use a non-Samsung smartphone. But if your usage leans towards the Google side of things, you also get support for Google’s suite of apps and other third-party apps such as Spotify and Outlook among others.

Another thing that I like about the Galaxy Watch5 is its speaker. You can make calls from this watch even if your phone isn’t around, that is, if you are using the LTE variant. And if you are using the Bluetooth variant, you can still make calls from the watch and the good thing is that they won’t feel stuffy at all.

Samsung Galaxy Watch5: Battery

Battery, perhaps, is the least impressive feature in the Galaxy Watch5 this year. Samsung says that the battery in the Galaxy Watch5 is 13 percent bigger than last year’s Galaxy Watch5. While that does look good on paper, it doesn’t exactly make a dent in usage.

The Galaxy Watch5’s battery lasts for a little more than a day during day-to-day usage. So, if you charge the smartwatch early in the morning, the battery will last through the day and the following night but after that you will have to rush to give it a boost. But on the lean days, when I barely used the watch, which is mostly during weekends, I was able to squeeze out a day and a half of battery life from the Galaxy Watch5 albeit with only the most basic features in the low power mode. The Galaxy Watch5 charged completely in an hour.

Samsung Galaxy Watch5: Verdict

Now the million dollar question: should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 or not? Well, the answer to this question is simpler than you think. The Galaxy Watch5 offers incremental updates over the Galaxy Watch4. So, if you are using the Galaxy Watch4, you can skip this generation to opt for its successor next year that will offer more meaningful updates. But if you are using an older Samsung Galaxy smartwatch or if you are using an older smartwatch, then the Galaxy Watch5 with its health tracking features, easy-to-use interface, feature set and elegant design is definitely the way to go.

  • Published Date: October 10, 2022 9:35 PM IST
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