Highlights

  • 1.4" 450 x 450 AMOLED display
  • Exynos W920 chipset
  • 410mAh battery

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Review: The most refined Android smartwatch?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 offers a refined smartwatch experience, but does it bring enough upgrades to excite Galaxy Watch 4 users? Find out in our review.

Key Specifications
Price : ₹35,999
1.4" AMOLED display

16GB storage

Wear OS (One UI Watch 4.5)
410mAh battery Exynos W920 1.5GB RAM
Our Review
9 / 10
Design8/10
Utility9/10
Display9/10
Software8/10
Health Features8/10
Performance8/10
Pros
  • Expansive feature set
  • Classy looks
  • Unmatched performance
Cons
  • Doesn't work with iOS
  • Non-Samsung phone users will miss some features

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Review :The Galaxy Watch 5 is the latest offering by Samsung, and in the premium Android smartwatch market, it really has no competition... but has Samsung offered enough compelling upgrades over the already excellent Galaxy Watch 4?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 : Design and Comfort

The first thing you’ll notice about the Galaxy Watch 5 is that, well, it’s quite similar to last year's Galaxy Watch 4. I wouldn't call this a huge leap in terms of design but there are a few minor changes - It now gets an improved sapphire crystal glass cover for the display, which is supposed to be 60 percent stronger than the Watch 4.

Samsung has reshaped the bottom curvature to fit wrists more naturally, and this is a very comfortable watch to wear for long periods of time.

The Watch 5 also comes in a couple of new shades, and I do love the blue colour for this silicon strap. As usual, you can change out the strap for any number of first party or aftermarket straps.

Apart from that, it still gets the same metal frame, two side buttons for navigation and an all-screen display.

I've been testing the 44mm variant of the Watch 5, which looks fine on my wrist, and doesn't feel too bulky either. However, if you’re concerned at all about size, you might want to go for the 40mm model.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 : Connectivity and Utility

As for connectivity, the Watch 5 features every sort of wireless standard you can imagine, including Bluetooth 5.2, 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz Wi-Fi, and GPS. If you get the LTE model, you can also set it up with a data plan and use it without being linked to a phone! Do note that currently, only Airtel and Jio networks support eSim on Galaxy Watches, and it won’t work with the VI or Vodafone Idea network.

The smartwatch retains its 5ATM and IP68 water resistant rating and there is also a special ‘water lock’ mode which you can engage if you’re going to immerse the watch in water.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 : Display

The Galaxy Watch 5 gets a 1.4-inch circular display, with a 450 x 450 resolution. This is a Super AMOLED display with 1,000 nits peak brightness, so you can see the watch clearly even on a bright sunny day.

Long-time Galaxy Watch fans will be disappointed that there’s no physical rotating bezel with this year’s models, but Samsung has provided a virtual bezel of sorts. You can navigate through menus by swiping through the edges, but I found little need for this, as the screen is a breeze to navigate through taps and swipes as well.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 : Software

The Galaxy Watch 5 comes with the new Wear OS, which debuted in last year’s smartwatches, and is jointly developed by Google and Samsung. This watch also runs Samsung’s One UI Watch 4.5 skin on top of that. The watch’s software is very easy to operate, and yet still extremely feature packed. You can access the quick settings with a quick swipe down, check out your favourite health features with a swipe left, or go to your app drawer with a swipe up.

The Galaxy Watch 5 also comes with a wide variety of watch faces, both digital and analogue, that you can choose from to customise the look to your liking. And of course, you can download more watch faces from the Play Store.

Because of the open nature of Wear OS, and access to the Play Store, you get access to all the apps that support smartwatches, like Spotify for music, Strava for tracking runs, or SofaScore for checking cricket or football scores. Then there are the third-party clients, which will let you control IoT devices or even browse Twitter.

You can pair the Galaxy Watch 5 to any reasonably new Android smartphone, but if you use a non-Samsung phone you will miss out on some features like the camera preview. And it will not work with iOS devices at all.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 : Health and Fitness

The Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Sensor that Samsung debuted last year on the Galaxy Watch 4 lineup, is still here, and it can measure everything from body fat percentage to skeletal muscle weight. Measuring Body Composition is quite a task, you have to get into a slightly contorted position, and hold really still. I can’t verify if the results are medically accurate, of course, but they are at least consistent, and can help you track your fitness progress.

All of these data points can be tracked and measured in more detail on the Samsung Health app. You can also use other tracking apps, like Google Fit, if you so wish, but you will lose out on some features like historic measurements of heart rate and blood oxygen, and even sleep tracking.

There’s also an optical heart rate sensor, which can track your heart rate continuously throughout the day. In other countries, the Galaxy Watch 5 does get ECG and Blood Pressure monitoring, but these features are not available in India.

Apart from these features, the Watch 5 supports over 90 workout tracking modes - everything from your standard running and cycling to niche workouts like Golf are available here.

A really neat feature is the auto tracking for certain workouts, like walking. So, let's say, if you’re on a long walk, and have forgotten to turn the workout mode on, the watch will automatically start it for you after 10 minutes, then track all the relevant data during your walk, and end it after you’ve stopped.

The Galaxy Watch 5 also does sleep tracking if you go to sleep wearing it. I found the stats to be very accurate, more so than any other Android-based smartwatch I’ve used. There’s also a ‘sleep coach’ feature which can help you with healthier sleeping habits, after about a week or so of use.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 : Performance and Battery

The Galaxy Watch 5 is powered by the Exynos W920 chipset, also seen in last year’s Watch 4. This is a dual-core chip running 1.18 Ghz. When coupled with the 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage you get on the Watch 5, it means a completely lag-free experience even with heavy multitasking. The Galaxy Watch 5 is the most powerful Android smartwatch in the market at the moment, and it shows.

The Galaxy Watch 5 also has a 410mAh battery, and it's 15% bigger than the one on the Galaxy Watch 4. Samsung rates at up to 40 hours of usage, and in my experience, I got around a day and a half out of it with constant health monitoring features on, but always-on display off. That's definitely an improvement over the Watch 4's one day battery life, but I still feel that overall endurance could be better.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 : Verdict

Let’s talk about pricing - The 40mm variant starts at ₹27,999, while the 44mm variant starts at ₹30,999. You’ll have to shell out ₹5,000 more for LTE functionality.

Overall, The Galaxy Watch 5 is an excellent smartwatch that offers comprehensive health tracking features, powerful internals, and true open customizability. It’s not a huge upgrade over the Watch 4, though, so if you’re using that I’d suggest you wait this one out.

But if you’re an Android user looking for a top-of-the-line smartwatch, and you don’t want to spend much for the Pro version, this is the best you can get.

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