Since the launch of the new Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, a thought that prompted me to think that it is the most interesting device in the new South Korean line-up was this new smartwatch.
The gadget with the titanium case and sapphire glass, the Samsung BioActive sensor, the microphone and the speaker with which you can answer phone calls or the WearOS base that allows the installation of apps from the Play Store and the ability to respond to notifications directly from the phone. It is also the new strap with magnetic closure that drove me to think that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the best smartwatch for Android that you can buy today.
It is fully packed with all these features, the huge 590 mAh battery that guarantees it a great deal to opt for. It is never been seen before in WearOS and, frankly, never even reached by Apple Watches.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the best addition in the category in terms of functionality, fluidity, materials and autonomy. Sure, it’s not perfect, but we finally have the Apple Watch’s only worthy rival.
The glass that protects the circular display is made of sapphire and the case of titanium, but the (very comfortable) ring that could be rotated is abandoned, in favour of a sort of fixed ‘frame’ which, in my opinion, has the sole purpose to make the whole structure more resistant.
It is available only in the 45mm variant, even if the dimensions are much more important than the smooth variant. If I have to say it all, then this raised frame that protects the display does not drive me crazy. Stylistically it is not bad, but in practical life, it is the point where dust and dirt accumulate more easily and very often, during the day.
However, the addition of the bezel would have added only other millimetres and considering that it is a bulky smartwatch.
But despite the bulk, there is a very positive factor and that is its 47 grams in weight. Also, the fit is fantastic and the new strap with magnetic closure is held tightly on the wrist. I must admit, however, that I immediately replaced the strap, but only because I am not a fan of silicone straps and I prefer aluminium ones. It is important to know that you can use the same straps on the Watch 4 Classic.
It is an IP68-certified device, capable of withstanding a pressure of 5 ATM. The two side buttons protrude a little more outwards than the other models and the whole lower part of the case has been intended for the BioActive sensor (for Optical Heart Rate + Electrocardiac Trace + Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis), which is flanked by many other sensors. There is also a temperature sensor, an accelerometer, a barometer, a gyroscope, a geomagnetic sensor, and a sensor of brightness.
The display of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is slightly sharper than that of the previous generation but noticeably more promising. The resolution of the AMOLED panel is 450 × 450 pixels.
The screen of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is always perfectly visible, even in direct light conditions, although I found the automatic brightness adjustment a little slow in detecting and setting that.
What didn’t make me crazy about the display of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the oleophobic treatment. I’m not sure it’s a thing due to the sapphire coating of the panel, but the layer that protects the smartwatch screen suffers a lot from fingerprints and needs constant cleaning. A factor that tends to make the device always look dirty, if not cleaned frequently.
From a software perspective, the differences between WearOS 3.5 in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and the 3.0 version used in last year’s Watch 4 are quite a few. Google’s operating system is customized as usual by the One UI Watch which arrives at version 4.5 and which continues to give the smartwatch a profoundly different approach to the upgraded version of WearOS.
The real novelty of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro lies in the GPS. You can follow the routes directly from the watch without the need for a connection to the cellular network. The integrated GPS in the smartwatch will show a complete map of the route turn-by-turn navigation and the TrackBack function.
All in all, though, I cannot say that the user experience with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is very different from what we enjoyed with the previous generation of the smartwatch but what is evident however are some updates and improvements to many main applications.
As for sensors, the best thing is the use of a biometric sensor 3 in 1 which enables it as a heart rate sensor, an electrical heart sensor and an impedance sensor. Basically, with this single sensor, it will be possible to measure heart rate, and blood oxygenation, perform an ECG and also evaluate body composition. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro can also measure heart pressure.
However, the blood pressure reading and the electrocardiogram are features limited only to Galaxy devices, which means that Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro can be used with all Android devices, but gives up some features. As for iPhone, there is no compatibility with iOS.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a smartwatch that is designed for sportsmen as well. The complete fitness tracking suite has increased, and now it also integrates hiking, trail running and more. There are over 90 different sports available.
What I found much improved compared to the previous generation is the automatic walk detection function. It never misses a shot, it activates completely autonomously and also the deactivation is always precise.
In terms of battery life, it has a huge 590 mAh battery that allows it to guarantee about 3 days of autonomy with a single charge. All sensors are active for 24 hours of monitoring but without the always-active screen.
The charging capability is also improved, which is significantly faster than the previous generation. It has switched to 10w, which allows you to fully recharge the smartwatch in just under 2 hours, starting from 0%.