Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Review – Great For the Right Devices
The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 brings a bunch of new health-focused features to enrich your day-to-day life. Is it worth your money? Let's find out.
+ Fluoroelastomer band is versatile and perfect for daily use
+ Can easily change look / feel with different straps
+ Improved build quality with sapphire crystal glass display
+ Flatter bottom allows more consistent readings with the BioActive sensor
+ More insight into your sleep
+ Wear OS 3 is great
- Battery life is shorter than expected
- Some features are only available exclusively to Samsung Galaxy devices
- Unsurprisingly, not iPhone-friendly
- Touch-sensitive bezel is unintuitive
Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy Watch5
Starting off our Samsung Galaxy Watch5 review with the unboxing, the packaging is a rather long, white box with minimal details. It’s pretty much similar to the one used by its predecessors. Inside the box, you can find the following items:
- Quick start guide
- Terms and conditions booklet
- The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 itself
|1.4″ 450 x 450 Super AMOLED display with Sapphire Crystal, Always-on display, 321 ppi
|IP68 (50mm water resistant)
|Dual core Samsung Exynos W920 @ 1.18GHz
|1.5GB RAM, 16GB storage
|410 mAh, 10W Qi wireless charging
|44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8 mm, 28.7 g
The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 has more of a sporty look by default, especially given the fluoroelastomer material for the strap. However, the watch itself is rather versatile so you can easily adapt by changing the strap. Having a leather or metal strap would come in handy for a smarter look.
The build quality feels just as good as its predecessors with water resistance up to 5ATM and an Ingress Protection rating of IP68. However, it’s worth pointing out that the screen more scratch-resistant now thanks to the sapphire crystal glass. It is claimed to be 60% more resistant to scratches, which I can neither prove nor disprove, but I have hit it on tables several times now, albeit lightly, and it still looks as good as new.
One major feature of the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 is its 3-in-1 BioActive Sensor which can check your heart rate, stress levels, and blood oxygen level. This isn’t new as it’s available in last year’s model but one smart change they made is in the design as the bottom of the smartwatch is more flat. This allows for better contact with your wrist and therefore, the readings would be more consistent and accurate.
Speaking of the sensor, the sleep tracking has noticeably improved. It gives you more insight to your sleep and how to improve it, but it would require at least 7 days worth of data before it can really do anything for you. Essentially, it gamifies sleep and incentivizes it to encourage a better, healthier sleeping experience, including up to a month-long sleep plan. Admittedly, seeing it tell me to avoid napping feels annoying but that’s just my own personal issue.
For those of you who are wondering, the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 is running on Google’s Wear OS 3 with One UI Watch. This means that you have access to a whole bunch of apps and widgets for it right from the get-go via the Galaxy Wearable app. It’s easy to use, there are plenty of watchfaces to choose from, is generally smooth, and you can make use of Google Assistant with it.
Looking for a new smartphone to go along with this? Check out our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 review by clicking right here.
As great as the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 is, it has its share of drawbacks. For starters, the battery life isn’t as long as they advertised it for. It is said to be 50 hours per full charge but from my own use, I only got about 40 hours at best. Sure, it’s still an improvement over last year’s model, but I was having higher hopes. Generally, expect to charge it once every two days.
One major factor that would play a role in whether you should get this smartwatch would be the smartphone you’re using. If you’re on an iPhone, forget about it as it’s simply not possible. If you’re using a non-Samsung Android smartphone, you can pair with it via the Galaxy Wearable app but keep in mind, your experience may be limited, such as not being able to monitor your ECG, blood pressure, and use Samsung Pay. Basically, this is more so tailored for Samsung Galaxy users.
Lastly, the touch-sensitive bezel is a bit of an oddity. It doesn’t really work well and I end up using the touchscreen to interact with it instead given how straightforward it is. In fact, I nearly forgot it was there until I did a last-minute check. I’m a bigger fan of the rotating bezel, which is why I’d rather stick to the Galaxy Watch4 Classic. But hey, your mileage might vary and you might have better luck with this bezel instead.
Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Verdict
The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 is a great smartwatch but it’s true potential can only be unleashed with a Samsung Galaxy device. iPhone and non-Samsung Android users should look for alternatives. Furthermore, it’s only really worth getting if you’re coming from anything other than a Galaxy Watch4 since it’s practically the same thing but with improved sleep tracking and some other sensors.
At the end of our Samsung Galaxy Watch5 review, I award this wearable with our Silver Pokdeward.
Big thanks to Samsung Malaysia for sending us this smartwatch for the purpose of this review.