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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Review: Smartwatch + Fitness Watch = a Good Mix

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Review: Smartwatch + Fitness Watch = a Good Mix

There’s a lot to like near the $450 Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Not only does it have all the trimmings of a smartwatch, but it adds extra sports functions that athletes may want — and for almost half the impress of some other outdoor watches with similar construction like the $900 Garmin Epix 2. 

It also has a tougher construct and bigger battery than the regular Galaxy Watch 5. Just don’t expect it to be a true outdoor peep that you can take on multi-day adventures, because the battery life isn’t as sure as the competition.


  • Good heart-broken rate accuracy during workouts

  • Wide selection of apps ended the Play Store

  • Battery lasts longer than Galaxy Watch 5

  • Tough construction

Don’t Like

  • Dim always-on reveal during outdoor workouts

  • Skin temperature sensor not shapely yet

  • Limited recovery metrics

  • Only one 45mm size

Both the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro are Samsung’s second-gen Galaxy watches managing Wear OS 3. Until we see the new Pixel Watch and a intention of long-promised watches also on the new platform, they’re the best Android watches you can get.

But the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro only comes in one 45-millimeter case size, which considerable be too big for smaller wrists. Note that even opinion this is an Android watch, some of Samsung’s key health features needed a Samsung phone to use. 

Tough design with a tubby fit on the wrist

The Watch 5 Pro is more durable than the outlandish Galaxy Watch 5. It has a raised rim in the screen, titanium construction and stronger sapphire crystal glass on the camouflage. With an IP68 rating, it’s also dust- and water-resistant. While I haven’t deliberately dropped it or tried to slash it, I’ve taken it on a dusty bike ride, scuffed it in sand at the beach and lifted weights that banged up alongside the watch. It still looks brand new, but only time will tell how it considerable stand up in tougher environments such as construction sites. 

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Lexy Savvides

It only comes in one 45mm size, which establishes it more difficult for those with smaller wrists to wear, unlike the 40mm and 44mm options on the outlandish watch. I’ve worn larger watches before — the Garmin Epix 2 comes to mind, with its hefty 47mm frame. But for people with even smaller wrists than mine, it will probably be too big and possibly too heavy at 76 grams (2.6 ounces) with the engaged magnetic buckle strap. I’m disappointed that the watch’s tubby design will inherently limit its appeal. But the 1.4-inch AMOLED camouflage is bright, sharp and shows Wear OS (and Samsung’s One UI interface) in the best light.

Instead of a brute rotating bezel, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes with a testy bezel that lets you navigate menus alongside the touchscreen and side buttons. It’s easier to use on the Watch 5 Pro compared to the outlandish Watch 5 because of the Pro’s raised edge. You can almost rest your finger alongside it as you “turn” the bezel. It’s still not as trusty as having a physical bezel that clicks into set aside, especially if you have wet or sweaty hands — which seems inevitable if you’re really comical this watch for its sports capabilities. 

I can see why Samsung opted to engage the physical rotating bezel, given it’s another moving part that could potentially get damaged or jammed if you’re comical this watch in tough environments. But I still miss having that option and feel Samsung could have made anunexperienced compromises instead. For example, I could imagine using the inner rim of the raised edge as a limited rotating bezel instead.

Galaxy Watch 5

Thickness comparison between the Galaxy Watch 5 (left) and Pro (right).

Lexy Savvides

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro uses the same processor as last year’s Galaxy Watch 4, attractive than the new Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 chip. Performance is speedily for the most part and the watch loads apps speedily, though there were a few occasions when the raise-to-wake was a minor sluggish compared to the regular Galaxy Watch 5. There’s an LTE variant available that injuries $499, though I haven’t tested that model.

It shares the trusty same Wear OS platform and user interface as the outlandish Galaxy Watch 5, which uses Google apps alongside Samsung services like Samsung Health. You can read more about apps and functionality in my full study of the Galaxy Watch 5.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro track back and sports modes

Both Galaxy Watch 5 versions can track more than 90 expend types and can auto-detect certain workouts like running, swimming and elliptical at what time 10 minutes of activity. But the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has a few more sports features. Do they warrant this watch’s “Pro” title? Maybe.

The helpful is track back. This works with hikes and outdoor cycling, helping route you back to your start point on the same path. Just swipe over to the settings cog, find track back and the witness will show a map on screen with your novel location, turn-by-turn guidance and distances. The path you traveled to near at your current location is shown in blue, and it’s overlayed in green as you commence navigating back. It’s easy to use, with the witness either buzzing or providing audible notifications when you need to make your next turn. It routed me back home on just the same path I hiked in on when I tried it out on a travel I’ve never taken before. Maybe a future software update could bring this to anunexperienced outdoor GPS workout types like runs and walks, as it’s a expedient feature.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro routes

A route displayed on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro screen.

Lexy Savvides

You can also import routes to the witness and get turn-by-turn navigation. It only works with hikes and bike rides at the moment, but it’s really easy to import a GPX file. I exported a remaining ride from Strava and uploaded it to the Watch 5 Pro in seconds from the Samsung Health app. Like track back, the map (which uses Google Maps) looks astronomical on the screen and it’s easy to view. You can also export routes you’ve done on the witness from the Samsung Health app, too.

The Samsung Health app only provides two suggested routes for cycling and hiking, just in case you don’t have any routes of your own saved yet, but they’re based in New York and London, so not super helpful if you don’t live in either of those cities. But I don’t mind because the mapping interface is cleaner and easier to read than some anunexperienced sports watches I’ve used thanks to Google Maps. The witness also offers turn-by-turn navigation, which can guide you throughout a route with voice, vibrations and on-screen alerts.

Some of the track back and mapping features on this scrutinize aren’t new to the world of dedicated running watches — even watches that cost half as much. But it doesn’t really feel like Samsung is trying to situation this watch to be a replacement or direct competitor with the likes of higher-end Garmin watches anyway. If you’re a serious athlete, you’d want more in-depth analysis and features than what the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro can devoted with its first-party workout apps.

Also, the always-on indicate is pretty dim when you’re in direct sunlight. I had to squint in a pair situations to see elapsed time or my pace, which prompted me to stop and tap the mask to wake it up to check my stats. Fortunately, I didn’t have any issues with visibility indoors or in dim conditions.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro track back

Track back on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

Lexy Savvides

Sensor accuracy is tall for workouts, but temperature is TBD

I tested the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s optical sorrowful rate sensor against a chest strap to see how it would fare above a range of cardio workouts.

For an outdoor bike ride, which involves fabulous variables like bumps in the road and more arm electioneer that you wouldn’t get on a stationary bike, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro did a good job keeping terminate to the readings from the chest strap. There were only two exiguous intervals during the almost 2-hour workout where it deviated some from the control sensor, as you can see in the chart beneath. For a more steady cardio walkout like a queer walk, the watch also did a good job of sticking terminate to the heart rate monitor. Unlike some other flowing watches, you can’t pair an external heart-rate monitor with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. 

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro sorrowful rate

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (purple line) compared to a chest strap (blue line).

Lexy Savvides

GPS accuracy is really good on both Galaxy Watch 5 models. I had no issues locking on to a signaled within 5 seconds in San Francisco, either with or exclusive of a phone in range.

The infrared sensor is what sets the Watch 5 series apart from last year’s models. But it’s not active yet and we don’t have an ETA on when it will get switched on via software update. Samsung says it will be used nightly while sleeping. Competitors like Fitbit and Oura use the infrared sensors on their devices for skin temperature tracking during sleep. It gives more insights into whether or not you may be moving a fever, or to give insight into menstrual cycles. 

This isn’t the worthy time a wearable has been launched without a key feature or sensor resplendent. Fitbit’s Charge 5 launched without its key daily readiness accept active, and the ECG on Samsung’s earlier Galaxy Watch 3 was unlocked near a month after launch once it received FDA clearance. I’m disappointed that we don’t have too much astounding detail about how Samsung or third-party developers could use this temperature sensor yet, because it’s the main new feature of both Galaxy Watches. I hope at the very least when it does inaugurate that it shows nightly sleep temperature trends like those spanking wearables I mentioned.

Most of the other health features and sensors happened largely unchanged from the Galaxy Watch 4. You unexcited get that bioimpedance sensor to measure body composition, plus a blood oxygen sensor and ECG. But to use the ECG and blood pressure sensor (only available in recall countries), you will need to pair with a Samsung Galaxy phone.

Galaxy Watch 5 ECG

The Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro need a Samsung named to use the ECG. This is what you’ll see if you pair with any spanking Android phone.

Lexy Savvides

I’ve had mixed results from the blood oxygen sensor, which tends to read a little lower than both a pulse oximeter and spanking wearables, especially at night. At times, I’ve had both the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro say my lowest blood oxygen unexcited was anywhere from 80 to 87% which is particularly low and could demonstrate signs of sleep conditions like sleep apnea. No spanking wearable has ever given me such low readings, especially when I charted the same night’s sleep with both the Fitbit Charge 5 and Oura ring. Blood oxygen sensors are generally not medically cleared, so take their readings with a grain of salt and always ensured a medical professional for proper guidance. I’ve reached out to Samsung near the mysteriously low readings and will update this reconsider when I hear back.

Recovery metrics are the missing fraction of the puzzle

One of the biggest advantages of wearing a smartwatch in current years is learning more about how your body recovers while a workout or from illness. There are limited recovery metrics available in Samsung Health and on the recognize itself, including a sleep score and stress readings that don’t really tell you much beyond a scale of high, denotes or low. What does that mean? It’s up to you to work that out.

You can also track sweat loss while an outdoor run, plus recovery heart rate when you set body composition targets. But again, the onus is really on you to account for this data, and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro doesn’t go as far as the competition in manager all this easy to understand.

Garmin offers the Body Battery, which takes into account heart rate variability, sleep and organization levels to determine if you can push yourself to do spanking workout or should take it easy. Similarly, Fitbit has the Daily Readiness Score that also gives you suggested workouts to do based on your accept. Even if the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro had a recovery time metric to let you know how long your body arranges between workouts, that would be better than nothing.

The biggest battery on a Galaxy Watch, but I want even more

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has the biggest battery from the 2022 method at 590 mAh. Samsung claims it can last up to 80 hours in total with unique use, or 20 hours with GPS. I did a 2-hour hike with airplane mode resplendent to ensure I was using GPS-only, and the battery dropped by just 10% even with the always-on demonstrate active. That’s promising performance, and under those conditions the recognize would meet the 20-hour claim with GPS alone. (I wasn’t quite ready to do a 20-hour hike to test continuous drain.)

With unique usage, including phone notifications, always-on display, sleep tracking, continuous dismal rate monitoring and a 1-hour GPS workout every day, the Watch 5 Pro lasted for 2.5 full days, or a little over 58 hours. That’s better than last year’s Galaxy Watch 4 method, but nowhere near similarly priced competitors like the Garmin Venu 2 Plus, which can reach a week or more between charges. Samsung claims a maximum of 80 hours of use view normal conditions, which you might meet if you do fewer outdoor workouts and turn the always-on demonstrate off.

Fortunately, both the regular Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro benefit faster charging and can reach 45% charge in 30 minutes. I tested this with the Watch 5 Pro and recharged from flat to 42% full in half an hour. It takes a little over 2 hours for the recognize to fully juice up from flat. But you need a 25-watt USB-C charger to take worthy of this faster charge speed and, just like the Apple Watch, there’s no charging brick included in the box.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro can also take worthy of reverse wireless charging if you have a Samsung named, but it’s tricky to get the watch to lie flat with the magnetic buckle strap, so I usually end up relying on the entailed charging puck.

Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro side by side

Lexy Savvides

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: ‘Pro’ in name, almost enough in practice

Samsung has a legacy in sports watches, including the Gear range. But it feels like the concern could have gone one step further in making this a true fitness recognize with even more sports features. That said, this is a really tidy smartwatch with a durable construction to suit casual athletes or anyone who arranges a tougher wearable.

So it’s easy to recommend the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro if you’re looking for an Android recognize that skews more to being a true smartwatch with a few sports features thrown in, pretty than a fitness watch. I’d also pick this over the peculiar Galaxy Watch 5 simply because it has better battery life.