Samsung Galaxy Watch5 and Galaxy Watch5 Pro launched with improved fitness and health tracking, sapphire crystal glass, and vastly improved battery life
The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 and Watch4 Classic offered a plethora of fitness and health tracking features including blood pressure monitoring, electrocardiogram (ECG), and a mostly accurate heart rate sensor. However, battery life was one of the sore points of the Watch4 generation.
This year's Galaxy Watch5 and Watch5 Pro build upon the Watch4's foundation and offer overall improvements to fitness and health monitoring. The Watch5 marks the first Galaxy Watch generation to go full sapphire crystal glass on both the models. The new material is 60% harder than traditional glass and ensures greater resilience in daily usage. Samsung also claims to have a much-improved battery life this time around.
Improved 3-in-1 BioActive sensor
The Galaxy Watch5 and Galaxy Watch5 Pro share most of the core features including the BioActive Sensor that was first introduced with the Watch4. Samsung's BioActive sensor is a combination of three sensors on a chip. These include an optical heart rate sensor, electrical heart signal sensor, and a bioelectrical impedance analyzer.
The BioActive sensor can thus monitor blood oxygen levels, stress levels, heart, blood pressure, and ECG. Most of these features require pairing the Galaxy Watch5 with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone running Android 8 or higher and the Samsung Health app version 6.22 or higher.
Samsung said that ECG and blood pressure monitoring can be accessed in 63 markets worldwide. However, users will have to calibrate the Watch5 with a traditional blood pressure cuff once every four weeks. ECG and blood pressure monitoring are designed to be valid only for those above the age of 22.
Fitness and sleep tracking
The Body Composition feature tracks workouts and offers personalized suggestions and a snapshot of the progress. The data includes recovery, heart rate, and customized hydration recommendations based on body fluid loss.
Just like the Watch4, the Watch5 can also provide info on snoring patterns and comes with a personal sleeping coach. Integration with Samsung SmartThings means that the Watch5 can automatically control room lighting, air conditioning, and TV to create a comfortable sleep environment.
Galaxy Watch5 Pro
The Galaxy Watch5 Pro sports the same basic feature set and sensors as the Watch5 but is aimed at those who are into outdoor activities such as trekking, cycling, etc. The Galaxy Watch5 Pro also features sapphire crystal and a titanium casing that together protect the display. The Watch5 also has a new D-Buckle sports strap for a durable fit.
The availability of sapphire glass on both the Watch5 and Watch5 Pro seems like great value compared to the Apple Watch that offers sapphire glass only on the stainless steel and titanium models while resorting to IonX glass on the more affordable ones.
The Galaxy Watch5 Pro also comes with enhanced GPS features including the ability to download, record, and share routes with friends via the Samsung Health app. The Watch5 Pro also features turn-by-turn navigation and a track-back function to help you get back to the starting position. The Watch5, on the other hand, supports Google Maps for navigation without a smartphone.
Up to 60% more powerful battery than the Galaxy Watch4
Battery life has been one of the major pain points with the Galaxy Watch4, and Samsung wants to remedy that in the Watch5 generation.
According to Samsung, the Watch5 features a 13% larger battery than the Watch4 and is able to offer eight hours of sleep monitoring with just eight minutes of charging, which is about 30% faster than that of the Watch4. The company also claimed that the Watch5 Pro's battery is the most powerful yet in a Galaxy smartwatch and that it is 60% more powerful than the Galaxy Watch4.
Both the Galaxy Watch5 and the Galaxy Watch5 Pro come with One UI Watch 4.5 installed. Samsung does not explicitly mention this in the press release, but the Watch5 series most likely uses the same Exynos W920 SoC that powered the Galaxy Watch4.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 comes in 40 mm (Graphite, Pink Gold, and Silver) and 44 mm (Graphics, Sapphire, and Silver) sizes in both Bluetooth and LTE variants. The Galaxy Watch5 Pro comes in a 45 mm size and is available in Black Titanium and Gray Titanium color variants. Pricing information is as follows:
- Galaxy Watch5 40 mm BT: €299
- Galaxy Watch5 40 mm LTE: €349
- Galaxy Watch5 44 mm BT: €329
- Galaxy Watch5 44 mm LTE: €379
- Galaxy Watch5 Pro 45 mm BT: €469
- Galaxy Watch5 Pro 45 mm LTE: €519
Pre-orders for the Galaxy Watch5 series go live today with expected availability from August 26.
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