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Can you use Galaxy Watch 5 with non-Samsung phones?

Exercise modes like Running Coach on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Can you use Galaxy Watch 5 with non-Samsung phones?

Best answer: Yes, technically you can pair the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 with any compatible Android device, which will include those running Android 8.0 and higher with the latest software update. However, you won’t get as seamless an experience, nor will you get access to all of the features you would get when using the smartwatch with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

How can you use a Galaxy Watch 5 with a non-Samsung phone?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro sitting on tree leaves, showing app tiles.

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Once you bring home a Samsung Galaxy 5 smartwatch, you can pair it with a non-Samsung phone just as you would pair any other Bluetooth device. Once ready to use, you’ll want to download the Galaxy Wearable app to your phone from the Play Store, since it won’t come pre-installed. Make sure the phone is up-to-date with software and that it’s running at least Android 8.0, as well as supports 1.5GB RAM or more in order to ensure the best experience possible. The phone also needs to offer support for Google Mobile Services. 

Keep in mind that when using the Galaxy Watch 5 with non-Samsung phones, you won’t be able to access certain features, or may have limited support. For example, Samsung Pay is only available through Samsung smartphones. 

Other features, like Advanced Sleep Coaching, Samsung BIA body analyzer, and Auto Workout Tracking, require the Samsung Health app, which can be downloaded to other devices, but works best on a Samsung phone. For heart rate readings, you’ll not only need a Samsung Galaxy phone, but also one running Android 8.0 or later, which means this feature won’t work with another branded phone, or at least may not work as accurately.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro sitting on a pillow, showing sleep tracking results.

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Keep in mind that there’s a similar situation with other Galaxy smartwatches and fitness trackers. The Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, for example, require an Android phone with 6.0 OS and above, along with support for Google Mobile Services. With the Samsung Gear, Gear 2, Gear S, and Gear Fit, they aren’t compatible with non-Samsung phones at all. 

Thus, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is a solid smartwatch, it’s most useful if you own a Samsung Galaxy smartphone and will be able to get the most out of it. Otherwise, you’re just paying for features that won’t work well, or in many cases, at all. 

If you own another brand Android phone and have no intention of switching to Samsung Galaxy, your best bet is to look for an alternative option: You can choose from one of the best smartwatches for Android and consider a brand like Fitbit or Garmin instead.

Christine Persaud is a freelance writer for Android Central who has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's probably working on her latest fitness program, binging a new (or old) TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets, or spending time with her school-aged son. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.