One UI 5 Watch beta finally arrives with new features for the Galaxy Watch series

Getting an update on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • After its delay, the One UI 5 Watch beta is rolling out now for those enrolled in the program.
  • Among some refined tile upgrades, the beta includes personalized heart rate zones, personal safety features, new customization options, and more.
  • The One UI 5 Watch beta also includes the ability to control phone calls directly from your wrist alongside some universal gestures.
  • One UI 5 Watch is based on Wear OS 4, which was announced at Google I/O 2023.

The first beta for the One UI Watch 5 software is beginning to roll out to users enrolled in the test program. After a delay, Samsung has finally announced the beginning of the Watch 5 beta through a community post and offered some important details users should be aware of before hopping in.

This new software is based on Wear OS 4 (and Android 13), which was announced during Google I/O 2023 in May, and will be available for owners of a Galaxy Watch 4 or Watch 5

With the beta, Samsung Health can now detect when you begin cycling and record that workout automatically. The Korean OEM has also included the option if users would like their device to map their cycling route.

Samsung has also included features previously detailed, such as personalized heart rate zones while on a run, updated personal safety features, and automatic fall detection for users 55 and older.

One UI 5 Watch improved safety features

(Image credit: Samsung)

The beta will include a new vertical layout finding new tiles and watch faces, and users can now create folders in the app drawer as they would on a smartphone. They can also add an album or story as their watch's face, allowing the watch to display a new picture each time its screen turns on.

An improved Buds controller tile lets users turn on 360 audio from their watch on supported Buds (like the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro). Furthermore, users can start timers from the new Timer tile and run up to 20 timers simultaneously.

New call controls and watch gestures are also included.

To keep your data safe, Samsung's One UI 5 Watch beta lets your smartwatch periodically back up its data to your phone whenever it's connected. Your Galaxy phone is required to have the latest version of the Smart Switch app in order for this to work. Backups can be saved to the Samsung Cloud, as an alternative, as well.

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

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

If you've been waiting for this One UI 5 Watch beta since it was announced in May, you can begin jumping into things now. Samsung explains how to enroll yourself into the One UI Watch Beta Program and how to get started, which you will have to do via the Samsung Members app on your smartphone. Assuming you're signed into your Samsung account, you can navigate to Notices > Registration for One UI Watch Beta Program in the app.

The company recommends backing up your device's data before entering the program — just to be safe.

While Samsung does not state how long this initial beta program will last, the company informs users will need to update some apps separately after upgrading to the One UI 5 Watch beta.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.