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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Which is the best Galaxy Watch?

Another summer has come and gone, which means that along with new smartphones, Samsung has also launched some new smartwatches. This has been a trend that the company has stuck to for quite a while, as the Galaxy Watch was usually released alongside the Galaxy Note series. While the Note has been replaced by the likes of the best foldable phones, Samsung’s latest wearables keep ticking along. 2022 is a bit different, as we’ll break down the Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. 

In 2021, we saw a surprising shift in Samsung’s wearable strategy as it finally gave up on TizenOS in favor of Wear OS 3. The announcement was made at Google I/O 2021, as part of a newfound partnership between the two behemoth companies. But with the shift to Wear OS 3, this finally made it possible for you to use your favorite smartwatch apps on Samsung hardware. 

Fast forward to 2022, and this partnership is still thriving, with Samsung leading the way when it comes to the best Android smartwatches. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro are two of the latest wearables to hit the market, but there are just enough differences to make you think twice about which one to get. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: What’s the same?

The entire Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro lineup

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

As we alluded to in the previous section, Samsung is sticking with Wear OS 3 for its smartwatches. Both the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro were released with One UI Watch 4.5, based on Google’s Wear OS 3.5. Just like with its smartphones, this is essentially a software overlay on top of Google’s software, giving it that Samsung flair that many users are accustomed to.

In a rather surprising move, Samsung opted to stick with the same processor for this latest generation. Both the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro are powered by Samsung’s Exynos W920 chip, along with 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. You can download some of the best music streaming apps, such as Spotify or YouTube Music, while also downloading some music and playlists for offline listening.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 close-up on side buttons

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

From a design perspective, there’s no chance that you’ll get one mixed up with the other. However, because Samsung ditched the physical rotating bezel with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, both of its latest wearables now use a touch-sensitive bezel. While the Watch 5 Pro may look more rugged than the Watch 5, both of these sport an IP68 water and dust resistance, along with being waterproof up to 50 meters and sporting a MIL-STD-810H rating.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Display1.19-inch (396x396, 330ppi), 1.36-inch (450x450, 330ppi)1.36-inch (450x450, 330ppi)
ProcessorSamsung Exynos W920Samsung Exynos W920
RAM1.5GB1.5GB
Storage16GB16GB
Battery284mAh / 410mAh590mAh
Wireless chargingYesYes
SensorsAcc (32g), Gyro, Barometer, Ambient Light, Compass, Optical Heart Rate Sensor (8pd), Electrical Heart Sensor (ECG), BIA, Continuous SpO2, Skin Temperature SensorAcc (32g), Gyro, Barometer, Ambient Light, Compass, Optical Heart Rate Sensor (8pd), Electrical Heart Sensor (ECG), BIA, Continuous SpO2, Skin Temperature Sensor
ConnectivityBT 5.2 / Wi-Fi 2.4GHz & 5GHz / GPS / NFC / LTEBT 5.2 / Wi-Fi 2.4GHz & 5GHz / GPS / NFC / LTE
Navigation2 button + digital bezel2 button + digital bezel
Durability5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810H5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810H
Build materialAluminum, Sapphire Crystal GlassTitanium case, Sapphire Crystal Glass
Band size20mm20mm
Dimensions40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm / 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5mm
Weight29g / 32.8 grams46.5 grams
ColorsBoa Purple, Graphite, Pink Gold (40mm) / Sapphire, Silver, Graphite (44mm)Black, Gray

When it comes to connectivity, there aren’t any differences to be found here, as Samsung includes NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, and there are LTE variants if you want to leave your phone behind. In the event that you find yourself wanting to leave your phone behind, you can still use Samsung Pay on the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro. But thanks to Wear OS 3, you also have the ability to use Google Pay instead of Samsung Pay, depending on your preferences.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 health sensors on window ledge

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Handling your incoming notifications is only a portion of the usefulness provided by smartwatches. For many, the best smartwatches have also become a necessity in order to properly keep track of your workouts, along with monitoring things like your heart rate. Thankfully, there are plenty of metrics that can be tracked with the Galaxy Watch 5 series, as the excellent BioActive Sensor returns from the Galaxy Watch 4. This sensor makes it possible to measure your heart rate, electrical heart signal, and even your body mass. 

Along with the BIA sensor, Samsung also made concerted efforts to improve the sleep tracking metrics provided by its smartwatches. And as you might expect, all of the data and information automatically syncs with Samsung Health so you can review it whenever you need. Lastly in the health department, Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro owners in select countries are also able to measure their skin temperature, although this feature has not yet been activated.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: What’s different?

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

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

The most obvious difference when comparing the Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the design. As we covered in our Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Watch 5 comparison, there’s practically no difference between those two models. The Galaxy Watch 5 is slimmer, lighter, and is available in two different case sizes; 40mm or 44mm. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is only available in 45mm, despite both watches using a 20mm interchangeable band.

With the smaller 40mm Galaxy Watch 5, Samsung is using a 1.19-inch AMOLED display, which is bumped up to 1.36-inch with the 44mm. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in its only configuration comes with the same 1.36-inch display, with all three versions using Sapphire Crystal Glass to provide better protection than its predecessor.

Because Samsung is positioning the Watch 5 Pro as the more rugged wearable, the company is using Titanium for the case material. This is a bit stronger than the “Armor Aluminum” found on the standard Galaxy Watch 5. 

Heart rate zones on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Besides the obvious differences in design, the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro also differ in battery life. The 40mm Galaxy Watch 5 is equipped with a 284mAh cell, which gets increased to 410mAh on the 44mm version. Samsung claims that this will result in a total of 50 hours on a single charge, which is quite impressive in its own right. However, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro gets an even larger battery, with a massive 590mAh cell. According to Samsung, this will allow your smartwatch to last for an incredible 80 hours on a single charge, something that we came close to in our Watch 5 Pro review.

The final difference to consider when comparing the Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is price. Samsung’s 40mm Watch 5 starts at $280, with the 44mm variant coming in at around $310. If you’re interested in the more rugged design and longer battery life offered by the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, you’ll be paying a premium. Samsung offers the Wi-Fi-only version of the Watch 5 Pro for $450, which is quite a substantial jump between the two models. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Which is the best?

Daily activity ring goals on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Functionally speaking, there are practically no differences between the Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Both of these smartwatches will be able to keep track of your workouts, sleep, and will reliably provide your notifications throughout the day. Samsung is also using the same Sapphire Crystal Glass for the screen on both of these, providing some necessary improvements to durability. 

The Galaxy Watch 5 is a fantastic choice for those who don’t want to feel like they are wearing a “brick” on their wrists all day. It comes in two different sizes, and you’ll likely forget the smartwatch is even there until it reminds you to get up and walk around, or if an email comes in. 

Samsung’s decision to remove the rotating bezel on the larger Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (along with a name change), is definitely a bit of a disappointment. However, if you want the best battery life on a Wear OS smartwatch, this is the way to go. You’ll just need to be prepared to throw out more than a few extra shekels to enjoy it.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.