Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Which is the best Galaxy Watch?
Do you need the Pro?
Lightweight and comfortable
The Galaxy Watch 5 essentially retains the same design from its predecessor. This is great for those who just want a reliable all-around smartwatch, while still keeping track of your health and fitness metrics.
- Sapphire Crystal Glass offers better screen protection
- Two different sizes to choose from
- More colors available
- Faster charging than Watch 4
- The Digital Bezel is not reliable
- Using the same chipset from the Galaxy Watch 4
- Battery life doesn't come close to the Watch 5 Pro
- Some health tracking metrics are region-locked
More rugged, for a price
Samsung's decision to ditch the "Classic" naming in favor of "Pro" might seem a bit odd. But the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro definitely delivers the goods with its multi-day battery life and rugged design.
- True multi-day battery life
- Excellent health and fitness tracking
- Design and durability improvements are great for outdoor activities
- Download your favorite Play Store apps with Wear OS
- Having just one size limits appeal
- Physical rotating bezel replaced by digital bezel
- Some health tracking metrics are region-locked
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 While the Note has been replaced by the likes of the best foldable phones, Samsung’s latest wearables keep ticking along. 2022 is a bit different, as we’ll break down the Galaxy Watch 5 vs.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?
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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.
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.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Samsung Galaxy Watch 5||Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro|
|Display||1.19-inch (396x396, 330ppi), 1.36-inch (450x450, 330ppi)||1.36-inch (450x450, 330ppi)|
|Processor||Samsung Exynos W920||Samsung Exynos W920|
|Battery||284mAh / 410mAh||590mAh|
|Sensors||Acc (32g), Gyro, Barometer, Ambient Light, Compass, Optical Heart Rate Sensor (8pd), Electrical Heart Sensor (ECG), BIA, Continuous SpO2, Skin Temperature Sensor||Acc (32g), Gyro, Barometer, Ambient Light, Compass, Optical Heart Rate Sensor (8pd), Electrical Heart Sensor (ECG), BIA, Continuous SpO2, Skin Temperature Sensor|
|Connectivity||BT 5.2 / Wi-Fi 2.4GHz & 5GHz / GPS / NFC / LTE||BT 5.2 / Wi-Fi 2.4GHz & 5GHz / GPS / NFC / LTE|
|Navigation||2 button + digital bezel||2 button + digital bezel|
|Durability||5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810H||5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810H|
|Build material||Aluminum, Sapphire Crystal Glass||Titanium case, Sapphire Crystal Glass|
|Dimensions||40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm / 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm||45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5mm|
|Weight||29g / 32.8 grams||46.5 grams|
|Colors||Boa 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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
Best for most
If you're in the market for a new smartwatch, but want something that is lightweight and comfortable, the Galaxy Watch 5 is the way to go. It offers all of the same health and fitness tracking as the Watch 5 Pro, without the steep price tag and overhauled design.
Not just for outdoors
We have been awaiting the arrival of a modern Wear OS smartwatch that can truly last for more than a day. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro definitely delivers on that front, but it comes at the cost of a higher price tag and a bulky design.
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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.