Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: A Comprehensive Review

Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: A Comprehensive Review
Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Amongst Samsung's recent folder of gadgets, the much-anticipated Galaxy Watch 6 series (the entry-level Galaxy Watch 6 and the high-end Watch 6 Classic) was mobbed by one resilient wearable, forgotten from the previous year: the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Let's take a deep dive into what makes Samsung's pro-level smartwatch stand out, including its design, what you need to know about its specs and the most important question of all: Does it really outshine the newly-minted follow-up?

Design and Build

Sapphire Glass Display and Titanium Body

Samsung's Galaxy Watch 5 Pro will have a sapphire glass display durable beyond even a year's use. The physical rotating dial has been swapped for a unique concave from the glass to the case, providing a superior bezel effect while the case is made from titanium so is robust but still surprisingly light.

Size and Comfort

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is available in one size and caters to those who appreciate a larger watch. Despite its thickness, akin to placing an Oreo cookie on your wrist, the watch remains comfortable. The increased size allows for a wider base, enhancing health-tracking capabilities by ensuring optimal contact with your body.

Display Excellence

The 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display is a visual marvel, delivering crisp fonts, vibrant colors, and a seamless touchscreen experience. Noteworthy is the absence of input delays, a common concern in rugged smartwatches. Taps and swipes on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro are flawlessly responsive, offering a delightful user experience.

Hardware Overview

Titanium Casing and Color Options

The watch case, crafted from titanium, exudes elegance and resilience. Available in Black Titanium and Gray Titanium, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro ensures a sophisticated aesthetic. The unconventional placement of the speaker on the top, partially covered by the bands, adds a unique touch, while the microphone finds its place on the right side.

D-Buckle Sport Band

The default D-Buckle Sport band enhances the user experience, offering a secure and adjustable fit. Unlike its predecessor, the band remains steadfast during workouts and daily activities. The attention to detail in design and functionality is evident, contributing to the overall satisfaction of the user.

Button Configuration

Equipped with two hardware buttons on the right side — a Home key and a Back key — the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro allows customization for added convenience. Assigning specific apps to double and long presses of the Home key ensures a personalized and efficient user interaction.

Software and Functionality

Google Wear OS Integration

A significant upgrade lies in the software department, with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro powered by Google Wear OS. The amalgamation of Wear OS 4.0 and OneUI 5.0 delivers an enriched user interface, unlocking access to a plethora of applications. Google Wallet, Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Gboard, among others, enhance the watch's functionality.

App Discoverability

While the integration with Google Wear OS expands the app ecosystem, there are nuances in app discoverability. The Play Store occasionally presents incompatible results, requiring users to explore the app store directly on the watch for a more accurate selection.

Health and Fitness Tracking

BioActive Sensor and Skin Temperature Sensor

The Samsung BioActive Sensor is hidden below when you're simply glancing at the Galaxy Watch 3. Turn the device around, however, and you'll find the sensor array, which taps a souped-up heart rate monitor (the best you can get on the watch, Samsung said), blood pressure, an ECG for detecting irregular heartbeats, blood oxygen, and more. A skin temperature sensor improves the health tracking, and should help when the watch introduces features such as menstrual cycle tracking and using sleep patterns to anticipate potential health issues.

GPX Tracking - A Pro Feature

A standout feature of the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is its support for GPX tracking, elevating the watch's capabilities for hiking, biking, running, and walking. The integration of GPX files enhances the user's ability to explore routes, providing a compelling feature for outdoor enthusiasts.

User Experience and Customization

Galaxy Wearable and Samsung Health

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is operated through two core Samsung applications: Galaxy Wearable and Samsung Health. The former allows users to customize watch faces, adjust display elements and personalize the watch’s aesthetic. Samsung Health, on the other hand, is a smartphone-based application that aggregates the substantial data collected by the watch, forming a visually impressive breakdown of all fitness and health metrics.

OneUI 5 Enhancements

Samsung's OneUI 5 is launching with a whole host of new features including automatic cycling workout tracking, personalized heart rate zones while running, an overhauled phone call UI, support for multiple timers, better folder organization in the app UI and more. These obviously all make your daily experience more
comfortable and convenient.

On a whole, it seems that the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is shaping up to be a worthy contender in the smartwatch wars. Its strong construction, robust first party features and the addition of Google Wear OS creates a fine balance between functional and stylish. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast, outdoor adventurists or a typical gadget hound, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro looks like it might just be the ideal companion.

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