In order to set the stage for my review, let me state that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the best Android smartwatch on the market currently, and there are plethora of reasons for that. Firstly, the lack of good ‘premium’ Android smartwatches has left a proverbial crevasse wide open that only Samsung is willing to fill. And, according to my testing, it offers incredible multi-day battery life that just goes and goes. Of course, not everything is executed perfectly and over the two weeks of my usage, I’ve observed a few shortcomings that could annoy some potential buyers. Here’s my review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Let’s start with the design.
Design: A Mix of Premium Materials Makes It Feel A Class Apart
Samsung, this time went with a titanium build for the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Not only does it feel robust but on your wrist, it delivers a feeling that only some truly premium time pieces can evoke. You get very tactile home and back buttons that feel like they are made to last, but gone is the rotating dial of the old days, and now, Samsung has replaced it with a fixed outer bezel, surrounded by titanium housing on the outside. And sure, there is haptic feedback to emulate a click, but personally, using the digital bezel was an inconvenience to me.
I’m particularly fond of the build quality of the Watch 5 Pro’s titanium housing. Despite accidentally rubbing my review unit against the edge of a wall, there are zero dings or scratches on the screen or the housing. The sapphire crystal display has also held up quite well, with no visible micro-scratches yet.
However, when it comes to design, there are two things I’m not fond of and that is the sheer thickness of the Watch and the band. It looks quite big even on my rather large wrists, but the thickness and the 45mm size are primarily due to the mammoth 590 mAh battery that powers the Watch. As for the band, don’t get me wrong its well built and the D-buckle magnetic snap is very satisfying and strong but sometimes, while working on my laptop, the titanium magnetic bottom makes contact with the device and makes an unpleasant screeching sound, not to mention the physical damage over time. I much prefer the standard band that the cheaper but equally competent Galaxy Watch 5 Comes with. As a whole, the silicon material that the band is made out of is top-notch and comfortable.
Battery Life: Magic And Beyond
So, let’s get one thing out of the way – The Galaxy 5 Pro has offered me the best battery life I’ve ever experienced on a consumer grade, premium smartwatch. I’m saying this having used the Apple Watch and older generations of Galaxy Watches. The Watch 5 Pro just goes and goes. On average, it can last up to 2 days on full-charge if the Always On Display is enabled and battery saving is turned off. However, it can also last for more than 4 days if you decide to use it without the Always On Display. Compared to the Apple Watch Series 7, it lasts almost 40% longer and that brings lot of convenience.
Display: Samsung Shows It’s Expertise
Simply put, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s display is stunning. I find it to be much better than the Apple Watch Series 7 and sunglight legibility is great as well thanks to the very bright 1,000 nits SUPER AMOLED Display. Colors look great, and the watch faces are fun to look at, but personally, none of the watch faces particularly stand out and some have almost unfinished quality to them.
Convenience And Smart Features: A Missed Opportunity
The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro offers a slew of compelling smart features, out of which some are particularly useful. There are a few glaring omissions too, but those are region dependent. So, let me narrate an incident that could have saved me a trip to the hospital. Around a couple of days ago, my mother complained of sudden back pain radiating on her shoulders and abdomen and like most people, the first thing I did was to Google the symptoms. Most articles online say that sudden back pain can be a result of a silent heart attack in women. Now, the first thing that crossed my mind was to use the Watch 5 Pro for its ECG capabilities. Unfortunately…it let me down. The Watch 5 Pro doesn’t support ECG functionality in India, which, honestly, is a bit surprising considering Apple has been offering the service on its watches for a couple of years already in India.
Now, while an ECG taken on a smartwatch can’t really substitute a doctor’s diagnosis, it surely can calm a person down if they do go through a similar experience.
There are a couple of very interesting and useful features that are going to come in handy like the body composition feature that measures your skeletal mass, muscle mass and body fat percentage, and as per my testing, it is fairly accurate. It is also fairly accurate when it comes to the accuracy of fitness metrics.
You can also pick calls and reply to messages right on the watch. I picked up calls multiple times on the Watch 5 Pro and the person on the other end never once complained of unclear audio, ergo, you can rely on the Watch 5 Pro when you want to answer a call on the go or when you want to leave the phone behind. Samsung’s built-in keyboard is also quite nice for its size. Replying to texts is rather easy.
Verdict: Expensive But The Only Legible Option In Android Space
One UI 4.5 based on Android Wear 3.5 feels quite snappy, with a dual-core Exynos W920 chip and 1.5GB RAM handling the load behind the scenes. The watch flies through day-to-day tasks with the occasional bug of two, but all in all, a 16GB on-board storage ensures that you can install multiple apps for a seamless experience.
The Watch 5 Pro starts at Rs 44,999 for the Bluetooth-only version, but I have the LTE version that retails for Rs 49,999 on the Samsung India website and depending on your preference, you can choose between two colors – Black Titanium and Gray Titanium.
This isn’t cheap by any means, but if you are part of Team Android and you are in the market for a premium smartwatch, there’s no point in looking further than the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. For the money, it offers a tough build, a minimalist but bulky design and some really great quality-of-life features. The ECG omission in India is a missed opportunity but here’s to hoping that they include the functionality later versions. As a whole, despite the minor shortcomings, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a great buy for Android users and provides a reliable experience that most users will learn to enjoy and earns a solid recommendation from our end.