Galaxy Watch 5 Pro hands-on review

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Intro

If you’re into smartwatches but there is no Apple Watch on any of your wrists, chances are that you’re using a Samsung wearable, or have at least considered one. That’s only natural – Samsung is one of the frontrunners in the wearables arms race, where it is actually collaborating with Google quite intense in terms of software development, with the hopes of catching up with and even surpassing Apple’s positions.And with the new Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, Samsung is definitely enriching the smartwatch space with a rather intriguing offering that’s tough enough to get bumped around but live to tell the tale. At the same time, it lacks the somewhat off-putting design that many rugged conventional watches possess, and easily passes as a super-smart dress watch.

We had the pleasure of testing out the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro for a while, and here follow our impressions!

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Table of Contents:

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Specs

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Design, Models & Sizes

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is, to put things lightly, one imposing smartwatch. It comes in a single 45mm size, and is made of titanium and sapphire glass, making it a solid and rather sturdy cross between a dress watch and a trekking companion, which might look just a little bit intimidating when you first put it on your wrist. Thanks to the large battery inside, it’s a rather thick gadget that literally and figuratively stands out, and it definitely might be a bit harder to hide that one out under your shirt’s sleeve.The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has been devised with thicker wrists in tow. Surely, nobody’s stopping you from getting one even if you have narrower wrists, but it will stick out and definitely look a bit funky.

The rugged Galaxy Watch 5 Pro features a raised bezel whose purpose is to protect the display from accidental bumps and the such. Still, it won’t protect your screen from sharp objects, and I bet few will be willing to test out the durability of sapphire that way.

There’s no moving parts on this watch. Yep, nada—the good ol’ circular rotating bezel of the smartwatch, which allowed for quick interactions with the interface without touching the screen, is now gone. Shame, as it would have matched the rugged design of the Watch 5 Pro rather nicely!

Still, the overall functionality isn’t totally axed. The inner part of the bezel is still capacitive, meaning that you can slide your fingertip around to emulate the same functionality, but the satisfaction, accuracy, and utility of the old rotating bezel is gone.

From my brief experience with the watch, I can only say that Samsung shouldn’t have bothered to throw in such a functionality at all – interacting with the bezel almost always messes with the interface on the screen, so it’s better off using it instead. With the risk of sounding like a broken record, but you could use the rotating bezel without ghost-touching the screen.

Speaking of the display, it’s just as bright and vivid as you might remember it from previous Samsung smartwatches. It’s a joy to look at this small, but remarkable OLED screen, which is perfectly legible and makes content and interface elements just pop!

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro will be available in Gray Titanium and Black Titanium, both quite classy colors that look great in person. Samsung also introduces a new D-Buckle strap, which utilizes a clever mechanism to latch the watch on your wrist. Potential adopters can also customize any other available watch bands within the Bespoke Studio, which expands this functionality to the Watch 5 Pro.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Software & Features

Just like its predecessor, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes with an advanced BioActive sensor that combines a slew of dedicated health sensors to give users the most accurate health data and wellness insights. Biometric analysis has been improved – aside from taking a full analysis of your body composition, the watch will now also give you helpful advice on how to reach your goals, urge you to rehydrate after an intensive cardio, and more. Lo and behold, a skin temperature sensor is also present on the under-side of the watch!

Samsung has also improved sleep tracking a lot. Aside from overhauling the interface in order to make it more useful to users, it’s also gathering more comprehensive sleep data, and to top it all off, users are matched with a sleep spirit animal, of sorts.

Should the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro detect that you have some recurring sleep issues, like sleep apnea for example, it will alert you accordingly in order for you to take the necessary action. The new and improved sleep tracking functionality will also suggest a sleep coaching plan with personalized checkpoints, goals, and milestones.

True to its rugged nature, the Watch 5 Pro features some enhanced activity features, chief among which is the exclusive route-based GPS guidance, which uses gentle haptic feedback and voice-assisted messages to navigate you through the great outdoors. Track Back is another useful GPS feature only found on the Watch 5 Pro, which will get you back to where you started by retracing the route you took.

There’s also eight brand new watch faces, including two new with a total of 88 available complications. The watch faces range from quirky and expressive, to super-informative and detailed. This makes the Watch 5 Pro a rather diverse smartwatch, helping it fit in any situation you might be in!

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Battery and Charging

Finally, the most intriguing aspect of the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, at least for me – its extra-large 590mAh battery and quoted 80 hours of mixed usage on a single charge!

Are the days of lackluster smartwatch battery life behind us? Remains to be seen, for sure, but the Watch 5 Pro is definitely packing enough battery to potentially last you a couple of days, at least.

In terms of charging, Samsung says the new watch charges 30% faster than the Galaxy Watch 4 generation, which sounds great! An anecdotal 8 minutes on the charger are said to provide some 8 hours of battery life, which could help the smartwatch fit well within even the busiest schedules and days.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Competitors

Given its supposed new-found penchant for rugged adventures, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro elevates itself above the traditional selection of wearables. 

Its most fierce rival could be the rumored AppleWatch Series 8, which is also expected to come in a rugged version and withstand more severe wear and tear itself.

Another lineup of possible competitors are Garmin’s semi-smart rugged watches of the Fenix family, which offer an extremely wide selection of activity tracking, have sapphire screens, tough cases, battery life in the weeks, and even solar charge aid that comes in helpful during outdoor hikes. 

And if we look past smartwatches, Casio’s G-Shock Mudmaster series might come in as an unorthodox alternative to consider.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Summary and final verdict

Given its new-found penchant for rugged adventures and potentially great battery life, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro elevates itself above the traditional crop of popular wearables.

Its most fierce rival could be the rumored Apple Watch Series 8, which is also expected to come in a rugged version and withstand more severe wear and tear itself.

Another lineup of possible competitors are Garmin’s semi-smart rugged watches of the Fenix family, which offer an extremely wide selection of activity tracking, have sapphire screens, tough cases, battery life usually measured in weeks, and even solar charge for some models.

From what we see, Samsung is trying to mate a dress watch with a rugged activity tracker that sounds like a pretty interesting combination to have. With its large battery, it could finally solve one of the main issues with true smartwatches: their often uninspiring battery life.

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