Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a solid case to splurge on a “Pro” smartwatch

As someone who is already very comfortable with a 44mm Apple Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s 45mm bezel size has never posed a footprint issue. Interestingly enough, it’s not exactly the Leviathan smartwatch you were probably expecting. Undoubtedly, it has a thick, reassuring indentation around the wrist, but nothing that traditionally fitness-focused watches tend to wear.

There’s something very nice about the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which made us reach more than the Galaxy Watch 5, most of the time. Two variants to choose from. There is the Bluetooth option only at the price of 44,999 while there is a hint of premium, you have to pay for the Bluetooth + 4G variant, which costs 49,999. This differential is around the base stage already presented by the connectivity choices of the Galaxy Watch 5.

To begin with, you’ll need to be aware that although the watch itself is around 15mm thick (that’s the vertical height, from your wrist), there’s an extra mm than the sensor layer touch adds. Even more so if you wear it with long-sleeved clothes, blazers or jackets. Mind you, that 45mm dial dimension is still smaller than typical activity-focused watches tend to carry – it’s usually around the 47mm mark and retains similar levels of thickness.

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There is parity between the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and the Galaxy Watch 5, for included health features. As we had mentioned in the review of the latter, the streamlining of the health functionality is very noticeable and appreciable.

The Samsung BioActive sensor is an umbrella for bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor, electrical heart sensor (ECG) and optical heart rate sensor. The data handshake means detailed metrics you can view, including body fat percentage and skeletal muscle weight. This kind of intricate detail is still quite rare in smartwatches. Sleep tracking data is extensive, if you are comfortable sleeping while wearing a watch – awake, deep sleep, light sleep and REM data is recorded.

If you’re used to the rotating bezel of a previous generation Galaxy Watch, that’s gone now. Instead, it’s the wider implementation of the touch bezel, which also reduces moving parts on a watch while still shaving off a few mm. So how is the touch bezel? It’s a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes it works well, but other times it tends to alternate between being unresponsive at first or temperamental. There is definitely hope for this though, at least in terms of the improvements Samsung can make with the software.

We mentioned it in detail in our review of the sibling, but Samsung (and Google) have improved Wear OS 3 significantly. adoption for new smartwatch users. You can choose apps from Google or various third-party apps for the default tasks.

There is one limitation though, and that is; some health tracking features will only work if your Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is paired with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. An example of this is the ECG, or electrocardiogram, recording. It’s not exactly a deal breaker if you’re using another company’s Android phone, but this kind of limitation is confusing to say the least.

It is a significant step forward that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro supports the GPX navigation method. However, the challenge you face is that route files in GPX format need to be imported for cycling and hiking tracking. Second, the route needs to be set, and for that you only need to use the Samsung Health app (available on Android phones, thankfully). If you bother, you will have access to additional options, including Track Back.

If memory serves us well, Apple Watch’s implementation of something very similar to Track Back requires no manual file transfer effort beforehand – it’s all right there in watchOS.

It’s worth noting that Samsung’s drive to make new smartwatches more rugged (and rugged) is a widespread mission. Not only the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, but the more affordable Galaxy Watch 5 both received Sapphire Crystal protection for the display. The only change though is that the Galaxy Watch 5 uses Armor Aluminum while the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is titanium.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the app ecosystem that currently supports Wear OS 3 is surprisingly bare bones. Not everything so closely tied to Android should be like this. Google needs to take corrective action, fast, or another generation of smartwatches won’t be able to realize its full potential.

Battery life has been improved in this generation. While the Galaxy Watch 5 ticked off around 30 hours of use on a single charge, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro does just over double that. If you consider this as an alternative to smartwatches made by Garmin, for example, the difference in battery life is less noticeable now. Doesn’t match Garmin stepper watches, but gets there. A trick would be to disable the “Hey, Google” function in the assistant.

Before jumping to our conclusions on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, it’s imperative to point out that you’d be better off with the 4G LTE variant – which would really derive all the functionality and potential this watch is capable of delivering. Without having to rely on your smartphone, all the time.

Pro’s moniker deserves its place in the name as well. Everything about this watch is a notch better, geared towards the most active users. Those who would not be against the idea of ​​going on a hike, at short notice (or not, but you get the idea). This is where the best GPS, mobile connectivity and vastly improved battery life really make their presence felt.

And so would the larger screen (now you know why it’s bigger than the Galaxy Watch 5). It’s much easier to take a quick look at metrics, navigation, and just about any relevant data on a larger screen, without taking your eyes off your chosen path for too long.

This watch might not exactly be a direct competitor to Garmin’s flagship activity watches, for example. But for active but relatively intermediate activity enthusiasts, it seems like the right step up from a basic smartwatch. This is not often the case, but here the “Pro” is worthy of its place.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Vishal Mathur is technology editor for Hindustan Times. When he doesn’t understand technology, he often searches for an elusive analog space in a digital world.
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