Yet again, the leaks have been almost entirely accurate. Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch 5 has been announced and it’s bringing a new Pro edition along for the ride. Today, at Samsung’s Unpacked event, the company revealed the variations of each device. If you guessed that they’re separated mostly by colour and whether they have LTE or not, well done you.
Samsung’s been taking notes
But that’s not the only difference. The vanilla Galaxy Watch 5 comes in 40mm and 44mm flavours while the Pro is only available in a 45mm size. Samsung has also opted to ditch the physical rotating bezel from the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic from last year. So if you were looking forward to that, we’re afraid you’re stuck with last year’s device.
Another change to the Watch 5 range is what Samsung is calling a sapphire crystal display. This will replace the Gorilla Glass over the display in previous models with a much more durable sapphire-based material. The Pro model takes this a step further with a titanium case, available in two shades.
Both Galaxy Watch 5 options are powered by an Exynos chipset with 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Both run on Google’s Wear OS with a One UI 4.5 skin and both will include access to Google Assistant (finally).
For connectivity, you can expect the usual with built-in GPS, Bluetooth 5.2, and Wi-Fi with the option of LTE support via an eSIM on certain models as well.
Samsung has improved its 3-in-1 Bioactive sensor for the new Galaxy Watch range. Heart rate, ECG, sleep tracking, and body composition analysis have all been improved upon. But new to the Watch 5 is an infrared temperature sensor. This will not only tell you how hot your wrist is but also provide another data point for your sleep tracking graphs. Pity it won’t work until about October this year — it’s a regulatory thing, apparently.
But how’s that battery?
One of the biggest gripes we (and almost everyone else) had with last year’s Galaxy Watch 4 series was the subpar battery life. Samsung seems to have taken the criticism to heart. This year’s Galaxy Watch 5 series features a larger battery in both the Pro and non-Pro versions.
Samsung says the vanilla Watch 5’s battery is rated for 40 hours on a single charge while the Watch 5 Pro will do 80 hours. Those are impressive numbers but Samsung said the same thing about the Watch 4 last year so we’ll reserve judgement until we can put those claims to the test.
The batteries aren’t the only improvements Samsung made. The company has also improved its charging capabilities. Now you can get a 45% charge from nothing in just 30 minutes. If you’re running low before bedtime, then an eight-minute charge will get you the eight hours of life you need so your Watch 5 can watch you while you sleep.
When and for how much?
The Galaxy Watch 5 range starts with a local price of R6,000. We’re guessing that’s for the Bluetooth-only 40mm Watch 5. We don’t know yet how much the Watch 5 Pro will cost or by how much the models will differ. That info will become available in the coming days. Samsung’s newest timepieces will launch alongside its new folding handsets, meaning preorders start from today until 31 August, with the devices themselves going on sale from 1 September.