Classification:

8/10

?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Trash
  • 2 – Sort warm garbage
  • 3 – Very flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Excellent, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price:
From $445

Josh Hendrickson / Geek Review

They say first impressions are everything, but I’m here to say that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro proved that wrong. When I first saw images of the Galaxy Watch 5, all I could think of was “that looks thick and uncomfortable.” But after spending weeks with it, this is my new favorite Wear OS watch.

I’m not kidding about bad first impressions either. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro doesn’t just look bulky, it uses a somewhat unique clasp compared to most smartwatches on the market. Instead of a buckle, strap, or even Velcro, as with the latest Apple Watch, Samsung opted for a variation of the folding clasp (D-Clasp). Honestly, I haven’t seen a D-Clasp since I last wore a regular watch a couple of decades ago.

But to make things more confusing, you “open” the D-Clasp (Samsung calls it the D Buckle sports band) by pulling a little hard on a magnetic point to unfold it. Most D-Clasps have a button or some other obvious way to open, but the Watch Pro 5 doesn’t. So I spent more than a few minutes trying to slide the strap into place without properly opening the clasp because the correct method was ‘ Not obvious. I gave up and watched a YouTube video to teach me how to put on my watch. It wasn’t a great start, but from there, things got much better.

This is what we like

  • Three-day battery life
  • surprisingly comfortable
  • does the job well

And what we don’t do

  • quite thick
  • And expensive
  • Last year’s model is still great.

Review Geek’s expert reviewers get hands-on with every product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of real-world testing and benchmark it in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and we never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more >>

Goodbye bezel, for better or for worse

A Galaxy Watch 5 Pro tracking a bike workout
Josh Hendrickson / Geek Review

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a pretty big departure from the previous top-tier Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. For one thing, it has a larger screen and feels more premium. On the other hand, it’s thicker and bulkier, and you won’t find a fancy rotating bezel here. On previous models, that bezel was a differentiating factor that allowed you to easily navigate the user interface in a nice, tactile way.

I didn’t think I’d miss the bezel, and in the past I used to use the touch screen almost as often as the bezel. But truth be told, I miss the bezel. There are times when the bezel is simply the best way to navigate. Sometimes the hardware is just better than the software.

With the Galaxy Watch 4, I called the bezel unnecessary, and while that’s still technically true and I stand by my comments that it’s not worth $100 on its own, it’s a shame to see you don’t get it when you go up. to the Pro model. If you’re going to spend more, it’s not unreasonable to expect to get more.

A Galaxy Watch 5 Pro opened to reveal an ad clasp
Josh Hendrickson / Geek Review

I understand why Samsung skipped the bezel; the watch is already quite thick without it. But I have to wonder if that was the right decision. Believe it or not, as big as it is, the D-Clasp-style watch and band were comfortable for me. It never felt as big as it really is. Which is a better statement than the truth about Samsung’s specs.

What Samsung lists for thickness isn’t actually true. The company tries to prevent this by adding a footnote stating that the thickness measurement does not include the sensor. But that’s a bit like saying that the weight displayed on my scale shouldn’t include my fat. You can’t just cut out the part you don’t like about the numbers and walk away happy. The sensors are part of the watch, just as much as my fat is a part of me. Poor me.

You get a much larger battery than the standard Galaxy Watch 5 (more on that later) and more durable materials. Samsung says that the Galaxy Watch 5 is 1.6 times stronger than the Watch 4 series, and the Galaxy Watch 5 is supposedly 2 times stronger thanks to an “improved” Saphhire display.

Hello amazing battery life

A Galaxy Watch 5 Pro strapped to a bike
Josh Hendrickson / Geek Review

Wait, though; If there’s one thing I can praise, it’s the battery life. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes with a huge 590mAh battery. It’s slightly larger than the Galaxy Watch 5’s standard 410mAh battery, which explains why it’s so thick at first glance. But you know what? I’ll take the largest bundle.

I used my Galaxy Watch 5 Pro like I think most people probably will, mostly as a smartwatch and not often as a fitness tracker. Sure, I intended to get some exercise, but I didn’t find as much time as I’d like. So instead, it served as my notification center, quick response, payment facilitator, and generally another “smartphone companion” device. I also used it for sleep tracking and wore the watch to bed every night.

And that last sentence should give you an indicator of what the battery life is like. I can’t use my Apple Watch as a sleep monitor; I’d be dead before I woke up. Instead, it charges every night. But the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro lasted three days on a single charge, even when I used it all the time except in the shower. And no, I didn’t recharge it during the shower.

That’s a game changer for me. You see, I’m one of those people who always plans to wear a smartwatch but never actually does. I can’t get used to putting it on first thing in the morning, so suddenly a week has passed without a smartwatch moment on my wrist. But with three batteries, I don’t have that problem.

Instead, I put it on to bed, let it track my sleep, and go about my day with the watch on. It’s frankly impressive that it lasts this long. For full transparency, my watch accomplished that feat with default settings, meaning I didn’t have the always-on display feature turned on. The screen lit up when I raised my wrist. And naturally, if I had used it more for exercise, it might not have lasted the full three days. For what it’s worth, after an hour-long tracked bike ride, I lost 5% battery life, so I don’t think it hurts things that much. Frankly, under those same conditions, I can’t make an Apple Watch last a full day, so I’ll grab it in a heartbeat.

A Galaxy Watch 5 Pro on top of a helmet
joseph hendrickson

Everything I said last year about the Galaxy Watch 4 software applies to the latest and greatest. In fact, trying to find something new is a bit like playing one of those spot-the-difference games. Sure there’s a touch up here and some new paint there, but you’d need to have the two clocks side by side to notice.

And that’s honestly a good thing overall. Last year’s experience was already very good, and the saying “don’t fix what ain’t broke” is true. Samsung processors continue to be the best non-Apple option in smartwatches, simultaneously enjoying bulk and delivering speed when you need it. The main thing I miss is the bezel, which continues to surprise me.

But it does what you need as fast as you need it. One of the best compliments I can give is that the watch gets out of your way and makes your life easier. I wish notifications worked a little better, I can’t get consistent previews from my Nest doorbell, but at least some of it is on Google.

The best Wear OS watch again (for now?)

If you’re going to buy the latest and greatest Wear OS watch, the Galaxy Watch 5 is your best bet right now. I’m not sure I can recommend the Pro over the standard option, since the differences aren’t that big, but the cost is. But I can recommend the Watch 5 overall, and if you can splurge on the 5 Pro, you won’t regret it.

But you can also consider the Watch 4 if the price is right. The software is almost identical and it’s a pretty good smartwatch too. Of course, the elephant in the room is the next Pixel Watch. But if the rumors pan out, it will be quite expensive and hard to justify. If you don’t want to wait, you can’t go wrong buying a Galaxy Watch 5 right now. It is a great smart watch. At least for now, it’s the best Wear OS watch you can buy.

Classification:
8/10

Price:
From $445

This is what we like

  • Three-day battery life
  • surprisingly comfortable
  • does the job well

And what we don’t do

  • quite thick
  • And expensive
  • Last year’s model is still great.