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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Which one should you get?

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro stacked on another Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Image: Samsung

Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Galaxy Z Fold 4and the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. The watches round out a completely new line of products that all work together — as is often the case with Samsung devices.

Deciding between the Z Flip 4 or the Z Fold 4 seems like a somewhat straightforward decision. However, the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro are very similar, with just a few key differences between the two wearables. So how do you decide which one is right for you? I’ll break it down below.

Specifications

Galaxy Watch 5 Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Display 40mm: 1.19-inch (396×396), 330PPI always-on AMOLED display. 44mm: 1.36-inch (450×450), 330PPI always-on AMOLED display 1.36-inch(450×450), 330PPI always-on AMOLED display
Processor Samsung Exynos W920 dual-core Samsung Exynos W920 dual-core
Memory, Storage 1.5GB, 16GB 1.5GB, 16GB
Housing Aluminum body with Sapphire Crystal glass of 24GPa rating Titanium body with Sapphire Crystal glass of 29GPa rating
Durability 5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810H 5ATM, IP68, MIL-STD-810H
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz, GPS, NFC, LTE (optional) Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz, GPS, NFC, LTE (optional)
Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Samsung BioActive Sensor (Optical Heart Rate + Electrical Heart Signal + Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis), Skin Temperature (not currently active), Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Light Sensor Accelerometer, Barometer, Samsung BioActive Sensor (Optical Heart Rate + Electrical Heart Signal + Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis), Skin Temperature (not currently active), Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Light Sensor
Battery 40mm: 284 mAh 44mm: 410 mAh 590 mAh
Size 44mm: 43.3 x 44.4 x 9.8mm, 33.5g 40mm: 39.3 x 40.4 x 9.8mm, 28.7g 45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5mm, 46.5g
Colors 40mm: Silver, gray, pink gold 44mm: Blue, silver, gray Black titanium, gray titanium
Price 40mm: $279 44mm: $309 $449


You should get the Galaxy Watch 5 if you…

1. Like a more subdued design

The Watch 5 comes in two different sizes, both of which feature an aluminum housing and a sapphire crystal glass display. The housing and the display aren’t as tough as the Watch 5 Pro’s setup, but they still offer durability.

Ruggedness aside, the Watch 5’s design isn’t as flashy or premium-looking as the Watch 5 Pro. Additionally, the Watch 5 comes in a series of different colors that vary depending on the size you order. For the 44mm option, the watch comes in blue, silver, or gray. The 40mm option boasts silver, gray, and pink gold as its color options.

For longtime Galaxy Watch users, you’ll be disappointed to learn that neither Watch 5 model comes with a rotating bezel; Samsung instead opted for a touch bezel. This translates into a watch with a design that’s more subdued than its more expensive counterpart, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Also: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 may help those trying to conceive

2. Don’t want to spend a lot on a smartwatch

The biggest differences between the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro come down to design, extended battery life, and additional GPS features for the Watch 5 Pro. Because of that, the Watch 5 Pro starts at $449 for a Wi-Fi-only model, or $499 for the LTE model.

The 40mm Watch 5 starts at $279, while the 44mm Watch 5 is $309 for the Wi-Fi model. If you want to add LTE to either of those, you’ll pay an extra $50.

While that’s still a good amount of money for a smartwatch or any gadget, really, it’s still more affordable than the Watch 5 Pro.

3. Want a small watch

The Watch 5 comes in two different sizes, 40mm and 44mm. Both of those are smaller than the Watch 5 Pro, which is a 45mm design. But the differences in size extend beyond the circumference of the watch itself. The height of the Watch 5 Pro is slightly taller than the other two watches, which for some is sure to be an annoyance.

I personally tested the 40mm Watch 5 and the 45mm Watch 5, and I regularly wear a 45mm Apple Watch. I found the 40mm Watch 5 to be on the small side for my personal liking, but I did enjoy its smaller footprint than the Watch 5 Pro and Apple Watch.

You should get the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro if you…

1. Want a rugged smartwatch

The Watch 5 Pro is designed to take a beating and keep ticking. Well, technically it doesn’t tick, but the old saying still applies.

The titanium housing of the Watch 5 Pro comes in either gray or black, both of which have a more premium look and feel to them than the standard Watch 5. The top of the watch is covered in a sapphire crystal that’s tougher than the sapphire crystal glass used on the Watch 5.

To be clear, both the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro meet the requirements for an IP68 rating, MIL-STD-810H spec rating, and 5ATM water depth. However, the Watch 5 Pro’s exterior and the combination of the two different materials ensures it’s built to withstand more than an accidental bump or drop during use.

Review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: More like semi-Pro

2. Need long battery life

The battery in the Watch 5 Pro is a 590 mAh battery; that’s more than double the battery size in the 40mm version (284 mAh) and still much larger than the 44mm model (410 mAh).

The result of the larger battery is extended battery life for stand-alone GPS or cellular use — or if you don’t often use either of those features, just longer daily use battery life.

In my testing, I could get up to three days off a single charge, including tracking my sleep. That’s with frequent use, notifications, and interacting with Google Assistant.

3. Use stand-alone GPS features

The Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro run the same version of Wear OS 3.5, but the Pro model has a few extra features designed to maximize the use of the longer battery life and GPS features.

More specifically, you can import cycling or hiking GPX route files onto the watch (through Samsung Health) and use the watch as a dedicated GPS device — complete with route navigation. Routes via GPX files is a big deal to those who frequently hike or cycle. And with the large battery inside the Watch 5 Pro, Samsung promises up to 24 hours of constant stand-alone GPS use.

That’s pretty impressive.

Also: How to use the Route tile on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Bottom line

The Watch 5 Pro has “pro” in its name because it offers more features than the standard Watch 5. But when it really comes down to it, there’s not much that differentiates the two devices.

The Watch 5 offers a more classic design, is more affordable, and is just as capable as the Watch 5 Pro for basic smartwatch features.

The Watch 5 Pro has a more elegant and premium look to it, but that comes at a higher cost. You’ll also gain extra battery life and dedicated features that are sure to make any cyclist or hiker happy.

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