Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro initial review: Stepping up

(Pocket-lint) – Throughout the history of Samsung Galaxy Watches, we’ve seen a number of different versions, as Samsung looks to appeal to slightly different customers.

The Watch 4 saw a regular version alongside the Classic, which had a rotating bezel – something that Samsung has offered since the Galaxy Gear S2. With the rotating bezel now ditched, Samsung is back to offering a regular model – the Galaxy Watch 5 – alongside this, a sporty model, known as the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro looks to evoke a spirit of adventure as Samsung wants to appeal to a slightly more premium market.

Our quick take

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is an exciting option because it offers something a little different; it feels like a slightly bolder move than the Watch 5, with that bigger battery potentially opening up greater opportunities for this to be a useful device.

There’s a play to a more adventurous lifestyle, wanting to support those who’ll put greater demands on the watch’s GPS for longer periods of time.

But there’s also a substantial increase in quality which goes some way to explaining the lift in price over the regular model. That silver titanium body paired with a matching strap certainly has a classically premium look to it, which many may opt for.

There’s a lot we still have to learn about the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, but first impressions are great.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

For

  • Bolder look
  • Premium materials
  • Huge battery

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro vs Galaxy Watch 5: What’s the difference?

  • Price: Watch 5 Pro from £429; Watch 5 from £269
  • Size: Watch 5 Pro 45mm; Watch 5 40 or 44mm
  • Materials: Watch 5 Pro titanium/sapphire; Watch 5 aluminium/sapphire
  • Battery: Watch 5 Pro 590mAh; Watch 5 284mAh

Let’s start by quickly running through how these devices compare. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes in one size, 45mm, while the Watch 5 offers both 40 and 44mm sizes.

However, the Watch 5 Pro is considerably thicker than the Watch 5, mostly because it has a much bigger battery, so it’s a larger device overall.

Pocket-lintboth watches photo 1

The bezel extends beyond the display to provide it with protection, whereas the Watch 5 is flush, while the sapphire crystal cover on the Watch 5 Pro is tougher than the sapphire crystal on the Watch 5.

That use of premium materials extends to the body too, with the Watch 5 Pro using titanium, compared to the aluminium Watch 5.

The functions are mostly the same, but the added battery life means the Watch 5 Pro can offer more advanced GPS functions and last for longer. Of course, it’s also a lot more expensive.

There’s a more comprehensive comparison of these devices right here.

Design and display

  • 45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5mm, 46g, 1.36in display
  • Titanium and sapphire crystal build
  • Quick release straps
  • IP68, 5ATM protection

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro only comes in one size, which is 45mm, so you don’t get the options that you do with the regular Watch 5. It’s a bigger device overall, because the larger battery makes for a thicker body, while the raised bezel to protect the display makes it a mite bigger again.

The look is very similar, however, so you’ll spot that it’s a Galaxy Watch straight away.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro photo 10

Talking of protection, one of the big moves on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is to more premium materials. There’s now a titanium body, with enhanced sapphire crystal glass covering the display, said to be tougher than the Galaxy Watch 5. There’s also IP68 protection, or 5ATM, as well as certification for MIL-STD-810H.

With bigger buttons, the options of Black Titanium or Gray Titanium colour mean that it’s a serious-looking thing.

The raised bezel this time is just there for protection. There’s no rotation on Samsung’s Galaxy Watch models this time around and that sees the loss of one of the unique features. But it looks great and it’s easy to see how it will protect that glass surface from potential damage.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro photo 12

From the brief time we’ve spent with the watch on our wrist it’s comfortable, but like the 44mm Galaxy Watch 5, it’s broad, so can look a little big and doesn’t sit as naturally as a similar-sized device like the Garmin Fenix 7 for example.

The display looks great, though, with punchy colours, offering both touch interaction and those buttons for control. The display here offers a 450 x 450px resolution, 330ppi, which is the same pixel density as the regular Galaxy Watch 5, so in terms of the visuals, they are the same quality.

Features and functions

  • BioActive sensor
  • Fitness tracking with advanced GPS
  • Sleep tracking
  • Body composition
  • Wear OS

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro builds on previous Galaxy wearables, offering not only the functionality of WearOS – which Google relaunched in 2021 in cahoots with Samsung – but also some of the legacy features Samsung watches were known for from its Tizen days.

But the focus of this watch is really on sport. That’s little different to other Galaxy Watch devices, which, like it or not, have all leant on Samsung Health to bolster the offering beyond core smartwatch functionality.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro photo 11

Much of that is driven by the BioActive sensors on the rear of this watch which power the heart rate tracking, but also a whole range of other metrics, like ECG – and allowing for the measurement of body composition.

This is an easy measurement to take – you simply touch the two buttons and it will determine your body makeup using an electrical signal. This will tell you how much body fat you have and what your muscle mass percentage is – which can be a guide to your overall physical health.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro photo 7

What the Watch 5 Pro really wants you to do, however, is head off on longer runs, rides or hikes, using the onboard sensors to provide turn-by-turn mapping, or take advantage of the track back function, which will guide you back to your starting point.

These sorts of functions are common on dedicated sports devices like those from Garmin, so you can see that this is the market that Samsung is going after. And thanks to the bigger battery, you’ll get up to 20 hours of GPS support from the Watch 5 Pro too.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro photo 9

On top of that you have sleep tracking, now assigning your sleep patterns to an animal type to make things a little more fun – but it can also set you sleep missions to help aid your rest and recovery.

Of course, we’ve not had the chance to test all these new features, but we’ll be looking to get out into the wild with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and see if it can walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

Battery and performance

We’ve mentioned the bigger battery a couple of times and rated at 590mAh, it’s the biggest battery that Samsung has ever put into a wearable device.

Exactly how long it will realistically last in normal usage we don’t yet know, just as we can’t say anything definitive on the performance of this device.

Pocket-lintSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro photo 6

From the brief time we spent wearing it, we can say that it’s been slick and fast to navigate, but beyond that, we’ll have to wait for a final review to offer a definitive evaluation.

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To recap

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro takes this wearable in a new direction, offering functions to appeal to a more adventurous type, with longer battery life and tracking features to better compete with the likes of Garmin. It’s packaged in a more premium design, but only comes in one, big, design.

Writing by Chris Hall.