Powerful Android smartwatch with Google Smarts

With a very good battery life and an eye-catching appearance, the Galaxy Watch 5 from Samsung overshadowed the Galaxy Watch 5 of its brother, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. With a starting price of INR 27,999, the Watch 5 will be driving the brigade heading into the festive season.

The Watch 5 is much cheaper than the Watch 5 Pro (INR 44,999) but it comes without all the bells and whistles. It’s a minor update from the Galaxy Watch 4. The Watch 5 has some new features, like improved sleep tracking and a skin temperature sensor (not yet available), that give it some weight over its predecessor.

The Galaxy Watch 5 doesn’t raise a bar above its predecessor, but does it do enough to justify its place in the seemingly crowded smartwatch market? Let’s find out.

What’s new in Galaxy Watch 5:

Let’s start the review by talking about some of the changes Samsung made in 2022.

The Watch 5 comes with a flat case (as opposed to the Watch 5 Pro’s tapered edges) but it does come with a sapphire crystal on top for much improved scratch resistance. Then there’s the larger battery on both the 40mm (284mAh) and 44mm (410mAh) models.

Just like the Watch 5 Pro, the Watch 5 comes with much-improved sleep tracking and a skin temperature sensor that is not currently enabled. Finally, the Watch 5 Pro got Bluetooth 5.2 (an upgrade from version 5.0 over its predecessor).

What’s good about the Galaxy Watch 5:

Samsung and Google are the partnership we’ve all been waiting for. Seeing it finally shines through with the Watch 5 series is a huge relief. Galaxy smartwatches in the past came with amazing hardware but were held up by their software (and the lack of easy access to Google apps). This all changes with the partnership.

Pair the best Samsung devices with the Google program and you’ll get a winning combination. Having access to the Play Store, rather than the Galaxy Store, makes a huge difference.[Text Wrapping Break]

The Galaxy Watch 5 may look like its predecessor but the weight and feel are different from each other. There is the same Exynos W920 processor, 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. Flip the smartwatch and here’s the difference. The bottom of the Watch 5 has been flattened to make it more comfortable to wear for longer periods. It also helps improve the contact between the healthy sensors and your skin. This, in turn, means that different readings are more reliable.

The 44mm model weighs in at 33.5 grams, while the smaller 40mm variant weighs just 28.7 grams. With a durable build quality and stylish look, the Galaxy Watch 5 is suited for both running, as well as a casual evening get-together. It’s also a more digestible size for most people, unlike the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro which is “too big and bulky” for some.

The partnership between Samsung and Google shines through in everyday performance. The operating system is very responsive to any number of swipes I make daily. Touch also gets a thumbs up because it’s subtle but does its job.

The best part about the Watch 5 is the ease of access to Google apps as I mentioned above. I obsessed over the fact that I could replace the Bixby and Samsung Pay shortcuts with Google Assistant and Google Play. I can also install a lot of apps in a jiffy as the Watch 5 provides easy access to the Google Play Store. It feels more familiar than anything else.

The last thing I would like to talk about is the fact that Samsung has finally adopted fast charging technology in its smartwatches. It is very comforting to know that I rarely run out of battery as I can turn it on in a jiffy.

Samsung claims you can charge the Watch 5 from zero to 45 percent in just 30 minutes. For me, it took just over 30 minutes, which is pretty good. The full charging process took about 85 minutes. This helped with battery anxiety and also allowed me to track my fitness and sleep for longer periods.

Something is missing in the Galaxy Watch 5

The top of the list that the Galaxy Watch 5 doesn’t quite live up to is battery life. The battery life on the Galaxy Watch 5 is quite decent. For my usage patterns, I only had to reach the charger once every 24 hours. Even worse, the always-on screen remains on and/or the Google Assistant is set to “always listening”.

My usage patterns include constantly checking my notifications, keeping track of my daily workout, constantly skipping to the next song and more. The battery life doesn’t come close to the Watch 5 Pro and that’s a shame. If you’re coming from an Apple Watch, you’re in for a surprise in your life. The Watch 5 easily beats the Apple Watch in terms of battery life.

The other thing that keeps the Galaxy Watch 5 from being really cool is the fact that you need a Galaxy smartphone to use some of the high-end features. You cannot monitor your blood pressure or ECG if you are using a non-Galaxy Android smartwatch.

Less important, but still something to mention is that the Galaxy Watch is not compatible with an Apple iOS smartphone.

Verdict: Is the Galaxy Watch 5 right for you?

With not many Wear OS 3 smartwatches on the market, the group leader is clear. There are the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro smartwatches from Samsung, and the Montblanc Summit 3. The latter costs a lot more than Samsung smartwatches. Mobvoi is rolling out its latest version of TicWatch and Google with the Pixel Watch, but how good it looks.

It’s clear to me that Samsung is pushing consumers toward the Watch 5 Pro, with exclusive tracking features and insanely good battery life. However, the Watch 5 is a very good Android smartwatch for most people. From the latest Wear OS 3 software, durable Sapphire glass, and new and improved sleep tracking features, the Watch 5 has a lot to do with it.

If you’re coming from the Watch 4, there’s no need to upgrade. If you own anything older than that, the Watch 5 gets even more appealing.

The Watch 5 on its own has proven to be one of the best watches on the market. They’re sold at a much lower price, come with some of the latest features, and look good for both workouts and evening get-togethers. If you are in the market for an Android smartwatch, the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro should be at the top of your list.

Figure out your use case and you’ll know instantly which one you want. All the talk is right with the Watch 5 Pro because it is the battery champion (something very important for smartwatch users) in today’s market.

#Powerful #Android #smartwatch #Google #Smarts

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