On paper, the Galaxy Watch 5 is a vast improvement on some features of the Galaxy Watch line. But does that mean it’s worth fully upgrading for a few new changes? We’ll break down each improvement and give you a better idea of whether or not you should upgrade to the Galaxy Watch 5 or 5 Pro from a Galaxy Watch 4 or earlier.
The Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro – What’s the difference?
Unveiled at Galaxy Unpacked 2022, the The Galaxy Watch 5 series improves on its Wear OS 3 predecessor with a few key updates. Although we haven’t had a chance to rigorously test the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro yet, the specs give us a pretty good idea of what we’re looking at. The Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro both run a few of the same features, including an all-new sapphire crystal display, Samsung’s improved BioActive sensor, and an Exynos W920 chipset with 1.5GB of RAM.
Along with this, the Galaxy Watch 5 40mm has a 284mAh battery, while the 44mm variant carries a 410mAh pack. Both of these are substantial upgrades over last year’s model, giving the user a few extra hours in the day. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, on the other hand, packs a massive 590 Mah battery, estimated to give the wearer around 80 hours of battery life. Indeed, that’s more than three consecutive days of power.
Other than the battery, the only other differentiating factor here is the physical build. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a bit thicker, sporting a titanium case meant to take some of the toughest knocks. The 40mm and 44mm Galaxy Watch 5 devices are held in an “Armor Aluminum” case, which will protect them but is not as strong as titanium. This case is available in several beautiful colors, while the Pro is available in gray and black.
When you take away the battery and the physical appearance, these watches are essentially the same. They have the same chip, RAM, and screen inside their individual shells.
How does it compare to the Galaxy Watch 4?
As for the Galaxy Watch 4, it may be a year old, but the series is still holding strong. It offers a better package than some newer versions. The Galaxy Watch 4 series was first out of the box with Wear OS 3, which is the same operating system used on the Galaxy Watch 5.
When it comes to the Galaxy Watch 4 hardware, the watch has a lot to offer. The series of watches incorporated Samsung’s BioActive sensor – now a year old. The then-new sensor did a great job of collecting important fitness data, all in a small package. Unfortunately, that small package meant a small battery.
The Watch 4 came with a 247mAh battery in the 40mm case, while the 44mm size carried a 361mAh pack. It was the same setup in the small and large Watch 4 Classic variants, respectively. In total, Samsung claimed you can get around 40 hours of battery life, though it seemed closer to 24 hours at best.
Besides the battery, the Galaxy Watch 4 carried many of the same specs we deem worthy in a wearable now. This includes an Exynos W920 chipset, 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage.
Is it worth the upgrade?
It’s extremely hard not to see the similarities between the two generations of Galaxy Watch, especially on paper. In almost every aspect, these two sets of clothes are almost exactly the same watch. To reiterate, they have the same SoC, an identical amount of RAM, and they both run Wear OS 3.
Galaxy Watch 4
If you own a Galaxy Watch 4, this can be a tempting precedent, especially when with some improvements. The Galaxy Watch 5 has a new iteration of Samsung’s BioActive sensor, which improves its ability to accurately detect vital signs, including heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
While we didn’t find the Galaxy Watch 4’s health tracking bad, there were definitely areas where we wanted to see improvement. The new BioActive sensor is supposed to provide this improvement and give us better insight into health stats.
Another improvement is battery life. On paper, the Galaxy Watch 5 is supposed to have around 10 more hours of battery life compared to the Galaxy Watch 4. In theory, that should be enough to get you through a day and a night so you can keep up too your daily activity. than your sleep. In reality, the improvement in battery life seems to be minimal when looking at the bigger picture.
Yes, you can get sleep tracking with all-day battery life. Unfortunately, the device still has to charge shortly after waking up, leaving you in a tricky cycle of recharging the watch while you’re getting ready for the day or before bed. Either way, those few extra hours might not be enough to completely change the way you wear the watch, and they won’t get you an extra day of wear. Of course, that’s not taking into account the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which excels in battery life compared to the 40mm and 44mm variants of the Watch 5.
Another advantage of the Galaxy Watch 5 is the new sapphire crystal display. Sapphire crystal is much more scratch resistant than Gorilla Glass found on the Galaxy Watch 4. This might be one of the biggest upgrades to make its way to the Watch 5, simply because it’s potentially more durable than its predecessor.
Galaxy Watch 3 and earlier
Since the Galaxy Watch 3 is an older watch, it’s an easier decision to make. The Galaxy Watch 5 gains significant improvements over the Watch 3 with much better sensors, a Super AMOLED display under sapphire crystal, and an impressive improvement in battery life. Given the trade-in value Samsung gives for the Galaxy Watch 3 during the pre-order phase — a whopping $190 — an upgrade to the Watch 5 is much easier to recommend.
All of the above will be an even better upgrade. The Watch 5 and the Exynos W920 do an excellent job of managing tasks. Not to mention that the Watch 4 and Watch 5 come with Wear OS 3 right out of the box. The latest Wear OS is an upgrade in itself.
Cost and trade-in values
It all comes down to cost. The Galaxy Watch 5 surprised us all with its little-changed final price starting at $279, even with the upgraded sapphire crystal display. The Galaxy Watch 4 started at around $249 in 2021 and its price has increased considering the LTE models as well as the Classic edition with a rotating bezel.
If you are looking at the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, you will have to pay over $449 and even more for the LTE version. It’s a pretty steep jump, although it comes with a better material case and a huge battery for extended use.
If you own a Galaxy Watch 4 – whether classic or not – you’re in a good position to upgrade, given Samsung has nice trade-in values attached to the Galaxy Watch 5. For example, you can swap out a Galaxy Watch 4 Classic for a Galaxy Watch 5 Pro for just around $209. It’s a $240 trade-in credit from Samsung. If you happen to have a Galaxy Watch 4, you may see a $180 discount, bringing the price of a Watch 5 Pro down to $269.
These values do not change if you want to upgrade to a Galaxy Watch 5 instead of Pro. You’ll still see $180 for the Watch 4 and $240 for the Watch 4 Classic. What might be even crazier is that Samsung will give you a $190 credit for the Galaxy Watch 3 – a two-year-old smartwatch.
If you’re happy with the Galaxy Watch 4 or looking to get a Samsung wearable, you might be better off hanging out or grabbing a Galaxy Watch 4 at a better price now that they’re ‘obsolete’. The Galaxy Watch 4 is a good device that might have some issues in the battery department, however, the Galaxy Watch 5 might not be the answer to much better battery life. In all other aspects, the Watch 5 is just a clone of the Watch 4 with some key health tracking improvements and slight battery upgrades.
When it comes to upgrading to the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, you will definitely see huge improvements on battery life. If you’re going for a Pro, try swapping in for a Watch 4 or even a Watch 3, as that can significantly reduce the price.
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