Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review: A reliable fitness companion

Over the past few years, Samsung has really upped the game in smart wearables. The Watch4 series comes with an innovative Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) sensor to better track users’ fitness.

Now, the latest upgraded Watch5 comes with a sophisticated design, durable body and much more, making it an ideal smart wearable option for Android phone users. Here are my thoughts on Samsung’s premium device.

Design and display
Both the new Watch5 Pro and Watch5 have a classic design language with a round dial. But they differ in terms of display size and battery capacity.

The generic model has a 1.4-inch round Super AMOLED screen (44mm model) with sapphire glass protection to resist scratches and boasts an armored aluminum body. The company offers suitable high quality soft wrist bands. Overall, the build quality is very good and exudes premium quality not only in terms of hand-on-wrist feel, but also visually to the eyes.

[Note: The 40mm model comes with a 1.2-inch screen]

Samsung Galaxy Watch5. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It comes with an IP68 certification, a 5ATM rating, and has passed rigorous MIL-STD-810G military durability tests and is said to be able to operate in extreme weather conditions as well as withstand water pressure up to 50 meters deep.

And most importantly, the display with a resolution of 450x450p and a pixel density of 321 ppi (pixels per inch) offers good readability even outdoors. I didn’t run into any pressing issues to complain about. I was able to read notifications and even weather details without any issues.

User interface and capabilities
Like any of the previous Galaxy watches, Samsung’s new generation smart wearable is very easy to set up. Just install the Galaxy Wearable app on your Android phone. If you own a premium Samsung phone, the apps are pre-installed and the device starts pairing immediately.

The process only takes a few minutes to complete. And to get more fitness information, users need to install another Galaxy Health app. The latter will offer the widest array of data points, such as sleep score, snoring detection, heart rate information, SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation), and more.

Samsung Galaxy Watch5. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Like the Watch5 Pro, the generic model features a digital wheel that uses an advanced touch-sensitive display and offers a nice dial interface for checking notifications and scrolling through features and widgets. Users just need to swipe right to see the latest messages and notifications. And by swiping left, you can see widgets like sports modes (supports 90 plus physical activities), weather details, daily activities, stress, heart rate tracker app, SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation level) and more.

If you swipe up, you will find all the apps installed on the watch. And swiping down on the home screen gives you shortcuts to settings, flashlight, display brightness settings, and more.

Samsung Galaxy Watch5. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The Exynos W920-powered Galaxy Watch5 is deeply integrated with Google WearOS. It supports the Play Store, comes pre-installed with Google Maps, Messages and more. Users can even install several other third-party apps related to fitness, even music apps like Spotify.

It also supports find my device app to find the lost watch through the phone and also the former can be used to find the phone. It has many such value-added features, including the option to control music playback in the TWS earphones, adjust the volume, even take selfies and do many other things right from the wrist.

With the Galaxy Wearable app, users get multiple watch face options on the Samsung Galaxy Watch5. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Additionally, with the Galaxy Wearable app, users can add hundreds of colorful watch faces to the Watch5. There are enough combinations that can be customized with any outfit you wear for the day.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 and the Galaxy Health app offer comprehensive sleep data. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Sleep’s score is also very insightful. It offers detailed information on how long I was in deep sleep, light sleep, REM (rapid eye movement) and stayed awake in bed, in addition to monitoring my blood oxygen saturation level. It can even detect and track snoring with a recorded audio clip with a time stamp. To my surprise, I snored for over an hour. To do this, users must wear a watch and hold the compatible phone next to their head, possibly on a bed stand, and enable snoring detection. And it should be noted that the snoring audio clips are deleted after the preset time (it offers three options – 7 days, 31 days and 100 days). Additionally, users can also disable the audio recording feature.

For the snoring detection feature to work, the user must wear the Galaxy Watch5 on their wrist and keep the Galaxy phone close to the bed. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

I am very impressed with the automatic fitness tracking, which is very sensitive to the movements of the owner. It automatically starts tracking after it notices I’ve been walking for 10 minutes and even stops when it senses I’ve been stationary for a little more than a few minutes. Indoors, just before I start yoga, I turn on the tracking feature. But most of the time I go for an afternoon walk in the office, I forgot to turn on the walk function, but the Galaxy Watch always turned on the walk every time. Even while traveling from the office to the main bus stand, which is just over a kilometer, I never turned on the tracker, but the Watch5 always ensured that the distance was recorded and the calories burned were calculated and counted for the day.

Samsung Galaxy Watch5. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The Galaxy Watch5’s USP is the new BioActive sensor module, which works with a next-generation optical heart rate sensor combined with an electrical heart sensor and a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) sensor. The latter is able to measure body skeletal mass, body water, body fat mass and body mass index (BMI) and thus owners can track their body shape better than before.

With the Galaxy Health app, you can check your body composition, steps and daily activities. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

As you can see in the screenshot (above), my body fat mass is very high and it wakes me up to start working out and not wait until January 2023 for another attempt at a New Year’s fitness resolution. With such critical data, it will really make you consciously start focusing on your body shape.

Add to this the Galaxy Health app offers a food intake feature. With this, users can record breakfast, mid-morning breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, evening snack and dinner meals. There are some of the Indian food menus with portions and calories based on the serving, but I wish Samsung had more options, especially related to South Indian cuisine. On the other hand, Samsung offers a custom option to add food names along with details of nutritional values ​​and calories per serving. This is a good initiative and I hope to see more details on the nutritional details of South Indian foods in the coming months.

With the Galaxy Health app, users can record food intake and check details for stress assessment, SpO2 and heart rate tracking. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

However, to be on the safe side, it is best to consult a professional nutritionist and doctor to get important information about body shape and what corrective measures can be taken.
And with the Galaxy Watch5 and Galaxy Health app, users track food intake and calories burned to make adjustments to their routine to get in shape faster.
As for battery life, it can last a day and a half with automatic tracking. And for the second day, if the battery level is low, the watch is smart enough to notify you two hours before bed (based on your sleep schedule) so you can charge the watch and track your sleep through the night. It can be fully charged from zero to 100 percent within an hour and a half (90 minutes).

Samsung Galaxy Watch5. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Final thoughts
The new Galaxy Watch5 is only a modest improvement over its predecessor. But it is still the best fitness companion for Android phone users.

It’s more durable and offers longer battery life than the Watch4. And it comes with an innovative bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) sensor that can measure body skeletal mass, body water, body fat mass and body mass index (BMI).

The body fitness details that the BIA sensor offers are quite informative and also a good motivator to start working to get in shape. And with the Galaxy Health app, users can monitor food intake, sleep patterns and other important features to stay fit over time.

However, as I said in the Galaxy Watch5 Pro review, Samsung needs to work harder to get the necessary regulatory approval to enable the ECG feature on Galaxy watches in India.

It should read | Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro review: A bigger, more durable and reliable smart wearable

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