Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 test: our full review – Connected watches/bands

We tested Samsung’s entry-level watch, the Galaxy Watch 5. This is an almost complete carryover of last year’s model, but since then the sports watch market has evolved a lot. Is it enough ? We answer that in this test.

For 2022, Samsung has simplified its range of connected watches with a Pro model dedicated to sports and a simpler but also cheaper model, the Galaxy Watch 5, present here. We have already tested the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. We will focus here on the most important differences to note: autonomy and design. As a small bonus, we were also able to test the watch with a Galaxy smartphone to see what the Seoul company brings to its ecosystem. Let’s go.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5Technical sheet

Model Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Technology

OLED

Screen protection

Sapphire crystal

screen format

Circular

Internal memory

16GB

Memory (RAM)

1.5 GB

Wireless

Wi-Fi 4(n)

heart rate monitor

Yes

Sleep analysis

Yes

Accelerometer

Yes

Sensor for ambient light

Yes

Protection sign

IP68

Price

€299

Product sheet See the test

This test was performed with a watch provided by Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5Design

Design-wise, the watch we’re testing is the smaller 40mm version. There is also a model with a diameter of 44 mm. First observation: The Galaxy Watch 5 looks exactly like its predecessor, the Galaxy Watch 4. We keep the dual horn system that runs along the circle of the watch case and attaches to the bracelet.

The latter has been slightly improved for the occasion. Still in silicone, it has a buckle. Specifically, once you are past the lock, you can wedge the end of the bracelet by passing it through a hole intended for this purpose. A very efficient system.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (3)
Source: Frandroid – Chloé Pertuis

On the rest, the Galaxy Watch 5 is still just as comfortable to wear. It is a light watch that is easily forgotten on the wrist. There are no design flaws to report, the heart sensor is well hidden at night and therefore does not disturb sleep. Let’s add that the Galaxy Watch 5 has an IP68 certification, which prevents it from being removed every time you bathe or swim (in a swimming pool).

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5Autonomy

The main difference with the Pro model will of course be played out in autonomy, since the Galaxy Watch 5 only has 284 mAh. An accumulator that seems a little paltry next to the Galaxy Watch 5 44 mm with its 410 mAh and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro which shows 590 mAh.

To summarize briefly, on the model we tested, it will last a little more than a day of autonomy, not more. As soon as you ask it for slightly more robust uses, such as driving with the integrated GPS or by activating the screen always onwe quickly fall to a whole day.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (9)
Source: Frandroid – Chloé Pertuis

For example, on a day off, I unplugged the watch at noon when it was at 100%. To push it a bit to its limits, I decided to use it a bit like a mini-smartphone, which is the idea behind these smart watches anyway. So I downloaded a hundred songs from Spotify and then activated the permanent heart rate monitor and the screen always on. I also did 15 minutes of physical activity with the GPS on and the music on the watch. I also listened to music for 45 minutes outside of the run. Assessment: at 21.53 I had 6% autonomy left. Clearly, after less than 10 hours of intense use, the watch didn’t have many minutes left before it shut down completely.

Fortunately, a power-saving mode is offered. This one is much more compelling, even if it cuts most of the cool features. We lose the screen always on, stress tracking, heart rate and brightness decrease accordingly. In return for all this, the watch will drop about 25 to 30 points of autonomy per day without using it.

Replenishment

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is sold with a proprietary cable that charges the watch by induction. It’s also Qi-compatible, and it’s also possible to charge the watch using a newer Galaxy smartphone. via induction charging. Connected to a 25W Samsung charger, I got a charge in just under an hour. We are thus far from fast charging, which is all the more unfortunate when you have to refuel once a day.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (5)
Source: Frandroid – Chloé Pertuis

In detail, here are the percentages achieved on the Galaxy Watch 5 starting from 0%:

  • 18% after 10 minutes;
  • 36% after 20 minutes;
  • 58% after 30 minutes;
  • 74% after 40 minutes;
  • 90% after 50 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5Health functions

As for the health and sports activity component, the Galaxy Watch 5 fully incorporates the technical sheet of the Pro by integrating an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a barometer, a geomagnetic sensor for the compass, an impedance analysis sensor bioelectric, for the fat mass rate , an electrocardiogram, a blood pressure monitor and a heart rate monitor. All this makes it possible to measure your number of steps and your heart rate, but also to orient you, to show your fat mass rate, to perform an electrocardiogram, to measure your blood pressure or to measure your oxygen saturation in the blood.

Pulse measurement

Samsung’s watch is more consumer-focused than its Pro counterpart. Nevertheless, who says connected watch says big focus on health. Here’s what gives heart activity tracking on an uphill run sequence and then going downhill (in red) by comparing to a benchmark heart rate monitor, the Garmin HRM-Pro (in blue).

diagram (1)-1It can be seen that the watch has a relatively long “warm-up” time of about 5 minutes before settling on a value closer to the belt. The bracelet also shows some latency before adjusting to changes in heart rate, though nothing outrageous for a non-sports watch. However, the values ​​remain close to what the belt shows, showing an average of two strokes lower and struggling to reach the actual maximum level.

heart belt Galaxy Watch 5 Participate
Mean 165 163 -2
Max 191 188 -3

GPS tracking

The watch’s GPS tracking has a great quality: it doesn’t take shortcuts and seems to update the GPS point very regularly. On the other hand, it clearly lacks precision when it comes to determining the exact location where one is. Judge for yourself on this map, which compares in orange a smartphone GPS (far from perfect, but better) and the watch.

Features reserved for Samsung smartphones

Unfortunately, Samsung reserves some more advanced health features for its latest Galaxy smartphone users (under One UI 4.1.1).

These go through the Samsung Health Monitor app, which is available in the Galaxy Store. The easiest to use is an electrocardiogram. Its purpose is to finely analyze your heart rate and determine whether you have atrial fibrillation or not. The application is quite clear and straightforward and explains the results achieved well, while at the same time advising to consult a doctor in case of doubt. You can also share the results in pdf very easily.

For blood pressure, it’s a bit more complicated, as you first have to calibrate the watch using a blood pressure monitor.

Be careful if you live in DOM-TOM, many users from Martinique, Réunion or Guadeloupe complain about the Health Monitor application, indicating that it does not want to start in their geographical area. Also note that the application requires you to use a cellular connection and refuses to launch when connected to Wi-Fi.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5For the rest…

For the rest of this test, I will refer you to the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro test conducted by my colleague Geoffroy, because everything that will be discussed has been developed in more detail there. The watches actually share the following points: they both run on Wear OS 3 with the advantage of being able to install many applications, they can both make calls, connect via Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 4 and share a very similar screen ( apart from its size).

In a few words, Wear OS 3 is a real pleasure to handle. It is not rare that you wonder about the possibility of performing an action, and that a few seconds later you find yourself surprised that this functionality is well and thoroughly understood.

Browsing the Play Store inside the watch itself allows you to move a little further away from the smartphone medium to really dive into your watch. I even tested the experience of running with just my watch, some music downloaded from YouTube Music and Buds. You can answer text messages by typing your text, you can answer calls, in short, the Galaxy Watch 5 is a resolutely versatile watch. Many dials, ranging from very graphic to one filled with health information, crown this very good impression.

On the other hand, we can honestly regret two elements: the disastrous autonomy, which destroys certain basic functions, such as sleep monitoring or downloading music, as it drains the battery. And as the main competitor to the Apple Watch, we would still expect greater fluidity. However, the clock often accumulates excessively long load times and significant delays. Nothing that makes it unusable, but the user experience loses a few points.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5Price and release date

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is available at a price of 345 euros for the 40 mm version and 390 euros for the 44 mm version. The same versions with LTE cost 420 and 460 euros respectively.

Where to buy The

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 at the best price?

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