Comfortable to wear
Mediocre battery life
Easy to understand apps
No major improvements from Watch4
Samsung Galaxy Watch5
Price: RM 1899
Smartwatches combine the capabilities of a smartphone and the portability of a regular watch. As technology improves, smartwatches became the norm as more people started using them compared to a normal analogue or digital watch.
Is Samsung’s latest smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch5, a major step forward in the smartwatch department, or is it just an echo of its previous iteration? Read on to find out.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch5 weighs 33.5g and has a matte silicone strap with a buckle fastener and tuck-in slot for the end of the strap. There are also two buttons on the side of the watch.
It has a sapphire crystal glass front and a reinforced aluminium frame that allows for tougher drop and scratch resistance. The watch is also MIL-STD-810H military durability compliant and has an IP68 water-resistant rating, making it dust-tight and able to withstand up to 1.5 metres of water for 30 minutes.
I found the watch design to be quite visually appealing, giving off the appearance of a classic watch with the amenities of a smartwatch. The strap was also quite comfortable on my wrist, allowing me to wear it for the entire day without discomfort.
Display and Audio
The watch has a 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 450 x 450 resolution and 321 PPI density.
I found the Watch 5’s display to be exceptional. The brightness of the display and clever use of a black background allow for easy readability even when standing under direct sunlight. Flicking my wrist to check the time or my workout stats was a comfortable experience.
As for audio, the Watch5 also comes with a speaker used for calls, voice assistant or hearing your workout statistics. The speaker quality is okay, and considering this is a smartwatch, the audio does not play a huge role in your overall experience. I recommend just turning it off and using it like a normal watch.
Running on Wear OS 3, the Watch5 comes with several applications commonly seen in other smartwatches. These include a sleep tracker to monitor oxygen and snoring, a health monitor that measures your heart rate, blood pressure, ECG and blood oxygen, an exercise tracker for over 100 workouts and a body composition app.
The watch also includes Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant, if you are someone that enjoys speaking to your devices. Bixby can be activated by pressing and holding the top right button of the watch.
Samsung Pay is also supported with the Watch5. Pressing and holding the bottom right button of the smartwatch opens Samsung Pay which allows you to make payments by tapping your watch on any NFC reader.
I found the apps to be decent enough, the smartwatch accurately tracked my steps and heart rate as I went jogging as well as how many calories I have burnt during the session. I didn’t find Bixby the voice assistant all that helpful ironically so I stopped using it after a while. Overall, the applications I used with the Watch5 were quick to understand and simple to use.
The Galaxy Watch5 has a 410mAh battery with an alleged 40 hours of usage on a single charge. Its 10W Qi wireless charging also allows for charging up to 45% in just 30 minutes.
In my opinion, I find the battery life to be underwhelming. The battery only lasted an entire day before I needed to charge it. Perhaps if all the watch’s features were turned off, it would last 40 hours. Fortunately, charging it was fast enough, and I was able to get it from 20% to 100% in about an hour.
Buy or no buy
In conclusion, I think the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 is a decent smartwatch with all the bells and whistles of a smartphone. However, the battery life and the lack of any substantial improvements from the Galaxy Watch4 make it hard to recommend.
With the retail price of RM 1899, it is also a high asking price for anyone on a budget. If you’re someone who’s in the market for a new smartwatch and want the very best, the Galaxy Watch5 is a good option. But if you already own an older Galaxy Watch, then it's best to just give this one a pass.