Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro test: autonomy and robustness under Wear OS

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro test: autonomy and robustness under Wear OS

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Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5
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Ergonomics and design

By analogy with the Galaxy Watch 4, which is available in a larger “Classic” version (46 mm), the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a bulkier variant of the Galaxy Watch 5 (45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5 mm, against 43.3 x 44.4 x 9.8 mm). On the other hand, where the Galaxy Watch Classic relied on a more urban and traditional style, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro adopts more sporty lines and retains a relatively refined style.

Titanium and sapphire for more resistance

We appreciate the use of titanium for the entire outline of the case, this material offering good scratch resistance, unlike the aluminum of the Galaxy Watch 5 which marks much more easily. In the same way, the sapphire crystal must in principle be hard enough (twice as hard as that of the glass of the Galaxy Watch 4, according to Samsung) to withstand the vagaries of a more committed outdoor practice. To provide even more protection to the screen, the bezel of the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro protrudes almost a millimeter from the glass, avoiding too much exposure of the latter during shocks and friction.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: autonomy and robustness under Wear OS

The finishes are also very neat, the watch revealing only 4 small screws on the underside, not visible once worn and probably preferable to an assembly only glued at the time of a possible disassembly for repair. This does not prevent the Galaxy Watch 5 from displaying an IP68 certification and a water resistance of 5 ATM (50 m), which means that it can also be used for swimming. Too bad it doesn’t go up to 10 ATM to deal with water sports.

A surprising thickness

The most visible difference, its thickness deviates much more clearly from the symbolic bar of 10 mm than what Samsung would like us to believe, since by a trick of measurement methodology, the brand excludes all the curvature of the bottom of its case. watch, which allows it to announce a thickness of only 10.5 mm. On our side, we measure no less than 15.7 mm thick between the bezel and the top of the sensor island. The latter nevertheless disappears by sinking into the wrist when the watch is tightened and we finally measure a dozen millimeters protruding from the skin; is still much more than the 10.5 mm announced.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro 45mm and up, Galaxy Watch 5 40mm and down

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro 45mm and up, Galaxy Watch 5 40mm and down

Comfortable anyway

After this annoying discovery, we console ourselves with the wearing comfort of this Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. With 75.8 g on the scale, bracelet included (46.3 g for the case alone), it does not weigh too much on the wrist and can be worn all day without any particular discomfort. Because of its thickness, however, it is much more difficult to slip under a fitted shirt sleeve than its “non-Pro” counterpart.

Its soft fluoroelastomer strap is flexible and does not irritate the skin, even when wet. We also appreciate its magnetic clasp, making it quick to attach and remove. It is possible to use other bracelets (width 20 mm), the fastening system by spring bars being completely standard.

An attractive AMOLED screen

While one would have expected a larger screen than the Galaxy Watch 5 44mm, it is not. The diagonal remains fixed at 1.4″ (450 x 450 px). However, the remaining black border here is largely covered by a rounded angle that ensures the junction between the glass and the bezel, giving the impression of a virtually borderless screen.

The high brightness of the screen benefits its readability in direct sunlight, knowing that a brightness sensor allows automatic adjustment to lighting conditions. The brightness thus decreases in the dark, avoiding glare. She could have lowered a little more to illuminate less in complete darkness.

Display of heart rate during mountain biking activity

Display of heart rate during mountain biking activity

To keep an eye on the time without necessarily pointing the watch towards you, a permanent display mode can be activated directly via the shortcuts screen. The display becomes less bright and therefore less readable in direct sunlight, which does not prevent autonomy from falling sharply (divided by more than 2). Avoid if you don’t want to have to charge your watch every day.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is able to manage phone calls via Bluetooth connection with the smartphone to which it is paired. The sound emitted by its loudspeaker is clear, although it saturates at high volume, while our correspondent hears us distinctly thanks to a fairly decent microphone in a quiet environment. This necessarily becomes complicated in a noisy environment, forcing us to bring the watch closer to our mouth, like a famous modern-day knight calling his mount – K2000, for those who do not have the ref.

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Uses and Accuracy

The same BioActive sensor is used on the different versions of Galaxy Watch 5 and this Pro version is no exception. Although the same results can be expected, we know from experience that the design of a watch can affect the results and that’s why we won’t just refer you to the measurements we have here. obtained with the Galaxy Watch 5.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro sensors

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro sensors

A fairly accurate heart rate measurement, but not always

Our new series of measurements, however, highlights the similarity of the results obtained with those of the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. The heart rate curve generated by the watch during a running session, for example, follows that obtained with our reference chest strap, the Polar H10, despite some deviations during the first minutes of the race. Enough to indulge in interval running sessions, for example, the watch integrating the parameters necessary for this practice (duration or distance objectives).

Heart rate curves of Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (in bold orange) and Polar H10 (in thin red).

Heart rate curves of Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (in bold orange) and Polar H10 (in thin red).

It is especially during activities with very rapid variations in rhythm that the heart rate monitor shows its limits, as evidenced by our tennis training where the variations are well detected by the watch, but with a sometimes significant difference in heart rate compared to this that our chest strap raises.

The heart rate curve obtained during tennis training with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro on the wrist not holding the racket, with the transparent curve obtained with the Polar H10 in the background.

The heart rate curve obtained during tennis training with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro on the wrist not holding the racket, with the transparent curve obtained with the Polar H10 in the background.

A GPS precision that we hoped for better

As far as geolocation is concerned, we can only be disappointed to find that this Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is content with the same chip as the normal Galaxy Watch 5. Accuracy is generally satisfactory, but becomes less good in cluttered environments, in the middle of buildings or in the forest, for example. A GNSS and dual-band chip would undoubtedly have provided better results.

The precision of the GPS track has some hiccups, with cut turns when obstacles arise (trees or buildings).

The precision of the GPS track has some hiccups, with cut turns when obstacles arise (trees or buildings).

Exclusive to the Pro version of the Galaxy Watch 5, the turn-by-turn guidance still works well, as does the return-to-start feature. Beware all the same of paths with multiple branches (in the forest, in particular), because the watch can take a few tens of meters before detecting an error on our part, which can sometimes force us to turn back if we cannot reach the route provided by another path.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro turn-by-turn guidance

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro turn-by-turn guidance

Improved sleep monitoring

On the sleep monitoring side, unsurprisingly the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro encounters the same pitfalls as its non-Pro little sister, that is to say that if the phases of awakening and deep sleep are generally well detected (with some omissions despite everything), this is not the case for the phases of light and paradoxical sleep, which are regularly confused if we compare the graphs obtained with the watch to those obtained with a specialized Dreem 2 headband.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro sleep tracking compared to Dreem 2 headband.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro sleep tracking compared to Dreem 2 headband.

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

Autonomy

In order to respond to more demanding sports uses, in particular when they require GPS activation, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is equipped with a large 590 mAh battery. What in principle ensure a much better endurance than that of the Galaxy Watch 5 40 mm (284 mAh) and even than the 44 mm version (410 mAh). Samsung thus announces a doubled autonomy, which can go up to 80 hours in “typical use” (understand “fairly light, without too much solicitation of the GPS and the screen”). The watch could also work for 20 hours with GPS tracking, making it usable for trail running or hiking or cycling.

Beautiful promises which are not entirely verified in practice according to our tests. With classic connected watch use including receiving and reading notifications, taking one short phone call per day, cardio and sleep monitoring and above all a 41-minute run with active GPS as well as training sports indoors (without GPS) of 1h 45min, we were able to use the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro for just 3 days and 3 nights before its battery ran out. Not enough to jump to the ceiling given such a battery capacity, but the watch becomes much more pleasant to use than a classic Galaxy Watch 5 which must be recharged every day. With more intensive use, a recharge every 2 days seems sufficient.

Regarding the duration of use with active GPS, we observe the loss of approximately 1% of the battery level per 10 minutes. Enough to exceed 4 p.m., which is enough to leave for the day with peace of mind. It will be better to provide a charger to last several days, however, if you decide to go “on an adventure” with your watch.

Once the battery is empty, it takes 2h 16min to fully recharge it with a 20W charger.

Strong points

  • Beautiful AMOLED screen protected by a sapphire crystal.

  • Pleasant to wear despite its thickness.

  • Intuitive and comprehensive Google Wear OS 3.5 system.

  • Satisfactory GPS accuracy and heart rate overall.

  • 3 days of autonomy approximately.

Weak points

  • Samsung Galaxy smartphone required for certain health functions.

  • Android compatible only.

  • Anecdotal temperature sensor.

  • Autonomy correct, but not miraculous for a typical sport watch.

  • GPS not more precise than on Galaxy Watch 5 “non Pro”.

  • No route creation possible from the Samsung Health app, due to lack of mapping.

Conclusion

we tested we liked
Global mark

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

How does grading work?

More innovative than the Galaxy Watch 5 in its design, this Pro version above all offers much more correct autonomy, which can finally be counted in days. Enough to appreciate the qualities of a Wear OS system that is always greedy, but with a pleasant interface and complete functions. However, we remain unsatisfied with regard to the GPS precision which would have deserved better in the case of a watch cut “for adventure”, according to Samsung, or even in terms of GPS navigation and tracking. sporty, still too far from what real sports watches offer.

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