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Best Samsung smartwatches: How to find the right Galaxy wearable

Best Samsung Smartwatches
© NextPit / Samsung

Samsung offers several connected watches in 2022. Do you pick the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro or the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic? Do you gun for the 40mm or 44mm model? Would you be happier with the leather or silicone strap? Find out in this buying guide on which Samsung smartwatch to choose.

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  Editor's Choice Best value-for-money 3rd place 4th place
Product Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Galaxy Watch 5 Galaxy Watch 4
Image Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 46 mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Screen Super AMOLED/ 1.36 inch/ 450x450 px Super AMOLED/ 1.2 inch 396x396 px or 1.4 inch/ 450x450 px Super AMOLED/ 1.19 inch / 396x396 px (40mm) or 1.36 inch 450x450 px Super AMOLED/1.2 inch/396x396 px (40mm) or 1.4 inch/450x450 px (44mm)
Memory and SoC

Exynos W920/ 1.5 GB RAM/ 16 GB storage

Exynos W920/ 1.5 GB RAM/ 16 GB storage Exynos W920/ 1.5 GB RAM/ 16 GB storage Exynos W920/ 1.5 GB RAM/ 16 GB storage
Versions 45mm 42 mm/ 46 mm 40 mm/ 44 mm 40 mm/ 44 mm
Battery 590mAh 42mm: 247mAh 46mm: 361mAh 284mAh (40mm) or 410 mAh (44mm) 247mAh (40mm) or 361mAh (44mm)
OS One UI Watch 4.5 based on WearOS 3.5 One UI Watch 4.5 based on WearOS 3.5 One UI Watch 3 based on WearOS 3 One UI Watch 3 based on WearOS 3
Dimensions 4,.5 x 45.5 x 10.5 mm 41.5 x 41.5 x 11.2mm (42mm) or 45.5 x 45.5 x 11mm (46mm)

40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8 mm (40 mm) or 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8 mm (44 mm)

29 g (40 mm) or 32.8 g (44 mm)

40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8 mm (40 mm) or 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8 mm (44 mm)

25.9g (40mm) or 30.3g (44mm)

Connectivity NFC, GPS, 4G, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n NFC, GPS, 4G, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi (2.4Gz & 5Ghz), 4G (optional) NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G (optional)
Certification IP68, MIL-STD-810H IP68, MIL-STD-810G IP68, 5ATM, MIL-STD-810H IP68, 5ATM
Rating
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Price from $449.99 onwards from $299 onwards from $279.99 onwards from $199 onwards
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Buying guide: What criteria should you take into account when choosing your Samsung smartwatch?

Case size

I'm personally not a fan of smartwatches because I find that they don't fit well on my rather thin wrist. In order to avoid ending up with a smartwatch that is too large or too small on your wrist, it is important to choose the right case size for your Samsung smartwatch.

The manufacturer generally offers two different sizes for each of its models. The small model is usually 40 or 42 mm while the larger version measures 44, 45 or 46 mm in diameter, depending on the model.

Screen size

Less important than the screen on a smartphone, the screen of your future Samsung smartwatch remains a criterion that you should take into account. If you want to do more than just tell the time on your smartwatch while looking cool and trendy, then picking up a model with a large screen can make your life easier when using certain functions like reading notifications or sending messages. Galaxy Watches have screen sizes that range from 1.19 to 1.4 inches across diagonally, depending on the model.

Compatibility

Just like Apple, Samsung has developed its own ecosystem of products over the years that interact perfectly with each other. However, also similar to the Cupertino firm, the South Korean manufacturer has more or less ensured that its ecosystem remain closed.

Thus, some Samsung smartwatches only work fully with the brand's smartphones. If you have a smartphone from another brand, some functions will remain inaccessible. And if you have an iPhone, you can even forget about buying a Galaxy Watch outright.

Do I need 4G?

Most of the connected smartwatches sold nowadays offer Bluetooth connectivity as well as WiFi, but if you want to use yours in a more independent manner instead of relying on your smartphone and make calls, then you should select a model with a built-in 4G modem.

You will be able to make and receive calls directly from your smartwatch by subscribing to an operator via an e-SIM. Having a 4G version also allows you to stream musing without your smartphone.

Types of sensors

Whether you're looking for one particular feature or another, you'll need to pay attention to the number of sensors offered when you buy your Galaxy smartwatch. These days, almost all models offer basic sensors like a heart rate sensor or a pedometer.

But if you have a particular need to track some of your vital data, a model with an ECG, SPO2 sensor, or body fat composition sensor would be your most likely pick. GPS is also another valuable asset for a greater degree of independence from the smartphone.

Build materials

Far from the image of traditional tech gagdets specially reserved for geeks, smartwatches are now actually fashionable devices and compete with classic watches in terms of elegance. So think carefully about choosing the materials that your smartwatch uses to get the best possible look or the one that suits you best. Samsung even offers its Bespoke Studio which allows you to fully customize your Galaxy Watch with elements like leather or silicone for the strap and different dials or clasps.

Storage

A smartwatch is not the primary device where you stash away GBs of data, but it would be handy to have some memory on hand just in case. However, it may be interesting to have some free storage space to store your favorite music so that you can remain independent from your smartphone and listen to your favorite hits during your morning runs.

Fitness features

Are you a fitness enthusiast? If so, you should also make sure you choose a model with fitness features included. A model with several different sports modes and an integrated GPS model will be better suited to outdoor fitness enthusiasts, for instance. You will be able to select a training mode that is specially dedicated to running or cycling and have access to the map directly on your smartphone.

Battery life

Unfortunately, modern smartwatches tend to be less long lasting in terms of battery life simply because of the number of functions they offer. It is difficult to last two days or even an entire day on a full charge. The functions consume more and more energy and if you are the type of person who wants to activate all the functions and enjoy your smartwatch to the max, you will have to recharge it every day. Samsung announced a battery life that ranges from 40 to 80 hours.

Galaxy Watch 5: The new Samsung connected watches of 2022

  Best choice Best value-for-money
Product Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Galaxy Watch 5
Image Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Screen Super AMOLED/ 1.36 inch / 450x450 px Super AMOLED/ 1.19 inch / 396x396 px (40mm) or 1.36 inch 450x450 px
Memory and SoC

Exynos W920/ 1.5 GB RAM/ 16 GB storage

Exynos W920/ 1.5 GB RAM/ 16 GB storage
Versions 45 mm 40 mm/ 44 mm
Battery 590mAh 284mAh (40mm) or 410 mAh (44mm)
OS One UI Watch 4.5 based on WearOS 3.5 One UI Watch 4.5 based on WearOS 3.5
Dimensions 4.5 x 45.5 x 10.5 mm

40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8 mm (40 mm) or 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8 mm (44 mm)

29 g (40 mm) or 32.8 g (44 mm)

Connectivity NFC, GPS, 4G, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi (2.4Gz & 5Ghz), 4G (optional)
Certification IP68, MIL-STD-810H IP68, 5ATM, MIL-STD-810H
Note
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Not yet reviewed
Price from $449.99 onwards from $279.99 onwards
Offer Pre-order Pre-order

Galaxy Watch 5 vs Watch 5 Pro: Which model do I choose?

A less marked design difference

The Galaxy Watch 5 has a less imposing and sportier design than the Pro variant. The basic Watch 5 is available in two sizes, 40 and 40 mm with an aluminum case, while the Watch 5 Pro is only available in 45 mm with a titanium case.

In both cases (pardon the pun), you can choose from several colors and different straps. The 40mm Galaxy Watch 5 has a 1.19-inch screen compared to 1.36-inches on the 44mm model as well as the Watch 5 Pro. Both smartwatches feature a Super AMOLED screen protected by Sapphire glass that is almost twice as scratch resistant as the Galaxy Watch 4. The Watch 5 Pro is the only one to have the D-Buckle Sports Band clasp.

Still the same performance

In addition, Samsung has abandoned the rotating bezel of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic and equipped the Watch 5 and 5 Pro with a digital bezel and two buttons. Both smartwatches run on WearOS 3.5 with the One UI Watch 4.5 skin. They are also both powered by the 5nm Exynos W920 SoC. Both have 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. The Watch 5 and 5 Pro also both offer IP68 and 5 ATM certifications.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
This image shows the visual differences between the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro. / © NextPit

New features that denote the differences

However, when it comes to features, we can clearly see the differences between the two models. Indeed, although the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro both offer pulse reading, SPO2, body temperature, blood pressure, body composition, or an ECG, the Watch 5 Pro offers a series of exclusive features.

By opting for the Pro model, you will benefit from the inclusion of turn-by-turn navigation function, the ability to import and export routes in GPX format, and the Track-Back function, which allows you to request the watch to bring you back to the starting point during your workouts.

Do take note that the two models differ greatly in terms of claimed battery life. The Galaxy Watch 5 has a 284 or 410 mAh battery, depending on the version, and should offer 40 hours of battery life on a full charge. The Watch 5 Pro has a 592 mAh battery and should last 80 hours. As for prices, the basic Watch 5 is available from $279.99 for the 40mm model without 4G, while for the Watch 5 Pro, you will have to pay at least $449.99

Finally, the choice will depend on the features that are important to you. If you're not a big fitness enthusiast or a geek willing to do anything to have the latest and greatest model, the Galaxy Watch 5 should be enough for you. Otherwise, don't hesitate and go for the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro: What's new compared to the previous models?

Galaxy Watch 5: A design that did not change much

The Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro do bring notable but not drastic changes compared to their predecessors. The standard Galaxy Watch 5 carries a few visual changes. The main new feature is the Sapphire glass display that is 1.6 times more scratch resistant. The Boa Purple, Graphite, and Pink Gold colors for the 40mm model and Sapphire, Silver, and Graphite for the 44mm model are also new.

Galaxy Watch 5: Larger capacity batteries for longer battery life and a temperature sensor

The battery capacity has also increased across all models, going from 247 to 284 mAh on the 40 mm Watch 5 and from 361 to 410 mAh on the 44 mm version. This translates to approximately 10% higher battery life than the Galaxy Watch 4. In addition, the Galaxy Watch 5 now offers a body temperature sensor although it is not yet operational at launch. The Bluetooth standard has also been updated to feature version 5.2 instead of 5.0.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
The new Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro colors. / © NextPit

A new design in one size

As for the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which replaces the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, the visual changes are more significant. First of all, there is only one 45mm version, unlike the Watch 4 Classic which was available in 40 and 44mm iterations. In terms of design, the first change that jumps out is the removal of the rotating bezel on the Watch 5 Pro. The new model now features a plain screen with a digital bezel. The Watch 5 Pro is available in Black Titanium and Grey Titanium shades.

Larger capacity battery and new features for outdoor fitness

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro uses a slightly smaller screen but still carries a 460x460 pixel resolution. However, the latter is protected by Sapphire glass and the stainless steel of the case has been replaced by titanium. The battery capacity has also increased from 361 mAh on the large version of the Watch 4 Classic, to 590 mAh on the Watch 5 Pro. This means the battery life should be able to achieve up to 80 hours versus 40 hours on the Watch 4 Classic.

As far as features are concerned, the Watch 5 Pro brings the three exclusive features mentioned in the previous section and also the new temperature sensor.

Galaxy Watch 4: Older models are still in the mix

  Slightly outdated premium model Standard model is still in the running
Product Galaxy Watch 4 Classic Galaxy Watch 4
Image Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic 46 mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Screen Super AMOLED/ 1.2 inch 396x396 px or 1.4 inch/ 450x450 px Super AMOLED/1.2 inch/396x396 px (40mm) or 1.4 inch/450x450 px (44mm)
Memory and SoC Exynos W920/ 1.5 GB RAM/ 16 GB storage Exynos W920/ 1.5 GB RAM/ 16 GB storage
Versions 42 mm/ 46 mm 40 mm/ 44 mm
Battery 42mm: 247mAh 46mm: 361mAh 247mAh (40mm) or 361mAh (44mm)
OS One UI Watch 3 based on WearOS 3 One UI Watch 3 based on WearOS 3
Dimensions 41.5 x 41.5 x 11.2mm (42mm) or 45.5 x 45.5 x 11mm (46mm)

40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8 mm (40 mm) or 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8 mm (44 mm)

25.9g (40mm) or 30.3g (44mm)

Connectivity NFC, GPS, 4G, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G (optional)
Certification IP68, MIL-STD-810G IP68, 5ATM
Note
Not yet reviewed
Read review
Price from $299 onwards from $199 onwards
Offer Check offer Check offer

Galaxy Watch 4 vs Watch 4 Classic: The differences

A matter of taste

For starters, the Watch 4 Classic has a mechanical rotating bezel to navigate the interface and two buttons on the side. It is available in 42 and 46 mm sizes and is made of stainless steel instead of aluminum. The standard Watch 4 has a more traditional screen but also incorporates both buttons. It is available in 40 and 44 mm.

Choose according to your wrist size

Despite its larger size, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic does not have a larger battery. As a result, you will have a 247 mAh battery in the 42 mm version or a 361 mAh battery in the 46 mm model. These are exactly the same values as found on the two models of the basic Watch 4. The Galaxy Watch 4 44 mm and Watch 4 Classic should offer twice the amount of battery life of their 40 and 42 mm variants.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
The Galaxy Watch 4 convinced Ben who had a lot of fun with it during his review./ © NextPit

When it comes to the screen, many things are also very similar. The standard Galaxy Watch 4 has a 1.2 or 1.4-inch Super AMOLED screen depending on the version, compared to 1.19 or 1.4-inches for the Watch 4 Classic. The screens on both models have resolutions of 396 x 396 or 450 x 450 pixels, respectively, depending on the version. All screens are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass DX.

Exactly the same performance and functionality

The Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic are identical in terms of performance. They both feature an Exynos W920 SoC that used the 5nm manufacturing process and are mated to 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage.

In addition, both smartwatches offer exactly the same features, including a sensor that allows them to determine heart rate, blood pressure, SPO22, body fat composition, the ability to track sleep quality and even take ECG readings. There is also GPS and NFC connectivity in the mix. As for prices, the Watch 4 costs from $199 for the 40mm model without 4G against $229 for the Watch 4 Classic.

Ultimately, the choice will depend on your design preferences and your budget. If you have a larger wrist or prefer the style of a classic watch, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will suit you. Otherwise, the Galaxy Watch 4 will do the trick.

Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic: Should you still buy them in 2022?

Choosing a Galaxy Watch 5 Pro over a Galaxy Watch 4 Classic would seem to be more justified. If your budget allows it, don't hesitate to opt for the newer model. Otherwise, it doesn't matter, as the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is still an excellent smartwatch even in 2022.

The Galaxy Watch 4 is still in the race

Compared to the Galaxy Watch 5, the Watch 4 has nothing to be ashamed of. The design has not changed much and neither has the features. The connected watch will be updated to the new version of WearOS 3.5 and although the manufacturer announced improvements regarding battery life and fast charging support, experience has shown that Samsung smartwatches are not champions in this area.

Hence, the only real reasons to change would be the new Sapphire glass that protects the screen and the new body temperature sensor which I would like to remind you, remains not functional yet. Unless you really need these inclusions, the Galaxy Watch 4 is still worth recommending even in 2022. Moreover, with the release of the new model, its price has dropped, which further improves its value-for-money proposition.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro brings worthwhile changes

However, for the premium model, things are a bit different. While it retains many of the features of the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro brings more notable changes. Its battery has been expanded by 63%, from 361 to 590 mAh, of which Samsung claims would give it twice the battery life. The fast charging power has also been doubled, from 5 to 10 W.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic offers less than its replacement but remains worth recommending in 2022. / © NextPit

Visually speaking, the mechanical rotating bezel has been abandoned in favor of a digital version. Also, the case is no longer made of stainless steel but of more resistant titanium. Bluetooth 5.2 and MIL-STD-810H certification has also replace the 5.0 and MIL-STD-810G versions. As for features, in addition to the new temperature sensor, the Watch 5 Pro brings three new exclusive features that should please outdoor fitness fans.

Galaxy Watch Bespoke Edition: How to customize your Samsung smartwatch

It is possible to buy your Galaxy Watch 4 or Watch 5 via the Bespoke Edition. Samsung's Bespoke Studio is a design space that allows you to fully customize your Samsung devices.

You'll be able to change things like the size of the case and even the color. In the case of the Galaxy Watch 5 for example, you'll be able to choose the 40mm version in Rose Gold, Silver, or Graphite shades. You will also be able to choose between a dial with floral patterns or a simpler one.

Samsung Bespoke Studio
The Bespoke Studio really does offer several customization options. / © Samsung

Samsung also offers to choose between different types of straps and clasps. Your Galaxy Watch 5 can be chosen with a magnetic or sport clasp; or with a green leather strap or a Milanese. Go nuts and knock yourself out!

Samsung ecosystem

Connection between the Galaxy Watch and smartphones is done through the Galaxy Wear application. The interaction between Samsung devices is perfect. The Galaxy Wear app offers numerous setting options and even includes a digital user manual. In addition, compatible applications installed on your smartphone will automatically be downloaded to your Galaxy Watch.

The connection between the smartphone and the smartwatch is not only reliable but also intuitive. In case of a problem on the smartwatch, for instance, it refers to the smartphone by directly launching the relevant segment in the Galaxy Wear application. The Galaxy Watch also provides access to a dedicated page in the Google Play Store that shows off compatible applications.

However, in order to take full advantage of all the features of a Galaxy Watch, you will need to use a Samsung smartphone. Also, do take note that Samsung smartwatches remain incompatible with iPhones.

That's it for our Samsung connected watch buying guide for 2022! The brand's current two smartwatch lines are very similar and differ only in certain aspects. Now, it is up to you to see what matters most to you before settling on your new Galaxy Watch.

Did you find this buying guide helpful? Have you ever owned a Samsung smartwatch? What are your suggestions? Let's discuss it in the comments!

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