Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: which is best?

Which of the Android-powered smartwatches is for you, the Pixel Watch or Galaxy Watch 5?

Pixel Watch vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
(Image credit: T3)

f you're looking for a new smartwatch for your Android phone, you're in luck with two new options vying for the best smartwatch

The Google Pixel Watch has just been announced with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 only recently released. If you're looking for a new smartwatch but are unsure where to begin, you're in luck because we're here to help.

We've pitted both smartwatches against each other to help you figure out which one will be best for your needs. 

Google Pixel Watch

(Image credit: Google)

Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is available in a few different varieties. It's priced at $240/£269/AU$499 for the 40mm Bluetooth model or $270/£289/AU$549 for the 44mm Bluetooth model. The LTE versions retail for $290/£319/AU$599 for the 40mm version or $320/£339/AU$649 for the 44mm edition.

The Google Pixel Watch is only available in one size -- 41mm. It's available for preorder now and launches on October 13. The watch costs $349.99/£339/AU$549 for the standard version, while the cellular version is $399.99/£379/$649. 

Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is considerably cheaper, even if you compare a cellular version to the standard Google Pixel Watch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

(Image credit: Samsung)

Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Design

The Samsung Galaxy Watch uses a traditional circular screen layout that looks more like a conventional watch. Its 40mm model has a 1.2-inch always-on OLED display with a 396 x 396 resolution. The 44mm model bumps that up to a 450 x 450 resolution for its 1.4-inch screen. Both size watches have a casing made from armor aluminum while offering IP68-certified protection against dust and water. There's also swim proofing of up to 5 ATM.

The Google Pixel Watch has the same 1.2-inch screen as the smaller Samsung Galaxy Watch, but it's dome-shaped. It's smooth and immediately eye-catching. Made from stainless steel, it's also durable with up to 5 ATM swim proofing like Samsung's offering. 

An OLED always-on display with 320ppi, we're still waiting to learn about the resolution from Google. 

Winner: We love the look of the Google Pixel Watch. It's more distinctive than any of the competition.

Google Pixel Watch

(Image credit: Google)

Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Features and performance

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 has fast established itself as an excellent smartwatch for anyone who is health-conscious and active. In contrast, the Google Pixel Watch is more of a reliable all-rounder. 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 tracks all your activity and workout plans, automatically monitoring how far you run and walk and complete other exercises from HIIT workouts to Tai Chi or Yoga. It uses body composition analysis to figure out the best plan for you, thanks to its advanced sensors we'll get into later. It also offers extensive sleep tracking with a month-long sleep plan drawn up to help you see how things are going. That same sleep cycle can help improve your connected smart home via SmartThings integration which dims your lights as you slip into slumber. 

The Google Pixel Watch integrates Fitbit's ecosystem into its OS, bundling in six months of Fitbit Premium for free. Because of that, it can track your sleep and workouts as effectively as a Fitbit. Alongside that, it has a steady supply of Google apps built-in like Google Maps, Google Wallet, Google Assistant, as well as Gmail and Calendar.  

Winner: Much of this comes down to taste. We're still big fans of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5's focus on fitness, but if you're looking for a stylish timepiece, the Google Pixel Watch performs well here.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

(Image credit: Samsung)

Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Sensors

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 has Samsung's BioActive Sensor, which bundles in sleep tracking, heart rate, and blood oxygen monitoring, along with ways to provide you with its excellent body composition analysis tool. It can even track water retention and bone density and monitor your temperature. Samsung reckons it will lead to more personalized workouts as you'll get a more tailored approach to your goal.

The Google Pixel Watch also has a heart rate sensor, blood oxygen sensor, and ECG tracking in case of Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). It also has deep integration with Fitbit with the company offering its most accurate heart rate tracking yet. It gives you an accurate measurement of your heart rate, continuously tracking at once per second. 

Winner: For accuracy, we think the Google Pixel Watch will win the war, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5's body composition analysis is mighty tempting for fitness-focused folk.

Google Pixel Watch

(Image credit: Google)

Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Interface and user experience

Both the Google Pixel Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 are Android-only affairs. If you have an iPhone, you need to consider the Apple Watch 8 or similar instead. 

If you're an Android owner, you'll feel comfortable with either interface, although Google is swift to point out that the Pixel Watch's Wear OS has been designed with the watch's circular shape in mind. 

Battery life-wise, the Google Pixel Watch offers a respectable 24 hours. Samsung beats that by a long shot. It promises up to 50 hours of charge. On the plus side, the Google Pixel Watch gives back 50 percent of its battery life in just 30 minutes. 

Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 wins substantially regarding battery life, but we think the OS will feel more comfortable on the Google Pixel Watch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

(Image credit: Samsung)

Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Verdict

The Google Pixel Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 are both great options for any Android owner. 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 has the edge with fitness features thanks to its body composition tool, but the Google Pixel Watch promises greater accuracy. Either should be ideal for the average person who partakes in some exercise each week, but body composition analysis will have the edge for the stats-hungry fitness fan.

It also has better battery life and it's cheaper. 

Looks-wise, the Google Pixel Watch beats pretty much all competition. It looks a delight and so much more appealing than other options. If you want something that looks good in the office, on a date, and also while working out, this is it. It's a genuine rival to the Apple Watch 8, so if an equal mixture of style and substance is vital, you'll be happy here.

The best news? While we lean towards the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 for its practicality, either option should be a big hit if you buy it.

Jennifer Allen has been writing about tech for nearly a decade. Her specialisms include fitness wearables, Bluetooth speakers, and all things Apple.