We’re now just a few days away from the expected reveal of Samsung’s next smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 5. Like last year’s Watch 4, we expect to see two models of new wearable from Samsung, called the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro.
These timepieces will go up against the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8, due out in September, and Google’s first own-brand smartwatch, called the Pixel Watch and expected to arrive in the autumn. Plainly, it’s shaping up to be a fantastic year for smartwatch fans.
As usual, the rumour mills have been working overtime and we’ve already seen a lot of leaks surrounding the Galaxy Watch 5 – some even from Samsung itself. What follows is everything we know so far about the upcoming wearables.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Release date
It is highly likely that Samsung will reveal the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro at its upcoming Unpacked product launch event. This takes place online on 10 August and kicks off at 2pm BST. The event is also expected to feature a pair of new folding smartphones, due to be called the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4.
We don’t expect Samsung to put its new smartwatches on sale right away. Instead, the company is likely to follow what it did last year with the Galaxy Watch 4. This wearable was announced on 11 August, then went on sale worldwide on 27 August, after a pre-order period.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Price
Nothing has been confirmed just yet, but we expect to see Samsung price the Watch 5 and 5 Pro similarly to the Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic from 2021. This means prices will start at about £249 for the smaller 42mm version of Watch 5, then climb closer to £300 for the larger 46mm model, with 4G connectivity adding £50 to all variants.
The Watch 5 Pro could be a fair bit more expensive than that, with technology tipster Rolan Quandt tweeting in June how Samsung’s flagship smartwatch could cost between €490 and €540 (£425 and £470), putting it above the current £369 starting point for the Apple Watch Series 7.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Design and hardware
We got our first clue about Samsung’s colour choices for the Watch 5 when Evan Blass tweeted a list of them, including silver, pink gold, sapphire and graphite for the Watch 5, and black and grey for the Watch 5 Pro. This leak also suggested that the 5 Pro will have a titanium case, an upgrade on the aluminium of the regular model.
Next came a couple of ‘turntable’ renders, again from Evan Blass and 91mobiles, this time showing a spinning Watch 5 from every angle. These showed both the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro, and how the two models will differ. The former is smaller than the pricier Pro, while the latter has a chunkier case, larger bezel and a strap that closes with a clasp instead of a pin and buckle.
This leak revealed how the regular Watch 5 looks a lot like the Galaxy Watch 4 from 2021, and that both models of Watch 5 will run Google’s Wear OS software.
In June the Watch 5 Pro was all-but confirmed, thanks to a leak from Samsung itself. Spotted by 9to5Google, the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro both appeared in Samsung’s own Health app, alongside a list of other Galaxy wearables.
Although only a set of small thumbnail images, it was possible to see how the 5 and 5 Pro share much of their design, and how neither will have the rotating bezel of the Watch 4 Classic and previous Samsung watches, seemingly confirming an earlier rumour.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Software and features
Last year’s Galaxy Watch 4 was the first to feature software jointly developed by Google and Samsung. It was still called Wear OS, as has been Google’s smartwatch operating system name for years now, but with the ‘powered by Samsung’ suffix slapped on the end.
This made for a version of Wear OS that felt more like an in-house Samsung operating system. We expect this trend to continue with the Galaxy Watch 5, which is said to run Google’s Wear OS 3.5 operating system with Samsung’s One UI Watch interface.
We still don’t know a huge amount about what features the Watch 5 and 5 Pro will have. It was reported in early-July by SamMobile that an LTE version of the smartwatch passed through authentication with the FCC. This also revealed there are three Wi-Fi models and three with LTE, which are expected to be size sizes of Watch 5 (40mm and 44mm), and one size of Watch 5 Pro (46mm).
Galaxy Watch 5 Pro battery life is also a feature to have leaked online, with the Ice Universe Twitter account, which has a strong track record for reliable Samsung news, claiming the device will have a battery life of “at least three days.” If true, this is a significant improvement over the 40-hour battery life of the Galaxy Watch 4 and two-day life of the Galaxy Watch 3. It would also be a serious shot fired across the bow of Apple, whose Watch Series 7 has a battery life of less than 24 hours.
As we reported recently, we’re not expecting any other massive hardware changes on the inside, apart from a bigger battery for the 5 Pro. Rumours also point towards faster 10W charging compared to the current 5W capability of the Galaxy Watch 4, and the 5 Pro is tipped to feature a tougher crystal made from scratch-resistant sapphire instead of glass.
Elsewhere, we expect to see a wide range of software tweaks for the upcoming watches, from the aesthetics of the operating system, to the applications. New health and fitness functions are likely, and improved workout controls would be welcome.
Most importantly, we hope Samsung stops locking out owners of non-Samsung smartphones from the watch’s key features. We understand iPhone users not being invited to the party (the Apple Watch only works with iPhones, after all), but we’re not fans of Samsung locking out other Android users from the Galaxy Watch 4’s ECG and blood pressure apps.
We hope this changes for the Galaxy Watch 5, but wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung continued this trend even further.