Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Apple Watch Series 7: which is better?

Should you get the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, or will the Apple Watch 7 suit your needs better?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Apple Watch Series 7
(Image credit: T3)

 With the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 now available for pre-order, anyone who's been considering buying an Apple Watch 7 may be rethinking their plans.

With both smartwatches offering a plethora of features to save you from needing to grab your phone when working out or simply going about your day, the wearables are ideal choices for anyone considering one of the best smartwatches

Is the latest Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 worth getting over the Apple Watch 7 though? We pitted the two head-to-head to see which is the best smartwatch right now.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Apple Watch 7: Price and availability 

Released on 15 October 2021, the Apple Watch 7 is available to buy now. It costs from $399/£369/AU$599 for the 41mm version or from $429/£399/AU$649 for the 45mm version. Prices increase depending on the watch band or casing you choose to go alongside it. As the older watch, you may see some modest discounts on third-party retailers.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is available to preorder now and will be on sale from 26 August. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is 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.

Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is considerably cheaper while being the newer device so it's an obvious choice for those that want the latest tech.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Apple Watch 7: Design 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Apple Watch 7 look fairly different. The Apple Watch 7 has its distinctive rectangular screen with a choice of 41mm or 45mm, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 offers up a circular, more traditional-looking display. 

The Apple Watch 7 offers a fair amount of variety with case colors and straps at the point of purchase, and providing you don't mind spending more. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is available in Graphite, Pink Gold, and Silver, with the 44mm model swapping out Pink Gold for Sapphire.

Prime Day Apple Watch deals 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

The Galaxy Watch 5's 40mm model has a 1.2-inch always-on OLED display with a 396 x 396 resolution, with the larger model increasing to 1.4-inch and a 450 x 450 resolution. Its casing is made from armor aluminum.

In comparison, the Apple Watch 7 has a 1.57-inch or 1.73-inch display with a resolution of either 352 x 430 or 396 x 484. An OLED display, it's also an always-on display so you won't have to flick your wrist to see the time. 

Both promise to have a tougher display than before, with the pair also both offering IP68-certified protection against dust and water, with swim proofing up to 5 ATM. 

Winner: Tie. There's really not much in it here with your decision mostly coming down to if you prefer rectangular screens or a circular wearable. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Apple Watch 7: Features and performance 

When it comes to features, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is squarely focused on offering the best experience for anyone active and health conscious. While the Apple Watch 7 offers a lot of fitness tracking, the Samsung device has the edge.

The Apple Watch 7 has standard fitness and workout tracking, monitoring how far you run, walk, or complete a number of different exercises from HIIT sessions to Tai Chi or Yoga. It also keeps an eye on the calories you burn throughout the day and uses its Activity Rings system to motivate you to exercise a certain amount each day as well as stand up regularly. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 does all that but it also has more advanced sensors (more on that later) to ensure you reach your goals more effectively. Both devices offer sleep tracking but the Galaxy Watch 5 promises to deliver improved insights, conjuring up a month-long sleep plan to help you snooze better. 

It also pairs up your sleep cycle with your connected smart home, using SmartThings integration to help your lights dim when it notices you falling asleep. You can control your smart home with the Apple Watch 7 but it's not smart enough to detect when you're falling asleep and react accordingly. 

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. Sleep tracking and extra fitness features are always a winner.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Apple Watch 7: Sensors 

The Apple Watch 7 isn't short on sensors. It has a blood oxygen sensor as well as an ECG facility, along with notifications if your heart rate is unusually high or low. 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 goes further than that. It has Samsung's BioActive Sensor which includes sleep tracking, along with heart rate and blood oxygen monitoring. It also had a body composition analysis tool for tracking water retention and bone density. Samsung promises it will lead to more personalized workouts and a tailored approach when setting goals.

Apple Watch with watchOS 9

(Image credit: Apple)

There's also a temperature sensor - something that has been rumored to be added to the Apple Watch 8 but definitely isn't part of the 7's repertoire. Depending on your region, blood pressure measurements will also be an option.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. More ways to track your health are sure to be helpful for the fitness conscious. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Apple Watch 7: Interface and user experience 

Predictably, your choices may be limited by your smartphone. The Apple Watch 7 needs the iPhone and won't work at all with any Android phones. The Galaxy Watch 5 will only work with Android phones, much like its predecessor. 

When it comes to using them, they're fairly similar to what you would expect from iOS or Android depending on your choice of watch. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

(Image credit: Samsung)

Battery life-wise, the Apple Watch 7 offers up to 18 hours while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 promises up to 50 hours. Those numbers are liable to vary in ordinary life but there's no denying the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is far ahead. A new USB-C-based charger means the Galaxy Watch 5 charges much faster than the Galaxy Watch 4 too, with it likely to beat the Apple Watch along the way.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. Not needing to recharge so often? What more could you want?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Apple Watch 7: Verdict 

Both watches are refined versions of their predecessor, and your choice may well be more dependent on the smartphone than anything else. However, solely based on their features rather than compatibility, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is the clear winner for anyone keen to track their health.

With its extensive health sensors and body composition analysis tools, it's an easy choice for fitness fans. With better battery life and a lower price tag, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is an extraordinarily tempting device for Android owners.

For iPhone users though? Perhaps it's time to wait and see what the Apple Watch 8 has to offer soon instead, or maybe even consider a change of phone if the need for a new smartwatch is so great. 

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