Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: do you need to go pro?

Will the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 work best for you, or do you need the extra features of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro?

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

 Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro are now available for pre-order. At first glance, they might look rather similar but there are some key differences between them. 

While both smartwatches offer a set of features that will no doubt rival the best smartwatches already out there, one commands a heftier price tag and some more niche features than the other which may change your opinion.

We're on hand to help you figure out if the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 will suit your needs or if it's worth splashing out on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Read on while we place the two head-to-head to see which is the best choice for you.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: price and availability 

The standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is available to preorder 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.

Alternatively, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is priced at $449/£429/AU$799 for the Bluetooth version or $499/£479/AU$849 for the LTE edition. There's no choice of size as the Pro comes as 45mm as standard.

Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is the cheaper of the two so if keeping to a budget is vital, it's the one to go for.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: design 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro are very similar looking at first glance. The standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 has a 1.2-inch or 1.4-inch always-on OLED display depending on the size you choose. The former's resolution is 396 x 396 while the other goes up to 450 x 450. 

The casing of either model is made from armor aluminum. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is available in Graphite, Pink Gold, and Silver, with the 44mm model swapping out Pink Gold for Sapphire.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro does things slightly differently. It has a 1.4-inch display with all the same benefits of the other model, but it weighs more. That's thanks to its 45mm size but also its titanium chassis which proves more robust than the aluminum option. It also has a bigger battery which we'll get into later, along with a magnetic D-buckle on the strap which adds to the weight but also the robustness of the watch.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes in two color schemes that are in key with its more durable design - Black Titanium and Grey Titanium. 

Both watches have a tougher display than before, with the same water resistance of 5 ATM/IP68.

Winner: The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has the edge thanks to being a bit more robust but there's really not much in it. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: features and performance 

Whichever Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 you choose, you'll gain extensive features that are geared towards anyone active and health conscious. Besides the standard features that most smartwatches provide, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 also has more advanced sensors thanks to Samsung's BioActive Sensor. 

It includes detailed sleep tracking, along with heart rate and body oxygen monitoring. Best of all is the body composition analysis tool that tracks things like water retention and bone density as well as body fat, so you have more of an idea of the inner workings of your body. Samsung has promised that will lead to more personalized workouts and a tailored approach when you want to set goals.

Both watches also pair up your sleep cycle with your connected smart home via SmartThings integration. It means your lights dim automatically as you fall asleep. There's also a body temperature sensor which will help with sleep tracking and is likely to provide more insight further down the line.

So, what makes the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro stand out? It has superior mapping features. You can download GPX routes for hiking and cycling, along with turn-by-turn navigation. It also has a track-back feature so you can easily head back to where you started without getting lost. It's the kind of functionality we tend to see on the best Garmin watches so it's a big shift for any WearOS-based watch, let alone a Samsung smartwatch. 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also tracks your recovery heart rate after intense activity, giving you guidance on how much hydration to consume once you've finished. 

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro easily has the most comprehensive features, although not everyone will benefit from them. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: battery life 

On paper, both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro have great battery lives. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 has a 410mAh battery for the 44mm version working out at 13% larger than its predecessor. That should work out at about 40 hours of charge. 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro goes further with a larger 490mAh battery meaning a possible battery life of 80 hours.

However, in real-world use, that number is likely to vary significantly depending on how much you use the GPS and if you keep the always-on feature of the display enabled. 

For either watch, charging times should be better. Samsung has promised the wearable will go from 0 to 45% in 30 minutes. 

Winner: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has a longer battery life providing you use it in an optimal manner.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: verdict  

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro serve different purposes. While the Pro offers everything the standard Galaxy Watch 5 includes, if you're planning to be more active and hike further afield, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a better option. Even more so if you don't plan on being near a power source too often. However, that's all providing you can afford it, of course. 

More akin to a Garmin watch or other multisport brands like Polar, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is quite the powerhouse but it's pointless if you simply want a classy looking watch with some every day fitness tracking tools.

If you're that person, you need the standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. It offers comprehensive health tracking and sleep tracking tools, without extending the GPS features too far for the average user. 

Have a think about how you plan on exercising. Unless you go off the beaten track often, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 will more than suffice. 

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