Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: what we want to see | TechRadar Tech Radar Tech Radar

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: what we want to see | TechRadar Tech Radar Tech Radar

If the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is almost definitely on its way - we've no reason to believe the company would stop making smartwatches just yet - but it's still too early to have heard many leaks or rumors just yet.

That's why this article is looking at what we want to see in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, not what we already know.

When we tested the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, we found them two of the best, but in some ways most disappointing, wearables of 2021.

These devices promised a whole new operating system, melding the best of Tizen with Wear OS, all powered by a speedy new chipset, and with a host of new health tracking skills. And they largely delivered on that, but with a number of caveats and issues.

So for the inevitable Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (and the possible Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Classic) we want a number of changes, the biggest of which we’ve highlighted below.

We’ve also taken a look at when Samsung’s next flagship wearable is likely to launch, how much it might cost, and we’ve even collected some early rumors about it. As soon as more leaks emerge we’ll add them to this article too, so this will remain the definitive source of Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 information ahead of its launch.

Cut to the chase

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 release date and price

A leaked release schedule obtained by South Korean site The Elec states that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 will land sometime in the second half of 2022, though that’s hardly surprising given that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 range landed in August of 2021.

In fact, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 landed in August of 2020, so August of 2022 is our best guess for when we’ll see the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

There’s no news on what it might cost just yet, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 starts at $249.99 / £249 / AU$399 (rising in price for a larger size or LTE connectivity), while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic begins at $349 / £349 / $549, so we might see similar pricing for the next model.

News and leaks

We haven’t heard much about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 yet, but we have seen a Samsung patent for a smartwatch with an extendable screen that can increase in size by 40% when a pinch gesture is used. The same patent also shows a camera in the watch.

You can see how this might look in the images below, but note that patents don’t always get used, and even if this design does one day make it into a wearable, we doubt it will be ready in time for the Galaxy Watch 5.

What we want to see

There are lots of ways that Samsung could improve its wearables, including the following things.

1. Much better battery life

We found the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 to have respectable battery life in our tests, but we can’t say the same about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which much of the time wouldn’t even last a full 24 hours between charges.

So while it should have enough battery to see you through a day, it’s something you’ll need to charge every night – and over time as the battery starts to degrade, it may not even make it through every waking hour.

That’s really not good enough, and even the standard Galaxy Watch 4 only lasts around two days, which is fine but far from exceptional, so we want to see big improvements here for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 range.

2. Full compatibility with more phones

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 range doesn’t work with iPhones at all, despite previous models doing, and even if you have an Android phone, if it’s not a Samsung one then you’ll be locked out of some features, such as the ECG and blood pressure measurements.

That’s hugely disappointing, and while we’d expect most iPhone users would stick with the Apple Watch, it’s inexcusable to lock Android users out of features – especially on a wearable that runs Wear OS (an operating system created by Google).

So for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 we at a minimum want full compatibility with all modern Android phones, and ideally we want support for iPhones to return as well.

3. Better workout controls

We found – particularly in the case of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic – that the workout controls were a bit fiddly, especially the act of pausing workouts. This isn’t a huge deal, but it did mean that the time shown at the end of your workout can be inflated – as a second or more can be wasted when pausing.

So we want these controls to be rethought for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, to make it a more compelling fitness device.

4. A slimmer design

Another problem that’s more present on the Classic than the standard Watch 4 is the thickness of the device.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is a chunky wearable and while to some extent that might be an aesthetic choice, we’d like to see its successor slimmed down, as that thickness makes it tricky to wear under tight clothing, and potentially uncomfortable in bed.

5. A wider strap selection

Unless you order the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 direct from Samsung then the strap choices for it out of the box are very limited, and even from Samsung itself you’re restricted to sporty or hybrid options, with no full leather or metal choices.

It’s worth noting that Samsung at least uses standard watch straps, so you can always swap one out for a third-party option anyway, but that’s then an extra purchase.

So for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 range we want some classier choices to join the currently sporty mix, and for the selection to be wide wherever you purchase the watch from.