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Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro: Which should you buy?

The Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro may be years old, but discounts have made them competitive against the Pixel Watch 2.
By

Published onFebruary 23, 2024

Google Pixel Watch 2
MSRP: $349.99
Check price
Positives
Runs a snappy Wear OS 4
Added and upgraded advanced health sensors
New training features and automatic workout detection
Fast charging alleviates battery woes
Safety Check and other safety features
Negatives
Only available in one size
Some health features feel underbaked
Fitbit app redesign oversimplifies
Flaky GPS recording
Setup isn't seamless
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
MSRP: $279.99
Check price
Positives
Much better battery life
Full compatibility with more phones
A slimmer design
Negatives
No skin temperature monitoring at launch
No more rotating bezel
GPX file sharing not applicable to runs
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
MSRP: $449.99
Check price
Positives
Long-lasting battery
New adventures features
Reliable heart rate monitoring
Negatives
No skin temperature monitoring at launch
GPX file sharing not applicable to runs
No more rotating bezel
A Google Pixel Watch rests alongside a Galaxy Watch 5 pro.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Google took its second swing at making a great Wear OS smartwatch with the launch of the Pixel Watch 2. But the Pixel Watch 2 enters a category that has long been dominated by Samsung with its Galaxy Watches. The Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro are not the newest of the lot, but they continue to be on sale. Samsung’s excellent support allows them to be hot competitors on either side of Pixel Watch 2’s price point. Which one should you prefer? We pit these smartwatches against each other in this Pixel Watch 2 vs Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro comparison.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro: At a glance

  • The Pixel Watch 2 is available in only one size (41mm), while the Galaxy Watch 5 is available in two sizes (40mm and 44mm), while the Watch 5 Pro is available in an even larger size (45mm).
  • The Pixel Watch 2 uses proprietary bands, while the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro use standard 20mm straps.
  • The Pixel Watch 2 uses a newer processor and has more storage and RAM than the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro.
  • The Pixel Watch 2 runs on Wear OS 4.0, while the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro run on Wear OS 4.0 with Samsung's One UI 5 Watch skin on top.
  • The Pixel Watch 2 offers thorough Fitbit integration, while the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro rely on Samsung Health integration.
  • The Pixel Watch 2 uses pins for charging, while the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro use a wireless charging-based connection pad.
  • The Galaxy Watch 5 44mm and Watch 5 Pro have significantly larger batteries than the Pixel Watch 2, though the Galaxy Watch 5 40mm has the smallest battery.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro: Specs

Google Pixel Watch 2Samsung Galaxy Watch 5Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Display
Google Pixel Watch 2
41mm: 1.2-inch
AMOLED
450 x 450 resolution
Custom 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Always-on display

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
44mm: 1.4-inch
Super AMOLED
450 x 450 resolution
Sapphire Crystal
Always-on display

40mm: 1.2-inch
Super AMOLED
396 x 396 resolution
Sapphire Crystal
Always-on display
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
45mm: 1.4-inch
Super AMOLED
450 x 450 resolution
Sapphire Crystal
Always-on display
Materials and finishes
Google Pixel Watch 2
100% recycled aluminum

Active band: Fluoroelastomer with soft-touch coating
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Armor Aluminum case with Sport Band
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Titanium case with Sport Band
Dimensions and weight
Google Pixel Watch 2
41 x 41 x 12.3mm
31g (without band)
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
44mm: 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm
33.5g (without band)

40mm: 40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm
28.7g (without band)
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5mm
46.5g (without band)
Strap compatibility
Google Pixel Watch 2
Proprietary Pixel Watch straps, compatible with first-gen Pixel Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Standard 20mm straps, compatible with both, 44mm and 40mm
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Standard 20mm straps
Chip
Google Pixel Watch 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 (SW5100) with Cortex M33 co-processor
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Samsung Exynos W920
Dual-core 1.18GHz
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Samsung Exynos W920
Dual-core 1.18GHz
Storage and memory
Google Pixel Watch 2
32GB eMMC flash
2GB SDRAM
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
16GB
1.5GB RAM
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
16GB
1.5GB RAM
Power
Google Pixel Watch 2
306mAh

USB-C Fast charging cable with pogo pins
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
44mm: 410mAh
40mm: 284mAh

WPC-based wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
590mAh

WPC-based wireless charging
Software
Google Pixel Watch 2
Wear OS 4.0
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Wear OS, upgradable to Wear OS 4.0
One UI 5 Watch skin
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Wear OS, upgradable to Wear OS 4.0
One UI 5 Watch skin
Sensors
Google Pixel Watch 2
Compass
Altimeter
Blood oxygen sensor
Multipurpose electrical sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Ambient light sensor
Electrical sensor to measure cEDA
Skin temperature sensor
Barometer
Magnetometer
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic sensor
Light sensor
Samsung BioActive sensor: optical heart rate (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor (BIA)
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic sensor
Light sensor
Samsung BioActive sensor: optical heart rate (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor (BIA)
Durability
Google Pixel Watch 2
5ATM + IP68
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810H
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810H
Connectivity
Google Pixel Watch 2
4G LTE and UMTS
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
2.4GHz
NFC
GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou/Galileo/Quasi-Zenith Satellite
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
LTE
Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
2.4+5GHz
NFC
GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
LTE
Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
2.4+5GHz
NFC
GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo
Compatibility
Google Pixel Watch 2
Android 9.0 or newer
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Android 10 or higher with more than 1.5GB of RAM
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Android 10 or higher with more than 1.5GB of RAM
Colors
Google Pixel Watch 2
Matte Black Aluminum case / Obsidian Active band
Polished Silver Aluminum case / Bay Active band
Polished Silver Aluminum case / Porcelain Active band
Champagne Gold Aluminum case / Hazel Active band
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
44mm: Graphite, Silver, Sapphire
40mm: Graphite, Silver, Pink Gold
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Black, Gray

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro: Features

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 models on a table in various colors
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro were launched in August 2022, so they aren’t the latest smartwatches from Samsung. If you want the latest watch, check out this Pixel Watch 2 vs Galaxy Watch 6 comparison.

Still, Samsung continues to sell the 40mm variant of the Galaxy Watch 5 as well as the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. They initially launched with Wear OS 3.5 with One UI 4.5 Watch skin on top but have recently received the update to Wear OS 4 with One UI 5 Watch skin on top. This lets them compete head-to-head against the Pixel Watch 2, which also runs Wear OS 4.

The Pixel Watch 2 has a Google-centric approach to the smartwatch experience, while the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro flex their Samsung ecosystem integration with the One UI Watch skin.

google pixel watch 2 left next to pixel watch 1 right
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

On the Pixel Watch 2, you get robust integration with the Fitbit ecosystem. Google promises that the Watch 2 will be able to leverage AI to provide personalized insights. You also get a 6-month Fitbit Premium trial. Other exclusive features include Safety Check, which alerts emergency contacts about your location if you haven’t checked in at the end of a timer, and Fitbit’s body response (EDA) monitor that gauges a user’s stress levels through dermatological changes.

The Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro work best with Samsung phones, as they can tap into several exclusive features such as ECG and blood pressure measurement. You will also get access to Samsung Pay to make payments directly from your watch, and there’s Bixby, Samsung’s voice assistant, if you want an alternative to Google Assistant.

The end user experience on the Pixel Watch 2 and Galaxy Watch 5 series is pretty good.

The Pixel Watch 2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 (SW5100) chipset with a Cortex-M33 co-processor. The Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro are powered by the Exynos W930 SoC. As a user, both of these will provide you with a responsive experience, though the higher RAM and storage on the Pixel Watch 2 will give it an edge over the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro over the long term.

A user reviews the battery life remaining on her Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Where the Galaxy Watch 5 series shines is on battery life. You can get close to two days of battery life on the 44mm Galaxy Watch 5 and over two days on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. The 40mm Galaxy Watch 5 has a smaller battery that lasts a day.

The Galaxy Watch 5 series enjoys a big lead in battery life over the Pixel Watch 2.

Google also promises a similar one-day battery life on the Pixel Watch 2, which we found entirely accurate during our review. We managed around 25 hours before a recharge was required. This rivals the smaller Galaxy Watch 5 but can’t hold a candle to the Pro model.

google pixel watch 2 color options
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Beyond these differences, all three watches have a litany of health-tracking features. You can monitor your sleep, workouts and activities, heart rate, stress, and more. You can also use many of the usual smartwatch features such as on-wrist phone calls, texts, notifications, voice assistants, customizable watch faces, always-on display, and more.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro: Design

The Pixel Watch 2, the Galaxy Watch 5, and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro have different designs, and as an end user, you may like one more than the other.

Google's latest smartwatch rests on a display platform.
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Google Pixel Watch 2

The Pixel Watch 2 comes in a single 41mm size with a curved display that looks absolutely gorgeous. The caveat is that protecting it will be a pain (screen protectors are the easiest to apply on flat displays), and at least on the first-gen Pixel Watch, repairing it was not possible. There is Gorilla Glass 5 on top for protection, but it will crack on strong impacts.

samsung galaxy watch 5 apps simplewear
Andy Walker / Android Authority

On the other hand, the Galaxy Watch 5 comes in 40mm and 44mm sizes (though Samsung no longer officially sells the 44mm size). These variants have a flat edge-to-edge display.

A user begins a a route on their Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes in a single 45mm size with a protective bezel all around. Coupled with the MIL-STD-810H rating, the Galaxy Watch 5 series is easier to protect and also comparatively easy to repair. Sapphire Crystal protects the display, but it can also crack with a strong enough impact.

The Pixel Watch 2’s singular size may not suit all wrists. On the other hand, Samsung accommodates a broader range of wrist sizes, as you can go up to a 45mm casing.

The Pixel Watch 2 has a very round, pebble-ish look. Google uses proprietary straps for a seamless look, but that means you can’t use standard straps. The silver lining is that the straps and watch case are both backward-compatible with the first-gen Pixel Watch. So, thankfully, you can use your older straps on the new Pixel Watch 2 and vice-versa.

google pixel watch 2 bottom sensors
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Google did release new straps with the watch, and plenty of third-party straps are available, so you have options, albeit ones that won’t work on your non-Pixel timepieces.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 quick release strap pin closeup
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro use standard 20mm straps across all three size variants. This is a boon as you have ready access to an extensive range of third-party straps that also work with analog wristwatches. You will never run out of options here!

Pixel Watch 2's proprietary watch bands are a big con against Galaxy Watch 5's standard 20mm band compatibility.

The Pixel Watch 2 features a protruding digital crown, which helps with on-device navigation. There is also a side button that blends in well within the rounded watch case.

On the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro, you have two buttons for assisting with on-device navigation. There is no digital crown here, nor do the watches sport a rotating bezel like some other Samsung watches.

The Pixel Watch 2, the Galaxy Watch 5, and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro offer 5ATM water resistance and an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. The standard warranty does not include water damage, so you should still exercise caution.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro: Price and colors

Google Pixel Watch 2:

  • Wi-Fi: $349.99
  • LTE: $399.99

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 40mm:

  • 40mm, Wi-Fi: $299
  • 40mm, LTE: $349
  • 44mm, Wi-Fi: $329
  • 44mm, LTE: $379

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro:

  • Wi-Fi: $469
  • LTE: $499

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is available in Wi-Fi-only and LTE variants. The Wi-Fi model costs $350, while the LTE option costs $400. Either version is available in Matte Black, Polished Silver, and Champagne Gold. Google pairs these case colors with active bands in Obsidian, Porcelain, Bay, or Hazel.

Google Pixel Watch 2Google Pixel Watch 2
Google Pixel Watch 2
Runs a snappy Wear OS 4 • Added and upgraded advanced health sensors • Fast charging alleviates battery woes
MSRP: $349.99
Wear OS 4, advanced health sensors, and upgraded training features elevate the Pixel Watch 2
The Google Pixel Watch 2 retains the first model's successful features and refines several of the original's shortcomings. Added sensors, upgraded training tools, and a few key changes suggest a more finished product. Google's Wear OS 4 runs flawlessly, while advanced health tools from Fitbit join the lineup.

The prices mentioned in the list above for the Galaxy Watch series are launch prices. Since the smartwatch is more than a year old, Samsung has discontinued some variants and discounted the rest.

Samsung currently sells the Galaxy Watch 5 in a single 40mm LTE variant for $198, which is available in Pink Gold color. The Galaxy Watch 5 offers incredible value at this price and is hard to argue against.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Excellent build and comfort • Improved battery life • Solid GPS accuracy
MSRP: $279.99
Subtle upgrades make a huge difference
The Galaxy Watch 5 smartwatch offers a bigger battery, more sturdy body, and more comfortable fit than its predecessor. It supports Google Assistant and Google Maps navigation, while a body composition monitor, skin temperature sensor, and improved sleep tracking makes for an impressive health-tracking product.
See price at Amazon
44mm, Bluetooth

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has seen a price cut too. You can now get the Wi-Fi variant for $400 and the LTE variant for $430. The pricing is slightly more expensive than the Pixel Watch 2’s, but you also get a bigger smartwatch that lasts for two days easily.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes in Black Titanium and Gray Titanium colors, and you can pair it with a Gray D-Buckle Sport, a Navy Sport, a Sand Two-Tone Sport, and a Navy Two-Tone Sport band options.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 ProSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
AA Editors Choice
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Up to 2 days battery life • Advanced sleep tracker • Fast Charging
MSRP: $449.99
Samsung's first adventure watch is a winner
Building on the Galaxy Watch 5's base with a much hardier body, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also features multiple health and fitness tracking tools, a bigger battery, and a better navigation system. All these improvements make for a great all-round smartwatch whether you're in the boardroom or out on the trail.

Google Pixel Watch 2 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4 side by side
Andy Walker / Android Authority
Galaxy Watch 5 (left) with Galaxy Watch 4

The Galaxy Watch lineup has an incredible history, and Samsung’s hold over the market makes sense to everyone who has used these watches. The only thing holding back the Galaxy Watch 5 is its current availability status, as Samsung only sells one variant right now.

Which smartwatch would you prefer, the Galaxy Watch series or the Pixel Watch 2?

132 votes

If you have a thin wrist or prefer smaller smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch 5 in the 40mm LTE variant is an excellent choice at its discounted price. But stocks may not last for long, so the Pixel Watch 2 will become your de-facto choice unless you want to opt for the Galaxy Watch 6 instead.

A Galaxy Watch 5 Pro user answers a call on their device.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

For larger wrists or for people who prefer larger smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a great choice. It offers incredible battery life and nails down all the features expected from a smartwatch. There’s enough on offer to justify the slight difference in price over the Pixel Watch 2.

google pixel watch 2 gold
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Google Pixel Watch 2

What works in the Pixel Watch 2’s favor are its unique looks and the pure Wear OS experience with Fitbit integration. The promise of AI insights is also alluring. If you own a Google Pixel smartphone, the Pixel Watch 2 will offer a seamless experience.

See price at Amazon
Google Pixel Watch 2
Google Pixel Watch 2
Runs a snappy Wear OS 4
Added and upgraded advanced health sensors
Fast charging alleviates battery woes
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
41%off
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Excellent build and comfort
Improved battery life
Solid GPS accuracy
See price at Amazon
44mm, Bluetooth
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
16%off
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Up to 2 days battery life
Advanced sleep tracker
Fast Charging

FAQs

The Google Pixel Watch 2 was released in October 2023. The Galaxy Watch 5 was announced in August 2022.

Both the Google Pixel Watch 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 feature 5ATM water resistance ratings as well as IP68 ratings. This means they are both safe to wear in the shower and while swimming in depths up to 50 meters.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 cannot measure blood pressure. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 can measure blood pressure in select regions for users with a Samsung phone.

Neither the Google Pixel Watch 2 nor the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 work with an iPhone.

The Google Pixel Watch 2 does not have wireless charging. The Galaxy Watch 5 has wireless charging and can even be charged wirelessly with the reverse wireless charging feature on Samsung Galaxy smartphones (provided the watch can touch the back of the phone).

Yes, both the Google Pixel Watch 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 can make calls. On Wi-Fi variants, you will need to be in the Bluetooth range of your smartphone to make and receive calls on your smartwatch. These smartwatches have no range restrictions on LTE variants and can independently make and receive calls.

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