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Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 5: Should you upgrade?

Is the Galaxy Watch 5 a huge leap over its predecessor?
By
February 27, 2024
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 body
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

In 2021, Samsung introduced a Wear OS revolution when it launched the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic. The duo shelved Tizen OS to strengthen Samsung’s partnership with Google on a unified software experience. In 2022, the Galaxy Watch 5 brought many internal upgrades, yet the two lineups share many similarities. If you’re unsure whether you need to upgrade, let’s dig into our Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 5 comparison. If you want the absolute latest tech, shop the even newer Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs Galaxy Watch 5


Design

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 4 ushered in several design changes to Samsung’s smartwatch formula. It simplified the button options and did away with the rotating bezel on the flagship model. If you wanted to keep that feature for another year, you had to pick up the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic instead. The Galaxy Watch 4 also offered smaller dials than its retro-inspired sibling, with 40mm and 44mm options. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is available in 42mm and 46mm configurations. Samsung’s standard Galaxy Watch 4 comes in colorful aluminum constructions, while the Classic sports either stainless steel or titanium.

For the base model Galaxy Watch 5, model size choices haven’t changed, which should make sizing an easier prospect. However, the displays themselves are slightly bigger, with the 40mm version growing from 1.19 to 1.2 inches and the 44mm moving from 1.36 to 1.4 inches. Overall though, the devices look very similar year to year. In fact, the Galaxy Watch 6 also retains the same design as well. For a full comparison, head to our Galaxy Watch 6 series vs 5 series guide.

The Galaxy Watch 5 offers the same sizes as its predecessor, but a physical bezel is no longer an option.

In the 5 series, Samsung is rocking the boat in a slightly different direction. The Galaxy Watch 5 still offers two models, but neither features a physical rotating bezel. For that, you’ll need to stick with the 4 Classic, or look to the even newer 6 Classic. As mentioned, you can choose a standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 in 40mm or 44mm sizes or step up to the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which comes exclusively in a 45mm design and a 1.4-inch display. The designs are very similar at a glance, with rounded displays, sizable bezels, and a pair of buttons on the right side.

However, the Galaxy Watch 5 picks up a durable Sapphire Crystal glass display, which Samsung claims is 60% stronger than the previous generation. It’s encased in Armor Aluminum, which matches its predecessor in toughness. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro goes even further, pairing the Sapphire Crystal display with a premium titanium casing. Both watches have additional color options as well, but we’ll get back to those below.

Whether you upgrade or stick with the previous Galaxy Watch 4 series, you can expect durability in spades. All four models offer IP68 ratings and are good for 5ATM — 50 meters — of pressure. You’ll get MIL-STD-810G ratings, too, in case you drop your watch or take a tumble.


Features

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 sizes 40 and 44mm
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung’s external changes may be minimal, but the internals are a different ballgame. We’ll return to the shared software briefly, but let’s focus on the hardware first. Both series feature Samsung’s in-house Exynos W920 processor, as well as 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage.

The Galaxy Watch 5 series gets a major boost in the battery department, with improvements across the board. The smallest 40mm model jumps to a 276mAh cell, while the 44mm version grows to 397mAh — both 13% larger than their fourth-generation counterparts. Samsung claims that the upgrade is good for 50 hours of juice on a single charge, which is 10 more hours than the previous version. If you need even longer battery life, the 45mm Galaxy Watch 5 Pro promises up to 80 hours with its 590mAh cell. We found these claims largely accurate during our review periods.

On top of improved battery sizes, the Galaxy Watch 5 series offers faster charging. It powers up to 45% charge in 30 minutes and can regain enough juice for eight hours of sleep tracking on an eight-minute charge. Now, there’s not much excuse to go to bed with a dead watch.

A bigger battery and faster charging are the Galaxy Watch 5's biggest boost.

The Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro also add features thanks to additional and upgraded sensors. For starters, the Bioactive sensor is designed to make better contact with the wrist for more accurate readings and scan your skin temperature.

Other health tracking features include measuring your breathing, blood oxygen levels, snoring, sleep stages, and heart rate. Samsung can then blend these advanced metrics to develop a personalized sleep coaching plan. It should improve on the abilities of the Galaxy Watch 4 series, which itself was no slouch.

Samsung’s older model introduced improvements in measuring body composition, blood pressure, VO2 Max monitoring, and an ECG. These specs are successfully transferred to the newest models. Likewise, we found GPS and heart rate monitoring to be accurate on the series 5 devices as well.

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro displays a vibrant floral watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4 share the same Wear OS platform, and both are eligible for the lastest Wear OS 4 update. The newest software adds a host of useful features that make both lineups even more powerful. Wear OS offers an extensive app library and better compatibility with non-Samsung Android devices. However, the Galaxy Watch 4 didn’t provide iOS support, and there’s no change regarding the Galaxy Watch 5 either.

Additionally, Samsung’s wearables still lock certain features to Galaxy devices, including ECG and blood pressure monitoring, and default to Samsung Pay and Samsung Health out of the box.

Finally, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro adds device-exclusive features to the mix. These include navigational tools like the ability to import maps and track routes — a few fitness wrinkles seemingly borrowed from Garmin. These adventure-focused tools are not even available on the newer 6 series devices.


Price and colors

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 strap selection
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (Bluetooth): $249 / £199
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 (LTE): $299 / £239
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (Bluetooth): $299 / £349
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (LTE): $349 / £389
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (Bluetooth): $279 / £269
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (LTE): $329 / £319
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (Bluetooth): $449 / £429
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (LTE): $499 / £479

The watches share many design elements and the same software platform, so your final decision might come down to price. The Galaxy Watch 5 series does come at a premium over its predecessor. However, it’s important to remember that it balances upgraded sensors and much-improved battery life. All the watches — save for the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro — are also cheaper than the original price of the Galaxy Watch 3.

The Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic offer the best value, starting at $249 and $299 for the smaller Bluetooth-only models. If you’re looking to upgrade to an LTE-connected version, it’ll set you back an additional $50 across the board. A larger case size will run you another $30.

See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
28%off
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Classy, durable designs
Multiple size options
Good value buy
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
52%off
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Classy, durable designs
Multiple size options
Good value buy

As for the Galaxy Watch 5 series, it kicks off at $279 for the 40mm Bluetooth version or $329 for the LTE model. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes in far above its siblings at $449 or $499, depending if you need LTE or not. Now that the Galaxy Watch 6 series is here, you can likely find the base model 5 on sale. The 5 Pro, however, is still the best Samsung wearable with a Pro moniker so its price is likely to stay high.

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
30%off
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Up to 2 days battery life
Advanced sleep tracker
Fast Charging

As for color options, the Samsung Galaxy Watch family runs throughout the rainbow. You can grab the 40mm Galaxy Watch 4 in Black, Silver, or Pink Gold, while the 44mm version is available in green. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic offers Black or Silver color choices, regardless of size. Both models can pair up with watch bands from any of five families with around four colors per design. You can also utilize any third-party 20mm watch band of your choice.

On the Galaxy Watch 5 series, your options again depend on your watch size. The 40mm option comes in Pink Gold, Graphite, and Silver, while the 44mm adopts Sapphire instead of Pink Gold. Finally, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes in black or gray titanium. Samsung will also let you customize your wearable through the Bespoke Studio program.


Specs

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 ClassicSamsung Galaxy Watch 5Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Display
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
44mm: 1.36-inch Super AMOLED
450 x 450 resolution
330ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass with DX+

40mm: 1.19-inch Super AMOLED
396 x 396 resolution
330ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass with DX+
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
46mm: 1.36-inch Super AMOLED
450 x 450 resolution
330ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass with DX

42mm: 1.19-inch Super AMOLED
396 x 396 resolution
330ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass with DX
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
44mm: 1.4-inch
Super AMOLED
450 x 450 resolution
Sapphire Crystal

40mm: 1.2-inch
Super AMOLED
396 x 396 resolution
Sapphire Crystal
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
45mm: 1.4-inch
Super AMOLED
450 x 450 resolution
Sapphire Crystal
Dimensions and weight
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
44mm: 44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8mm
30.3g

40mm: 40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8mm
25.9g

Compatible with 20mm straps
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
46mm: 45.5 x 45.5 x 11mm
52g

42mm: 41.5 x 41.5 x 11.2mm
46.5g

Compatible with 20mm straps
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
44mm: 43.3 x 44.4 x 8.9mm
33.5g

40mm: 39.3 x 40.4 x 9.8mm
28.7 g
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
45mm: 45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5mm
46.5g
Colors and materials
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Aluminum case
Black, Silver, Green (44mm only), Pink Gold (40mm only)
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Stainless steel case
Black, Silver
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Armor Aluminum case
Graphite, Silver, Pink Gold (40mm only), Sapphire (44mm only)
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Titanium case
Black, Gray
Battery
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
44mm: 361mAh

40mm: 247mAh

WPC-based wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
46mm: 361mAh

42mm: 247mAh

WPC-based wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
44mm: 410mAh

40mm: 284mAh

WPC-based wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
45mm: 590mAh

WPC-based wireless charging
Processor
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
5nm Samsung Exynos W920
Dual-core 1.18GHz
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
5nm Samsung Exynos W920
Dual-core 1.18GHz
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
5nm Samsung Exynos W920
Dual-core 1.18GHz
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
5nm Samsung Exynos W920
Dual-core 1.18GHz
RAM
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
1.5GB
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
1.5GB
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
1.5GB
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
1.5GB
Storage
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
16GB
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
16GB
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
16GB
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
16GB
Connectivity
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
LTE (available in select models)
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz
NFC
GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, Galileo
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
LTE (available in select models)
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4+5GHz
NFC
GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, Galileo
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
LTE (available in select models)
Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
2.4+5GHz
NFC
GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Sensors
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic sensor
Ambient light sensor
Samsung BioActive sensor: optical heart rate (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor (BIA)
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic sensor
Ambient light sensor
Samsung BioActive sensor: optical heart rate (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor (BIA)
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
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810G
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810G
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810G
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810G
Software
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Wear OS
Samsung One UI Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Wear OS
Samsung One UI Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Wear OS
Samsung One UI Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Wear OS
Samsung One UI Watch
Compatibility
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Android
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Android
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Android
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Android

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Galaxy Watch 4: Should you upgrade?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro straps
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

The leap from the 4 series to the 5 series might not be as great as from the Galaxy Watch 3, but it’s still enough to tempt a switch. For example, if you’re deep into fitness tracking and use your watch as a running companion, the improved sensors and larger batteries are worth the cost. Furthermore, the Galaxy Watch 5 series will also get slightly longer software support, though the Galaxy Watch 4 still has plenty of updates in the queue. The question is even trickier now that the 5 series isn’t the latest from Samsung.

The Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro are excellent wearables, but they might not be necessary upgrades for recent Galaxy Watch adopters.

If you picked up the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic for its rotating bezel, you won’t find one on either Galaxy Watch 5 model. You’ll need to spring for, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic for a newer model with the same feature. On the other hand, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is one of a kind, and has yet to be outdone. It offers the best battery life of any Samsung smartwatch.

Of course, while Samsung’s latest will easily challenge the best smartwatches out there, maybe neither Galaxy Watch is right for you. The TicWatch 5 Pro is another fantastic Wear OS pick. There are plenty of options from Garmin to consider as well, like the Garmin Venu 3, and they work equally with Android and iOS. Few wearables pair better with a Samsung Galaxy device, but the final say comes down to your set of needs.


Will you upgrade to the Galaxy Watch 5 or Galaxy Watch 5 Pro? Let us know in the poll below.

Will you be upgrading from the Galaxy Watch 4 to the Galaxy Watch 5?

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