Samsung announced a new smartwatch series at Galaxy Unpacked last week. The Galaxy Watch 6 and the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic are clear-cut upgrades over the standard Galaxy Watch 5 released in 2022, but what about the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro? Is Samsung's first and (so far) only Pro smartwatch still worth buying in 2023? Or has it been superseded by the Watch 6 or Watch 6 Classic? The answer might surprise you.
The Galaxy Watch strategy for 2023 is unlike last year's, meaning that the standard Galaxy Watch 6 and the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic share almost every aspect except for their exterior designs. Choosing one of the other boils down to whether you prefer a virtual bezel or a physical rotating one. And that choice should be pretty straightforward.
However, last year, you might remember that the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro was unlike the base model in terms of exterior design, build quality, internal hardware, and fitness features. And that's precisely why the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro remains relevant, and possibly, for some prospective buyers, even a better choice in 2023 than the latest Galaxy Watch 6 models, surprisingly enough.
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Why you may want to buy the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in 2023
The first and likely the biggest reason why you'd want to buy the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in 2023 instead of a newer Galaxy Watch 6 or Watch 6 Classic is battery life.
Samsung says the Galaxy Watch 6 series achieves up to 30 hours of battery life on a single charge. This means the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro remains the unchallenged king of battery life across Samsung's current smartwatch lineup. Thanks to its 590mAh battery, it can achieve up to 80 hours of autonomy on a single charge.
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There's no question: If you're looking for a Samsung smartwatch with the highest battery life rating possible, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is your best choice.
More fitness features and exotic materials
Another reason why the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro remains a viable option in 2023 is that it supports more fitness features. Indeed, although the Galaxy Watch 6 series ships with One UI Watch 5, which enables many more health and fitness features, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro will eventually get the same firmware update and match the Galaxy Watch 6 experience.
In fact, once One UI Watch 5 goes live for the 2022 models, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro will out-feature the Galaxy Watch 6 for a few simple reasons. It has exclusive Health tools, including Route Workout with support for GPX file export and import, Track Back for reversing routes, and Turn-by-Turn Directions for cycling, hiking, walking, and running activities.
And finally, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro was built using more exotic materials, even compared to the new Galaxy Watch 6 series, believe it or not. The 2023 models have an aluminum frame, whereas the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has one made of titanium.
You probably won't know the difference, realistically speaking, as all these smartwatches have an IP68 dust and water-resistance rating, sapphire crystal display protection, and are MIL-STD-810 compliant. Nevertheless, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro case is technically more durable than the Watch 6, and that's something you might want to consider.
Why you may want a 2023 Watch instead of the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
We'll go into more detail about the Galaxy Watch 6 lineup in our upcoming reviews, but we don't want to leave you with the impression that the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is superior to the 2023 models in every aspect. So, here are a few reasons why you might want to get a Galaxy Watch 6 or Watch 6 Classic instead.
First is the price. The most expensive Galaxy Watch 6 variant costs $479, but there are more affordable options if you're willing to forego LTE connectivity and choose one of the smaller models. However, unless you find the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro at a discount, you're expected to pay $499 for it ($449 without LTE).
In addition, the 2023 models have slightly bigger screens and thinner bezels. And the Galaxy Watch 6 series is equipped with more RAM for 2GB total instead of 1.5GB and ships with a newer Exynos W930 chipset. It should be more powerful than the Exynos W920, but whether that makes any noticeable difference in real-world scenarios is to be determined. We might have more to say in our future reviews. Either way, it is something worth keeping in mind.
And lastly, if you intend to use your smartwatch until it is no longer supported, the Galaxy Watch 6 is newer and ships with the latest version of One UI Watch and Wear OS. So, as far as firmware support goes, the 2023 models have a one-year advantage over the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.
But if none of these discrepancies bother you, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro remains the king of battery life among Samsung smartwatches, and it technically is a more fitness-oriented smartwatch with a superior build. Is it worth buying the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in 2023? We think it is, and it makes a certain amount of sense to choose it over the Galaxy Watch 6 as long as the features mentioned above matter the most to you.