Over the past couple of months, the Samsung Galaxy Watch was circling the web with a Pro suffix attached to its name, and at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event on August 10, 2022, we found out why. Alongside the newly released foldables, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Korean OEM introduced new additions to its wearable lineup, Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. While Watch 5 is an iterative upgrade over its predecessor, Watch 5 Pro is a move against Garmin that sees Samsung shift into a category it hasn’t tackled before. But the change means giving up on the niceties of Galaxy Watch 4 Classic for a more sport-oriented look and feel.
Now, the top-of-the-line hardware no longer features a rotating bezel, and if you’re part of the equation that considers it a must-have, you might wonder how last year’s model stacks up against this year’s best wearable from Samsung. Hence, this article compares the $449 Galaxy Watch 5 Pro against the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which starts at $349, to see which of the two might be the wearable to choose.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Do you need a fitness-focused smart wearable that will ensure you’re able to track your activity levels without worrying about battery life? The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has many new features and a design geared to the rugged lifestyle making it worth considering for outdoor activities.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is the device for those looking to own a traditional-looking timepiece that does more than meets the eye. It’s one of the best smartwatches for Android users.
Design and Display
You’ll see many similarities if you put the spec sheets for Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic next to each other. Still, their designs aren’t on that list, irrespective of the closeness in the two wearables’ dimensions.
Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is available in two case sizes, 42mm and 46mm, while Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has a single 45mm case option.
The newer model, as mentioned earlier, gives up on the rotating bezel in favor of a capacitive one. But seeing its fitness-oriented marketing, the decision makes sense to me. The wearable even has its display inlaid, i.e., at a greater depth, making it harder for rocks and other hazards to cause any damage. And if some do make it there, the new Sapphire Crystal material will keep major scratches at bay.
Galaxy Watch 4 Classic also has a slightly inlaid look due to the physical bezel which comes up, but it does have the older Corning Gorilla Glass DX solution, which might not hold up as well as Sapphire. The other noticeable change in the designs is the case material. Galaxy Watch 4 Classic uses Stainless Steel while Galaxy Watch 5 Pro goes the way of Titanium, a lighter material that might be more durable in some cases.
Apart from these elements’ visual differences, the two wearables remain pretty similar. They feature 1.36-inch displays — the smaller 42mm Classic has a 1.19-inch screen — and come with an IP68 rating and other environmental protection certifications like 5ATM and a MIL-STD-810 rating (Watch 5 series has an improved 810H rating versus the 810G on Watch 4 series). There’s the same 20mm band support and proprietary puck-based wireless charging, though [the newer generation has some improvements].
Health and Software Features
The two devices’ health and wellness capabilities share a lot of hardware. Still, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has the added advantage of its infrared-based body temperature sensor and larger BioActive sensor. Samsung says with the new curvier back panel on Watch 5 Pro and the larger-sized 3-in-1 sensor, the wearable can provide more accurate results when it performs Blood-Oxygen monitoring, Body Composition analysis, and more.
Nevertheless, suppose the wellness aspect doesn’t hold that much of a priority in your wishlist. In that case, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic will hold up just fine as it comes with everything except the newer temperature sensor. Samsung offering the wearable next to the latest models is also something to keep in mind.
When Galaxy Watch 5 Pro becomes available on August 26, the software — OneUI Watch 4.5 based on Wear OS 3.5 — running on it should be similar to the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. But the Pro does feature some additions that might not trickle down, namely support for GPX files and Trackback, which can trace back the steps you took on a trail.
Performance and Battery
As I wrote in my Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4 comparison, the processor sees no change or upgrades; This means the Exynos W920 in Galaxy Watch 4 Classic also powers the newer Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Hence, moving between applications, notifications, and the variety of tiles that provide data should remain the same. The bezel-based movements of the Classic will likely feel more seamless and enjoyable to use.
However, while performance and swapping between screens will remain the same, Watch 5 Pro boasts a tremendous increase in battery life that will positively affect any user’s experience. Samsung claims the new wearable can work for 80 hours on a single charge before you’ll need to take it off. Not only that, there’s even support for new faster wireless charging. Galaxy Watch 4 Classic talked up a 40-hour endurance, but its charging speeds were slower.
With that, we come to the verdict on choosing between the two wearables. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has some new features that make it relative to the $800 Garmin wearables on the market. Whether it will stack up to the competition is unknown at this point. Still, it has a bigger battery and a rugged aspect, making it a great fitness wearable. The fact that it comes in at $449 is also positive — almost half of its planned competition costs.
On the other hand, I believe Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is for a different type of consumer. It’s for those who spend their time within the concrete construct and not as much in the wild.
Hence, if you’re okay with your fitness metrics not coming from the latest hardware but still being good enough and don’t mind the slower charging, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic is still a great buy in 2022. But if you’re looking to get something more out of your wearable, especially if you enjoy trekking on trails, the Watch 5 Pro boasts battery life and extra software-based convenience to consider buying it.
Which Galaxy Watch will you be pairing with your smartphone this time? Let us know with a comment below.