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Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 — biggest rumored upgrades

Galaxy Watch 4 news at Unpacked 2022
(Image credit: Samsung)

The differences between the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 might matter more than ever before. With competition in wearable computing only growing and getting better, we’re anticipating the next-gen Galaxy Watch to up the ante.

As it stands, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is one of the best smartwatches right now, and the overall best smartwatch for Android. Not only was it the first device to launch with the unified version Wear OS, replacing Tizen, but it offered ample health upgrades and design options compared to earlier Galaxy Watch models.

How will the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 improve? Or what will the biggest upgrades over the Galaxy Watch 4 include? And could Samsung have any tricks up its sleeve to take on the incoming Google Pixel Watch, which will also run Wear OS?

Here’s everything we know so far about the Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 4, from possible changes in design and new features to rumored battery upgrades and more.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 price

Depending on how Samsung approaches its smartwatch lineup this year, the Galaxy Watch 5 price could maintain the Galaxy Watch 4’s prices. The Galaxy Watch 4 started at $249 for the 40mm Bluetooth. The Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, with more premium materials, started at $349 for the 42mm Bluetooth model. Both versions have LTE variants as well.

If the Galaxy Watch 5 comes in just one configuration, the price could be higher compared to the Galaxy Watch 4. You might recall the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3’s original $399 starting price, which mirrors the Apple Watch Series 7’s (and possibly the Apple Watch 8’s) cost. 

Take a look at our Samsung promo codes page for the latest offers and discounts. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 design

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 looked pretty similar to all the best Samsung watches of the past. That said, we saw some modern improvements including a slimmer build and more seamless transition from watch case to watch band.

Of course, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 Classic designs look quite different. The standard model shows as a sportier wearable, while the Classic model presents more like a traditional timepiece. It even retains the physical bezel introduced on the original Samsung Galaxy Watch in 2018.  

We haven't heard much yet about the Galaxy Watch 5 design, but there's rumors about a third model launching this year, as well as Samsung dropping the physical bezel altogether. Instead, a 'Pro' model might replace the Classic, perhaps with a titanium frame and sapphire glass protecting the display. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 features

If there's one thing fairly we're sure of, it's that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 experience will be powered by Wear OS. Not only has the Galaxy Watch added Google Assistant support, but with many of popular Google services on-board, the watch is quite capable on-the-go. 

Most feature rumors revolve around new health- and fitness-tracking technology. Some reports have said that the Galaxy Watch 5 will come with temperature-sensing tech, while others claim the Galaxy Watch 5 will miss out on temperature-sensing tech

Samsung has proven ambitious with sensors, last year debuting the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 body composition feature and updating the activity interface for a great Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 workout test.

It'll be interesting if Samsung gets to borrow some tools from Fitbit, which seems to be beginning a merge with Wear OS. The Google Pixel Watch is confirmed to leverage Fitbit fitness tracking, but that might remain reserved for in-house hardware. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 battery life compared to Galaxy Watch 4 battery life could introduce multiple upgrades. As a reminder, the Galaxy Watch 4 is estimated for 40 hours of use, but we found we needed to charge it approximately every 24 hours with daily fitness- and sleep-tracking.

One rumor says the Galaxy Watch 5 'Pro' model will pack a 572 mAh battery — that's nearly a 60% increase compared to the 361 mAh battery found in the larger, 44mm Galaxy Watch 4. As a result, Samsung's smartwatch could last longer than before.

Then, when it comes to charging speeds, an FCC listing for three Galaxy Watch 5 models reveals all of them support 10W charging (opens in new tab). This would mean faster charging from the 5W charging on the Galaxy Watch 4 series, so less time on the charger.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Galaxy Watch 4 outlook

Until the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is announced and we can test it, we can’t say for sure how it'll improve over the Galaxy Watch 4. Samsung is in the routine of launching smartwatches every year, and we're expecting to see the Galaxy Watch 5 (or Galaxy Watch 5 series) sometime in August alongside the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Kate Kozuch is an editor at Tom’s Guide covering smartwatches, TVs and everything smart-home related. Kate also appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account (opens in new tab), which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her on an exercise bike, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.