Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch — which smartwatch wins?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Tom's Guide / Google)

The differences between the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch are important to know if you're considering buying a new Android smartwatch. After all, they are two of the best smartwatches for Android this year. 

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 has a lot going for it. It has a new skin-temperature reader, more scratch-resistant display and 50 hours of battery life. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, meanwhile, has 80 hours of battery life to power through outdoor sports. 

But the Google Pixel Watch crashed Galaxy Watch 5’s party as the ultimate accessory for Pixel smartphone users. It leverages both Google apps and Fitbit fitness tracking to make for a rather capable first-generation device. Despite it being a newcomer, the Pixel Watch is one of the best smartwatches you can get right now.

Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Pixel Watch might compare in terms of price, appearance, battery life and more. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is available as of August 26, 2022 and starts at $279 for the 40mm Bluetooth model. The 40mm LTE model starts at $329. The price goes up to $299 and $349 for the 44mm configurations for Bluetooth and LTE, respectively. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, the new “rugged” model, costs $449 for Bluetooth and $499 for LTE. It comes in just one 45mm size. 

The Pixel Watch costs $349 for a GPS + Bluetooth-only configuration, while the LTE-compatible version costs $399 . The Pixel Watch is available as of October 13, 2022. Be sure to check out our guide to Pixel Watch deals for current discounts.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Design

The Pixel Watch is circular and rather minimalistic, and comes in just one size: 41mm. It  features a 3D glass dome that creates a raised effect, though you'll still notice the display has a rather thick bezel. It comes in silver, gold and black, while Google has a selection of compatible bands to shop from.

Google Pixel Watch

(Image credit: Future)

The standard Galaxy Watch 5 is sleek and sporty-looking, also with a round face. It features a reshaped curvature on the bottom, creating  more surface area for watch-to-skin contact and thus more accurate health data collection. Also, the display is now made of sapphire crystal glass, which is supposed to be stronger against scratches by 60% more than before.

Pitched a more premium, yet outdoor sports-friendly companion, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes in a titanium case and formidable 45mm size. The case is actually elevated around the display, as to further protect the screen from scratches.   

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The Galaxy Watch 5 comes in four colors: Graphite, Silver, Sapphire (44mm only) and Pink Gold (40mm only). The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes in Black Titanium and Grey Titanium

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Features

The Google Pixel Watch and Galaxy Watch 5 are both Wear OS watches, but the experience is quite different. The Pixel Watch has practically every Google app built-in, while the Galaxy Watch 5 only has Google Maps, Gmail and Google Assistant. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

But as Samsung tailors Android OS for its smartphones, Wear OS powered by Samsung presents an exclusive user experience. It has several Samsung programs, and the primary fitness-tracking platform is Samsung Health. The Google Pixel Watch uses Fitbit for all fitness tracking, meanwhile.

The Galaxy Watch 5 has some notable sensors, including a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) system for measuring body composition and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 skin temperature sensor, which is new this year. The Pixel Watch only has a rate sensor and SpO2 sensor.

Google Pixel Watch

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Battery life

The Galaxy Watch 5 has a 15% bigger battery than the Galaxy Watch 4, promising up to 50 hours of battery life. That’s about 10 more hours than before, and also falls around two days. Samsung rates the outdoor sports Galaxy Watch 5 Pro watch for 80 hours of battery life, so that it can keep up with adventures that require GPS use. 

The Google Pixel Watch battery life is rated for 24 hours of battery life. But in our testing, we could hardly eke out that long, with GPS draining 20% battery life per hour. That said, on days we didn't workout or use activity tracking, the watch did last the full 24 hours. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Which is better for you?

While currently Pixel phone users can use any of the best Samsung watches, some features are tailored to those with Samsung phones. Now, those with Pixel phones have a smartwatch made for their product ecosystem. So, if you have a Pixel phone, the Pixel Watch is better for you. But if you have a Samsung phone, you should stick with the Galaxy Watch 5.

The Galaxy Watch 5 is the stronger overall smartwatch, having an advantage in terms of maturity. That said, neither of these watches are particularly our favorite for fitness tracking — if you're looking for a watch that can help you get more active, check out our thoughts on the Fitbit Sense 2, as well as our guide to the best running watches.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.