We’re anticipating a high-stakes showdown between the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch this fall. After all, whichever is a better Wear OS will determine what’s the best smartwatch for Android for the year.
The recently-announced 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 is expected to crash the Galaxy Watch 5’s party this fall. Ever since it was confirmed at Google I/O, the company’s first smartwatch has looked poised to become the ultimate accessory for Pixel smartphone users.
Since the Pixel Watch isn’t here yet, we can’t say whether one smartwatch is better than the other. But based on what we know so far, we can speculate on how the Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Pixel Watch might compare in terms of price, appearance, battery life and more.
And may the best smartwatch ultimately prevail.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Price and availability
Rumors about the Google Pixel Watch price position the smartwatch between $300 and $400. It’s looking like the Google smartwatch will come in two sizes, but unclear if it’ll also include LTE versions.
According to tipster Jon Prossor, the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro release date could be on October 13, with pre-orders possibly going up on October 6. Assuming the Pixel Watch is announced at the same time as the Pixel phones, we could see it as early as the last week of September. Google hasn’t confirmed the price or release date, so this is just speculation.
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.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Design
From the small glimpse we've received, the Google Pixel Watch design appears to sport rounded face with what looks like a digital crown and a pair of buttons on the right side. Google revealed the device in silver, though we'll expect to see at least two color options offered. Either way, the Pixel Watch presents as a minimalistic smartwatch, perhaps to follow the design language of other Pixel devices.
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.
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
For now, we don’t know much about what the Pixel Watch will offer in terms of features. We''re sure it'll run Wear OS and offer apps like Google Assistant, Google Maps and even the new Google Wallet with IDs announced with Android 13.
Google has suggested that Pixel Watch will also leverage Fitbit fitness tracking in some ways. The inside is still a mystery, but incorporating advanced health sensors such as ECG or EDA could make the Pixel Watch one of the best fitness trackers like the Fitbit Sense.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is also a Wear OS watch, but as Samsung tailors Android OS for its smartphones, Wear OS powered by Samsung presents an exclusive user experience. It has many Google programs, but the primary fitness-tracking platform is Samsung Health.
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.
There are some GPS-specific features on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro as well. It'll be interesting to see whether the Pixel Watch is pitched as a good hiking or outdoor biking watch and rival Samsung's Pro model.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Battery life
Sources say the Pixel Watch’s battery capacity will be 300 mAh. It’s not clear whether this capacity will be consistent across the rumored multiple models of the Pixel Watch, but if we had to guess, the Pixel Watch battery life with regular use will max out at about two days.
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. It's possible the Pixel Watch and Galaxy Watch 5 wind up evenly matched in terms of battery life.
That probably won't be true for the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, though. Samsung rates the outdoor sports watch for 80 hours of battery life, so that it can keep up with adventures that require GPS use.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Outlook
At this point in time, it's impossible to say which of these will be the better Wear OS smartwatch. But we can't ignore that Samsung has the advantage in terms of experience and share in the wearable market.
While currently Pixel phone users can use any of the best Samsung watches, some features are tailored to those with Samsung phones. Soon, those with Pixel phones will have a smartwatch made for their product ecosystem. It remains to be seen whether the Galaxy Watch 5 or Pixel Watch will do its job the best.