Update: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro could be super tough — and super pricey.
With the Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung introduced two models: the regular version, and the more expensive Classic, which was larger and offered a rotating bezel, giving users another way to interact with apps.
According to SamMobile (opens in new tab), Samsung won’t be repeating this with the Galaxy Watch 5, with the Classic name abandoned and a Pro model arriving in its place. We’ve heard a little about this mysterious Pro version before and it will apparently pack a 572mAh battery — enormous in wearable terms, and a 60% increase on the 361mAh cell found in the 46mm Galaxy Watch 4.
For reference, the Apple Watch 7 reportedly has a 309 mAh battery based on teardowns (opens in new tab), so the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro could last a lot longer on a charge than the current best smartwatch. However, we don't know what Apple has planned for the Apple Watch 8.
Does this mean the death of the rotating bezel? SamMobile’s report hedges its bets merely stating that it’s possible, but for my money, I’d be very surprised if Samsung abandoned a feature that has proved popular with fans and reviewers alike.
For me, this is likely to be a simple branding issue.
Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: A question of branding
Samsung has struggled to stick to its branding guns with wearables. Between 2013 and 2017, Samsung pushed the ‘Gear’ name on its smartwatches, before embracing ‘Galaxy Watch’ for a more obvious link to its best-selling smartphone series.
But even then, things weren’t exactly clear with the two brands: Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active — especially when new versions of each weren’t always released in tandem. The Galaxy Watch 4 series essentially combined the two with the former becoming the ‘Classic’ and the latter becoming the standard Galaxy Watch.
With that indecisive history in mind, for me, the most likely explanation is that this is just another rebrand. “Classic” doesn’t really mean anything to those who aren’t familiar with Samsung’s wearable history, whereas everybody instinctively understands what “Pro” means, and why you might want to pay more for it. In other words, I suspect that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro will directly replace the Classic, rotating bezel and all.
Of course, that doesn’t explain the huge battery, and as I wrote before there are a number of possible explanations for that: it could be to compensate for more health sensors, aimed at adventurers who need to lean on the GPS for longer or simply to improve on the somewhat disappointing stamina of the last generation. It may just be that Samsung’s sales data proves that certain buyers like big, chunky devices.
We’ll have to wait and see. If past form is anything to go by, we could well see the new wearables arrive in August — possibly alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4.