Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: release date, leaks and rumours Release Date, Specifications
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Samsung's latest answer to the Apple Watch, is almost here.
This year will most likely see the release of a new flagship smartwatch from Samsung, ready to compete with the next generation of Apple Watch – and possibly Google's long-awaited Pixel Watch, but we'll leave that for another time.
Samsung's new smartwatch will be the successor to the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, both of which debuted in the summer of 2021, replaced the year-old Galaxy Watch 3, and quickly became one of the best smartwatches money could buy. It is fair to say that the company's product launch schedule has some consistency to it. Like, say, a watch.
Much is unknown at this early stage, but we've compiled everything we've heard so far and what we expect to see before the Galaxy Watch 5 arrives later in 2022.
RELEASE DATE OF THE SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5
We can say with some certainty that the Galaxy Watch 5 will be released in August, thanks to that metronomic timing we mentioned earlier. That's the month when Samsung announced the Watch 4 in 2021 and the Watch 3 in 2020, so we'd expect a similar timeline this time.
This estimate is supported by a report from the South Korean website The Elec, which stated in November that the watch will be available in the second half of 2022.
It will be interesting to see if Samsung holds an in-person product launch event for the Galaxy Watch 5, or if it continues with the online-only reveals that we have grown accustomed to since the pandemic.
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: PRICE
The Galaxy Watch 4 was released with a starting price of £249, while the Watch 4 Classic was positioned as the more premium wearable, with a starting price of £349. The former remains unchanged as of January 2022, but the latter has been reduced by Samsung to £269 for the smaller 42mm model and £289 for the larger 46mm model.
When 4G connectivity is added to the Watch 4 Classic, the prices for the two sizes rise to £309 and £329, respectively.
Prices for the Galaxy Watch 5 have yet to be announced, but we expect Samsung to follow a similar pattern, announcing two models, each with two sizes and available with or without 4G.
It will be interesting to see if Samsung restores the £100 price difference between the Watch and Watch Classic, as the Classic's recent £80 price cut suggests it may not have sold as well as Samsung had hoped.
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: DESIGN AND SPECIFICATIONS
We're still more than six months away from the Galaxy Watch 5's expected release, so there's not much to report here just yet. We can say with some certainty that the wearable will not have a retractable screen or a camera.
These two features have recently received attention as a result of their inclusion in a recent Samsung patent filing. And, yes, sketches of a 'rollable smartwatch with camera' are included in the filing. But tech companies create patents like this all the time, with many of the designs never materialising – and those that do arrive years later, not within a year of the first sketch.
So, no, we don't think readers should bet on this year's Samsung smartwatch having a rollable screen or a camera.
Instead, we anticipate only minor cosmetic changes to the current generation of Galaxy Watch, and while a slimmer design would always be welcome, we would be content with the same thickness but improved battery life over the 2021 model.
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: SOFTWARE AND FEATURES
Last year's Galaxy Watch 4 was the first to include software developed collaboratively by Google and Samsung. It was still called Wear OS, as Google's smartwatch operating system has been for years, but with the 'powered by Samsung' suffix added at the end.
This resulted in a version of Wear OS that felt more like a Samsung-developed operating system. We anticipate that the Galaxy Watch 5 will continue this trend, with Samsung's presence felt even more strongly across the OS.
We anticipate a wide range of software changes for the upcoming watches, ranging from the operating system's aesthetics to the applications. New health and fitness features are likely, and better workout controls would be appreciated.
Most importantly, we hope Samsung stops blocking non-Samsung smartphone owners from accessing the watch's key features. We understand that iPhone users aren't invited to the party (the Apple Watch, after all, only works with iPhones), but we're not fans of Samsung barring other Android users from using the Galaxy Watch 4's ECG and blood pressure apps.
We hope that changes with the Galaxy Watch 5, but we wouldn't be surprised if Samsung continues on this path.
Finally, we're crossing our fingers for better battery life. The estimated battery life of Samsung's watch has been reduced from two days for the Galaxy Watch 3 to 40 hours for the Watch 4. In our review of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, we discovered that the true figure is closer to 24 hours, or less when used more intensively. A return to form with a dependable 48-hour battery life from the Galaxy Watch 5 would be greatly appreciated.