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Best Samsung Galaxy Watch 2023: The very best Samsung smartwatches

iPhone users have the Apple Watch, but what about Android users? While there are plenty of smartwatches available, not all offer the same level of polish as Apple’s wearable. In fact, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch line has come closer than any other manufacturer with a high level of polish, both in terms of software and hardware. But which of the current range is best for your needs?

Samsung has been producing smartwatches since 2013 with the Samsung Gear, so safe to say it has a bit of experience in the area. The most recent Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro represent the latest and greatest of Samsung’s wearable line, both of which feature as part of our look of the best Samsung Galaxy Watches below.

While other WearOS-powered smartwatches from the likes of Withings, Fossil and more work seamlessly across all Android devices, Samsung’s are designed to go with its Galaxy phones. While that’s fine for Samsung users, it means other Android users won’t get access to the complete Galaxy Watch experience – a key point worth considering.

Our reviewers have tested each of these wearables for at least a week, testing for key performance indicators such as app support, features, battery life and general usability. We take them on runs, walks, and use them for day-to-day use, too, gaining a proper understanding of how well the device works in real-world conditions.

As a side note, you can also check out our round-ups of the best smartwatchbest running watch and best fitness tracker if you’re after a wearable that doesn’t have the Samsung brand attached to it.

Best Samsung Watch at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test smartwatches

Every smartwatch we test is used by the reviewer for at least a week, or longer if the battery life lasts beyond that point or we need more time to trial its features.

During testing, we will check it for key metrics including app support, usability and battery life. If the device offers fitness, location or health tracking features we will also test these for accuracy and reliability. 

For distance tracking we record how accurately the device recorded runs on tracks we know the length of. We also record how much battery is lost using things like in-built or connected GPS per hour. To check heart rate accuracy we compare the results recorded on the wearable to a dedicated HRM strap.

After recording the data we then pair it with our general experience using the wearable day-to-day, letting you know if it’s comfortable to wear or if we encountered unexpected bugs during use over the review period.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Best Samsung Watch
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  • The best example of Wear OS 3
  • New and improved sleep tracking
  • Solid battery life for a Wear OS device
  • Accurate HRM results


  • Barely any different to the Galaxy Watch 4
  • Temperature sensor is an afterthought
  • The workout selection needs improving

It’s probably not that surprising to find that the best Samsung Galaxy watch you can grab at the moment is the latest model, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. Though some might be surprised we haven’t gone for the high-end Watch 5 Pro.

The Watch 5 offers a near identical frame to its predecessor, but it now comes in a couple of new colours, including Pink Gold and Sapphire for a little more style, which is what our sample arrived in. There’s also a slight change to the underside of the watch as it has been widened in the name of better contact with your wrist.

The top of the casing also has a new Sapphire crystal display, which Samsung says is 1.6x more durable than the previous panel. This is something Samsung says they’ve tested, and the Galaxy Watch 5 comes with the same MIL-STD-810H durability and IP68 rating as the Pro variant of the Watch 5.

The feature set here, admittedly, isn’t much of an upgrade on the Galaxy Watch 4, with the same set of apps and features present, with one notable addition. The Watch 5 now comes with a temperature sensor, which is handy for offering a more holistic approach to health tracking, although at the moment, it feels like nothing more than a gimmick, given it hasn’t been integrated within apps such as Samsung Health.

When it comes to its fitness tracking exploits, the starting point for the Watch 5 is the Samsung Health app, which admittedly borrows a lot from Apple’s Fitness app, with its clean aesthetic and suspiciously similar daily activity tracker.

We also found its heart rate monitor to offer a near match with a proper heart rate monitor, and Samsung’s Bio Active sensor compiles an overall report of your health with decent accuracy. The GPS tracking here is decent enough, although did take a bit of time for it to activate and recognise where we were. With that said, its route tracking was fairly smooth.

Besides this, the only gripe we have is that the type of workout on offer to track isn’t too specific or a little fiddly to work with. For exercises such as weightlifting, as opposed to doing it in one go, the Watch 5 splits it down into five separate types, which is a pain, considering most people arguably won’t take time out of their workout to track every individual discipline.

While the rest of the Watch 5 doesn’t really offer an upgrade, Samsung has improved the battery life of the new watch which is a head-turning feature for most people. It boosts capacity from 361mAH up to 410maH, which we found during testing to lead to noteworthy improvements. With the always-on display enabled as well as using the watch for automated walk tracking throughout the day and a tracked 70 minute workout, it took 30 or so hours for the Watch 5 to drop from full charge to 15%. It lasted for over 47 hours before requiring a top up from 5% which is a seriously impressive result, and a charging speed from 15% to full in a total of 80 minutes isn’t bad either.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan

Full review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Best Samsung Watch for battery life
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  • Solid fitness tracking services
  • Rugged, sports-ready design
  • Wonderfully bright display


  • Route planning process feels clunky
  • Battery life doesn’t match rival fitness trackers

If it’s loads of battery life you want in a Galaxy Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro offers it in spades.

It comes packed with a 590mAh cell, which is large for a smartwatch of this ilk and offered around two days of regular use before needing to be charged. In addition, its charge times are pretty decent, with it taking an hour and 22 minutes to go from dead to full, and from dead to 38% in 15 minutes – handy for when you need a quick boost and you’re about to head out.

The core feature set is the same as the standard Galaxy Watch 5, but the Pro model brings with it some noteworthy additions that serious fitness fanatics will appreciate. Particularly, the addition of GPX file support, as usually found on hardened fitness trackers from Polar and Garmin, will be useful for hikers and cyclists as it allows you to plot a root in an app like Strava and load it onto the watch. Once there, the Pro offers turn by turn navigation to ensure you follow the route exactly. Besides this, there’s the same handy BioActive sensor for health reporting, as well as its sleep-tracking animals and relatively accurate GPS. Even on this Pro model though, the new temperature sensor remains largely useless almost a year after its initial launch.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s design is largely the same as the standard Watch 5, but it offers a more rugged and hard-wearing appearance involving a raised edge display with a titanium bezel for protection as well as the same durable Sapphire crystal as the standard Watch 5. Like its sibling, the Pro is both IP68 and MIL-STD-810H certified, which is a testament to the watch’s durability.

The controls on the Watch 5 Pro feature a pleasing level of tactility and proved to be a welcome addition to such a fitness-focused device for a quick pause of a workout, and while there isn’t a rotating bezel as with other Samsung watches of old, the digital scroll is a somewhat worthy successor. The Watch 5 Pro opts to use a Super AMOLED display which is vibrant and one of the brightest we’ve seen on a wearable. Furthermore, all icons were readable and easy to see, thanks to the high brightness and excellent contrast.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full reviewSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Best affordable Galaxy Watch
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The slightly older Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 isn’t all too much of a downgrade admittedly from the fifth-gen options above, and can now be had for lower prices as a result of the new models. Here’s why it’s our favourite affordable Galaxy Watch.

It offers a minimalistic design, like the Galaxy Watch Actives of old, which looks great, and also feels rather comfortable too, with a lightweight housing that clocks in at just 26g, without the strap of course. That strap itself is comprised of smooth silicon that’s easy on the wrist when you’re working out.

Perhaps the headline difference between the Watch 4 and its predecessors is the fact it runs on an all-new OS, Google’s Wear OS 3 – this makes a change to older Galaxy Watches than ran Samsung’s own Tizen OS.

This new UI offers a tiled interface which brings with it easy access to the most frequently used functions, as well as integration with key services such as Google Maps, Google Pay and YouTube Music which is, bizarrely, a first for WearOS watches.

Alongside the new OS, there are a host of functions for fitness tracking and health monitoring, chief among which is the new BioActive sensor which compiles multiple sensors into one unit, offering a good all-round option.

Its fitness tracking features during testing proved to be rather accurate, as was the case with the likes of heart rate and distance measurements, while the Google Fit and Samsung Health apps provided a wealth of data for even the most hardened of fitness fanatics to get stuck into.

Compared to its predecessor, the Watch 4 also offers an improved battery life with two days’ worth of use before you’ll need to charge it. This compares well against trackers and smartwatches from other manufacturers we’ve tested too, with it beating off the Apple Watch 7 by 30 hours.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review

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Is the Galaxy Watch 4 worth buying?

As you’ll see above, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is one of our top recommendations for the best Galaxy Watch available. If you’re not too fussed with the new options or you want a more affordable choice, the Watch 4 is a great choice with its modern design, Wear OS 3 software and much-improved battery life.

Can Galaxy Watches make calls?

In short, no. As the Galaxy Watches don’t have built-in mics and speakers, like other smartwatches, they can’t take calls or make them for that matter. It’s not a function that’s ever been on Galaxy Watches, Can I use my Samsung watch without my phone but the older Galaxy Fit and Fit 2 could receive calls, just not make them.

Trusted Reviews test data

Time from 0-50% charge
Time to establish GPS
Discrepancy of highest BPM vs a chest-strap monitor

Comparison specs

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