The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro debuted at Samsung’s August Unpacked event and as rumors suggested it’s a solid version of the Galaxy Watch 5, which aligns well with the long-running rumors of the Apple Watch Series 8 Pro. While the Pro appears to be the most likely option, it could also be an Apple Watch Max, Sports, Extreme, or Explorer Edition.
We only have leaks and rumors of work for the new, rugged Apple Watch, but the quality and quantity of the sources that back it up feels like smoke is way too thick for a fire to happen. It’s interesting to see both Samsung and Apple suddenly looking to tackle this market years later, so let’s take a closer look at how the two “Pro” smartwatches should stack up against each other.
Galaxy Watch 5 Pro vs Apple Watch 8 Pro comparison: How powerful are they?
Let’s start with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro since we have specific specs and even have a chance to work with it already. The titanium chassis is the biggest upgrade compared to aluminum in the Galaxy Watch 5. Both models have moved to the sapphire crystal display this year, which Samsung claims is 60% stronger than previous Galaxy Watch screens. Finally, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro features a slightly raised bezel in order to better protect the screen from bumps and scratches.
Titanium is leading the speculation about the Apple Watch Series 8 Pro as well as Mark Gurman who provided the most detailed description in his July 10 newsletter for Bloomberg. He notes that it features a “strong, heavier case made of premium non-aluminum metal” which is “probably titanium”. That’s a logical conclusion, since Apple already makes the titanium Apple Watch, it will have to make a more noticeable design break from the standard model to stand out as durable unless Apple stops the titanium case option for the standard Apple Watch 8. Apple also uses a sapphire crystal display on both its stainless steel and titanium Apple Watch models, so it’s not clear how or if it will do this feature.
Based on what we know so far, the durability should be roughly equal between the two watches with the wildcard being how aggressively Apple has tweaked the actual design of the Apple Watch 8 Pro compared to its familiar design.
Galaxy Watch 5 Pro vs. Apple Watch 8 Pro: What else makes it ‘Pro’?
The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro features the same 1.4-inch circular screen as the 44mm Galaxy Watch 5, but it’s 45.4mm and weighs much more at 46.5g compared to 33.5g. That weight is largely due to the 590mAh battery inside the 5 Pro, compared to just 410mAh in the Watch 5. Samsung claims it will allow the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro to run for up to 80 hours on a single charge. This additional battery life is essential to the widespread GPS usage expected for Galaxy Watch 5 Pro users who may rely on Google Maps on the watch for higher-activity directions to track long bike rides or runs.
The Apple Watch Series 8 Pro is similarly rumored to feature a larger 50mm bezel, up from 45mm on the current largest model. However, the Apple Watch may do a better job of justifying that larger chassis with a larger screen to match the 1.99-inch. Battery life claims have been less specific with rumors only suggesting that it will outlast the current Apple Watch Series 7. Watches On charging the Apple Watch for a few years now, it has ways to match the Watch 5 Pro.
Galaxy Watch 5 Pro vs Apple Watch 8 Pro: How Much Does It Cost?
The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro starts at $449 for the Bluetooth model and $499 for the LTE-enabled model. That’s just $20 more than the 45mm aluminum Apple Watch Series 7 and $30 cheaper than the equivalent cellular model. Comparing it to the titanium version of the Apple Watch Series 7 Edition really confirms the price difference with Apple hitting $350 higher.
Turning back to Mark Gurman from Bloomberg’s July 10 newsletter, he expects the Apple Watch Series 8 Pro to be priced higher than the current titanium Apple Watch at $900 to $999. Looking at the other improvements that have been made to this model compared to the current titanium-coated Apple Watch that are expected. While Apple has kept its price point with the Apple Watch, it hasn’t shown any signs of holding back based on its competitors’ more affordable prices, so it’d be hard to believe this is the moment it will.
With Wear OS and watchOS now excluding their respective iOS or Android counterparts from support, you need to choose the entire mobile ecosystem rather than being able to select your favorite phone and smartwatch.
Based on what we already know about the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and more credible rumors regarding the Apple Watch Series 8 Pro, the overall features and durability should be pretty close, while the price should come down considerably in Samsung’s favour.
Choosing to pair the new $1,799 Galaxy Z Fold 4 with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro would be more expensive than all but the highest expectations of the Apple Watch Series 8 Pro and a top-notch configuration of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but anything else Samsung’s phone including That Galaxy Z Flip 4 that’s bundled with the Watch 5 Pro will come in hundreds less.
If everything works as expected with the Apple Watch Series 8 Pro, I think Samsung has a solid case for the superior mix with something like the Galaxy S22, S22 Ultra, or the aforementioned Galaxy Z Flip 4. You probably already know where you stand in the Android vs. Android debate. iPhone, and you are unlikely to leave one platform or the other due to the availability of a durable smartwatch. In the end, I’m glad to see the competition in wearables, as that should be a win for consumers in the long run, and I can’t wait to see what Apple has really nailed with the Series 8 Pro.