Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Which is Right For You?

Google Pixel Watch vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: Which is Right For You?

Google’s Pixel Watch is an impressive first attempt at a smartwatch in a market where Android smartphone owners don’t have many options. Prior to the Pixel Watch, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch lineup was the only real option for smartwatch users who wanted a current device that takes advantage of WearOS 3 and all it offers.

With Android users with more viable options than ever, it’s a good idea to do some research and find out which one is best for you. And that is exactly what we are here for.

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You should get the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 if…

8-Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro

You’ve already invested in Samsung’s ecosystem

Just like Apple (AAPL) and now google (GOOGL) Samsung (SSNLF) has its own ecosystem of products and services that integrate with each other to create a seamless experience. If you already have a Samsung Galaxy phone and maybe the latest Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, then sticking with a Galaxy Watch 5 or Watch 5 Pro makes a lot of sense.

While the Galaxy Watch5 lineup uses WearOS 3, which is made by Google, it’s optimized by Samsung, meaning the app icons, interface, and Samsung apps themselves are something you’re already familiar with.

Granted, the Pixel Watch uses the same Google and WearOS apps as the Galaxy Watch5, but Samsung adds its own layer of apps and tools that will make Samsung users feel right at home.

In addition, some aspects of the experience have been optimized for use with more Samsung devices. For example, there is a widget built into the interface of the Galaxy Watch 5 that allows you to control your Samsung Galaxy Buds without setting up or installing anything extra.

You value battery life above all else

The Pixel Watch has a battery life of up to 24 hours on a single charge. That’s good enough to get through a full day of use and track one night’s sleep. For some, that’s just fine. However, for those who want longer battery life or don’t want to worry about an end-of-day workout with a low battery, the Galaxy Watch 5 is a better choice.

Both the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Watch 5 Pro should easily get you two solid days of use, with the 5 Pro up to the third day – if not longer.

Remembering to charge your smartwatch or pack a charger for a weekend trip isn’t fun, and while the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro don’t eliminate that completely, they do take some of that stress away.

You don’t quite trust Google yet

First-generation devices like the Pixel Watch are never perfect. For example, the Pixel Watch doesn’t have Fitbit’s automatic workout detection that Fitbit users know and love. Or what about the battery life not being what some had hoped?

Then there’s the fact that Pixel Watch bands use a special connector to attach to the watch, and that’s bound to rub people the wrong way. Samsung’s watches, on the other hand, support any standard 20mm band.

Even though Google had set up a roadmap by Samsung and Apple on what it takes to make a reliable and usable smartwatch, that doesn’t guarantee a perfect product right away.

You should get the Google Pixel Watch if…

1-Google Pixel Watch Review

You like Fitbit’s health and fitness tracking features

We’re finally seeing Google integrate Fitbit into some of its own products after the Android maker acquired the fitness company in early 2012.

The Pixel Watch uses Fitbit’s activity tracking, including heart rate, step count, and sleep tracking, in addition to all the other health-related stats Fitbit tracks.

If you buy a Pixel Watch, you even get 6 months of Fitbit Premium for free. The trial subscription unlocks deeper insights into things like your sleep habits and provides you with workouts and health trends for the past 90 days.

If you’ve used Fitbit in the past, or currently use Fitbit to track your activity, the Pixel Watch is where it is.

You want a smartwatch straight from the source

As with Google’s Pixel phones, using the Pixel Watch gives you a smartwatch experience straight from the maker of Android and WearOS software and, now, hardware. The benefits of this are very diverse, but the gist is this: you get software updates faster and the hardware is almost guaranteed to be supported well into the future.

Samsung has done a good job of supporting older smartwatches, but with the top-notch software support of Google’s Pixel Watch and WearOS, you’re likely to get new features and capabilities for Samsungs.

In addition to more timely software updates, you are also free from all the changes and tweaks to the interface that Samsung is known for. The Pixel Watch is the best route for those who want a clean Google experience.

You want a subtle, yet elegantly designed watch

There is no denying that Samsung and Google have taken two completely different approaches to the design of their respective devices. Samsung’s Galaxy Watches have a larger, more industrial look and feel, while the Pixel Watch has a more refined approach.

The Pixel Watch is thinner and has a smaller overall design than, say, the Galaxy Watch 5. And when you start looking at the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, you really appreciate the Pixel Watch’s approach to a more minimal design.

The only disadvantage? The battery life is good enough for one day of use on the Pixel Watch, while you get double that on the Galaxy Watch 5.

Galaxy Watch 5 vs Pixel Watch: Let’s Summarize

So yes, both the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Pixel Watch are excellent smartwatches that work with Android phones. However, the main difference here is that Samsung has been perfecting its smartwatches for many years, and Google is still a newcomer to this space… at least when it comes to hardware.

The Pixel Watch feels very much like a first-generation device, but there’s something appealing about that fact. You get a device that is reliable, but will also change in the coming weeks and months thanks to software updates. It is subjectively a better looking watch with its more polished design. Plus, it’s a Fitbit activity tracking device, adding value and expertise to the Pixel Watch when it comes to your health.

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 has better battery life, a more industrial design — especially for the Watch 5 Pro — and has gone through the growing pains that the Pixel Watch will soon face. But it relies heavily on Samsung’s apps and services, and for some, that’s a turn-off.

For a pure WearOS experience, the Pixel Watch can’t be beat. For a more refined, if not bloated, smartwatch experience, the Galaxy Watch 5 is where it is.

galaxy watch 5

Pixel watch

Display

40mm or 44mm Super AMOLED Always-On Display

41mm AMOLED Always-On Display

Sensors

BioActive sensor for activity tracking, sleep tracking, heart rate, EKG, skin temperature and blood oxygen readings.

Custom sensor stack for activity tracking, sleep tracking, heart rate and EKG.

Processor

1.18 GHz dual core processor

Exynos 9110 system-on-a-chip with a Cortex M33 co-processor

Software

WearOS by Google 3.5 with a Samsung One UI interface

WearOS from Google 3.5

Battery

276mAh or 397mAh lithium-ion battery

294mAh lithium-ion battery

Connectivity

Wi-Fi/Bluetooth or Wi-Fi/Bluetooth + LTE

Wi-Fi/Bluetooth or Wi-Fi/Bluetooth + LTE

Storage

16GB

32GB

Colors

Graphite, rose gold, sapphire or silver

Champagne gold, matte black or polished silver

Prices

From $279.99

From $349.99

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publication.

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