Google Pixel Watch vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 5: the 7 big differences

Google has just launched its first connected watch and a question arises: what is the Pixel Watch worth compared to the Galaxy Watch 5?. Here are the main differences between Google and Samsung watches.

With the Pixel Watch, Google is finally entering the connected watch market. The wait has been endless for smartwatch enthusiasts who remember that Android Wear (now Wear OS) is one of the oldest platforms in the business. As early as 2014, the LG G Watch could be found on the market and the Mountain View company has long left its partners to fend for themselves. We finally had to wait for Android Wear to lose ground to see Google get started. The firm changes the name of its operating system in 2018 and announces the acquisition of Fitbit in 2019.

A few more months will be needed to finalize this important acquisition. It is she who will help Google launched its Pixel Watch in October 2022, with the firm intention of grab shares from Apple and Samsung. Faced with the Apple Watch, it is a real opposition of style between two brands with very different philosophies. On the other hand, it is more complicated to differentiate the Pixel Watch from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

Samsung goes one step ahead

With its Galaxy Watch, Samsung has been one of the leading brands for Android users for years. The South Korean firm, however, relied on its Tizen OS system and waited until 2021 to switch to Wear OS, with a One UI overlay. A way for Samsung to recover the strengths of Wear OS, without disrupting the habits of Galaxy Watch owners too much. This method also confirms that the manufacturer is sure of his facts and his ability to convince.

Opposite, Google is new to the field and wants to apply the same recipes as with Pixel smartphones. The American giant wants to lead the way by focusing on the software experience and careful optimization.

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Size differences

Between the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Pixel Watch, there is first a size difference. This is the most visible element and the choice is quick at Google, which only offers its Pixel Watch with a unique 41 mm dial. The case of this first watch is made from 80% recycled stainless steel, explains its manufacturer.

Google PixelWatch
©Google

Opposite, Samsung declines its Galaxy Watch 5 in 40mm and 44mm variants ; while the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro reaches 45mm. The basic versions use aluminum and the Pro variant offers a titanium frame.

The approach is also different since the Pixel Watch offers rounded shapes. This impression is reinforced by the presence of a round and slightly domed dial, while the screen benefits from protection by Gorilla Glass 5 lens. At Samsung, we opt for a flatter approach with protection by a sapphire crystal. It’s 1.6 times more scratch resistant than the Galaxy Watch 4 will see, Samsung promises.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
© Samsung

Another physical difference, the Google Pixel Watch has a rotating crown to navigate through the menus and access certain functions. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro prefer two physical buttons on the right edge.

Bracelets: very different hooks

Google uses a proprietary strap attachment system for his watch. The mechanism seems effective, but it forces you to limit yourself to the alternative bracelets offered by the brand. Google markets different styles and it will be necessary to wait before seeing if props designers try their luck.

Google PixelWatch
©Google

The Galaxy Watch 5 uses thin lugs to hold the strap, a more classic approach that allows it to be compatible with many bracelets for watches.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
© Samsung

Interface and performance: Wear OS vs. Wear OS

As we indicated earlier, Samsung and Google are opting for the WearOS operating system. The South Korean giant, however, continues to add its touch by offering a personalized interface, which is very reminiscent of Tizen OS. Between the two watches, the approach is therefore different. Note that Google promises three years of updates software; while Samsung offers four years.

Both models offer a wide variety of applications, this is one of the strengths of the Google system.

On the screen side, the Pixel Watch peaks at 1.2 inch with a pixel density of 320 ppi and offers brightness up to 1000 nits. Samsung also offers a 1.2 inch AMOLED display on the 40mm version while the 44mm model drops to 1.4 inches. Note that the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also has a 1.4 inch AMOLED display and that Samsung offers pixel densities comparable to the Pixel Watch. All these watches are entitled to a Always-on mode (permanent display).

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
© Samsung

When it comes to performance, the Pixel Watch uses a Samsung processor Exynos 9110 and a coprocessor M33. This configuration is not recent since it dates back to 2018 and the SoC had already been seen in the first generation Galaxy Watch. Conversely, the Galaxy Watch uses a more recent solution with the presence of a chip Exynos W920.

In fact, the difference will probably be much less visible than if we were comparing smartphones. Indeed, applications for watches ultimately remain quite low-power.

Note also that the Pixel Watch makes up for it by offering more storage and RAM (32 GB and 2 GB of RAM); than the Galaxy Watch 5 (1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage). Again, do not expect dramatic differences.

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Beware of subscriber-only features

Sports and health monitoring are among the priorities of the connected watches currently available. Google and Samsung are no exception to the rule by offering many sensors, to measure heart rate, stress level or perform an electrocardiogram (ECG). Sleep monitoring is also a place on the two connected tocantes. Another trendy function, the measurement of the blood oxygenation rate (SpO2) is still missing on the Pixel Watch.

It should also be noted that the realization of electrocardiograms and blood pressure measurements, offered by the Galaxy Watch 5, are done only with Samsung Galaxy smartphones. An obligation that is not usual in the Android universe.

Google uses machine learning to track activities more accurately. Its Pixel Watch claims the presence of 40 training modes, but it will be necessary to pay to go further. Indeed, the Mountain View firm relies on the services offered via theFitbit subscription (€8.99/month) to unlock additional options.

By comparison, the Galaxy Watch 5s offer tracking for 90 different types of workouts. The brand does not rely on subscriptions, but on its ecosystem with options available only with its own smartphones.

Autonomy: the WearOS threat

The autonomy of connected watches is a subject that is still debated. The arrival of the Pixel Watch has also revived it, since the tocante is limited to a 294 mAh battery for a announced autonomy of 24 hours.

Google PixelWatch
©Google

For Samsung, the battery size depends on the model chosen and ranges from 284 mAh for the 40mm Watch 5 to 410 mAh for the 44mm version. In both cases, the manufacturer promises up to 40 hours of battery life. More imposing, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro claims two days of autonomy with its 590 mAh battery.

Both manufacturers offer Qi-compatible watches. The Pixel Watch offers a 5W charging while all Samsung models feature a 10W fast charging.

The price can make the difference

There is still a difference and it concerns a determining criterion: the price. Samsung offers a much more complete range with no less than 6 variants, at a starting price of 299 euros. It’s the Galaxy Watch 5 40mm that starts at this price, climbing to 349 euros in LTE version. The 44mm version starts at 329 euros and reached 379 euros for the 4G LTE variant. Finally, the Pro models are sold for more than 400 or 500 euros (469 euros for the Bluetooth/Wifi version and 519 euros for the model with 4G LTE).

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On the Google side, it’s easier with the existence of two variants. The Bluetooth/Wi-Fi enabled Pixel Watch is at 379 euros while the 4G LTE version upgrades to 429 euros. The Google watch is therefore positioned against all the non-Pro variants of Samsung.

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Note that Samsung watches have been available since the summer. They can already show up at lower pricesor in packs offered at attractive prices.

Just launched, the Pixel Watch comes with 6 months subscription to Fitbit Premium and of three-month subscription to YouTube Music Premium. On the other hand, it will probably be necessary to wait a few weeks before seeing it appear in good plans.

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