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Is Samsung’s Smart Watch Finally Catching Up to the Apple Watch?

A bigger, faster-charging battery is a good way to endear smart watch shoppers stuck between choices.
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Fast Facts

  • Samsung’s soon-to-release Galaxy 5 smartwatches will support charging speeds that are twice as powerful as previous generations
  • It’s likely the Galaxy 5 smartwatch will carry a significantly larger battery than any other smartwatch to date
  • The new Galaxy 5 smartwatches should be officially unveiled in August

As an extension of the greater tech wars, the battle over who makes a better smart watch—a two-way fight between Apple and Samsung by most accounts—isn’t won or lost at massive unveiling events. It’s decided where the rubber meets the road: performance.

Despite some quality of life innovations adopted before Apple, Samsung’s Galaxy smartwatch line has played technological catchup for some time. If recent FCC listings are to be taken as truth, Samsung’s forthcoming Galaxy 5 has finally leveled the playing field (and then some) in at least one key category.

Faster-Charging Battery

Three FCC smartwatch listings submitted by Samsung—SM-R900, SM-R910, and SM-R920—all appear to be compatible with 10W charging. What the hell does that mean? The vast majority of smartwatches on the market support 5W charging. In simple terms, wattage is the chief measurement of power for chargers, so upgrading from 5W (which is what previous Galaxy smartwatches supported) to 10W is big. The Apple Watch Series 7 charges fast due to a somewhat complicated charging structure that involves a new charging puck and a USB-C wall adapter that supports Power Delivery, which is another can of worms entirely.

How literally doubling the charging wattage changes the time it takes to go from zero 100 percent charged isn’t known yet; especially because there’s another sizable rumor that this juiced-up charger all but confirms.

A (Much) Bigger Battery

Earlier in 2022, a Korean tech certification suggested Samsung’s next batch of smartwatches would carry the biggest smartwatch battery to date. Coming in at a whopping 572 mAh, the Galaxy 5 watches will very likely be carrying a battery that is 60 percent larger than the previous 361 mAh unit. If this is accurate, the jump from 5W to 10W charging was likely made out of necessity more than anything; charging a battery this size at middle-of-the-road speeds would be a pain in the ass. 

There’s also a strong chance the larger battery will support more powerful onboard technology: more sensors, more speed, more functionality. 

Should You Get the Galaxy 5?

Should you consider this year’s new Samsung Galaxy 5 over the Apple Watch? It’s hard to say. As ever, the best option will likely be decided by your commitment to Android or Apple. A bigger battery that charges faster can’t be a bad thing, and at the very least should mean longer run times and fewer issues with multiple apps putting a strain on the power. More optimistically, we could see the Galaxy 5 upgrade its health-tracking apparatus along with the power bump; more consistent blood-oxygen, heart rate, and step monitoring.

Samsung is likely to unveil the Galaxy 5 officially sometime in August, if past years release cycles remain consistent. 

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