Samsung has launched the Galaxy Watch5 and 5 Pro alongside the Buds2 Pro headphones with surround sound. VIDEO

Last year, Samsung introduced its first WearOS-powered watches, the Galaxy Watch4 generation, with two models: a smaller, more feminine one, and a larger one with a similar design but built more for male hands. This year, the Galaxy Watch5 series includes three models, but they don’t all bring such big improvements.

Galaxy Watch5 models are more durable and have longer battery life

The “standard” Galaxy Watch5 comes in two sizes, 40 and 44 mm, both equipped with the same general capabilities. Both get battery and charging upgrades, for example, offering about 15% more battery life than the Watch4 series, while charging is up to 27% faster. Samsung says you can charge gain 45% of capacity in just 30 minutes, giving you about a day’s use that way. The Galaxy Watch5 are even better built than the previous generation, being 60% more scratch resistant thanks to a sapphire glass protection.

Otherwise, they benefit from the same sensors we already knew, being able to monitor pulse rate, blood oxygen, the ability to take an electrocardiogram and monitor sports activities and sleep. There are a few new software features when integrating with SmartThings, as well as new sleep monitoring features, but for the most part, the WearOS interface remains similar, and the watches very familiar to those who used the Watch4 generation.

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Galaxy Watch5 Pro takes aim at Garmin audience

The Galaxy Watch5 Pro, however, comes with a host of exclusive capabilities, a sturdier build and vastly improved battery life. With a 590 mAh battery and available in a single 45mm size, this model promises up to 80 hours of use on a single charge. However, this watch is made especially for those doing advanced sports activities that rely on GPS. Samsung says the Galaxy Watch5 Pro can run for 20 hours continuously with GPS active.

To put the GPS to work, the Watch5 Pro also has some exclusive mountain trail capabilities that can now offer turn-by-turn navigation, just like in the city. Users can even create their own routes and then send them to other friends who also own a Watch5 Pro. It looks like Samsung is targeting the audience that uses Garmin watches with this model.

Its construction, however, is different from the standard Watch5 models. The body is made of titanium, and the sapphire glass protects the screen better, especially since it’s set somewhat deeper into the watch body, with a protruding bezel all around. The watch should be twice as resistant as the Watch4 models to shocks and scratches, and compared to the other variants, it comes with a silicone strap with a magnetic clasp system.

Prices for the Watch5 models also start at 1,599 lei, the same as last year, while the Watch5 Pro model starts at 2,299 lei and is considered a premium model with superior capabilities. In terms of overall functionality, all three watches offer access to similar software.

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Galaxy Buds2 Pro earphones add expected upgrades

Finally, Samsung also unveiled a new pair of true wireless headphones. The Galaxy Buds2 Pro is a major upgrade over the previous generation. Not only are they 15% smaller than the original Buds Pro, but they also come with vastly improved capabilities.

The Buds2 Pro use a system with two internal speakers on each headphone, a woofer and a tweeter, which can play 24-bit HiFi sound. So these headphones can even play real surround sound from 5.1 or 7.1 sources. The only limitation of the 24-bit playback mode is that it’s only available on Samsung phones running OneUI 4 or newer.

The rest of the capabilities, like the new Intelligent ANC noise cancellation system, are available on any phone or device. Samsung boasts 40% more noise cancellation efficiency, thanks to three microphones that pick up sound from outside. Voice should also be clearer on calls thanks to a Voice Pickup Unit and twice as much wind protection.

Battery life hasn’t received significant upgrades, however: with 5 hours of playback with ANC on and 8 hours without ANC, the Galaxy Buds2 Pro delivers typical figures for such devices. The charging box can thus provide a maximum of 29 hours of listening on a single charge. An advantage over other models would be the water resistance of the earphones, at IPX7 standard, most of them are only splash-proof. Samsung seems to focus a lot on the idea of the Galaxy ecosystem, offering the ability to move the headphones from your phone to your tablet or Samsung TVs without too many steps.

The Galaxy Buds2 Pro will hit store shelves at 1,099 lei in three color options: graphite, white and purple.

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