Samsung announced the Galaxy Watch 4 series at its August Galaxy Unpacked event in 2021, and they were the first devices to come pre-loaded with the latest Wear OS 3.0 software update. The smartwatches brought a lot of improvements to the software with new features, improvements and enhancements. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series turned out to be quite popular, and the company reportedly managed to ship many devices.
The latest Galaxy Watch 5 series of smartwatches will reportedly come with improved battery life, new features, and slightly tweaked designs. Before we go any further, keep in mind that none of the shown information has been confirmed, and things could change in the coming weeks leading up to the announcement.
Price & Availability
The Galaxy Watch 5 series are expected to launch sometime in mid-August, alongside the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 foldable flagships. The Galaxy Watch 5 series will reportedly consist of the standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.
|Galaxy Watch 5||40mm||Bluetooth||€300|
|Galaxy Watch 5||40mm||LTE||€350|
|Galaxy Watch 5||44mm||Bluetooth||€350|
|Galaxy Watch 5||44mm||LTE||€400|
|Galaxy Watch 5 Pro||45mm||Bluetooth||€490|
|Galaxy Watch 5 Pro||45mm||LTE||€540|
We have previously reported on the new smartwatches’ price, which appears to be higher than the Galaxy Watch 4 series. The standard 40mm Bluetooth version of the Galaxy Watch 5 will reportedly set you back €300 (~$315), while the 45mm Bluetooth version of the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro could start at €490 (~$515).
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is rumored to arrive in three colors for the smaller 40mm version: Pink Gold, Gray, and Silver. The larger 44mm model will reportedly be available in Blue, Gray, and Silver colors.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is rumored to be available in just two colors: Black and Titanium. The new colors for the Galaxy Watch 5 series align with our expectations, although we could see exclusive editions and new colors launch exclusively on Samsung’s website. Samsung also launched a unique Thom Browne Edition Galaxy Watch 4 smartwatches, and we could see a similar partnership this year.
There will be three models of the Galaxy Watch 5 series, a standard Galaxy Watch 5, a larger model of the same device, and a Galaxy Watch 5 Pro device (SM-R90x, SMR91x, and SM-R92x, respectively). The smaller watch will be 40, while the larger sibling will be 44mm. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro will be sold in a single size, 45mm.
The Galaxy Watch 5 series will retain the circular watch face, and we’re unlikely to see any drastic design changes. Samsung is rumored to abandon the Classic series in favor of a new model, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. It remains to be seen if the Pro watch will carry the rotating bezel, although some rumors claim that Samsung isn’t bringing it back this year. Suppose the rotating bezel doesn’t make a comeback. In that case, we expect the company to include either a dial on the side, or a capacitive dial that we’ve seen on previous Galaxy Watch Active smartwatches.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series are expected to carry over features from the Galaxy Watch 4 series, such as IP68 water and dust resistance, MIL-STD-810G military protection, Samsung Pay, NFC, GPS, and unique Samsung features. These features could enhance the experience when paired with the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Z Fold 4, and Galaxy S series smartphones.
Regarding specifications, no information leaked previously, and we don’t know anything regarding the screen size, technology, RAM, storage, and even the chipset that’ll power the watches.
The Galaxy Watch 5 series will retain most of the same sensors as last year’s Galaxy Watch 4 series. The watches will come with the same, or improved 3-in-1 BioActive sensor that supports heart rate, ECG, Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, and Blood oxygen monitoring. The new smartwatches will also retain the features of its predecessor. While we don’t have information on any of the latest and upcoming features, we expect improvements to sports modes, automatic tracking, and enhancements to sleep tracking.
We previously heard the Galaxy Watch 5 series could be equipped with a new infrared thermometer sensor to check your body’s temperature, but this was later confirmed to be false. Samsung reportedly worked on it, but wasn’t ready to launch it in this year’s new smartwatches.
Performance and Software
Samsung co-developed Wear OS 3.0 with Google, and it was the first manufacturer to release new smartwatches with the new operating system. The new Galaxy Smartwatches rely on Wear OS 3.0, and they’re heavily customized to fit the style of the Tizen user interface.
We don’t have any information about any of the new software features and performance improvements, but we’re expecting a lot of enhancements to make the animations smoother and the battery last longer. We also expect the Galaxy Watch 5 series to fully support Google Assistant, which was recently released to the Galaxy Watch 4 devices. We have also compared Bixby with Google Assistant on the Galaxy Watch 4, in case you’re interested in how it works.
All signs indicate that we might see larger batteries in the upcoming watches. The smaller Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is rumored to come with a 276mAh battery capacity, while the larger will reportedly pack a 398mAh battery. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro will allegedly have a large 572mAh battery capacity.
The new smartwatches are also rumored to offer 10W fast charging for all new smartwatches, which would nearly double the charging speeds. Even Apple offers fast charging for its Apple smartwatches, and we would love to be able to top up the device in just 30 minutes to a reasonable level where it could last about an entire day without any issues.
What we want to see
- Better battery life: The Galaxy Watch 4 series are some of the best alternative smartwatches to the Apple Watches, but they’re unimpressive when it comes to battery endurance. We’re expecting larger batteries in the new Galaxy Watch 5 series, and we hope that Samsung manages to make significant improvements to make the new watches last longer on a single charge.
- Fast charging: The new smartwatches are rumored to come with fast charging, nearly doubling the charging speed of the Galaxy Watch 4 series. We’re hoping to see a 0-80% charge in a reasonable time, which could help eliminate some of the problems of the smartwatches not lasting as much as other competing smartwatches in the similar price segment.
- Cross-platform health measurements: ECG and blood pressure monitoring is limited to Samsung devices. As a true alternative to the Apple Watch, we wish Samsung would allow these features to work on other Android smartphones. Smartwatches are meant to be the best companion for measuring health and fitness activities, and we want Samsung to open up to other vendors.
- More customization: The Galaxy Watch 4 series are pretty customizable, and the Play Store contains thousands of great-looking watch faces, and watch face builder services. However, we want to see a new software tool that would allow users to customize further and easily create their own watch faces. We don’t expect this to please casual users, but it would be great to see for enthusiasts like us, and power users.
How Good is Android 13 on Pixel Phones?
The stable Android 13 update has been out since the beginning of the week and that means a couple of days for you to run it and establish first impressions. I’m curious what those are, as the update is somewhat minor in new features, but huge in terms of bug fixes from Android 12.
To recap, Android 13 dropped on Monday for the Pixel 4, Pixel 4a, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6a. The update was available immediately if you felt like playing in adb, plus we’ve seen it rollout over-the-air as well to some phones. Tim, for example, says he can pull it yet I can’t on my Pixel 6 Pro. Rude, Google.
We talked about all of the new features in Android 13 that you’ll want to be on the lookout for and then spent a lengthy amount of time looking through the list of 150 bugs that Google fixed. Google says it was able to improve “performance, stability, and reliability,” fixed bugs related to charging and Gboard and touch screen palm detection and so much more. Google even says it addressed fingerprint reader performance on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6a.
After browsing through reddit, I can see that a number of folks have been quick to share that their fingerprint reader is indeed faster (Do people really believe this?) and that overall performance and stuttering has improved, especially on older Pixel phones.
What about you? How has Android 13 been running on your Pixel phone this week? Or are you still waiting for it?
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro Get Major Approval Ahead of Launch
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro stopped through the FCC this week, marking a big step towards launch that should happen around October, if previous launches are any indicator. The filings don’t reveal much, other than supported network bands and the presence of UWB again, but they do give us model numbers to pin on each phone going forward.
There are four FCC filings of note to dip into under Google’s FCC ID. Those filings give us model numbers of GVU6C, GQML3, GP4BC, and GE2AE. After looking through several of the documents at the FCC, I’m pretty confident in saying that the first two are the Pixel 7 and the last two are the Pixel 7 Pro. The GVU6C Pixel 7 also has an alternate model number of G03Z5 alongside it, as does the Pixel 7 Pro’s GE2AE, where GFE4J can be added to its list.
To recap, we have Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro model numbers as follows:
- PIXEL 7: GVU6C (G03Z5)
- PIXEL 7: GQML3 – mmW
- PIXEL 7 PRO: GP4BC – UWB
- PIXEL 7 PRO: GE2AE (GFE4J) – UWB, mmW
Each phone has all of the proper network bands to work well here in the US, with select models also supporting 5G mmW. The two models supporting mmW are GQML3 (Pixel 7) and GE2AE (Pixel 7 Pro). The others support sub-6 5G, just not the super speedy 5G mmW that you’ll never attach to anyway.
To tell the difference between Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro devices, we really are guessing (assuming) based on the fact that GP4BC and GE2AE have UWB or ultra-wideband support. In the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, only the Pixel 6 Pro had UWB and it looks like that’ll be the case again this year. UWB is used for short-range communications in things like luggage trackers or to help a digital car key talk to a car.
The rest of the big network stuff can be see below, where you’ll find WiFi 6E, NFC, and WPT (wireless power transfer aka wireless charging).
Pixel 7 network bands
Pixel 7 Pro network bands
There isn’t much else to take from this because Google already announced each phone. We’re really just waiting for them to go official, so that we can start playing with their cameras, test Google Tensor 2, and see if Google took are of all of the Pixel 6 line’s modem issues.
If you were hoping this arrival at the FCC would tell us when the Pixel 7 will launch, I’m not sure that it does. The Pixel 6 line hit the FCC in September 2021 and then arrived in October. The Pixel 6a showed up at the FCC in April 2022, was announced in May, and then didn’t ship until July.
Verizon’s Visible Added a Sweet New Visible+ Plan
From the day it launched back in 2018, Verizon’s Visible has had a single plan that costs just $40/mo. Visible has continued to update and upgrade the plan over the years, but that price has always stuck and it remained the only plan option for those looking at Verizon’s “all-digital wireless carrier.” Today, Visible is making a big move – we now have 2 plans.
Visible announced today that they offer two plans: Visible and Visible+. Visible is a similar offering to the old Visible plan, only now it costs $30/mo instead of $40. For Visible+, a couple of additional features and upgrades will cost you $45/mo.
So what are the differences between Visible and Visible+? I have the visual breakdown for you below, but the basics are that the regular Visible plan is going to be for those who don’t need a super speedy 5G experience and who don’t travel outside of the US much. The only network access you get is on 5G nationwide and LTE, where your connection could be slowed if in heavy trafficked areas. It still has talk and text to Mexico and Canada.
The Visible+ plan adds unlimited calling and texting to Canada and Mexico, roaming use when in those two countries, calling from the US to 30+ other countries, texting to 200+ countries, and premium 5G connections. The “Premium Network Experience” from Visible+ means access to 5G Ultra Wideband (both mmW and C-Band) from Verizon’s network in an unlimited capacity. When on the 5G Nationwide of LTE networks, you’ll get 50GB of data to use before possibly being slowed.
Both plans also offer unlimited mobile hotspot with a 5Mbps speed cap and Spam Protection.
Visible vs. Visible+ Plans
Taxes and fees are included in both prices on these plans, so you’ll pay $30 or $45 each month. Both plans are also live right away, in case you want to sign-up. Visible supports eSIM now as well, so if you were interested in trying them, you can do so without a physical SIM card.
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