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Apple Watch Series 8 vs Galaxy Watch 5: Key Specs

The launch of the Apple Watch Series 8 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 has sparked an intense debate among tech enthusiasts – which one is the better smartwatch? Both devices come packed with cutting-edge health tracking capabilities, long battery life, intuitive software and stylish designs. However, there are some key differences that set them apart.

This comprehensive comparison of the Apple Watch Series 8 vs Galaxy Watch 5 analyzes all the critical specs and features to help you determine the right smartwatch for your needs and budget.

Apple Watch Series 8 Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Display 1.9" LTPO OLED display (Always-On display) 1.19" or 1.36" Super AMOLED display
Resolution 396 x 484 pixels (41mm)
448 x 368 pixels (45mm)
396 x 396 pixels (40mm)
450 x 450 pixels (44mm)
Protection Ion-X strengthened glass Sapphire crystal glass
Dimensions 41 x 35 x 10.7 mm (41mm)
45 x 38 x 10.7 mm (45mm)
40.4 x 39.3 x 9.8 mm (40mm)
44.4 x 43.3 x 9.8 mm (44mm)
Weight 32g (41mm)
39g (45mm)
28.7g (40mm)
33.5g (44mm)
Battery Life 18 hours 40+ hours
Water Resistance WR50 (50 meters) 5ATM + IP68 / MIL-STD-810H
GPS Yes Yes
ECG Sensor Yes Yes
Blood Oxygen Yes Yes
Price $399 (41mm, GPS)
$499 (45mm, Cellular)
$279 (40mm, Bluetooth)
$329 (44mm, LTE)

At first glance, both smartwatches seem evenly matched when it comes to core specs. But let‘s take a closer look at some of the key differences:

Display – The Galaxy Watch 5 has a slightly larger display, especially on the 44mm model. It uses Samsung‘s vibrant Super AMOLED technology. The Apple Watch has an Always-On LTPO OLED display.

Protection – The Galaxy Watch 5 ups the durability with a Sapphire crystal glass which is more scratch resistant than the Ion-X glass of the Apple Watch.

Battery Life – Samsung crushes it here with around 40+ hours of battery life, nearly double the 18 hours of the Apple Watch.

Water Resistance – Both watches have excellent water resistance, but the Galaxy Watch 5 is a bit more durable for underwater activities.

Price – The Galaxy Watch 5 costs significantly less than the Apple Watch. The pricing difference can be $120 or more.

The Apple Watch Series 8 retains the iconic square shape with rounded corners that Apple is known for. The digital crown and side button provide easy navigation. It comes in 41mm and 45mm size options to fit different wrist sizes.

The Galaxy Watch 5 has a classic circular dial favored by many traditional watch lovers. The rotating bezel gives it a nice interactive feel. It also comes in 40mm and 44mm models.

Both smartwatches use premium materials like aluminum, stainless steel and sapphire crystal for durability. Interchangeable bands let you customize the look according to your style.

For comfort, the Galaxy Watch 5 is slightly thinner and lighter. But both watches have excellent ergonomic designs for all-day wearing. Those with smaller wrists may find the Apple Watch 41mm model or Galaxy Watch 5 40mm model to be more comfortable.

Health and fitness tracking are major reasons why people buy smartwatches. Apple and Samsung have loaded their latest watches with innovative sensors and software for monitoring your wellbeing 24/7. Let‘s see how they compare:

Heart Rate and ECG – Both watches can continuously measure your heart rate and send alerts if irregular rhythms are detected. They can also take on-demand ECG readings to check for atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Blood Oxygen – SpO2 sensors let you measure blood oxygen levels. This data can indicate respiratory or health issues.

Sleep Tracking – Advanced sleep tracking lets you breakdown your sleep stages (REM, Deep, etc.), along with information like blood oxygen levels overnight. The Galaxy Watch 5 also has snore detection.

Body Temperature – The Apple Watch Series 8 has a new temperature sensor that enables women‘s health features related to ovulation and detecting fevers.

Fitness Tracking – With built-in GPS, these watches can precisely track outdoor activities like running, cycling and hiking without carrying your phone. Both also automatically track workouts and provide extensive metrics.

Crash Detection – The Apple Watch 8 has a new sensor that can detect severe car crashes and automatically contact emergency services if you are unresponsive.

Fall Detection – Both watches can sense if you have taken a hard fall and let you call for help. This provides protection especially for seniors.

Overall, the Apple Watch narrowly wins when it comes to advanced health monitoring and safety capabilities thanks to the temperature sensor, crash detection and greater accuracy of its heart rate sensor, according to some comparative reviews. But the Galaxy Watch 5 is no slouch here either.

In addition to health tracking, modern smartwatches act as mini command centers on your wrist for controlling your smartphone, getting notifications, using apps and more. Here are some of the standout smart features of each watch:

Customization – Apple offers unique Watch faces to customize the look and info you see. There are also thousands of apps made for the Apple Watch via the App Store. Samsung has its own library of watch faces and an app store with many third-party apps too.

Mobile Payments – Both support contactless payments via Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, so you can leave your wallet at home.

Music – Load songs and playlists to your watch using Apple Music or Spotify (offline) so you can listen without your phone.

Smart Home – Control smart home devices, lights, thermostats and security cameras from your watch.

Voice assistant – Use Siri on the Apple Watch or Bixby on the Galaxy Watch 5 for voice commands and dictation of messages.

Notifications – Get notifications from your paired smartphone right on your wrist so you don‘t miss calls, texts, emails and app alerts.

The Apple Watch is slightly ahead on smart features thanks to its seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem, more robust app selection and Siri support. But Samsung still provides a great smartwatch experience for Android phone owners.

Battery life is a key consideration for any wearable. And it‘s clear that the Galaxy Watch 5 far outpaces the Apple Watch here. With typical usage, you can expect:

  • Galaxy Watch 5 – 40+ hours
  • Apple Watch Series 8 – 18 hours

The Galaxy Watch 5 benefits from a larger battery capacity, power efficient Exynos processor and Samsung‘s battery optimization software. Apple does claim the Series 8 provides better endurance than the Series 7.

Both watches offer reasonably fast charging. With just 30 minutes of charging time, the Galaxy Watch 5 can achieve 45% battery and Apple Watch 8 can get to 80%.

For multi-day use without charging, the Galaxy Watch 5 is the undisputed winner. But the Apple Watch 8 still delivers solid battery life for daily needs as long as you charge it overnight.

The software experience depends on which mobile ecosystem you are part of:

Apple Watch – Works exclusively with iPhones and runs on watchOS. Deeply integrated with Apple services like iMessage, Apple Music and Apple Fitness+.

Galaxy Watch 5 – Pairs only with Android phones and runs on Wear OS (Google‘s platform). Integrates with Google Play Store, Google Maps, Gmail and more.

In terms of connectivity, both watches include:

  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • WiFi
  • NFC for mobile payments

The LTE/Cellular models allow you to stay connected even without your phone nearby. But this uses more battery.

Overall, the watches offer comparable software and connectivity when used in their native mobile ecosystems. But cross-platform compatibility is not possible.

So which is the better smartwatch option for you – the Apple Watch Series 8 or Samsung Galaxy Watch 5? Here are some quick recommendations based on key factors:

  • iOS compatibility – Apple Watch Series 8
  • Android compatibility – Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
  • Health monitoring – Slight edge to Apple Watch
  • Battery life – Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
  • Budget choice – Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
  • Premium design – Apple Watch Series 8

Both are excellent smartwatches that represent the cutting edge in the wearables category. The Apple Watch Series 8 is a better choice if you have an iPhone and want seamless connectivity, a vast app selection and groundbreaking health/safety capabilities.

But for Android users, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 provides a stellar combination of performance, battery life and health tracking at a more affordable price point. It‘s the best model yet from Samsung and gives the Apple watch a run for its money.

Ultimately, it comes down to your smartphone platform, budget, design preference and must-have features. Both Apple and Samsung have produced top-notch smartwatches sure to enhance your daily life.