Samsung recently unveiled its latest smartwatch, and one model could be among the best wearables this year, regardless of platform. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro appears to have some of the best specs and features on the Wear OS side of the fence, which could be the company’s preemptive strike against the rumored Apple Watch 8 Pro. The model is also the first time in a long time that Samsung has drastically changed the design of its smartwatches, and only in the sense of not having a physical rotating bezel. Unfortunately, while the majority of these changes are positive, one specific detail may prevent users from taking advantage of one of the smartwatch’s features.
The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is not only Samsung’s largest smartwatch at 45mm, but it is also the most unique. It has almost all of the same internals as the rest of the Galaxy Watch 5 series, but it has a few distinct quirks that set it apart. The model was designed for people with more active lifestyles, but it’s sure to appeal to regular smartwatch users who can handle its large size.
The titanium body of the watch protects it from accidental bumps and scratches, and the raised border around the screen ensures that the display does not touch the surface you place it on. There is, however, a rather large bezel that you can swipe to replace the distinctive rotating bezel, so you aren’t missing anything. Unfortunately, one of the more subtle design changes suggests that Samsung may have forgotten that its smartwatches are supposed to be able to charge on the back of the company’s phones.
Wireless PowerShare conundrum
Samsung was among the first to offer the ability to charge accessories with the same wireless charging coil found in the back of Galaxy phones. Reverse wireless charging, also known as Wireless PowerShare by Samsung, can be used to charge smartwatches and wireless earbuds cases. The only hard requirement is that these two devices touch each other, which the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro does not allow.
According to SamMobile, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s new strap design prevents it from ever touching the back of a phone because it is permanently elevated. That isn’t a problem with the smartwatch’s official charger, but it may mean it won’t work with other third-party wireless chargers that require the wearable to be flat. Fortunately, the Galaxy Watch 5 does not have this issue because it retains the same classic design that Samsung has been using for years.
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It’s debatable that few people use the Wireless PowerShare feature, but it’s still perplexing that Samsung would implement a design that prevents such a vital capability from becoming more common. More importantly, it may pose a significant problem for those who own compatible wireless chargers that will no longer work with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. That said, it could be a one-off, and most people will probably overlook the inconvenience in exchange for the smartwatch’s promise of an 80-hour battery life.