The majority of smartwatch manufacturers fudge the thickness specifications. Hardware specifications from respectable manufacturers are typically considered gospel, but some people have a knack for embellishing the truth, as one YouTuber recently learned (and some more than others).
The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is one of the smartwatches that Samsung unveiled last week. The watch’s thickness is listed in the product specifications as 10.5mm. Still, numerous internet users remarked that the measurements did not appear to pass the eye test when compared to comparable wearables that are smaller.
Ray from the DC channel on YouTube Rainmaker chose to investigate further. He began with the Galaxy Watch 5, which has a 9.8mm thickness as claimed on the packaging. It is around 30% thicker than Samsung claims, or 13mm. The aforementioned Watch 5 Pro consistency was somewhat over 15mm, or about 43% thicker than Samsung said.
According to Apple’s website, the Apple Watch Series 7 has a depth of 10.7mm, although Ray’s tool estimated it to be closer to 13.14mm. The Forerunner 255 from Garmin is slightly thicker than its stated 12.9mm thickness on the company’s website. The Polar Pacer Pro is 11.5mm wide, although a digital caliper indicates that it is most likely 12.16mm thick. The thickness of the Suunto 9 Peak watch is stated online as 10.6mm. However, it actually measures 12.85mm.
Are you noticing a trend here?
Only two of the watches Ray tested—the Fitbit Sense and the Wahoo Rival—met their promised specifications. Ray calibrated the gadget after each measurement and double-checked his results against a measuring mat to ensure they were precise.
You inquire, “What’s going on?” It turns out that many manufacturers of smartwatches slack off on their phrasing. You’ll see on Samsung’s website that watches are measured without health sensors in the tiny print. Armed with this information, Ray discovered that devices from Apple and Garmin line up with specifications when the sensor bump is ignored.
Even while the hump doesn’t cover the entire bottom of the watch, it is physically present and contributes to the device’s total thickness. It doesn’t seem ethical to declare the specification from any section other than the thickest point without expressly indicating so (instead of just burying it in the footnotes).
However, Samsung is stretching the truth even more with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Ray points out that the claimed thickness measurement only accounts for the watch’s sidewall and ignores the sensor bump and the entire rear shell.
In what way does that apply in the real world? It turns out that the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s thickness and width are almost precisely the same as those of a Double Stuf Oreo. Ironically, a regular Oreo has about the same thickness as the standard 40mm Galaxy Watch 5.
As Ray notes in his conclusion, it appears that most significant smartwatch manufacturers have an unwritten gentleman’s agreement whereby they will omit the sensor bump from their listing of the thickness of their digital watches.