For the last few years, wearables like the Galaxy Watch series have been designed to deal with water exposure at varying levels. The Galaxy Watch 5 can certainly take a splash or two, but at what level? This guide will help you determine just how waterproof your Galaxy Watch 5 is and what you can do with it using Samsung’s Water Lock.
The Galaxy Watch 5 is most definitely water resistant. Not only can it take running water pouring over it, but the watch can also be submerged completely without being damaged at all. In fact, Samsung has workouts in the Samsung Health app specifically designed for swimming exercises. So what can the Galaxy Watch 5 take?
Galaxy Watch 5’s waterproof IP rating and meaning
The Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro both have an IP68 rating, which is broken down into two variables.
The first number indicates the level at which it can resist solid particulates like dust and debris. The second number represents the resistance level of liquids. So, in the Galaxy Watch 5’s case, the dust resistance rating is a 6 and water is an 8, both very high on the spectrum.
IP68 is generally accepted as a very good rating and will allow you to take a swim with the watch and have no issues if you only do it for a certain amount of time. At a rating of IP68, you can submerge your watch for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters. Samsung doesn’t specifically say you can swim with the watch – nor do we advise it – but the company does offer multiple swimming exercises specifically for the Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro.
A different rating the Galaxy Watch 5 has for water use is 5ATM, which refers to the amount of water pressure it can undergo before water starts rushing into the openings, causing damage to the watch. A rating of 5ATM will get you 50 meters deep before your Galaxy Watch 5 will start experiencing issues.
Both of these ratings refer to water resistance, though they can give you insight into different aspects of it. For instance, an IP68 rating lets you know that the watch can withstand a depth of 1.5 meters for a certain amount of time, while the 5ATM rating lets you know what the maximum depth you can reach is before causing damage to the device. One has to do with time, while the other shows you the extremes you can go to.
Can I go swimming with the Galaxy Watch 5?
With all the technical information out of the way, deciding whether to swim with your device comes down to judgment. Are you doing laps with the Galaxy Watch 5, or are you relaxing in the pool for hours on end?
If it’s the latter, we don’t recommend taking your watch in with you. However, above 1.5 meters for under 30 minutes – according to Samsung and the rating stated – is perfectly fine.
Anything less than that is also fine. You can wash your hands with the Galaxy Watch 5 or even reach into an ocean pool to grab a seashell – as long as you run the watch under fresh water afterward. Just don’t go deep-diving or free-diving with the Galaxy Watch 5, since that would most definitely end in a damaged watch.
Water Lock and cleaning your Galaxy Watch 5 after use
If you decide to take a few laps in the pool or even in the ocean, there are a few measures you should take before and after the dip. First, you need to know how to use the Galaxy Watch 5’s Water Lock to ensure it remains waterproof. Water Lock is a feature that turns off your watch’s touch recognition, which prevents water from activating phantom touches on your device. When this is active, you won’t be able to interact with your Galaxy Watch 5 display.
The added benefit of this feature is when Water Lock is turned off, the Watch 5 undergoes a process that pushes all of the water out of the speakers built into the device by means of low-frequency sounds. The bass pushes out air and water from the Watch 5’s speaker grills, ridding the device of liquid.
Here’s how to activate Water Lock on the Galaxy Watch 5:
- On the Galaxy Watch 5, swipe down from the watch face.
- Swipe to the left until you see a water droplet icon. Tap it.
- You’ll see a faint water droplet icon appear on your main watch face. This means Water Lock is active.
- After your swim, deactivate it by holding the Home key for 2 seconds.
- You should hear and feel a few loud vibrations.
You might want to run your device under warm water before turning off Water Lock, which will get any contaminates off the screen and from around the body of the watch. After that, disable Water Lock, and you’re good to go.
Note: You don’t have to turn Water Lock on to protect your device. The feature mainly protects against false touches. If you forget, don’t worry. You can turn the feature on and off again to activate the water ejection sounds.
In the end, it all comes down to good judgment. Before swimming, make sure you know how deep you’re going and how long you’ll be under. Make sure you activate Water Lock and clean your Galaxy Watch 5 afterward. Following those guidelines will ensure your Watch 5 and 5 Pro last a good while.
Buy the Galaxy Watch 5:
More on Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro:
- Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro: Why is sapphire glass so special?
- Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro hands-on: Refining the best Wear OS watches [Video]
- Galaxy Watch 5 & 5 Pro: Premium build w/ sapphire glass and Wear OS 3.5, starting at $279
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