OPINION: It has been another very busy week at Trusted Reviews, with everything from cutting edge new foldable phones, including the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, to swish new TV speaker tech from LG hitting the headlines.
But, in this sea of news, for the team of experts at Trusted Reviews, there was one very clear winner and one undeniable loser in the world of tech. Here’s who they are.
Winner: Galaxy Watch fans
This week, while most of the attention was on Samsung’s new folding phones, for us at Trusted Towers, it was the company’s new Galaxy Watch 5 Pro wearable that stole the show.
The wearable was unveiled alongside the phones, new Galaxy Buds Pro 2 and base Galaxy Watch 5. B. oth wearables are a big deal as they are the second generation of Samsung wearables to run Google’s WearOS 3 software, rather than Samsung’s Tizen OS.
This was a milestone shift last year that made the older Galaxy Watch 4 one of the best smartwatches on the market with the new and improved WearOS offering surprisingly competitive features to Apple’s WatchOS – which remains the best on the market due to its wider app offering.
But the reason we think the more expensive Pro model is more interesting and this week’s winner is its overt focus on the fitness market. Rather than repeat Samsung’s and Google’s previous focus on taking on the Apple Watch as a smartwatch, the Pro is unashamedly focused on the hardcore runner and triathlete market.
As well as having all the smartwatch perks entailed by WearOS and Samsung’s robust hardware the Pro model features a number of cool sports-specific upgrades. These include a more ruggedised design,
It also allows you to import a GPX file directly to the watch to plan routes. For trail runners and cyclists there’s also turn-by-turn navigation, with vibration aids and an updated voice guide to make sure you don’t get lost. These are features traditionally only seen on sports watches from big names like Garmin, Polar and Suunto. The combination means the Pro is more a rival to the Garmin Forerunner 955 that impressed us earlier this year than an Apple Watch, which in our mind is a great move.
The fitness market has a lot of great options, but if you read any of our recent Garmin, Polar or Fitbit reviews you’ll notice a trend – while they’re great for fitness tracking they all fail to deliver decent smartwatch functionality. If the Pro can plug this gap and offer the best of both worlds, it’ll hold a unique position in the market. Here’s hoping it delivers when we get it in for testing.
Loser: Disney Plus subscribers
While Samsung wearable fans had a lot to celebrate Disney had a less than magical surprise in store for its streaming service subscribers.
The firm revealed this week that, like Netflix, it will be rolling out an ad-supported tier for Disney Plus next year. The kicker? It’ll cost the same as the current ad-free tier ($7.99 per month). Those that want to continue watching the service without ads will have to pay a near 40% mark-up on their current subscription ($10.99 per month).
That’s a pretty big increase which for many comes at the worst possible time, with the ongoing cost of living crisis making it hard enough for many of us to make ends meet.
As a result we’ve been forced to place Disney Plus subscribers as this week’s loser.