Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 might miss out on my favorite Watch 4 feature

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic with its rotating bezel.
(Image credit: Future)

When I tested the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, my favorite feature of the smartwatch was its rotating bezel, which made scrolling through its menus a breeze. However it sounds like Samsung is planning to disappoint me this year.

A reliable leaker, Ice Universe, has tweeted to say that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 won't get this feature - not even in the Pro model, which is said to replace the current gen's Classic option.

They didn't say this outright, but instead responded to someone who complimented the rotating bezel by saying "Unfortunately, the galaxy watch5 Pro will disappoint you." That's bad news for people like me, who liked this feature.

The standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 had a feature that was similar in result, but not in how it actually worked: you could instead swipe your finger around the edge of the display to navigate. 

This was a far messier experience, and wasn't as useful as just swiping left to right or up and down to navigate like on any other smartwatch - and it certainly didn't compare to the rotating bezel, which is what made the Watch 4 Classic one of the best smartwatches on the market.

It's not clear why the Pro version of the Galaxy Watch 5 might miss out on this premium design feature, but hopefully, when the smartwatches are nearing launch - perhaps around August time - we'll see some renders that show these bezel-less watches.

Analysis: something else?

It wouldn't be like Samsung to just drop something - instead, the company is better at replacing things.

Case in point, the Galaxy Note line-up: this wasn't dropped, but replaced with the Z line of foldable phones.

If we want to talk about physical features (like a rotating bezel), the Note's stylus wasn't dropped but transferred over to the Galaxy S22 Ultra

Another example: instead of getting rid of curved-edge displays, Samsung simply moved them over to its top-end model (again, the Ultra), and made them even more dramatic than they were on older phones.

So hopefully Samsung isn't abandoning the bezel feature but is going to replace the physical moving ring with something that's just as functional. 

We don't know exactly what, as no useful leaks have emerged about a potential replacement but we hope the company isn't abandoning this useful navigation tool - especially as there could be three Galaxy Watch 5 models could be coming, including a super premium one.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.