How to set it up and why it doesn’t support 911

Most Android devices with SOS will call 911 or emergency services when activated, so does the Galaxy Watch 5 do the same? This guide will take you through how it works.

Galaxy Watch has a neat feature called “SOS”. While you hope you’ll never use it, it can come in handy for getting help quickly, no matter where you are. You can activate it on your watch by tapping the Home key several times quickly. Doing so will send your watch into SOS mode, which can be a lifesaver.

What does SOS mode do?

As mentioned, a lot of Android phones have the feature as well, including the Pixel 6 series with the security app. Since they’re always connected to a cellular service of some sort, the feature instantly places a phone call to 911 or local authorities. If set up to do so, it will also alert your friends and family to your location by sending them a message right after the feature is activated.

While the Galaxy Watch 5 has an SOS mode, it doesn’t necessarily follow the same protocol. Instead of calling 911 or emergency services, the Galaxy Watch 5 only calls one emergency contact. However, you can set it up to send your location to multiple contacts when you toggle the emergency feature.

If you really want your watch to call 911, you can create a 911 contact in your phone and have the Galaxy Watch send a message and call the local emergency number. This is a way to force the Galaxy Watch to contact the authorities after activating the SOS.

From there, your location will be shared with your selected contacts for 24 hours unless you stop sharing. If SOS is left active on the Galaxy Watch 5, your contacts will receive a new message with your updated location every 15 minutes.

How to set up SOS on watch 5

No matter what the Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro do in SOS mode, you can’t deny an important feature in them. There may be a time when you are away from your phone or cannot reach it at that time. Still being able to call your emergency contact right away is a good option.

How to enable SOS on Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro.

  1. On your paired phone, head over to the Samsung Wearable app.
  2. From there, select your watch and tap Clock settings.
  3. Scroll down to Security and Emergency and tap on it.
  4. Switch to SOS with the Home key.
  5. Configure additional settings such as contacts for messages and calls.

    You can choose multiple message recipients and single contacts to contact while SOS is active.

  6. Tap SOS with the Home key to change the number of keypresses needed to activate or run the countdown.


Does Galaxy Watch 5’s SOS Mode call 911?

No, SOS mode will not call 911. However, the mode will initiate an instant call to the emergency contact you have set and start sharing your location with the selected individuals.

Does SOS work on Galaxy Watch 5 without my phone?

If you have a Galaxy Watch 5 with LTE enabled, you will be able to use SOS mode without your phone. However, if you have a Bluetooth model, you will need to pair it with your phone to allow it to make an emergency call to your contact.

Why won’t Galaxy Watch 5 call 911 for you in SOS?

There’s no clear reason why the Galaxy Watch 5 won’t call 911 while in SOS mode, although we can make some guesses.

One of the main reasons could be the number of unintended 911 calls that would occur if the feature made a call to emergency services. Given the number of times I’ve accidentally hit the home key three times in a row, I can assume that others might as well. It even happens on our Android devices.

Since the Home key is only one of two buttons on the Watch 5 and 5 Pro, it’s easy to tap multiple times if you’re trying to navigate your watch quickly. It often happens during workouts when the machine doesn’t register fast enough and I hit the key a few times.

Another good reason is the lack of support across the board. With the default designation of a contact, the Galaxy Watch 5 ensured that someone was able to get help.

No matter the reason, just be aware that activating SOS mode on your Galaxy Watch 5 will not call 911 or your emergency services unless you set 911 as the emergency contact. If you choose to assign other contacts, you will contact them and share your location. Have a plan in place to have them pass on your information if a situation arises.

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