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By Arvid, 20 september 2023

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 & 6 Classic Review

The Galaxy Watch 6 series is Samsung’s most refined version of the Galaxy Watch yet. After having our hands on the Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic for about a month now, it’s time to voice our opinions of this new smart watch. 

Quick overview

If you’re completely new to the Galaxy Watch 6 series, here’s a quick overview of information about its functions, release, and improvements.

The Galaxy Watch 6 is of course the replacement of the Galaxy Watch 5 series. However, the design has remained largely unchanged since the Galaxy Watch 4 series released in 2021. This new series was released as the regular Watch 6, and a Watch 6 Classic. Both are available in a small and large size.

The Galaxy Watch 6 series has practically all available functions you'd need on a smartwatch. It features an inbuilt GPS sensor, advanced heart rate and oxygen sensors, a sleep monitor, and more. It’s a great tool to use during sports, but also suitable for daily activity tracking. 

galaxy watch 6 design

Galaxy Watch 6 Review: Design

Let’s start with the aspect which is most immediately apparent: the design of the watch. When you look at the new Galaxy Watch 6, something is instantly noticeable: The design has practically not changed. It looks nearly identical to the Galaxy Watch 5 & 4 series.

It’s true that the bezels have slimmed somewhat, giving it a sleeker appearance. But this minor change is definitely not noticeable unless directly comparing the watches. Of course, the Classic has returned now, which features a rotating bezel that’s quite noticeable. This bezel too has been slimmed down compared to the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.

It’s clear that Samsung is trying to build a similar scenario to the Apple Watch. A series of products where the design remains recognisable throughout the releases. Whether Samsung will choose to continue the Classic line-up, or return to the Pro variant once more, remains to be seen.

Galaxy Watch 6 Review: Return of the Classic

The Galaxy Watch Classic started its life at the launch of the Galaxy Watch 4 series. It features a rotating bezel and larger size as the main difference to the regular Galaxy Watch. The Classic has made it back to the Galaxy Watch 6 series. It was omitted from the Galaxy Watch 5 series in favour of the then-new Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

galaxy watch 6 classic

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is just what you expect from a new entry in the Classic series: It is a larger version of the regular watch, with a rotating bezel used to control the watch’s menus and features. The Classic is available in Black and Silver, 43mm or 47mm. It’s remarkably heavy compared to the regular Galaxy Watch 6.

So is that all? Well, yes. You do get a Hybrid Eco-leather strap as standard on the Classic. But you’re paying significantly more. Unless you are dedicated to using the rotating bezel, we find it’s not worth shelling out for a Classic rather than a regular Galaxy Watch 6.

Galaxy Watch 6 Review: New Straps

One significant change that Samsung has made is in regards to the Galaxy Watch 6 straps. These used to have a 20mm QuickRelease pin, but now feature a button embedded into the strap itself. Samsung calls this the OneClick system. You can read more on the Galaxy Watch 6 straps here.

In summary, the change is minor but welcomed. For those experienced with the old pin system, it’s probably not faster or easier. If you’re not experienced with changing out straps, it will be slightly easier with the button. But it’s certainly not ‘One-Click Easy’ as Samsung claims. It still takes some fiddling around to change your strap.

new strap connector galaxy watch 6

The straps still feature the same 20mm connector as we’ve seen before on the Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 5. This means any 20mm straps will still fit the Watch 6. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic straps are also 20mm despite the bigger watch size.

Galaxy Watch 6 Review: Updated Display

One of the other major changes this time around can be found in the display of the smartwatch. Firstly, the screen size has been increased thanks to smaller bezels around the screen. We’ve made a short comparison between the screens down below:

 

Galaxy Watch 6

 

Galaxy Watch 5

 

40mm

1.3 inch

432 x 432

1.2 inch

396 x 398

44mm

1.5 inch

480 x 480

1.4 inch

450 x 450

The displays of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic are the same as the Galaxy Watch 6, despite their larger size. The larger size simply comes down to the rotating bezel being included into the design of the watch. 

The big change to the display is actually the brightness. The screen now goes up to 2.000 nits, and is way more usable in bright sunlight. This change is great if you are doing fitness outside and want to check your watch. Definitely the biggest quality-of-life updates to the Galaxy Watch 6.

Galaxy Watch 6 Review: Hardware and performance

The Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 5 shared the same processor, a 1.18Ghz Exynos W920 chip. Luckily this time around, Samsung has upgraded the chip to a slightly more powerful 1.4Ghz Exynos W930 chipset. This results in 2GB of RAM memory, as opposed to the 1.5 GB RAM on the 4 and 5.

The health sensors of the watch have not changed on the hardware side of things. Samsung has refined the software somewhat. You’ll be able to track the same amount of data as with the previous versions. 

galaxy watch 6 design

Galaxy Watch 6 Review: Health tracking updates

The main update to health tracking this year has been in the sleep tracking department. The software of this has expanded, while working with the same hardware. Just like with the Watch 5, you’ll get a ‘sleep animal’ which characterises your sleep patterns. 

You’ll get specific tasks to do based on how your sleep was. You can start your day fresher and healthier, rather than simply getting a notification that you should have gone to bed earlier last night. 

galaxy watch 6 contents in the box

A fully new feature is the Heart Rate Zones. This new mode is able to track how intense your workout is, and whether you should slow down or speed up to hit your goals. The heart rate zones are based on your personal activities, lifestyle, body, cardio endurance, and training regiment.

This is certainly a welcome feature for those who use their watch for tracking their sports and fitness. It can help push you towards reaching your goals more efficiently, or tell you to slow down when you’re getting too intense of a workout.

Galaxy Watch 6 Review: Battery Life

The battery size of the Galaxy Watch 6 has increased somewhat. Alongside the new chipset which is more energy efficient, this should result in a better battery life. But the bigger screen and increased brightness might throw a spanner in the works. Let’s take a look at the battery sizes first.

  • Galaxy Watch 6 40mm, Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 43mm: 300 mAh
  • Galaxy Watch 6 44mm, Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 47mm: 425 mAh

The battery life is claimed to be around 40 hours across all models. We’ve yet to extensively test the batteries, but the battery is certainly more than enough to last throughout the day. Even with the always-on display enabled, the watch will last from dawn till dusk.

The battery life is more than adequate, but still beaten by the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro which will last about 80 hours on a charge. This chunky pro model features a 590 mAh battery. 

Galaxy Watch 6 Review: Availability and Price

The Galaxy Watch 6 was launched on August 11 in the United Kingdom. Production and availability appears normal, with no delays or stock issues reported. The Galaxy Watch 6 starts at £ 289 and goes up depending on size, 4G support, and strap.

Price

Bluetooth

Bluetooth +4G

Galaxy Watch 6 (40mm)

£ 289.00

£ 339.00

Galaxy Watch 6 (44mm)

£ 319.00

£ 369.00

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic (43mm)

£ 369.00

£ 429.00

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic (47mm)

£ 399.00

£ 459.00

In summary

The Galaxy Watch 6 has not seen many updates, but still some great quality of life changes that make it worth purchasing. The screen is slightly bigger and much brighter, making for easier control especially in bright sunlight. The straps have a brand new One-Click button. Some software updates make sleep tracking and health tracking more efficient and in depth.

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