Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 — biggest changes to expect

Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 5
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 has arrived with upgrades over the Galaxy Watch 5. At Samsung Galaxy Unpacked, the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic made their big debut. 

So, what differences does the Galaxy Watch 6 family have to offer? The Galaxy Watch 5 is one of the best smartwatches, but it has been on the market for nearly a full year. Updates to performance, design and more are some of the improvements Samsung made for its latest watch.

Once we conduct a full review of the Galaxy Watch 6, we will know exactly how the Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 will compare, but for now, here are the biggest changes to expect.

Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 price

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 started at $279 while the more premium Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro started at $499. As a reminder, the Watch 5 Pro featured durable materials and a longer battery life, pitched as an outdoor sports watch.

For the Galaxy Watch 6, the 40mm version starts at $299 / £289, and the larger 43mm version is priced at $329 / £319. This is a price hike from the Galaxy Watch 5. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic starts $399 / £369 for the 44mm size, with the 47mm watch priced at $429 / £399.

Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 design

The Galaxy Watch has maintained a consistent design language over the years: A circular screen, two side buttons, metal details and interchangeable bands. With every new generation, Samsung has managed to slim the watch down a bit, even while maintaining the same general look. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

(Image credit: Future)

We have two new devices: The sporty-looking Galaxy Watch 6 and the traditional-looking Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, complete with a physical rotating bezel. The watches also have larger displays than before.

Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 specs

Spec-wise, there might not be much difference between the Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 5. We know that the Galaxy Watch 6 will sport a continued collection of health sensors, including body composition analysis and skin temperature readers. It’ll also have GPS, NFC and optional LTE support for phone-free connectivity. 

The only things Samsung has confirmed in terms of features is that One UI 5 Watch will bring an Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification (IHRN) tool to "the upcoming Galaxy Watch devices," and that the company's sleep tracking tech will advance with the Galaxy Watch 6.

Finally, a report from GalaxyClub suggests larger battery capacities are planned for devices that earned certification in South Korea. This could mean the Galaxy Watch 6 will have a longer battery life than the Galaxy Watch 5. The Galaxy Watch 5 offered a significant, 15% improvement over the Galaxy Watch 4, promising up to 50 hours of battery life.

Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 5 outlook

While there might not be major changes in the cards for the Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 5, we’re still expecting incremental improvements that will make the best smartwatch for Android even better.

Be sure to follow along with all our coverage of Samsung Unpacked for the latest news and updates about the Galaxy Watch 6. 

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.