Samsung has not one, but two new smartwatches for this year. Though it's true the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic have more in common than not, there are a couple of key differences you'll want to know.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 lineup made its debut during Galaxy Unpacked 2023. In addition to design and performance improvements over the Galaxy Watch 5, the Galaxy Watch 6 saw the return of the physical rotating bezel on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. Now, there's one sporty-looking smartwatch and another that feels very sophisticated.
Whether you're debating whether to get one or the other, or are simply curious to know the how the Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic compare in attempt to become the best smartwatches, read on below.
Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: Specs compared
|Header Cell - Column 0||Galaxy Watch 6||Galaxy Watch 6 Classic|
|Sizes||44mm/40mm Super AMOLED||47mm/43mm Super AMOLED|
|Colors||Graphite, Silver (44mm), Gold (40mm)||Black, Silver|
|Dimensions||42.8 x 44.4 x 9.0 mm (44mm) / 38.8 x 40.4 x 9.0 mm (40mm)||46.5 x 46.5 x 10.9 mm (47mm) / 42.5 x 42.5 x 10.9 mm (43mm)|
|Weight||33.3g (44mm) / 28.7g (40mm)||59.0g (47mm) / 52.0g (43mm)|
|Durability||5ATM + IP68||5ATM + IP68|
|Battery life (rated)||Up to 40 hours (Always On Display off) / Up to 30 hours (Always On Display on)||Up to 40 hours (Always On Display off) / Up to 30 hours (Always On Display on)|
|Connectivity||LTE, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 2.4+5GHz, NFC, GPS||LTE, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 2.4+5GHz, NFC, GPS|
|Compatibility||Android 10 or higher||Android 10 or higher|
Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: Price
Price is a predominant difference between the Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. The Galaxy Watch 6 starts at $299 / £289 for the 40mm configuration and $329 / £319 for the 43mm model.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic starts $399 / £369 for the 44mm size and $429 / £399 for the 47mm option. Though the display sizes of the two watches are the same, the rotating bezel on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic results in a wider watch measurement.
Both smartwatches are available with LTE connectivity at a premium, though note you'll have to pay a monthly free through your mobile carrier for it to be activated.
Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: Design
The Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic have distinct designs that separate for whom each watch might be better suited. While both maintain a circular body with two side buttons, the frames surrounding the display are quite different.
At a glance, the Galaxy Watch 6 looks very similar to the Galaxy Watch 5, but upon closer inspection you'll see smaller bezels around the display that make the screen 20% larger. The frame also aligns more flush with the display, making the watch look simple and slim.
The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic gets the same display improvements, but it is encased by a physical rotating bezel. It reaches a bit further up from the screen, yet is 15% slimmer than before. We like how it’s much less pronounced compared to the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic — it looks more sophisticated this way.
Both watches benefit from Samsung's new One-Click interchangeable band mechanism, so you can swap between straps more easily, but you'll want to pay attention to the device color options. The Galaxy Watch 6 comes in graphite, silver, gold or black depending on the sizes, while the Galaxy Watch Watch 6 Classic comes in black and silver for both sizes.
Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: Features
Price and design is where the Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic's differences end. In terms of software and health features, they're essentially identical.
New for wellness is a more comprehensive Sleep Score Factor analysis, complete with an animal assignment that best represents their sleep behaviors. There is also a new Personalized Heart Rate Zone feature for workouts, and we’ll see Samsung roll out the Irregular Heart Rhythm notification feature that detects signs of aFib. Both watches have a skin-temperature reader and body composition analysis sensor, too.
For Wear OS, some keys apps received an upgrade this year. Camera Controller makes remote content capture with paired Samsung smartphone a breeze, while the Samsung Wallet now supports things like concert tickets and boarding passes. WhatsApp finally arrived on Wear OS as well, offering an additional platform for wrist-based communication.
Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: Battery life
Again, despite measuring in at different sizes, the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic have the same battery capacities. Samsung estimates up to 40 hours of use without the always-on display enabled, but from our experience, the Galaxy Watch usually lasts just over full day. The settings you use will impact how long your watch lasts, though.
Both the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic support fast charging. According to Samsung, 8 minutes of charging resulting in 8 hours of battery life, but we'll need to put that to the test ourselves.
Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: Outlook
Though the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic are the same at their foundations, the specific designs give customers flexibility for finding a smartwatch that fits their style.
For a starting price of $299, the standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the versatile Android smartwatch. It's not nearly as eye-catching as the Classic model, but it's great for the gym and still sleek enough for everyday wear.
But if you're all about that bezel, and prefer a smartwatch that looks more like a traditional timepiece, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic strikes an excellent balance. And while you're essentially paying an $100 premium for flashier wrist candy, it could be worth it for something you keep strapped on all day (and even all night.)