Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Google Pixel Watch — what to expect

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Future)

The differences between the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Google Pixel Watch will be important to know if you're considering buying a new Android smartwatch soon. Samsung's next-gen smartwatch is on the way to challenge Google's in-house Wear OS watch, after all.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 looks like it's going to be the best Samsung watch, replacing the Galaxy Watch 5 with rumored performance and design upgrades. The Pixel Watch, meanwhile, might not be replaced until October. There aren't many rumors yet about what the Pixel Watch 2 will offer, either.

Last year, the Google Pixel Watch crashed Galaxy Watch's party in the Wear OS space, leveraging  both Google apps and Fitbit fitness tracking to make for a rather capable first-generation device. Despite being a newcomer, the Pixel Watch is one of the best smartwatches you can get right now. The Galaxy Watch 6 could change that, though.

Here's how the Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Pixel Watch might compare in terms of price, appearance, battery life and more. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Price and availability

The Pixel Watch is out now and costs $349 for a GPS + Bluetooth-only configuration, while the LTE-compatible version costs $399. Since it's been on the market for a while, you can usually check the top Pixel Watch deals for discounts.

But how will the price compare to the Galaxy Watch 6, which is expected to be announced at Samsung Unpacked on July 26? For the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, prices started at $279 for the 40mm Bluetooth model. The 40mm LTE model started at $329. The price goes up to $299 and $349 for the 44mm configurations for Bluetooth and LTE, respectively, though you can find this watch on sale, too.

We haven't heard any rumors suggesting Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 will see a price difference. That said, the price of the Galaxy Watch has fluctuated every year, so we'll just have to wait to see how it compares to the Pixel Watch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Design

Based on what we've heard, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Google Pixel Watch will both be circular and rather minimalistic watches, with round faces and side buttons. But the Galaxy Watch 6 will have a flat display, while the Pixel Watch has a 3D glass dome. 

The Pixel Watch comes in just one size: 41mm. The Galaxy Watch will have more options, perhaps both 40mm and 44mm configurations. Plus, rumors of a Galaxy Watch 6 Classic with a physical rotating bezel suggest that there will be larger size options available. Either way, both watches can be customized and fitted with interchangeable watch bands.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Features

The Google Pixel Watch and Galaxy Watch 6 are both Wear OS watches, but the experience isn't quite the same. Both should eventually run Wear OS 4, but Samsung curates Wear OS with One Watch UI 5 a skin that optimizes the Galaxy Watch for the Galaxy ecosystem. 

Just as Samsung tailors Android OS for its smartphones, Wear OS powered by Samsung presents an exclusive user experience. It has several Samsung programs, and the primary fitness-tracking platform is Samsung Health. On the other hand, the Google Pixel Watch leverages Fitbit for all its fitness tracking,

The Galaxy Watch 6 is expected to continue sporting the Galaxy Watch 5's array of health sensors, including a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) system for measuring body composition and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 skin temperature sensor. The Pixel Watch only has a rate sensor and SpO2 sensor, for comparison.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Battery life

The Google Pixel Watch battery life is rated for 24 hours of battery life. But in our testing, we could hardly eke out that long, with GPS draining 20% battery life per hour. That said, on days we didn't workout or use activity tracking, the watch did last the full 24 hours. 

As long as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 lasts over a day, it will have the Pixel Watch's battery life beat. The Galaxy Watch 5 promised up to 50 hours of battery life, so we expect the Galaxy Watch 6 to last at least as long on a full charge.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Google Pixel Watch: Outlook

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 could to introduce a collection of upgrades to make the best smartwatch for Android even better. We mostly anticipate it to outperform the Pixel Watch for the few months both watches are on the market. Things could change when the Pixel Watch 2 nears launch, though.

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.