The rotating bezel is back! Yes, Samsung has revealed Galaxy Watch 6 at Galaxy Unpacked and, after a year hiatus, the Classic design has returned. Together with the sporty-looking Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, Samsung's smartwatch collection for this year is shaping up to be an exciting one.
With competition from Google, Fitbit, Garmin, and Oura and more in the wellness-tracking market, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 prioritizes health monitoring with fresh activity and sleep tracking features. Plus, the launch of an Irregular Heart Rate notification feature positions it to be one of the best smartwatches for detecting for signs of Afib.
Meanwhile, significant design upgrades include slimmer display bezels and a new interchangeable band mechanism. Plus, updates to Wear OS improve existing apps to make them play nicer with the Galaxy ecosystem.
And that's just the abbreviated version. Below is everything you need to know about the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. Make sure you check out the details of the other products Samsung launched at Unpacked, including the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Specs
|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|
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Price and release date
Pre-orders are open for both the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic starting on July 26th, and the wearables will go on sale August 11, 2023.
Those in the U.K. who preorder the Galaxy Watch 6 will be able to claim a £50 Google Play Voucher, and those who order the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will be able to claim a £75 Google Play Voucher. Everyone will be eligible to receive a free Fabric Band by simply placing a preorder for the Galaxy Watch 6 or Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
For the Galaxy Watch 6, the 40mm version will start at $299/£289, and the larger 43mm version is priced at $329/£319. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will start from $399/£369 for the 44mm, with the 47mm watch costing $429/£399. Each smartwatch is available with LTE connectivity.
You will be able to pick up the 44mm Galaxy Watch 6 in graphite or silver, and the 40mm Watch 6 in graphite or gold. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic comes in black or silver for both sizes.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Design and display
The Galaxy Watch 6 design is familiar, but improved. Samsung trimmed down the bezels of its new smartwatches, subsequently increasing the size of their displays. This results in 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch Super AMOLED displays on the 40mm and 44mm versions of the Galaxy Watch 6. As for the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, it packs 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch sapphire crystal Super AMOLED displays for the 43mm and 47mm versions of the watch.
The headline from Unpacked is the return of the Watch Classic to the Samsung wearable line with rotating bezel functionality. The last time we saw a rotating bezel from Samsung was on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. But now it's 15% thinner, resulting in a sophisticated look that can pass for business or causal wear.
Last year, Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro instead, designed for extreme sports — where dust and dirt would've damaged a rotating bezel if it were there.
In terms of weight, the Galaxy Watch 6 maintains a rough weight of 0.98 ounces (28 grams) for the 40mm one, and 1.16 ounces (33 grams) for the 44mm watches. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic though is heavier than both the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, coming in at 2.08 ounces (59 grams) exactly for the 47mm and 1.83 ounces (52 grams) exactly for the 43mm version.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Software and performance
On the inside of both smartwatches, there's a new dual-core 1.4GHz Exynos W930 chipset, which is an upgrade from the internals of the Galaxy Watch 5. The new chipset runs a faster CPU and each device has an increase in RAM to 2GB and storage to 16GB.
In terms of the user experience, the Galaxy Watch 6 operates on Wear OS from Android, called One UI 5 Watch. As the UI is based on Wear OS, Google apps such as Google Assistant and Google Maps are included as standard on both the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
There are a greater selection of watch faces to choose from as well this year. Customers will also be able to take advantage of recently announced Samsung Wallet capabilities that allows for easy access to tickets, digital IDs, transport cards, and membership cards. Plus the updated Camera Controller app makes remote content capture with a Galaxy Z Flip 5 or Z Fold 5 a breeze. Uers can switch between photo and video, change angles, and zoom in and out before deciding to take a picture.
As expected, the Galaxy Watch 6 integrates best with other Galaxy devices, and now making it easier for users to find lost devices using the SmartThings app.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Sensors and fitness features
Health remains a major pillar of the Galaxy Watch 6 experience. With competition from the best fitness trackers at an all-time high, Samsung is making use of all of the sensors on the new devices, particularly the heart rate and temperature sensors.
Both the Galaxy Watch 6 and the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic come with the Samsung BioActive Sensor for optical heart rate, electrical heart signal, and bioelectrical impedance analysis, as well as a temperature sensor, accelerometer, barometer, gyro and geomagnetic sensor and light sensor.
With these sensors, these new smartwatches will offer better monitoring and analysis. Users can take advantage of personalized fitness coaching and better tracking in order to monitor goals closely. What's more, the skin temperature reader found on the Watch 5 series has been added once again and can be used to track menstruation cycles with the help of artificial intelligence.
Sleep coaching is another area where Samsung have upped its game, bringing new software features to help users get better rest. The sleeping app now analyses your behavior between the sheets and offers you coaching to improve sleeping patterns. The app also assigns you an animal depending on what type of sleeper you are, in order to make it easier for you to understand your sleeping patterns and how to get more shut eye.
There are new and improved heart tracking tools, including the roll-out of an Irregular Heart Rate notification. The smartwatches can be used to take emergency electrocardiograms (ECG), and give users personalized heart rate zones based on VO₂ max, which is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption attainable during physical exertion.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Battery and charging
The Galaxy Watch 6 series will come with an incremental upgrade to the batteries that are power each device. The 44mm Galaxy Watch 6 comes with a 425mAh, and the smaller 40mm one is backed by a 300 mAh unit. In comparison the Galaxy Watch 5 44m smartwatch came with a 410 mAh battery and the 40mm came with a 284 mAh battery.
As a result, both watches are estimated for 40 hours if the always on display is off, and 30 hours when it's on. For users who want the longest battery life possible for their smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro with an 80-hour stamina is remaining available for purchase.
Both smartwatches support fast charging, with gains of up to eight hours of battery life by charging them for eight minutes.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Outlook
With the vast array of competition in the wearables market, we're glad to see Samsung make some tangible improvements to design and health features for the Galaxy Watch 6 lineup.
What's more, by still undercutting the Google Pixel Watch, the Galaxy 6 Watch with its larger displays and free-to-use health service, Samsung seems motivated to keep its title as the best smartwatch for Android.
More from Tom's Guide
- Read more about what's appeared at Galaxy Unpacked today
- Your Samsung Galaxy Watch is getting 3 new apps — what you need to know
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Google Pixel Watch — what to expect