Samsung has dropped a new pair of Galaxy smartwatches in the form of the Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic.
The Galaxy Watch 6 follows on from the Galaxy Watch 5, and there's little difference between the two visually.
However, the Watch 6 Classic follows the Watch 4 Classic – after Samsung took a hiatus in 2022 with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.
If you’re deciding between the two, there are a few choice considerations. Here’s what you need to know.
Galaxy Watch 6 40 mm: From $299/£289 – Pre-order
Galaxy Watch 6 44 mm: From $329/£319 – Pre-order
Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 43 mm: From $399/£369 – Pre-order
Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 47 mm: From $429£399– Pre-order
Case sizes and weight
The key difference between the Watch 6 and the Watch 6 Classic is design.
The standard Watch 6 comes in 40mm and 44mm case sizes, so there is an option for small wrists.
The Watch 6 Classic comes in 43mm, which is still unisex, and a big 47mm version, which we have been wearing.
There is a substantial weight difference, with the Watch 6 44mm tipping the scales at 33.3g and the Watch 6 Classic 47mm at 59g.
The Watch 6 40mm weighs just 28.7g, which is not far shy of half the weight of the Watch 6 Classic 43mm at 52g.
So if you’re looking for something lightweight, it’s all about the Watch 6. But those who like a chunkier watch will prefer the Classic.
To go with the case sizes, there are differences in color options available.
The 40mm standard Watch 6 is the only model available in gold – which does offer unisex appeal. There’s also a black too. The 44mm comes in black and silver.
In the Watch 6 Classic, there are black and silver options in both sizes.
Design and wearability
The Watch 6 Classic boasts a more refined, analog watch styling, with a touch more detail and finesse, compared to the clean lines of the Watch 6.
It has a prominent bezel which is etched with chronograph markings, that give it, well, a classic watch look. There are some pleasing etchings to the bezel that offer a bit of interest, and this is especially noticeable on the silver version.
But there’s more to the bezel than just design. On the Classic the bezel rotates, to provide a tactile control method. That’s expressed throughout the Wear OS 4 interface, from rotating right from the watch face to view Tiles or left to cycle through notifications.
Long pages of data can also be scrolled though, such as the full list of sleep stats.
It’s such a nice way of interacting with the Watch 6 Classic and elevates the experience – especially with the tactile mechanical click. We’ve fallen for it, and makes the Watch 6 Classic feel a bit more unique and special.
The Watch 6 44mm and the Watch 6 Classic 47mm have the same sized 1.5-inch AMOLED display with a 480x480 resolution. The Watch 6’s display feels bigger, thanks to the lack of bezel, but does feel like a big flat space of AMOLED on the wrist.
The smaller 40mm Galaxy Watch 6 and 43mm Watch 6 Classic have 1.3-inch AMOLED with a 432x432 resolution.
It may come as a surprise, but there’s no boost in battery life on the larger Watch 6 Classic.
Samsung estimates both to have 40 hours of battery life, with the always-on display disabled. If
In our testing, we found around 24 hours with the always-on display enabled and nightly SpO2 also tracked, as well as an hour of running.
If that battery life sounds underwhelming then the Watch 5 Pro remains part of the Galaxy Watch lineup – and that packs close to three days of battery life.
In terms of features, there’s nothing to pick between the two.
Both feature Wear OS 4, packaged in One UI 5 Watch and thus all of the same sleep tracking, heart rate zone training and track running additions.
And that’s on top of the standard array of Galaxy Watch health and fitness features.
There’s body composition analysis, blood pressure tracking (which still requires validation by a cuff), and ECG are all on board, as well as menstrual tracking and Fall Detection. What’s more, there are also new low/high heart rate alerts.
And both have GPS on board, for the tracking of outdoor workouts.
It’s a complete set of smartwatch health features, and blood pressure tracking is still pretty unique – even if it has to be regularly calibrated to a blood pressure cuff.
There are a few considerations here. Size, design, and colorways are the chief reasons to pick between the two. Want smaller and lighter? Choose the Watch 6. Want a chunkier, more watch-like smartwatch? The Watch 6 Classic is the one to get.
As we revealed, most features are heading to the Watch 4 and Watch 5 – and that makes the Watch 6 a little harder to recommend. So perhaps look for a deal in this instance.
Because the Watch 6 Classic returns after two years away, it feels like the fresher device – and the rotating bezel is such a joy to use. So if you’re still stuck at this point, the Watch 6 Classic gets our thumbs up.
How we test