If you're on the hunt for a new Wear OS smartwatch, it's likely that two of the top options - the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 - are on your shortlist.
While these two devices share the same operating system, however, there are also plenty of differences - and therefore much that you need to consider before pulling the trigger.
So, to help make the decision easier for you, we've analyzed these two watch lineups and broken down all the key differences in design, features, and price. Read on to discover which is best for your wrist.
Prices, versions, and availability
Before we get into all the more technical differences between these watch lineups, let's start with the obvious stuff - how each version will actually set you back.
We reference different versions here because this isn't necessarily a direct comparison. While Xiaomi keeps things simple with its singular 46mm watch case, Samsung has many, many variations to pick from in its Galaxy Watch 6 lineup.
Not only do you have the choice between a 41mm or 44mm case with the standard Galaxy Watch 6, but there's also the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic to consider. Coming in 43mm or 47mm sizes, the Classic boasts a slightly different design and (slightly) better battery life, as we'll explore more below.
And if that wasn't enough choice, you also have a decision to make regarding cellular support with all of these watches (and whether you want to incur the monthly carrier charge that goes with it).
These two ranges couldn't be more different when it comes to versions, then. And it's a theme that continues into the actual price and availability of each.
We've dropped the RRP for base models below to keep things concise, and, while the singular Xiaomi is clearly the cheapest option of the bunch, keep in mind it will also be a bit harder to get hold of.
While now available to buy in China and Europe directly from Xiaomi, there's no official timeline for release in the US. We expect it'll soon pop up via third-party retailers, but, obviously, the Galaxy Watch 6 is a bit more widely accessible.
Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Watch 2 Pro: Base model pricing
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (40mm): £289 / $299.99
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (44mm): £319 / $329.99
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic (43mm): From £369 / $399.99
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic (47mm): From £399 / $429.99
- Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro: £229.99 (around $285)
- Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro LTE: £279.99 (around $345)
Design and display
There's a distinctly premium feel to all of the watch versions on offer here, but that doesn't mean there's a catch-all audience.
The fact Xiaomi limits the case size options to that large 46mm case (above) means this can only really be considered by those with bigger wrists, and this narrow appeal also bleeds into the design itself.
It's more masculine and bold than either of Samsung's options, and, despite being a bit thinner than Samsung's devices, it still weighs around 55g.
We haven't had the chance to put it to a full test just yet, but we expect this makes it a bit more difficult to exercise with and wear during sleep - especially if you opt for the heavier leather strap.
Samsung's Classic model is the more direct rival to the Watch 2 Pro in terms of design and feel, then, with the key difference between the two being the rotating bezel used to navigate through menus.
Though both have a chunky bezel - with the Watch 2 Pro's being a bit of a fingerprint magnet - the 47mm Classic's 1.5-inch Super AMOLED display just about edges the Watch 2 Pro's 1.4 screen, we think.
The slight bump in resolution on the bigger Samsung (480 x 480 pixels) is noticeable on the wrist, too.
Things are a bit harder to compare when it comes to the standard Galaxy Watch 6, given the size differences. Instead, we'd say this is the best pick for those who want something lighter and sportier.
You'll be sacrificing a bit of screen size and a bolder design if you opt for the base edition, but the display still looks fantastic - even in bright conditions - and is much more edge-to-edge and modern than the other models on offer here.
You still also get bezel control with the Galaxy Watch 6, too - it's just digital, rather than being a physical bezel that rotates.
Wear OS and smart features
The proprietary OS you'll find on Xiaomi watches like the S1 Pro has been ditched for Wear OS in the Watch 2 Pro - and it's a very welcome change, in our view.
Of course, this is the same decision Samsung made back in 2021 when it left behind its own Tizen platform, and should mean these watches compare pretty well to one another.
We should say that they're still not exactly the same, though. While the Watch 2 Pro does run on Snapdragon W5+ chip - and therefore should be able to make the upgrade to Wear OS 4 - it doesn't do so right out of the box.
That means that, for now at least, Samsung's Galaxy Watch 6 series is the only way to access the latest version of Wear OS.
This isn't a dealbreaker, with the Watch 2 Pro featuring the Snapdragon W5+ / Wear OS 3.5 combination that flourished in our TicWatch Pro 5 review, but Wear OS 4 does (on paper) promise slightly better battery life and quality of life features like cloud backups.
The core smart features are all there, though. Google's suite of apps - Maps, Gmail, Wallet, and even Assistant - are all available to use directly on the wrist, as are third-party options like Strava and Spotify.
We don't feel like there's a noticeable difference in performance or available smarts here, so you can be safe in the knowledge that either will provide a very capable and smooth-running experience.
Health and fitness features
While we haven't had the chance to fully test out the accuracy of the health and fitness features on offer with the Watch 2 Pro, it does compare very favorably to the Galaxy Watch 6 series.
In fact, it even borrows what was previously an exclusive feature of Samsung's devices - body composition analysis.
This appears to work very similarly to the tech on the Galaxy Watch 6 (and Galaxy Watch 5), providing breakdowns of your body weight, fat, muscle, and water levels.
But, where it beats Samsung is in the fact it's not a feature that's locked to those pairing up with a Samsung phone, which means anybody with an Android device can access it.
The Watch 2 Pro also becomes the only Wear OS device to boast dual-frequency GPS tracking, which should, in theory, provide superior accuracy to that on the Galaxy Watch 6 models.
We weren't overly impressed with the performance of GPS accuracy with Samsung's devices, so, for those who want tip-top outdoor positioning, this is definitely a potential reason to consider the Watch 2 Pro.
We'll provide all the details on accuracy here in our full review, however. And, for clarity, we should also caveat this by noting that we found the dual-band GPS performance of the Xiaomi Watch S2 to be pretty sketchy.
Elsewhere, the health and fitness packages are very similar - there's wide-ranging support for more exercise profiles than you can name, tons of heart rate insights, blood oxygen monitoring, and detailed sleep tracking.
The only major feature not available on the Watch 2 Pro from what we know so far is blood pressure monitor integration, which is reserved for those with a Galaxy Watch 6 device and a Samsung phone.
This is one area we're very interested in testing out more directly, given that the only current-gen Wear OS device with true multi-day battery life has proven to be the TicWatch Pro 5 - a watch, as we say, with the same chip as Xiaomi's device.
The Chinese company quotes 65 hours of life for the Watch 2 Pro, which certainly feels around what we would expect, and, if it does turn out to be accurate, would be a huge step up from the Galaxy Watch 6 models.
Instead, you'll need to charge every day with whichever Samsung device you choose.
As ever, the battery life will stretch a bit further if you turn off features like the always-on display, but, even still, you're very unlikely to receive two full days of wear.
So, even if the Watch 2 Pro slightly underperforms the company's own estimate, then, it should have the beating of Samsung in this area.
This isn't overly surprising, given the difference in battery size - the Watch 2 Pro houses a 495mAh unit, as opposed to the 47mm Galaxy Watch 6 Classic's 425mAh - but it's still a major factor to consider when choosing.
Which is best?
Though we're yet to fully put the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro through its paces, and therefore can't really speak to the accuracy of features or estimates just yet, it does appear to be a very attractive alternative to the Galaxy Watch 6 - particularly the bigger of the two Classic case sizes.
Not only is it slightly cheaper than the entire Galaxy Watch 6 range, but it also boasts most of the same health and fitness features - and has the potential to last a decent chunk longer per charge.
The real issue with Xiaomi's watch is the lack of variety, with just one case size and design on offer.
By comparison, Samsung's range is extensive, with options for virtually every wrist size and two distinctly different designs available. Samsung's devices are also more accessible, given the current lack of clarity regarding the Watch 2 Pro's release in the US.
As long as you can handle the daily charging cycle, we still expect more users to be better off with a Galaxy Watch 6 device, but the initial signs suggest that the Watch 2 Pro is a very compelling alternative for those with bigger wrists.
How we test