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Samsung Galaxy Watch6 and Watch6 Classic review: Still the best Android smartwatch?

Samsung Galaxy Watch6

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 on the left, and Galaxy Watch6 Classic on the right.

A Brief History

Around two years ago, Samsung revamped their entire smartwatch lineup with the Galaxy Watch4 series. It was a significant overhaul featuring new hardware, sensors, and software by embracing the Wear OS platform. It even earned the title of "Best Smartwatch of the Year" at our Tech Awards. However, the subsequent release of the Galaxy Watch5 left us underwhelmed, as it was almost identical to its predecessor in both hardware and software. It only brought the introduction of the Watch Pro, which offered a rugged design and offline mapping.

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The New Watch6

The Watch6 series introduces two variants: the standard Watch6 with just a touch display and the Watch6 Classic with the signature rotating bezel. It's important to note that the Pro variant remains exclusive to the Watch5 series. The Watch6 series finally come with hardware and software improvements, including Wear OS 4.0 and Samsung’s One UI 5Watch makeover.

You now get improved sleep tracking, where you’re assigned a Sleep Avatar based on your sleep patterns, which then comes with tailored Sleep Coaching. This is similar to Fitbit’s Sleep Profile and Animals, except Fibit’s feature lies behind the Fitbit Premium paywall, while Samsung’s is free. The skin temperature sensor on the Watch6 series also works right out of the box, adding another layer of data for sleep tracking and other health-related metrics. This sensor was introduced in the Watch5 series, but was never activated till a recent firmware update after the Watch6 was launched. And that’s the fun part. With the Wear OS 4.0 update, all Watch5 and Watch6 devices are now practically identical in terms of UI and functionality.

Working temperature sensor and new Sleep Avatars plus customised coaching.

So what’s different?

The Watch6 series offers both 40mm and 44mm sizes, while the Watch6 Classic provides 43mm and 47mm options. The Watch6 features an impressive display that’s brighter and sharper than its predecessors, making them a joy to use. They do feature an updated 1.4GHz Exynos W930 chipset with 2GB of RAM. While navigation and app performance is smoother, it does not noticeably impact usage experience as much as the larger displays do.

Battery capacity sees a mild bump, but actual battery life on the Watch6 remains similar to past generations. You’ll last a full day with Always-on display enabled, and up to two days without. However, I still recommend daily charging unless you like to sleep on the edge. The Watch5 Pro still has the largest battery among all the Galaxy Watches.

Samsung's BioActive sensor doesn’t seem to have been updated since its introduction in the Watch4. However, erratic heart rate behaviour, which I noticed in my older reviews seem to have been solved in the Watch6. Tracking is rock solid even when my hands were slick with sweat. However, some aspects of activity tracking can be improved, such as accidental activity start-ups and default workout countdown, which occasionally fails GPS lock on. I no longer have the Watch4 with me, but if my Watch5 Pro is any indication, previous watches that have been updated to the latest One UI/Wear OS should perform similarly too.

@hwztech Should you wear a smartwatch on your leg? #samsung #galaxywatch6 #smartwatch #activitytracker #wearables #fitness #health #techmeup #techtips #psa #hwzsg #techtok #tiktoksg #fyp ♬ original sound – HardwareZone< PrevPage 1 of 1 – Samsung Galaxy Watch6Page 1 of 1 – Samsung Galaxy Watch6Page 1 of 1 Page 1 of 1 – Samsung Galaxy Watch6Next >

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