Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review Samsung’s best smartwatch yet

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review Samsung's best smartwatch yet

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: The Smartwatch That Lives Up to Expectations

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic has finally arrived, bringing back the iconic rotating bezel that has defined Samsung’s top smartwatches. After a year of anticipation, does the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic live up to the high expectations set by its predecessors? Well, let me tell you, I haven’t wanted to take it off since I received it, which should give you an idea of where this review is going.

Design and Comfort: A Smartwatch You’ll Want to Wear 24/7

A well-designed smartwatch stands out immediately, and the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is one of those timepieces. I’ve been wearing the 47mm version, and apart from a few minor issues getting it comfortable under tight sleeves, it has been an extremely comfortable watch to wear. Weighing 85 grams, it is slightly heavier than the Google Pixel Watch, but I have had no problem wearing it overnight to track my sleep. Speaking of which, sleep tracking is one of the biggest upgrades Samsung has made to the platform.

The strap of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is another highlight. It’s a hybrid strap, featuring rubber next to your skin and leather on top. Not only does it resist sweat and offer durability, but it also looks great. Samsung’s decision to integrate the strap into the lugs gives a cohesive feel to the overall design. With plenty of holes for adjustment and two keepers to ensure a secure fit, this is easily one of the best standard straps I’ve worn on a smartwatch.

In terms of aesthetics, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a winner. The silver case and white strap version exudes class, while the black version is more understated. The polished and matte finish case, coin-edge bezel, tachymeter reading, subtle button guard, and the attractive sheen from the sapphire crystal all contribute to a watch that looks and feels like a premium timepiece. Samsung has truly nailed the “real” watch look with the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

Controls and Navigation: The Return of the Rotating Bezel

One of the highlights of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is the return of the rotating bezel. After abandoning it for the Galaxy Watch 5 series, Samsung has brought back this iconic feature, and it’s a game-changer. Using your finger to twist the bezel around and navigate through the menu is shockingly simple yet wonderfully intuitive. It makes using the smartwatch easier and more enjoyable compared to using a rotating crown. The accompanying buttons on the case, including the Home button and Back button, enhance the overall navigation experience.

Samsung has made the controls on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic configurable, allowing users to set different functions for the Back button and the Home button. Additionally, you can easily switch between Bixby and Google Assistant and use voice recognition for various tasks. The combination of the rotating bezel, buttons, and touchscreen provides a versatile and user-friendly interface.

Software and Performance: A Satisfying Experience with a Few Shortcomings

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic runs on Google’s Wear OS 4.0 with Samsung’s own One UI Watch 5.0 interface. While there are minimal changes from previous versions, the software is bright, colorful, and well-designed. The twist of the bezel brings up different informative Tiles that can be customized, and swiping in different directions allows access to apps, settings, and notifications. Overall, the interface is easy to understand and operates similarly to other Wear OS smartwatches.

However, Wear OS still has some persistent issues, such as unreliable notifications and occasional sluggishness in performance. Certain apps, like WhatsApp and Instagram, sometimes fail to show notifications consistently, making it less reliable than its Apple Watch counterpart. The responsiveness and speed of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is hampered at times, especially when waking up the smartwatch. While these flaws are not unique to Samsung’s device and more related to Wear OS itself, they do hinder the overall experience. Nonetheless, they are forgivable considering the other outstanding features of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

Health and Fitness Tracking: Comprehensive and Customizable

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic excels in health and fitness tracking. With over 90 different workout tracking modes and the option to create custom workout plans, it caters to a wide range of activities. The watch provides real-time information during workouts, including heart rate, calorie burn, and heart rate zones. Notably, the auto workout detection feature is excellent, recognizing when you’ve been active for a period of time and automatically starting the workout tracking.

When it comes to sleep tracking, Samsung has significantly improved the feature on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. In addition to providing an overall Sleep Score, the watch tracks sleep duration, stages, blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, and snoring. The Samsung Health app displays this data in a logical and informative manner, helping users understand their sleep patterns and make improvements. The inclusion of a sleep coaching program adds an extra level of engagement for users looking to optimize their sleep habits.

Other health-oriented features include body composition analysis, skin temperature tracking for menstrual cycle monitoring, and blood pressure measurement (with proper calibration and consultation with a healthcare professional). While these features may not be the sole reason to buy the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, they certainly contribute to its value proposition, making it stand out among other smartwatches in terms of health and wellness capabilities.

Battery and Charging: Decent Longevity with Convenient Charging

The 47mm Galaxy Watch 6 Classic features a 425mAh battery that provides up to 30 hours of use with the always-on screen and up to 40 hours without it. In my tests, the battery lasted a day and a half with moderate usage, including sleep tracking and a 30-minute workout. Sleep tracking consumes about 10% of battery life, and using GPS for longer workouts will reduce the battery life to a full day. The proprietary charging puck, which is included in the box, fully recharges the watch in approximately 80 minutes. A quick 20-minute charge adds around 25% battery life, offering convenience for those who forget to charge overnight.

Durability: Designed to Withstand the Test of Time

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic boasts a stainless steel case, ceramic case back, and sapphire crystal over the touchscreen, ensuring both style and durability. Throughout my review, the watch has withstood various activities, including manual work, exercising, and exposure to water. The strap has remained in excellent condition, showing no signs of wear or creasing. With an IP68 water and dust resistance rating and adherence to MIL-STD-810H military toughness standards, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is designed to handle daily wear and tear.

Furthermore, Samsung provides a four-year update promise for the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, ensuring that users will continue to receive future software enhancements and features.

The Smaller Version and the Galaxy Watch 6

In addition to the 47mm version, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is also available in a 43mm case size. While the dimensions vary, the overall functionality remains the same. The choice between the two sizes ultimately comes down to personal preference and wrist size.

For those considering the regular Galaxy Watch 6, it is worth noting that both models share many similarities in terms of features, technology, and performance. The main differences lie in design, with the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic offering a rotating bezel and a more watch-like aesthetic. Ultimately, the decision between the two will depend on individual preferences and whether the design aspects outweigh the price differential.

Price and Availability

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is priced at $400 for the 43mm version and $430 for the 47mm version. LTE-enabled models are available for $450 (43mm) and $480 (47mm). The watch comes in black or silver finishes. In the UK, the prices range from £369 to £459.

Compared to other major smartwatches on the market, such as the Google Pixel Watch and the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic offers the latest version of Wear OS, up-to-date processors, and a comprehensive set of features.

Verdict: A Smartwatch Worth Considering

In conclusion, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is highly recommended for Android users looking for a stylish and feature-rich smartwatch. Despite some shortcomings in the Wear OS software and performance, the overall package is exceptional. The design, comfort, health and fitness tracking capabilities, and user-friendly interface make it stand out among its rivals. Furthermore, the rotating bezel and choice of case sizes add to its appeal. If you own an Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is the top choice for a smartwatch in terms of design, comfort, and wearability.

Disclaimer: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic only works with Android phones and does not connect to an iPhone. For iPhone users, the Apple Watch Series 8 or Apple Watch Ultra are recommended alternatives.