Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series review refined, not revolutionary.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series review refined, not revolutionary.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: Is Samsung Losing its Edge in the Android Smartwatch Market?

For quite some time, Samsung has been hailed as the champion of flagship Android smartwatches, offering a desirable alternative to the Apple Watch. However, with the changing landscape of the Android wearable market, it is uncertain how long Samsung can maintain its dominance. While the latest Galaxy Watch 6 series is undoubtedly a great offering, it may not be enough to secure Samsung’s status heading into the fall product season and beyond.

Let’s take a closer look at the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and explore why they may not be as groundbreaking as we had hoped.

Familiarity with Incremental Improvements

While the Galaxy Watch 6 series is undeniably a solid choice for Android smartwatch enthusiasts, it does not bring many significant changes to the table. While this can be comforting for those who appreciate familiarity, it may also leave others feeling a sense of stagnation.

The most noticeable change is the slimmed-down bezels, which create an optical illusion that the watch is larger than its predecessors. The Classic version also reintroduces the beloved rotating bezel while sporting a sleeker design. However, apart from these visual alterations, there isn’t much new to be excited about.

What’s New and What’s Not

The updates to the Galaxy Watch 6 series can be compared to Vincent Adultman from Bojack Horseman, a character made up of three kids stacked under a trenchcoat pretending to be an adult. The updates can be seen as a collection of small changes that add up to a bigger one, but they may not leave a lasting impact.

In terms of size, the basic Galaxy Watch 6 is available in the familiar 40mm and 44mm cases, while the Classic offers slightly larger 43mm and 47mm options. The bezels are slimmer, giving the watches a more appealing visual aesthetic. The materials used remain aluminum for the base model and stainless steel for the Classic.

Internally, the hardware remains largely the same as the previous generation, with minor improvements such as larger batteries and the new Exynos W930 chipset. The addition of a temperature sensor allows for advanced cycle tracking and exciting third-party applications, although these features were previously announced for the Galaxy Watch 5.

On the software front, the Watch 6 series runs Google’s Wear OS 4 and Samsung’s One UI 5 Watch. The updates bring minor improvements, including expanded on-wrist data for sleep tracking and new watch faces. However, the overall experience still feels similar to previous versions, with some features already available on other smartwatches.

Battery Life and Performance

Battery life has always been a concern for Samsung smartwatches. While last year’s Galaxy Watch 4 series disappointed in this regard, the Galaxy Watch 6 series shows some improvements. The smaller models now feature a 300mAh battery, while the larger ones have a 425mAh battery. With moderate usage, the watches can last a full workday, marking a significant improvement from previous generations.

Performance-wise, the Galaxy Watch 6 series offers a smooth and reliable experience. Fitness tracking functions, such as step counting and heart rate monitoring, are highly accurate, although GPS distance tracking can occasionally be inaccurate. Overall, the watches provide a satisfactory performance for most users.

Samsung’s Ecosystem Advantage

Like Apple, Samsung’s products work seamlessly within its own ecosystem. While the Galaxy Watch 6 series can be paired with any Android phone, the experience is optimized when used with a Samsung device. Setup is smoother, and there are additional exclusive apps and features available when paired with a Samsung phone. However, these differences are relatively minor and may not significantly impact the overall user experience.

Is it Worth the Upgrade?

The Galaxy Watch 6 series is undoubtedly among the best smartwatches available, with its solid performance and incremental improvements. If you are currently using an older Tizen OS smartwatch or seeking a smoother Wear OS experience with enhanced battery life, upgrading to the latest models would be a wise choice.

However, the price increase compared to previous generations may discourage some potential buyers. While the improvements in the Galaxy Watch 6 series justify the higher price tag, it can be disheartening to pay more for essentially the same experience. If you already own a Galaxy Watch 4 or Watch 5, the value proposition of upgrading may be limited, as the differences are relatively minimal.

The Future of Samsung’s Smartwatches

While the Galaxy Watch 6 series maintains Samsung’s position in the Android smartwatch market, it may not be enough to keep them ahead of the competition in the long run. Samsung’s updates this year have been more iterative than groundbreaking, which could pose a challenge as more players enter the Android wearable space.

Looking forward, Samsung will need to step up its game to maintain its edge in the smartwatch market. The current offering is strong, but with the rapid pace of innovation, Samsung cannot afford to rest on its laurels.

In conclusion, the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic are excellent Android smartwatches, offering reliable performance and some noteworthy improvements. However, with the increasing competition and the lack of significant advancements, Samsung may need to push the boundaries further to stay at the forefront of the Android smartwatch market.