Samsung is bringing back a fan favourite feature for its latest style-led smartwatch. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic includes a rotating bezel, which went MIA for the previous generation, while also stepping things up on health tracking and battery life. Last year’s Galaxy Watch 5 was among the best smartwatches, so its better-equipped successor stands a solid chance of doing the same.
Launching in 43mm and 47mm screen sizes alongside the smaller 40mm and 44mm Galaxy Watch 6, the Watch 6 Classic is Samsung’s biggest smartwatch to date – but a 15% slimmer bezel than the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic means it shouldn’t entirely dominate your wrist. The watch itself is machined from stainless steel, finished in black or silver, and the circular AMOLED screen is protected by sapphire crystal glass. 5ATM water resistance and an IP68 rating mean it’ll cope with showers, swimming pools and open water.
Each Watch 6 Classic comes with a workout-friendly watch band made of eco-leather. New quick-release lugs should make swapping out straps a breeze, which is handy as there’ll be a bunch of official ones to choose from at launch, including metal link bracelets and fabric bands. It’ll also play nicely with third-party bands that use standard 20mm lugs.
It’s the first smartwatch to launch with WearOS 4.0, with Samsung’s OneUI 5 Watch interface sat on top. All the familiar features from previous Galaxy Watches make a return, including Samsung Wallet for contactless payments, a remote shutter for your Samsung smartphone’s camera, and access to the Google Play Store for third-party apps. The Find My Phone app now has a live map view too, for making it easier to track a missing mobile.
New health tracking additions include personalised heart rate zones for regular workouts, a track running mode, and a custom workout function. In-depth sleep insights will track blood oxygen and skin temperature, record any snoring, and provide sleep coaching to help you catch more than 40 winks each night. It’ll also record ECG, heart rate and blood pressure, detect falls, and predict menstrual cycles.
Feature-wise you’re not gaining anything by going for the Watch 6 Classic over the regular Watch 6. The only difference is that rotating bezel, which quickly scrolls through screens without having to swipe your finger over the touchscreen.
Power comes from an all-new Exynos W930 CPU. The dual-core chip runs faster than the one found in the old-gen Watch 5, and has more RAM to boot. There’s also 16GB of on-board storage, and a choice of Bluetooth-only or 5G-enabled cellular models.
Battery life should see a small but welcome improvement over last year’s largest Galaxy Watch 5, thanks in part to the more energy-efficient CPU. The 43mm variant gets a 300mAh cell, while the 47mm model has a 425mAh battery. Samsung reckons up to 30 hours with the always-on display should be doable, or 40 hours with it switched off.
The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic goes on sale alongside the regular Galaxy Watch 6 on the 11th of August, with pre-orders open right now. Prices for the Classic will start from £369 for the Bluetooth-only 43mm model, and climb to £459 for the 5G-enabled 47mm version.
Samsung will continue to sell the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which it reckons has more athlete appeal; it’ll get an update to WearOS 4 in the coming months.