Samsung is officially first out of the gate with a WearOS 4 smartwatch. The Galaxy Watch 6 series will land in August, bringing slimmer bezels, faster CPUs and longer-lasting batteries, as well as the latest version of Google’s wearable operating system. It’ll be joined by the Watch 6 Pro, which brings back the rotating bezel for the first time in two generations.
The Watch 6 sticks with 40mm and 44mm case options, just like last year’s Galaxy Watch 5 series, but the smaller display bezels make room for AMOLED panels that are 20% larger than before. Instead of 1.2in and 1.4in circular screens, you’re getting more substantial 1.3in and 1.5in ones.
The more compact 40mm Watch 6 comes in Graphite and Gold colour options, while the 44mm version can be had in Graphite or Silver. They’re IP68 and 5ATM waterproof, meaning you can take them swimming as well as into the shower. Both come with an exercise-ready Sport Band, which has redesigned quick-release lugs to let you easily swap straps when you fancy mixing things up.
New dual-core Exynos W930 CPUs promise a performance and efficiency boost over the chips found in last year’s Galaxy Watch, and there’s 2GB of RAM now to help speed up app opening times – up from 1.5GB in the old models. That should help WearOS 4 run smoothly, even with Samsung’s One UI 5 Watch interface sat on top.
Both Galaxy Watch 6 models have bigger batteries this year. The 40mm version has a 300mAh cell, up from 284mAh last year, while the 44mm Watch has 425mAh – a smaller, but still welcome boost over the 410mAh battery seen in the old model. Samsung expects up to 30 hours of wrist time with the always-on display enabled before you’ll need to recharge, or 40 hours with it switched off.
WearOS 4 is mainly focused on efficiency, but Samsung has made sure to add a handful of new apps and features of its own. You can now create personalised heart rate zones for your workouts, record entirely custom routines, and there’s a dedicated track running mode for the first time. Sleep tracking has been overhauled too, using the multitude of internal sensors to record blood oxygen and skin temperature as well as measuring sleep stages. It’ll provide sleep coaching tips, and record any snoring. During the day, the Galaxy Watch 6 will watch out for falls, predict menstrual cycles, and record your ECG, heart rate and blood pressure.
The Galaxy Watch 6 is available to pre-order directly from Samsung right now, with sales kicking off from the 11th of August. You’ll be able to snap up a Bluetooth-only 40mm model from £289, while the most expensive 44mm LTE version will set you back £369.