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Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic Review: A supreme health tracker that does not compromise on style

We’ve been using the new Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic for a week, here is what we think about it.

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Launched in July, the new Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic is available in two case size variants with LTE and Bluetooth connectivity options. The rotating physical bezel also makes a return on the Watch6 Classic after skipping the Galaxy Watch5 Pro. Samsung’s flagship wearable has been the best Android smartwatch for a few years now. In its latest iteration, the Galaxy Watch retains its signature design and efficient sensors while making some minor improvements across the board. It may not blow you away with a radical new design, but it continues to deliver the kind of near-flawless performance that is expected of it. We strapped the smartwatch around our wrist for a week, here is our in-depth Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic review.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic review: Design and Display

The biggest design change on the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic is the inclusion of the rotating physical bezel which earns the wearable its ‘Classic’ monicker. This bezel not only amps up the aesthetic of the watch but also comes in very handy while navigating its interface and controlling certain settings. The integration of the bezel with the software is very neat, but more on that later.

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 review: Design and Display

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The stainless steel frame houses the home and back buttons on its left edge. The left edge is button-free. When it comes to the form factor and the quality of materials used, Samsung is far ahead of its peers. The stainless steel frame feels very premium, something that you expect when shelling out Rs 37,000 for a watch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 review: Design and Display

The 1.5-inch Super AMOLED display has a 480p resolution and gets Sapphire Crystal protection. It can reach a peak brightness of 2,000 nits, making it one of the brightest smartwatch displays out there. Viewing the display under direct sunlight presents no problems whatsoever. The touch response is top-notch as well, but the gestures and navigation controls could have been tuned better.

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Flipping the watch around, you’ll notice that Samsung has stuck with its heart rate, SpO2, and temperature sensors. On the left side of the bottom panel lies a speaker grille and there’s a microphone on the right. The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 uses a wireless charger which magnetically locks on this bottom panel. We used the 47mm case variant of the Watch6 Classic. Weighing 59g, this watch is slightly heavier than its competitors, but you get used to it very quickly.

One of our favourite aspects of the Watch6 Classic is its strap. Samsung has gone for the traditional pin buckle strap on the Watch6 Classic instead of the clasping band that featured on the Watch5 Pro. But what we really like about this strap is the quality of the materials and the comfort it provides. Inside, the rubbery texture is extremely sweat-resistant and very cushiony. The outer part of the strap has a faux-leather texture which feels quite premium. The stitching along the borders elevates the look of the watch as well.

Another underrated feature about this strap that Samsung gets right is its attachment mechanism. The two buttons on the strap make it very easy to detach from the dial. A significant improvement over the pulling pin technique employed by most Android smartwatches.

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic is rated IP68 for dust and water resistance. It can also prevent any water damage up to 50m, making it ideal for swimming. It is also MIL-STD-810H compliant and can easily take a good knock.

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic review: Performance

Under the hood, the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic gets the new Exynos W930 SoC. The previous two generations of the Galaxy Watch used the W920 chipset. The improvement may be marginal but it is certainly welcome. The smartwatch comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. OS duties are handled by Android Wear OS 4 with Samsung’s One UI Watch 5 on top.

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 review: Performance

One UI Watch 5 OS isn’t really different from the Watch 4.5, but it comes with one very useful feature. If you use multiple smartphones, you can use the Watch6 with both of them without needing to clear its data. Another aspect where this smartwatch’s software really shines is the bezel integration. You can use the rotating bezel to control just about anything on the watch, be it scrolling through the widgets, conversations, and app library, or adjusting the brightness, setting the health metrics, and more.

We did experience a few stutters occasionally, but it did not impede the functioning of the watch in any capacity. Our only minor complaint with the OS is that it relies on swipe gestures from the edge of the dial to trigger the app library and the quick settings panel. While the notification page and widget section can be accessed with a quick swipe on the centre of the screen, the same is not the case for the app library and the quick settings. Perhaps a future update can fix this.

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 review: Performance

When it comes to health and fitness tracking, the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic is unmatched among its Android peers. The smartwatch can auto-detect up to 7 activities including walking, running, cycling, swimming, rowing, and more. There’s further support for circuit training, weight machines, elliptical trainers, exercise bikes, and sports like Cricket, Football, Skiing, Boxing, and more. The in-built GPS can track your runs without relying on your smartwatch. The readings from the heart rate monitor and the blood oxygen sensor are consistent with medical-grade equipment.

You can also evaluate your body composition using the Galaxy Watch6 Classic, but we can’t speak to its accuracy. It is always better to treat these readings as supplementary to ones gained from medical equipment. The Watch6 also has a blood pressure sensor, but it is not yet available in India. The sleep tracking on this device is phenomenal as usual, with a detailed breakdown of your sleeping pattern available on the Samsung Health app.

 

While the Galaxy Wearable app is essential to set up the smartwatch, you need the Samsung Health app to get detailed health reports and insights. The watch face, quick panel, tiles, and app screen can be customised from the Galaxy Wearable app. One UI Watch 5 OS now supports WhatsApp as well, which means you can receive and respond to messages from the Watch6 itself. Other than that, the app market for Android smartwatches still remains pretty limited.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic 47mm case variant gets a 425mAh battery. The 43mm variant comes with a 300mAh unit. We used the 47mm case variant and it lasted us just over a day on a full charge. With the Always On Display turned on at all times, the battery life takes a considerable hit. We used the fitness tracking features for almost an hour every day, which also helped in extending the battery life. On heavy use (LTE and GPS functions), you may have to connect the charger before the day ends.

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Verdict

With prices starting at Rs 36,999, the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic is one of the more expensive smartwatches out there but it effortlessly handled every task we through at it during the review period. The good news is that the watch’s premium feel, design, and build quality more than makes up for it. The rotating bezel and the stainless steel case elevate the feel of the smartwatch to a level that is unmatched by its peers. The faux leather texture on the strap is also a nice touch. When it comes to health and fitness tracking, there aren’t any massive breakthroughs in this iteration of the Galaxy Watch, but it remains one of the best Android trackers on the market.

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic Pros

  • Rotating bezel is back
  • Stainless steel case feels very premium
  • Comfortable strap with a faux leather finish on top
  • Accurate health and fitness tracking
  • Good OS support

Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic Cons

  • Price
  • Blood pressure measurement feature is not available in India

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Launched in July, the new Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic is available in two case size variants with LTE and Bluetooth connectivity options. The rotating physical bezel also makes a return on the Watch6 Classic after skipping the Galaxy Watch5 Pro. Samsung’s flagship wearable has...Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic Review: A supreme health tracker that does not compromise on style

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