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Samsung has unveiled its latest family of Galaxy Watch models, expanding its range to include four new models: Galaxy Watch 6 (in two sizes) and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic (in two sizes). There's no new Pro model, and the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic isn't a 'Pro' replacement. Rather, this is being billed as a Galaxy Watch 6 with a classical watch design and is more a replacement for the two-year-old Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. So what's new, what's the same, and what should you be excited about? I've been hands-on with the latest models to find out.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic on wrist main
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
First impressions

The new Galaxy Watch Classic features a skinnier rotating bezel, a big, expansive colourful screen and stainless steel casing.


  • 43mm and 47mm models - Black or silver stainless steel
  • 5ATM and IP68 waterproof - MIL-STD-810H - Sapphire crystal glass
  • Push button strap release - Rotating bezel

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is an interesting product for a couple of reasons. One of those reasons is a major part of the design, and that's the reintroduction of the rotating bezel around the display.

Like the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic - which it's replacing - the frame around the display can turn, and doing so scrolls through elements of the software interface. It's a feature we've loved on older watches, which didn't exist in any form within the Galaxy Watch 5 series from 2022.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic on wrist main

The other interesting thought - and something Samsung was keen to stress in the briefing I sat in - is that this isn't a replacement for the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

For those who want to use their watch outdoors, tracking long hikes, in the rain and the mud, the last thing you want is a part of the watch's frame that's separate from the case, giving room for grit, dirt and other particles to get in. So for those people, the Watch 5 Pro remains on sale and is still very much seen as the top flagship outdoor fitness watch from Samsung.

That's not to say this model is not a durable watch. It's built from stainless steel and features a tough sapphire crystal glass lens over the display. It's also equipped with both 5ATM and IP68 ratings for water and dust resistance, as well as the MIL-STD-810H rating for durability.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic silver buttons frame

There is an important change from the last watch with a rotating bezel as well. Samsung hasn't gone back to the old thick-bezelled design, it's been made considerably thinner than the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic's bezel was, allowing more space for the big, colourful display.

That skinnier bezel and large display give it a much more modern look but also means that when it comes to messages, alerts, notifications and other data, there's a lot more room to put data on, making it easier to read than the Watch 4 Classic.

Samsung has also opted to release the Watch 6 Classic in two sizes this year. There's a 43mm option and a 47mm option, which is great. Previously, if you wanted the top model smartwatch you had to put up with having a bigger watch. Now you don't. You get a smaller, more compact option too. Plus, it's available in both black or silver colours.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic strap buttons

One more change from older versions, and one that might fly under the radar somewhat, is the introduction of an easy method for switching out straps. Rather than try to pull back a fiddly catch, the Galaxy Watch 6 series now features a single button you can push on the underside of the strap to release it from the case.

Samsung hopes this will encourage buyers to buy more strap styles and switch them out more often. It may mean that, at least initially, there won't be as many third-party straps that are easy to clip on and release.

Display and software

  • 1.3-inch or 1.5-inch Super AMOLED display
  • 432 x 432 or 480 x 480 resolution
  • Wear OS 4.0 - with Samsung One UI

As is customary for any modern Samsung smartwatch, the new models have large, bright AMOLED displays. Depending on whether you go for the 43mm or 47mm Classic, you'll get either a 1.3-inch round display or 1.5-inch panel.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic small sleep coach

On first impressions, the displays seem about as bright and colourful as I'd expect. It's a classic AMOLED trait, but the saturated colours, bright peaks and high contrast/deep blacks make interface elements, graphics and text easy to see.

At either 432 x 432 pixels or 480 x 480 pixels, the watch displays are sharp too, with fine lines and text seeming detailed and smooth at arm's length (at least on initial impressions).

Software is another iteration of the Wear OS platform that Samsung and Google have been working on together for the past few years. This particular version is Wear OS 4 with Samsung's One UI for watches.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic eco leather strap white

What that means is you get all the benefits of Wear OS: third-party apps and the Play Store, plus the Samsung-ified elements like Samsung Pay for contactless payments, customisable watch faces and such. There are more watch faces this year, and more customisation options, including the ability to match your watch face with your phone's wallpaper.

Fitness, health and performance

  • In-depth sleep tracking with sleep coaching and SpO2
  • All-day HR, high HR alerts, ECG and Blood Pressure
  • Personalised HR zones

There's a lot of fitness and health monitoring tech packed into the Galaxy Watch 6 series, and it goes much further than just counting steps, reading your heart rate and tracking your distance on a run. Samsung's aim appears to be to offer a holistic health service, with a lot of advanced features.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic - fitness screen

Some - like the body composition feature, which can measure how much of your body is water, fat or muscle - have been around for a couple of years now. But there are a couple of notable new features.

One of those is a personalised heart-rate zone and overall fitness gauge. Once you've taken the watch through a few intense workouts, it'll be able to determine what your maximum heart-rate is (or should be). It can then use that data, and your average performance, to build a profile for you which then more accurately measures the heart-rate zones you hit when exercising.

This has the potential to be very useful for those who want to make sure they're pushing to the right levels and exercising at the right intensity, or for those with specific goals, like burning fat or losing weight. Similarly, it'll be a useful tool to ensure you're not working too hard, too often.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic sensor - bands:buttons

Other fitness features include in-depth sleep tracking - and coaching for those who want help getting enough rest - plus a temperature sensor to help monitor menstrual cycles, ovulation and fertility.

There's all the usual other stuff too, and it's all powered by a new Exynos W930 processor which - alongside 2GB RAM - should mean smoother, faster performance in general from the latest generation of Samsung Galaxy Watch models.

Battery capacities have been increased from the Watch 5 series too, but Samsung suggests we won't see a major increase in actual battery life because of the larger displays. And, as usual, you'll get wireless charging as standard, with the magnetic charging disc in the box with the watch.

First impressions

Given how similar the regular Galaxy Watch 6 is to its predecessor, it's the Watch 6 Classic I think is the most interesting new watch of the latest versions. It's got that classic look, a rotating bezel, a big, bright display and comes in two sizes. Plus, it has all the latest Wear OS features and more powerful internals than its predecessor from two years ago.