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For 2023, Samsung brought back a fan-favourite feature: the rotating bezel. It's an on-again off-again feature that's appeared on a number of different Samsung smartwatches over the years.

This time out, it's on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: a watch which looks quite different to the regular Galaxy Watch 6. But is it enough?

Galaxy Watch 6 classic watch face
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
$369 $400 Save $31

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a solid feature-rich Wear OS, but with a more traditional design than its regular Watch 6 sibling. Battery life is solid, the display is great, and it looks good.

  • Nicer looking design than regular Galaxy Watch 6
  • Great, big vibrant display with skinny bezels
  • Decent enough battery life
  • Two different sizes to choose from
  • Fitness tracking is okay, but not amazing
  • Not the cheapest

Specs, price and availability

Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic in August 2023 with prices starting at $370 in the US or £369 in the UK. There's a choice of black or silver, and the option of two sizes - 43mm and 47mm. Reviewed here is the 43mm, but the experience I had should stand for both sizes.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Battery Life
Up to 40 hours (AOD off) - Up to 30 hours (AOD on)
Operating System
Wear OS 4 with One UI 5
Lens Material
Sapphire Crystal
Case Material
Stainless Steel
Case size
43mm and 47mm
Black and silver
480 x 480 (47mm) or 432 x 432 (43mm) Super AMOLED
Exynos W930 dual-core 1.4GHz
425mAh (47mm) or 300mAh (43mm)
LTE available, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and 5GHz, NFC
Health sensors
Heart Rate, ECG, Temperature Sensors, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Light Sensor
46.5 x 46.5 x 10.9mm (47mm) or 42.5 x 42.5 x 10.9mm (43mm)

Classic imitation

I've already reviewed the Galaxy Watch 6 (regular) and the truth is that it's only really in the design, build and aesthetic that there's any difference at all between the Classic variant and its cheaper sibling.

For 2023, Samsung effectively released two different-sized Galaxy Watch models, but produced a 'Classic' variant to offer the exact same features, hardware and performance, but in a design that looks a bit more like a proper watch. Although, here, there's still a sense that it's only really pretending to look like a proper watch.

When I compare how other brands - specifically Huawei with its Huawei Watch range and the new Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro - and compare those companies' takes on classic, traditional watch design with Samsung's effort, there's no real competition. Watch 6 Classic still looks like a tech company is trying to mimic a watch, but not quite getting it.

That's not to say it's not a good-looking watch. It is. The slim bezel around the display is great, giving more space to the visuals on screen. The subtle index around the inside of the bezel looks good too, as does the ridged texture around the outside of it.

It's more that the rest of the case looks like Samsung just stamped a circle out of some stainless steel and called it a day, rather than add any additional chamfers, angles or textures.

Still, this is a piece of tech first and foremost, and the bezel wasn't just designed to be nice to look at. It has a function. Like older versions of the Galaxy Watch Classic, the bezel can rotate and - when it does - it scrolls through the software interface on the screen, giving you a way to control the watch without touching the screen. It's super useful if you're wearing gloves, or you just don't want anything getting in the way of what's being displayed.

Classic - Top Down - 2

Colour options are a little stripped back for the Classic version at the time I wrote this review. You get a black variant and a silver option. That's it. No gold or matte grey or any other colours.

You do get two sizes though - 43mm and 47mm - and that shouldn't be overlooked. A lot of smartwatch makers only produce one size of watch which - in the case of the Pixel Watch 2 - is too small for some wrists or - in the case of the Xiaomi Watch 2 Pro - is too big.

What I would say - as someone who was sent the smaller of the two to review - is that if you do have a larger wrist or arm, you're going to want the bigger one. Not necessarily because the watch looks better proportioned, but more because I found the strap was verging on too short on my arm with the smaller model, making it a bit fiddly to fasten. It was a pretty snug fit.

Galaxy Watch 6 classic and regular

If you do really, really want the smaller watch and have bigger arms, you should at least buy another strap with a wider reach. The watch is compatible with any universal straps (20mm on the smaller model), and it's pretty easy to remove and then reattach another. The new single-button release mechanism on the first-party straps at least makes it a doddle to remove the strap, but it can still be pretty fiddly to place the pins in the correct holes to reattach.

As for the strap itself, that's a modern combination of 'Eco Leather' (read vegan leather) and Fluoroelestomer (silicone-like material). The idea being that it looks smart enough to wear to work, and with pretty much any outfit but has a silicone underside so that when you do wear it during any workouts, the strap is more than capable of surviving without being damaged by sweat or rain.

Water resistance and durability are two major strong points for the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. You get 5ATM and IP68 ratings, meaning it'll survive water no problem, and can even keep fine particles of dust out. Its display is covered in sapphire crystal too, making it incredibly resistant to scratches and impact. It's not just a pretty watch then, it's solid and can survive pretty much anything you could throw at it.


The display on the Galaxy Watch 6 series - both regular and Classic - is arguably one of the biggest reasons to buy it. Both the large and small models have seen an increase in display size, without it increasing the size of the watch.

Galaxy Watch 6 classic apps screen

That fact that it takes up more space on the front - and eats away at the bezel - means that even if you get the small version, you're not going to be left squinting trying to read details on the screen. It's clear, sharp, very bright and has lots of contrast to make it easy to read in practically any condition.

At 1.3-inches - the smaller Galaxy Watch 6 Classic has a larger display than the Pixel Watch 2. The larger version is 1.5-inches, and still a relatively compact watch design for its size.

The display is used as a canvas for Samsung's own take on Wear OS 4. It's a fully-featured software platform that takes the best of what Google offers in Wear OS and adds some Samsung extras on top.


On the surface that means Samsung's own watch faces, and the full-screen widgets for weather, calendar, fitness levels, workouts and a huge number of other elements. You also get Samsung Pay and Samsung Health pre-installed and the ability to use the watch as a remote shutter for your flagship Galaxy smartphone.

If you want to, you can replace a lot of the Samsung features and use Google's instead. So if you'd rather have Google Assistant instead of Bixby you can, and the same applies to Google Wallet instead of Samsung Wallet.


One of the big reasons to pick the Galaxy Watch 6 over its main Wear OS competition - the Pixel Watch or Pixel Watch 2 - is battery life. It's not mind-blowingly great but, at the same time, it can very easily get through a full day on a full battery. Even with the Always-On Display feature enabled you can get a day and a half from it.

With the display set to only come on when you interact with the watch it can virtually stretch to two days, if you use it really lightly and don't have a tonne of notifications being delivered to the watch.

Galaxy Watch 6 classic - battery screen

In my own experience, I still charged it most days - predominantly so I could wear it through the night to track sleep - but there was never a sense of the battery being drained worryingly quickly.

General speed and responsiveness is decent enough too. I noted it in the regular Galaxy Watch 6 review - but there's a slight sense that the responses on the screen to swipes (or bezel rotation) aren't instant and completely fluid. However, it's fast enough that it doesn't feel jarring. It wasn't laggy, per se, but there's a slight sense of stutter to some of the faster animations.

Still, I think the upgrade to the Exynos W930 chipset inside - along with the increased RAM (2GB) - means the watch is generally quick. Launching apps, or diving into workout modes is snappy enough, and I'm generally left with the overall opinion that most people will struggle to find frustrations here.

Health and fitness

Like the rest of the hardware and performance, the fitness and health tracking of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is the same as the regular Galaxy Watch 6.

Galaxy Watch 6 classic - sleep

For an in-depth experience of what the health and fitness tracking is like on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic - head on over to our Galaxy Watch 6 review. I've tested both watches doing similar activities, used them for tracking everyday movements and sleep, and found them to be - unsurprisingly - exactly the same.

To summarise - however - I've found the watch to be a very capable fitness tool, but not perfect. It sometimes struggled with intense activity where heart-rate readings can jump quite quickly (think HIIT workouts). It'd often show a reading 10-11 bpm below what the other watches (like Apple Watch and Garmin Venu 3) showed, before eventually catching up.

It can be used to track a number of different activities. Outdoor jaunts with GPS tracking were reliably and relatively accurately tracked. It's great for sleep tracking too, offering great insights into sleep patterns and even offering up coaching tips on how to sleep better.

Galaxy Watch 6 classic - sensor - clean

There are a lot of other great features too, like Body Composition measurements, training sessions, and much more. Garmin has a great alternative in the Venu 3 if fitness and health are your top priority, so I'd definitely advise at least looking at that one if you're looking for options. Garmin has a great way of analysing and presenting your fitness data in terms of body condition, recovery and readiness for the next workout, in a way that very few of the competition - including the Watch 6 Classic - can match.


In the end, the experience of using the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is the same as the Galaxy Watch 6. What you get for the extra cash is a more premium build, a watch made from stainless steel and a bezel that can rotate to control the interface.

It's more expensive than the basic model and - given the identical performance - that might be a little hard to swallow for some. But what you do get is a watch with a much nicer design.

It's also a genuinely strong all-round watch and one that's absolutely worth considering if you're an Android phone user looking for feature-rich experience with great fitness and health tracking abilities.