In the latter half of the year, Samsung introduced a new addition to its wearable technology lineup: the Galaxy Watch6 series, which encompasses both the Galaxy Watch6 and Galaxy Watch6 Classic models. Concurrently, they also launched their latest smartphones, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Galaxy Z Fold 5.
In this review, my focus will be on the Galaxy Watch6, which boasts a more streamlined bezel compared to the Galaxy Watch6 Classic. Concurrently, my colleague Phil is undertaking a review of the Classic variant. This review will delve into the notable advancements and enhancements this latest iteration offers in comparison to its antecedent. It is noteworthy to mention that I had penned a preliminary assessment titled ‘First Impressions‘ on the Galaxy Watch6, which presented a rather favourable outlook. Readers who have not accessed that initial evaluation might find it insightful to discern whether my endorsement of the product remains consistent or undergoes a paradigm shift.
Design and specs
The Galaxy Watch6 40mm is equipped with a 1.3″ SuperAMOLED round display, ensuring high-definition clarity and vibrant colour reproduction. Compared to its previous model, there is a 30% reduction in the screen bezel, which translates to an approximate 20% increase in the viewing surface. Furthermore, the display is protected by a sapphire glass surface, offering enhanced resistance to scratches and abrasions. The device boasts an IP68 dust and water resistance rating and is also compliant with the 5ATM waterproof standard. Through the Wearable application, users have the flexibility to modify the dial design. Additionally, the interface permits customization of display elements, enabling users to access desired information promptly when glancing at the watch.
Galaxy Watch6 offers amazing capabilities of customization to the users
On the Galaxy Watch6, a quick-release mechanism has been integrated. By engaging the capsule-shaped activation button on the bracelet, users can swiftly detach or secure it. An audible “click” serves as an auditory confirmation of a successful installation.
At the core of this cutting-edge smartwatch series lies the Samsung Exynos W930 dual-core 1.4GHz processor. This upgraded processor ensures swift and responsive performance, enabling users to seamlessly navigate the watch’s features.
One of the most notable enhancements in this series is the substantial boost in RAM capacity. We’ve upped the ante from 1.5GB in the previous generation to a formidable 2GB. This expansion in RAM capacity translates to smoother multitasking and quicker app launches, contributing to an overall more efficient and enjoyable user experience.
On the health and wellness front, the Galaxy Watch 6 series comes equipped with Samsung’s exclusive heart rate/ECG/BIA three-in-one sensor. This sophisticated sensor array has been further enhanced with the addition of an infrared LED, setting it apart from the previous generation. The infrared LED plays a crucial role during nighttime use. When you’re asleep, the watch will seamlessly switch to this LED to detect your heart rate. This innovation is designed to prevent the green light leakage that could potentially disrupt your sleep, ensuring a more restful and uninterrupted slumber.
Galaxy Watch6 is equipped with a 300mAh battery. Manufacturer specifications indicate an estimated battery life of approximately 40 hours. Under testing conditions involving minimal usage, the device was tested to last roughly two and a half days. However, with intensified activities such as frequent exercise sessions or the consistent use of the heart rate detection feature, it becomes imperative to recharge the battery by the day’s end to guarantee its operational efficiency for the subsequent day.
Screenshots of the battery remaining were taken before going to sleep on different days
The inclusion of the personalized fitness guidance feature greatly enhances the user experience by facilitating a comprehensive understanding of diverse health metrics. Notably, the Track Run feature has been thoughtfully integrated into the sports program, enabling users to meticulously document their running routes. A standout aspect of this offering is the ability for users to establish and meticulously follow personalized exercise regimens.
Notably, the Samsung Watch6 Series introduces an innovative Heart Rate Zone Guidance function, which serves as a quintessential addition. This function categorizes heart rate into five distinct zones based on exercise intensity, spanning from the lowest to the highest levels. A remarkable aspect is the capacity for users to proactively set predefined exercise intensity targets, aligning seamlessly with their fitness goals.
Upon rigorous assessment of the Galaxy Watch6’s multiple iterations over the years, it is evident that its sports detection functionality has reached a level of maturity that would suffice the needs of an average user. The watch encompasses a database of over 90 distinct sports detection metrics, including, but not limited to, jogging, cycling, and swimming. An added feature is its auto-detection capability: if an activity is sustained for a minimum of 10 minutes, the watch prompts the user to confirm whether they wish to record the ongoing exercise. Subsequently, after the activity, the device again employs auto-detection to inquire if the user desires to terminate the recording.
During my hands-on, I specifically tested the watch’s capability to auto-detect walking. In an outdoor environment, continuous walking for approximately 10 minutes triggered a notification, asking the user’s preference to record the activity. However, it’s worth noting that indoor walks or those at a reduced pace demanded an extended detection interval. Upon cessation of the walk, the watch promptly presented data metrics, encompassing heart rate, distance traversed, average speed, and calorie consumption, among others.
The Galaxy Watch6 incorporates an array of health monitoring capabilities pertinent to everyday utility. Key features include continuous 24/7 heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen level assessment, and blood pressure measurement. Additionally, the device offers a body composition analysis tool that provides metrics on the user’s skeletal muscle composition, facilitating a quantitative assessment of physical improvement post-exercise.
A noteworthy safety feature of the Galaxy Watch6 is its fall detection. Upon detecting a sudden or unexpected fall by the wearer, the device has the capability to automatically initiate communication with designated emergency contacts or relevant rescue services. Given the potential implications for user safety, I would always suggest that manufacturers consider the integration of such functionalities in smart wearables. The incorporation of this feature not only leverages existing technologies but could prove indispensable in emergent situations.
Pros and Cons
Galaxy Watch6 is available at Samsung’s official website starting from $549.00. There are three options for the colour you can choose from – Gold and Graphite for a 40mm watch size, and an additional Silver colour for a 44mm model. It is also available at major retail stores in Australia including JB Hi-Fi and Officeworks. Telstra has both sizes in their online store, however, it seems they have the 40mm model at a slightly higher starting price of $599.00 compared to other sources.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 series introduces a significant enhancement in its display size and screen-to-body ratio, bringing a more immersive visual experience to the table. I especially appreciate the well-calibrated vibration intensity for notifications during workouts; it’s noticeable without being intrusive. While the frame has been slimmed down, the watch’s overall dimensions remain compact, resulting in a sleek and distinctly high-tech aesthetic. However, the true value of the Samsung Watch6 lies beyond its screen, with comprehensive upgrades evident in its bezel design, strap craftsmanship, and sports and health monitoring capabilities.
In comparison to its predecessor, the Watch5, the new Watch6 is a subtle yet effective facelift, with notable refinements across its appearance, screen quality, strap design, and sports and health functionalities. The Samsung Watch6 stands out as a fashionable, smart sports timepiece that has been meticulously perfected to cater to the discerning user.
Should you buy one?
The performance of the Galaxy Watch6 is commendably stable and certainly gives its competitors in the same price bracket a run for their money. After sportingly strapping it to my wrist every day for close to a month, I’ve grown quite fond of the Galaxy Watch6. The sheer range of watch faces available is quite impressive, and getting replacements is a swift affair. Whether you’re pondering an upgrade or just stepping into the smartwatch world, the Galaxy Watch6 is a choice you’re unlikely to regret.