Samsung recently made headlines with the launch of it’s next-generation’s folding phones which give consumers plenty of reasons to finally make the switch over to the latest tech innovation in the mobile world that opens up whole new possibilities for user to interact or work with their smartphone.
But besides the new Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 devices, Samsung had also unveiled it’s latest Galaxy Watch 6 series smartwatches – Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic – which introduce a myriad of updates including a brighter display as well as better battery life to name a few.
Thanks to Samsung Singapore (once again), I got to test out the higher-end Galaxy Watch 6 Classic for slightly more than three weeks to personally experience and check out where it stands within the highly competitive mid-range smartwatch market.
Design: Simple but yet Classy
Samsung has been keeping the Galaxy Watch series’ design consistent over the past three generations including the new Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. While some may think of that as boring or uncreative, it’s actually an odd strategy that pans out well not just for Samsung, but also other brands such as Apple.
Reason being is simple – it’s a tried and tested design which has proven to be popular among Samsung fans over the past couple years, so there’s no reason for the company to make big design changes just for sake for having changes. More importantly, it offers existing Galaxy Watch users a form of familiarity that makes them felt at home when switching over to a new device.
Despite their close resemblance, there are actually some notable differences between the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and last year’s Watch 5 series smartwatches if you take a closer look at them. One of those changes include the much anticipated return of the rotating bezel which makes it easier to scroll through lengthy list of apps and settings especially when your hands are sweaty during a workout.
Also, the Watch 6 Classic now has a model with a larger 47mm watch case which those with larger wrist would certainly appreciate since there aren’t really much options in the market with watch cases of this size. Of course, there’s also a 43mm option for those who wish to go with a regular-sized model.
Both models come with the same stainless steel watch case which not only provides better durability, but also offers a more premium outlook. Likewise, the Watch 6 Classic also features a quality watch strap which has a leather appearance on the outside and a rubber-like finish on the underside for a more comfortable wearing experience regardless of the occasion.
Speaking of watch straps, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic also has a new One-Click strap mechanism which makes it way easier for user to remove and swap the watch strap as compared to older models. However, only first-party watch straps from Samsung allows you to leverage this feature at the point of writing.
Display: Expansive & Vibrant
Depending which model you’re on, the Watch 6 Classic has either a 1.3” (43mm model) or 1.5” (47mm model) Super AMOLED display which is pleasant to look at from arm’s length thanks to it’s vibrant colors and ultra-sharp 480 x 480 pixels screen resolution.
Likewise, the Watch 6 Classic also has an impressive peak brightness that goes up to 2,000 nits when directly under the sun. That’s a massive upgrade over the 1,000 nits peak brightness on last year’s Watch 5 series smartwatches. As such, outdoor visibility wouldn’t be an issue on the new Watch 6 Classic.
In terms of software, the Watch 6 Classic runs on the latest Wear OS 4.0 with Samsung’s One UI 5 Watch atop. At first glance, the new Wear OS 4.0 does looks and feels pretty much like the past generation’s Wear OS 3.5, at least on the visual side of things. That’s totally fine since Wear OS already has a well-organized and intuitive UI to begin with.
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The main changes lie in the addition of new features and apps, as well as optimizations that lead to improved battery life for the smartwatches. Some of those features include the new new backup-and-restore tool which allows user to easily back up their watch or copy data from an old watch to a new one.
Also, Wear OS 4,0 now gives user the ability to switch between different phones without the hassle to completely reset the smartwatch. While this feature wouldn’t really impact majority of the users, but it really saves a lot of time for those (reviewers especially) who often switch between different smartphones.
Health & Fitness: Everything You Need Under The Hood
Moving on to what matters most, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic comes with a myriad of health monitoring features to ensure you’re always at the best of health. Besides the usual SpO2, heart rate, sleep quality, stress level and daily steps count measurements, the Watch 6 Classic also features a good selection of advanced monitoring features which set it apart from other competing models.
These include the new Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification (IHRN) feature which helps to check for irregular heart rhythms in the background via Galaxy Watch’s BioActive Sensor. In the event that a certain number of consecutive measurements are irregular, Galaxy Watch warns the user of potential AFib activity, prompting them to take an ECG using their watch for a more accurate measurement.
Likewise, the Watch 6 Classic also features an advanced Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) sensor which allows user to accurately measure their body composition with detailed breakdown of key indices such as body fat percentage, body water content, and skeletal muscle mass to better manage their diet and workout plans.
Those data can then be synchronized over to the smartphone and presented in an organized graph that can be viewed on Samsung’s Health app to give user a better idea on how the measurements had changed over time. In fact, you can even set targets and get notified whenever there are changes to your body composition metrics.
For women users, Samsung had also partnered with Natural Cycles to bring the Watch 6 Classic a highly reliable menstrual prediction feature which uses temperature-based period tracking algorithm to provide retrospective ovulation estimates. However, this feature is currently limited only to certain markets although there’s a possibility that the company might expand it’s availability to more markets in the near future.
Another handy feature onboard is the so-called fall detection feature which can prove to be a lifesaver especially at time of emergencies. Once enabled, the watch will display an alert for 60 seconds if it detects a hard fall. If the user failed to respond within the timeframe, the watch will automatically sends out the user’s location to an emergency service line or emergency contact, depending on the user’s settings.
As far as workout and fitness are concerned, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic also gives user the ability to track over 90 different workout modes ranging from the basic bunch like running and cycling to the more advanced sport modes including the new Track Run feature that allows user to record their run (on a running track) and subsequently output useful insights such as total distance covered, average pace, average heart rate, average cadence as well as workout calories.
Other than that, there’s also a new fitness feature known as Personalized Heart Rate Zone which aims to help user train more effectively by helping them to stay within a specific range which will be set according to their fitness capacity. This feature can be enabled easily in the watch’s setting and will pop up notification once the user entered the desired HR zone.
Battery Life: Much Better Than Before
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is backed by a respectable 435mAh battery which Samsung claimed to offer up to 40 hours usage with Always-on Display turned off, and up to 30 hours usage with the feature on.
Those numbers are pretty much in line with what I gotten over the past one month where I recorded an average of 26 hours usage with AOD activated along with an hour of workout (without GPS) and sleep tracking turned on during the night.
Recharging the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic from 0 to 100% takes around 1.3 hours using the bundled USB-C charger. And if you’re rushing for time, it’s good to know that a mere 30 minutes charge will be enough to bring it from 0 to 50% which is enough to last through a typical 10-hour work day.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is certainly one of the best smartwatch under $600 which not only features one of the best-looking smartwatch design, but also offers a plethora of health and fitness features which makes it an excellent daily companion on top of your smartphone.
For those who’re interested, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is priced at $598 for the 43mm model with Bluetooth connectivity and $698 for the 43mm model with LTE connectivity. The larger 47mm model on the other than is priced at $648 and $748 for the Bluetooth and LTE models, respectively.
The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will be available for purchase through local telecommunication operators (M1, Singtel and StarHub), Samsung Online Store, Samsung Experience Stores, Samsung Official Store on Lazada and Shopee, Takashimaya, major consumer electronics & IT stores.