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  • Samsung-Galaxy-Watch-6-Classic-Silver

    Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

    Our winner

    Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6  Classic brings the largest screen in any Samsung smartwatch yet and also features a new and improved rotating bezel, plus longer battery life. 

    Pros

    • Multiple size options
    • Rotating bezel
    • New processor
    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Battery life isn’t as good

  • A render of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in black color.

    Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

    Runner-up

    $380 $450 Save $70

    The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is aimed at fitness enthusiasts, packing a more durable design and a bigger battery than the standard Galaxy Watch 5.

    Pros

    • Great battery-life
    • Titatnium design
    • Custom GPX mapping

Samsung Unpacked took place last month, introducing a host of new phones, tablets, and smartwatches, including the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. While the rollout of new products was slightly underwhelming, new watches mean new shopping dilemmas; we’re here to present the facts, so you can choose which watch is right for your wrist.



The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is Samsung’s largest watch to date, with a new bezel design, updated OS, and a host of health sensors. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which was released almost a year ago, features an impressive battery, a weighty display, and practically any sensor you can think of. Both models are pretty pricey, so you’ll need to be decisive about what features matter most. We’ve broken down the specs, so you won’t have to wonder if you’ve made the right choice.


Price, specs & availability:

Even though it’s newer, the Galaxy Watch 6 series retails for less than the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 43mm is $400, while the 47mm comes in at $430. This is fairly consistent with Samsung’s price increases, especially when you consider the impressive size of the display. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which is only available in 45mm, retails for $450. The Pro model has been around longer, so we are starting to see it more regularly on sale; we’ve seen it listed for as low as $380. Both watches are available on the Samsung store as well as in other online retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
    Colors Black and silver Black, Silver
    Display 1.3-inch Sapphire Crystal Glass Super AMOLED 432×432 (43mm) or 1.5-inch Sapphire Crystal Glass Super AMOLED 480×480 (47mm) 1.4-inch AMOLED display
    RAM 2GB 1.5GB RAM
    Storage 16GB 16GB internal storage
    Connectivity NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz), LTE (optional) Bluetooth 5.2, Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5GHz)
    Health sensors Optical Heart Rate, Electrical Heart Sensor, Bioelectrical Impedance, Skin Temperature Sensor Optical Heart Rate Sensor, ECG, Continuous Sp02, Skin Temperature Sensor, BIA
    Dimensions 42.5 x 42.5 x 10.9mm (43mm) or 46.5 x 46.5 x 10.9mm (47mm) 45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5mm
    Weight 52g (43mm) or 59g (47mm) 46g

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Design

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and Watch 6 Classic beside each other

There are a few key differences between the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and Watch 5 Pro when it comes to build and design, the first being size. The Classic model is available in 43mm and 47mm, while the Watch 5 Pro is only available in 45mm. Granted, all three of these size options are pretty large in the grand scheme of smartwatches, so regardless of which model you choose, you’re not signing up for a low-profile design. The displays are scaled accordingly, 1.3 and 1.5 inches for the Classic 6 models and 1.4 inches for the Pro. Both watches feature an AMOLED screen protected by sapphire glass and are IP68 rated, which means they are protected from dust and water even when submerged.

Both Classic watches weigh more than the Watch 5 Pro; 52g for the 43mm and 59g for the 47mm compared to the 46g weight of the Watch 5 Pro. Overall, the weight and size mean you’ll certainly feel this watch throughout the day, though we haven’t seen many reports of discomfort. If you’re looking for a small, lightweight option, neither of these models is right for you.

Close up of rotating bezel of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

Aside from size, there are two major design differences between these watches: the bezel and strap mechanism. One of the most widely talked about features across all the new Samsung products is the return of the rotating bezel on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. While this doesn’t exactly introduce a new “feature” per se, users are excited to maintain a fingerprint-free display while feeling the satisfying click as it rotates. Spinning the bezel still allows you to scroll through messages, navigate the UI, adjust volume, and more, which the digital bezel also allows you to do on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. While the touch-sensitive bezel works well overall, it can be tricky to use if your hands are wet, i.e., during workouts.

For the Watch 6 series, Samsung has replaced their older traditional connection-style bands in favor of a new quick connect with an integrated button that retracts the pins connecting it to the watch’s lugs. This is a much easier way to swap out watch bands compared to the older models, including the Watch 5 Pro.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Software

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic showing sleep animal

With the Galaxy Watch 6 series comes the introduction of Wear OS 4. The Classic model specifically runs Samsung’s One UI Watch 5 based on Wear OS 4. The Galaxy Watch 5 series are also Wear OS watches, and thanks to software updates, they can also run Wear OS 4, so there isn’t much of a difference when it comes to operating systems here. Wear OS 4 brings improvements for efficiency, watch face creation, features for apps, backups, and watch restore.

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic does have a new processor, the Exynos W930, while the Watch 5 Pro is rocking the W920. It also has 2GB of RAM compared to the Pro’s 1.5GB. Despite these differences, the two watches should operate fairly similarly with subtle improvements; the Watch 6 Classic might be slightly faster but don’t expect a ton of noticeable variations.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Health and fitness

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic and the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro share many of the same health sensors. In fact, the Watch 6 Classic does not introduce any sensors the Watch 5 Pro doesn’t already have. The Samsung BioActive Sensor can measure the optical heart rate, the electrical heart signal, and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Both watches also have a temperature sensor, an accelerometer, a barometer, a gyro sensor, and a geomagnetic light sensor. They can also alert you to stats that may be out of your normal range, so you can act quickly if something is awry. Both models can also measure blood pressure, but this feature is only available in certain markets.

While both watches are pretty bulky, aka hard to sleep in, they do provide a host of sleep-tracking features as well as sleep coaching to improve your overall health. The temperature and heart rate sensors are used to track sleep cycles, overall sleep time, and sleep quality to deliver a final “sleep score.” The Galaxy 6 Classic has reportedly improved sleep tracking overall, and your sleep stats are viewed in Samsung’s companion app. There is also a new Thermo Check app that allows users to measure the temperature of water before going for a swim.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic taking temperature of the water with a thermometer beside it

When it comes to workouts, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has a slight edge over the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. Both watches do a great job at monitoring workouts, tallying burned calories, clocking heart rate zones, offering different workout types (including volleyball, arm curls, and rowing), and generally keeping you informed about your own exercising patterns.

The Watch 5 Pro steps it up by including a GPS mapping system for cyclists and hikers, this is called custom GPX routing. Users have access to a new GPX File Database, so you can “search and access recommended routes” directly. So, if you want a smartwatch primarily for outdoor exercise, you may benefit more from the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro smartwatch on a person's wrist showing the time.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes out on top when it comes to battery life. Powered by a 590mAh battery, Samsung claims the watch can last for up to 80 hours; our review found the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro lasted 92 hours, which is almost four full days. This is a huge win for the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Frequently charging watches and other wearables can be such a pain when you’re already charging your phone, laptops, and headphones practically every day.

Unfortunately, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic didn’t inherit this impressive Pro battery. Instead, Samsung opted for a 300mAh (43mm) and 472mAh (47mm) battery that can last for up to 30 hours with the display always on and 40 hours otherwise. While this is still a solid performance, it doesn’t really hold a candle to the 80 hours on the Watch 5 Pro. Both watches support WPC-based wireless charging. This means you can’t use just any wireless charger to top up your watch. So, if you’re looking for a spare charger for your Watch 5 Pro or Watch 6 Classic, we’ve got options for your here.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Which is right for you?

Though the name suggests two very different watches, we’re surprised by how similar the two models are. There are far fewer differences than there are similarities, so let’s recap what those are:

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic has an updated processor for faster operation, a celebrated rotating bezel, two available sizes, a new band latching system, and retails for less than its contemporary. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has a touch bezel, older processors, a spring bar band mechanism, only one available size, and is generally more expensive. However, it also has better battery life and a custom GPX routing feature. So, which watch should you choose?

Both watches are great, but if you don’t absolutely need the longer battery life or the custom mapping, go with the Watch 6 Classic. The overall design is super satisfying, the rotating bezel is a game-changer, and the general user experience is pretty great. Plus, it’s cheaper (unless the Watch 5 Pro is on sale, of course).

Samsung-Galaxy-Watch-6-Classic-Silver

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

The winner

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a great smartwatch for users who want something reliable they can wear every day. Available in two sizes, you’ll get a smooth experience with all the health sensors you could want and solid performance across the board.Get up to $250 off with an eligible trade-in when ordering with Samsung.

If you’re already rocking a Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, you don’t necessarily need to upgrade; unless you’re desperate for that physical bezel. The Watch 5 Pro is still a very high-performing watch, with amazing battery life and extra features for outdoor enthusiasts. Plus, it’s been seen on sale recently, so if budget is your primary concern and you find a model under $400, this watch will win out over the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

A render of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro in black color.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Good alternative

$380 $450 Save $70

Though pricey, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a solid smartwatch that smashes the competition when it comes to battery life. Geared towards fitness enthusiasts, the health and fitness sensors are well-developed and the overall user experience is solid.

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