Other Technology | October 18, 2023
A universe of functionalities on your wrist. That’s what the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 offers, a determined effort to provide you with every possible option to monitor your health and mobile notifications on a small screen. Of course, this effort comes at a cost: the watch’s battery life is similar to that of a smartphone, and you’ll need to charge it almost every night. Nevertheless, with this gadget, you’ll have control that’s unmatched in the market: from responding to WhatsApp messages by typing out your reply to analyzing the ideal heart rate range based on your conditions or the option to send messages to your contacts without carrying your phone (only with the LTE version). All of this comes with a very elegant and premium design, now with the option to easily change the straps whenever you want to give your wrist a fresh look. The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 is available in two dial sizes, 40mm and 44mm, with prices starting at 290 euros. I’ve had the opportunity to play around with it for a month, and here’s my experience.
|Samsung Galaxy Watch6
|Sapphire glass SuperAMOLED display
40mm model: 1.3 inches 33.3 millimeters 432 x 432 pixels
44mm model: 1.5 inches 37.3 millimeters 480 x 480 pixels
Peak brightness of 2,000 nits
|Dimensions and weight
|40mm: 38.8 x 40.4 x 9.0mm, 28.7g
44mm: 42.8 x 44.4 x 9.0mm, 33.3g
|Armor Aluminum body
Easily interchangeable fluoroelastomer strap
Stainless steel dial
|40mm: Graphite, gold
44mm: Graphite, silver
|WearOS by Samsung
|Processor and internal memory
|Exynos W930 Dual-Core 1.4GHz
2 GB RAM
16 GB internal memory
|Sensors and functions
|BioActive Sensor (PPG)
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) Sensor
|44 mm: 425 mAh (typical size)
40 mm: 300 mAh (typical size)
|WiFi 2.4+5 GHz
|Measurement of pulse, steps and calories. Daily goals. Electrocardiogram. Blood oxygen measurement. Sleep quality measurement. Automatic walk and run detection. Measurement of more than 90 different sports, calls, answer messages, audio playback
|Samsung Galaxy Watch6 40mm Bluetooth: 290 euros
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 40mm LTE: 340 euros
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 44mm Bluetooth: 320 euros
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 44mm LTE: 360 euros
There’s no doubt that Samsung knows how to create attractive, attention-grabbing designs. I’ve been wearing this watch for a month, and on several occasions, people have asked me about it, with more than positive comments about the design. Samsung’s watch stands out and shines on its own, but it’s not ostentatious or overly bulky. I tried the 44mm configuration, and it fit my style and wrist like a glove, although it’s worth noting that I have large hands and wrists, which works well with the larger format models. The company offers this watch in three colors: graphite, gold, and silver. The silver version is perhaps my favorite due to the contrast with the black dial without losing elegance. One of the new features this year is found in the straps. Samsung has made it easier to interchange them with a button on each end of the strap to release and attach new ones. There are options in various colors and materials, such as faux leather or vegan leather (which sounds better in terms of marketing).
The watch is lightweight, and the silicone strap I tested fits comfortably without causing excessive sweating. In fact, I’m a big fan of the type of closure used, which hides the tip of the strap. I’ve had some issues with other watches that left the tip outside, and an accidental bump could cause the watch to fall. This isn’t a problem here, and it looks more elegant by concealing the excess strap. Most importantly, it’s not uncomfortable. A smart move by Samsung.
The watch itself is reinforced with a more durable glass to prevent it from chipping or cracking upon impact (unfortunately, something common on my part). The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 has passed various military-grade tests and also offers IP68 and 5 ATM certification, which means you can take it swimming or get it wet without the risk of damage. In other words, it’s a very useful watch if you engage in sports regularly, whether you’re swimming, running, or doing other activities.
In addition to the silver version (exclusive to the 44mm dial), you also have the gold color (exclusive to the 40mm) and the graphite shade, available in both sizes.
One of the main functions of the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 is to gather activity from your phone. This allows you to quickly view Gmail or WhatsApp messages without taking your smartphone out of your pocket. Moreover, it offers more options for responding to this activity. For example, you can reply to a WhatsApp message you’ve received. And not just with predefined responses. The Galaxy Watch6 even provides a small on-screen keyboard so you can reply with text or emojis. It’s much more convenient than it may seem at first (at least in the 44mm size), and it can be very useful if you have the LTE version and are far from your phone, such as when you’re out for a run.
There are also other functions that complement those on your phone, but in this case, there’s a greater limitation as they only work with Samsung phones. For instance, the Galaxy Watch6 can serve as a shutter button for taking photos with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 and control functions like zoom. It also allows you to track your exercise progress directly on a large screen on a Samsung TV or Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 tablets. If you have other devices from the brand, it can be useful, but it’s a shame that these functions are so limited to the Samsung ecosystem.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 makes it easy for you to start that fitness challenge or have better overall health control. It comes with a wide range of sensors and specific applications for this purpose, including an extensive collection of physical activities. There are more than 90 sports and routines that you can manage from this smartwatch, some in a more specific manner and others as a simple counter. For example, in modes like swimming, you can count the laps you swim, and there’s even a specific mode to lock the watch underwater and then expel the liquid when you finish the exercise. In contrast, others like the stationary bike simply track the time you spend exercising and provide an estimated calorie burn during that time.
The arrangement of different training modes is a plus, with animated icons for each type of exercise and a display of the sensors that will be used for that exercise. For instance, you have GPS, heart rate monitoring, step counting… The fact that these icons are displayed helps you understand the complexity level of these activities.
In the realm of health, in addition to the heart rate monitor, you also have one for measuring blood oxygen and a stress monitor. I find the latter very useful in the times we live in, where we sometimes forget to take a moment and relax to avoid getting carried away by tension. With the monitor, you can get used to taking the necessary time to regain your composure and face work obligations again. Another essential feature is the sleep tracker. Samsung continues to improve this function, and this year we have some interesting new features, such as knowing your spirit animal based on the type and amount of sleep cycles you have. It’s a fun way to get closer to your sleep patterns and strive for healthier sleep.
Another curious feature that is now being introduced is a new skin temperature sensor, which is not only for more precise measurements with other sensors but also for other purposes, such as measuring the temperature of water or food without touching it. We’ll have to see if this ends up being genuinely useful. Finally, I really like the integration of Google tools like the calendar and Gmail on this watch. Especially the calendar, with its dedicated application, allows you to see upcoming events at a glance.
As expected, another strong point of the Samsung Galaxy Watch6, year after year, is its customization through watch faces. There are a large number of different options for making the watch look the way you want it to. From classic faces to modern ones, including photos that you can upload to display on the watch or even characters you can create based on your appearance. There are so many alternatives that the best thing you can do if you get this watch is to play around with it for a while until you find the perfect watch face.
By the way, the Samsung Galaxy Watch6’s screen incorporates the always-on display feature, so you can check the time at any time without pressing any buttons. However, keep in mind that this feature also consumes more power, something to keep a close eye on with this watch.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch6’s display lives up to what you’d expect from a Samsung device. Its Super AMOLED technology works perfectly, providing excellent responsiveness for icons and interactions with the watch. Moreover, it reaches peaks of brightness of 2,000 nits, so I’ve never had trouble viewing the watch’s contents even in bright sunlight. This guarantees that you’ll find the experience you’re looking for in this device.
Now we come to the Achilles’ heel of this smartwatch. The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 means that the entire package depends on how accustomed you get to charging the watch every night. Things improve if you decide to use the battery-saving mode occasionally, although this means sacrificing some features that are received via Wi-Fi, such as weather information (which some of my favorite watch faces rely on). Personally, I found it difficult to adapt, and I still feel that a smartwatch should last longer. Samsung’s official estimates are 40 hours without the always-on display mode and 30 hours with this mode activated.
The device charges using a magnetic base that comes with a USB-C cable. You can charge it through an available port on your computer or with a mobile charger at home, as long as it has this USB-C connection (older chargers typically have regular USB). In my experience, it took about an hour to fully charge.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 is already available and starts at a price of 290 euros, reaching up to 360 euros for the most powerful configuration. The price difference isn’t significant, and the extra screen size when interacting with the watch can be a significant advantage if you use it regularly as a (limited) replacement for your smartphone. In summary, in terms of features, this smartwatch comes close to excellence and combines it with a genuinely elegant and robust design. However, it all depends on whether you can get used to charging it every night (or every morning if you use it to measure sleep quality).