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Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Everything we know (Updated: March 2)
Update: March 2, 2023 (12:52 AM ET): We’ve updated the Galaxy Watch 6 rumor hub with alleged details about the battery life of the upcoming wearables. Read on for all the latest information.
Original article: February 11, 2023 (2 PM ET): While the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series may still seem like a fresh new wearable, we’re likely already halfway to the next iteration. Sure, rumors about a Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 have been sparse so far. However, there’s no doubt in our minds that the current Wear OS juggernaut has a follow-up on the way. We’ll keep track of any details we hear below so you can stay abreast of what you might expect to see on the next Galaxy Watch. Plus, it’s never too early to start dreaming up a wish list.
Will there be Galaxy Watch 6 series?
To be blunt, there’s almost no way we won’t see a new Samsung smartwatch in 2023. Samsung launched a massive wave of smartwatch innovations when the Galaxy Watch 4 series introduced Wear OS 3. The Galaxy Watch 5 series currently still rides that swell. While plenty of other Wear OS-based wearables are making strides, there’s no doubt Samsung will launch a new generation this summer to keep up its own momentum. The company would be hard-pressed to abandon the race, especially with devices like the Pixel Watch gunning for a new user base.
Will there be a Galaxy Watch 6 Pro model?
This question is a bit trickier. There haven’t been many rumors about what we can expect from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series yet. It’s very likely Samsung will stick with its two-prong approach and offer shoppers variety. However, will the company return to the Classic model or pump out a second version of the Pro moniker? If our Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review is any indication, the latter proved a very successful pivot. We’ll keep our ears out for rumors in the coming months.
When is the Galaxy Watch 6 release date?
- Galaxy Watch: August 2018
- Galaxy Watch Active: March 2019
- Galaxy Watch Active 2: September 2019
- Galaxy Watch 3 series: August 2020
- Galaxy Watch 4 series: August 2021
- Galaxy Watch 5 series: August 2022
Samsung has a well-established pattern for product releases. The one exception above is the Galaxy Watch Active, which was announced in February 2019 and landed in March of the same year. Every other Galaxy Watch has been announced in August and released a few weeks later. The Active 2 technically landed in September but was announced the month before like the rest of the lineup.
Based on the company’s past release dates, we expect the new generation to drop at the Samsung Unpacked event this summer. Most likely, the event will take place in early August allowing the devices to hit shelves before the end of the month.
What Galaxy Watch 6 features can we expect to see?
Design and specs
The latest generation didn’t bring a remarkable design change to the Galaxy Watch line. In fact, our reviewer mentioned feeling deja vu when unboxing the device for his Galaxy Watch 5 review. That isn’t necessarily a complaint, however, as the watches share an elegant aesthetic, eye-catching AMOLED displays, and impressive specs. With a winning design on its hands, it’s likely that we can expect Samsung to deliver much of the same next time around.
As mentioned, it’s unclear if the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 lineup will include a Pro or a Classic, but we expect two models in multiple sizes. It’s also very unlikely Samsung will deviate from its classic circular case or interchangeable quick-release bands. The Series 5 upped the ante on some durability specs which will likely carry over to the next lineup, and we’re hopeful we’ll see the D buckle clasp return as well.
There have been some rumors that Samsung may bring microLED displays to the lineup, echoing similar rumors about Apple’s next Ultra model. According to SamMobile however, the tech won’t be ready in time for an August launch, so it’s likely this upgrade won’t debut until the Galaxy Watch 7. MicroLED displays offer a brighter viewing experience with better color reproduction and visibility. They could also help conserve battery life.
Speaking of battery life, according to GalaxyClub, the batteries on the Galaxy Watch 6 series could get a boost this year. The information comes courtesy of certifications obtained by the smartwatches in Samsung’s home country South Korea. The basic Galaxy Watch 6 model could have 40mm and 44mm variants, The former could have a 300mAh battery, compared to the 284mAh battery of the 40mm Galaxy Watch 5. Meanwhile, the 44m Galaxy Watch 6 could see a 425mAh battery, a slight increase over the 410mAh battery of the 44mm Galaxy Watch 5.
Health and fitness tracking
Not much detail is available yet about what tracking features might improve in the next generation. On the sensor front, it’s safe to assume we will still find an accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, and Samsung’s BioActive sensor (optical heart rate (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) sensor package). The lineup will also most likely pack the same temperature sensor, (though we hope to see it put to better use).
We found the fitness tracking and built-in GPS on the current series quite reliable. The Pro model brought new navigation features onboard for outdoor enthusiasts, likening the device to an experience you might find in Garmin’s stable. It’s likely that those tools are here to stay as well. It’s yet to be determined if they will make their way to the base model of the Series 6 lineup.
We’ll keep updating this hub as more information leaks about the next generation. By the time the Series 5 hit shelves last year, we had a well-rounded picture of what users would find in the box. We anticipate plenty of information to spill about the newest addition as well.
What will the Galaxy Watch 6 price be?
Pricing is a tricky topic to speculate on in the current climate. Last year, the Galaxy Watch 5 series launched at $279 for a base model device and $449 for the Pro model, which is only available in a single size. Each option also came with an upcharge for their respective LTE versions. These 5 series launch prices were roughly $30 higher than those of the previous generation.
On one hand, it’s hard to imagine Samsung raising the price again this year. On the other, Samsung’s current prices remain competitive compared to its rival out of Cupertino. Asking shoppers to spend more for a quality wearable is not out of the question. If Samsung introduces significant enough improvements, the new series may warrant a more expensive bill.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series: What we want to see
More time on the wrist
Battery life is the crux of many wearables and the Galaxy Watch series is no exception. Sure, we’ve seen incremental upgrades from series to series, but no company should be aiming for a “most improved” award to fix this legacy Galaxy Watch problem. Plus, on the Galaxy Watch 5 Samsung brought better specs to larger models but left small case sizes wanting.
Fitbit’s smartwatches tout nearly weeklong battery life, as does Garmin’s Venu 2 Plus. What’s more, Apple Watches now offer low power mode, closing the gap and the small lead Samsung has over our top pick for iOS users. If other companies add more convenience to their devices by minimizing charging woes, Samsung ought to keep up. With that in mind, we wouldn’t complain about even faster charging as well.
The return of the Classic bezel
When Samsung dropped the Classic model of the 4 series in favor of an elevated Pro model, we rejoiced. From the premium build to the added navigation tools, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro brought something new to the table. It felt as though the company might be switching gears towards a more fitness-focused wearable for outdoor adventuring.
But the Pro model also came at a cost. Saying goodbye to the Classic also meant a regrettable farewell to many users’ favorite design feature: a rotating bezel. We’re hoping Samsung brings more interesting design changes to the next lineup, mixes it up with more colors, and most importantly, offers a model that puts the beloved bezel back on our wrists.
For anyone interested in a Galaxy Watch, the past two years have been a great time to be a Samsung phone user. Despite our finger-crossing, the Galaxy Watch 5 series launched with the same health tracking limitations as the 4 series in terms of compatibility. Only select users can access the electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure monitoring. Both of these tools require the Samsung Galaxy-only Health Monitor app. In other words, they’re only usable when paired with a Samsung phone.
We would love to see the next generation break down the barn door and let more users access the full feature set. Limiting key tools to select users makes the series a hard sell to anyone on the outs. This is especially true when competition in the wearables market continues to heat up.
More use cases for the built-in temperature sensor
Finally, we’d like to see Samsung leverage its temperature sensor for more than just sleep tracking. More specifically, we’ve seen other companies put a similar sensor to good use for women’s health tracking and would love to see the Galaxy Watch 6 follow suit. Cycle tracking is a complex and, unfortunately, underdeveloped opportunity on many wearables. If Samsung brings more insights and tools to the Samsung Health app, it could make the lineup immensely more useful to those who menstruate.
That’s everything we want to see from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6. Which features do you hope for most? Let us know by voting in the poll below.