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Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic vs Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Which is the best?

There's a fair bit to consider beyond the rotating bezel.
By
November 21, 2023
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
MSRP: $449.99
Check price
Positives
Long-lasting battery
New adventures features
Reliable heart rate monitoring
Negatives
No skin temperature monitoring at launch
GPX file sharing not applicable to runs
No more rotating bezel
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
MSRP: $399.99
Check price
Positives
The rotating bezel is back
Elegant design and build materials
Ships with Wear OS 4
Bright, vibrant AMOLED display
Robust, snappy software experience
Negatives
Only minor upgrades over Watch 5
Imperfect heart rate data
Disappointing battery life
Some features only work with Samsung phones

Samsung’s latest lineup is the Galaxy Watch 6 series, which includes the return of the rotating bezel. For anyone who has been desperately waiting for the popular design feature to return to Samsung’s smartwatch lineup, the 6 Classic is a sight for sore eyes. Meanwhile, Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro fans might find the company’s backpedaling concerning. Fortunately, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro received some welcome updates as well and is still available on Samsung’s website.

Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic are considered premium devices within their generational lineups. To help shoppers determine which smartwatch is the right buy, we compare their designs, features, prices, and specs below.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro vs Watch 6 Classic: Specs

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 ProSamsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Display
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
45mm: 1.4-inch
Super AMOLED
450 x 450 resolution
Full color Always On Display
Sapphire Crystal
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
47mm: 1.5-inch
Super AMOLED
480 x 480 resolution
Full color Always On Display
Sapphire Crystal

43mm: 1.3-inch
Super AMOLED
432 x 432 resolution
Full color Always On Display
Sapphire Crystal
Dimensions and weight
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
45mm: 45.4 x 45.4 x 10.5mm
46.5
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
47mm: 46.5 x 46.5 x 10.9mm
59.0g

43mm: 42.5 x 42.5 x 10.9mm
52.0g
Colors and materials
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Titanium case
Fluoroelastomer D-buckle or Sport band

Black, Gray
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Stainless Steel case
Hybrid Eco-Leather Band

47mm: Black, Silver
43mm: Black, Silver
Battery
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
45mm: 590mAh

WPC-based wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
47mm: 425mAh
43mm: 300mAh

WPC-based wireless charging
Processor
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Samsung Exynos W920
Dual-core 1.18GHz
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Samsung Exynos W930
Dual-core 1.4GHz
RAM
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
1.5GB
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
2GB
Storage
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
16GB
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
16GB
Connectivity
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
LTE (available in select models)
Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
2.4+5GHz
NFC
GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
LTE (available in select models)
Bluetooth 5.3
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
2.4+5GHz
NFC
GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo
Sensors
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic sensor
Light sensor
Temperature sensor
Samsung BioActive sensor: optical heart rate (PPG), electric heart signal, bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor (BIA)
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic sensor
Light sensor
Temperature sensor
3D Hall sensor
Samsung BioActive sensor: optical heart rate (PPG), electric heart signal, bioelectrical impedance analysis sensor (BIA)
Durability
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810H
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810H
Software
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Wear OS
One UI Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Wear OS
One UI 5 Watch
Compatibility
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Android
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Android

Competing designs

A Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and 6 Classic rest on a green surface.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and 6 Classic feature significantly different designs. With a stationary bezel meant to protect its screen from bumps and scrapes, the 5 Pro was built for adventuring. It comes in just one 45mm case size with a 1.4-inch display and a software-based touchscreen bezel. The device may be too bulky for some, but it’s surprisingly stable on the wrist, thanks to a new strap design.

The titanium case ships with an elegant magnetic D-buckle we love. It also device boasts IP68 and 5ATM ratings for water and pressure resistance and a MIL-STD-810G durability rating. We’ve had and used ours since its launch date, and the device is still in fantastic condition.

A Galaxy Watch 6 Classic user navigates using the device's rotating bezel.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Equally durable but considerably different in appearance, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic harkens back two generations to the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. It features a raised, rotating bezel for tactile navigation and a stainless steel case. The watch ships with a Hybrid Eco-Leather band to emphasize its traditional aesthetic. During our review period, we found the band exceptionally comfortable and appreciated the seamless navigation afforded by the rotating bezel.

Unlike the 5 Pro, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is available in two different case sizes, a 43mm and 47mm option featuring 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch displays, respectively. According to Samsung, these displays offer improved resolution, brightness, and increased real estate — check out the specs table above. Given the Classic line’s build materials and the extra bulk of the rotating bezel, both models weigh more than the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

Beyond their bezel, the watches share similar design specs, including Sapphire crystals over their displays and WPC-based wireless charging. Except for the 3D Hall sensor used for facilitating the rotating bezel on the 6 Classic, the watches also feature the same sensors.

 Health, fitness, and smart features

Oura Ring 3 Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

As far as features, the Galaxy Watches offer users similar experiences. This includes robust health and fitness tracking and a well-rounded smartwatch. Out of the box, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic runs on Wear OS 4 and Watch One UI 5, making it the most powerful Wear OS device to date. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic also adds an extra .5GB of RAM and features an improved processor, so users should find a snappier experience on the newer model. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro launched running Wear OS 3 but received a Wear OS 4 software update to match the 6 series.

Alongside the 6 series, Samsung announced a handful of software and fitness tracking updates that have since made their way to both devices. These include improved sleep tracking, irregular heart rate notifications, a Track Run sport mode, and more. The company also added Samsung Wallet, Thermo Check, and several enhanced app experiences ranging from Gmail to MyFitnessPal. Again, as both devices run the same software, these updates shouldn’t be selling points in either one’s favor.

However, in order to keep the older Galaxy Watch 5 Pro an attractive option, Samsung also updated a few niche features on the rugged device. The watch now offers a GPX file database, allowing users to browse recommended routes. Meanwhile, the device’s Route Workout can finally be used for more than just hiking and cycling. The feature adds support for running and walking as well.

Device prices and colors

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 43mm: $399
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 47mm: $429
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (Bluetooth): $449
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro (LTE): $499

Like the standard Galaxy Watch 6, the Classic is available in two case sizes. Prices start at $399 for a 43mm option and $429 for the larger 47mm case. Only available in a single case size, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro launched at $449 for a Bluetooth-only model. Its price jumps to $499 for an LTE model. You may be able to find special offers or sales on the device here and there, but generally speaking, it hasn’t gone down because, technically, the 5 Pro hasn’t yet been replaced. As a result, we don’t expect the list price to change now that the 6 series is here.

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is available in black and silver. It ships with a Hybrid Eco-Leather band. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is available in either black or gray.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 ClassicSamsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
The rotating bezel is back • Elegant design and build materials • Ships with Wear OS 4
MSRP: $399.99
The rotating crown is back
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic rocks a rotating bezel! Better equipped than the base Galaxy Watch 6, the Classic model is a powerful watch with updated activity tracking, improved health features, and the full Samsung Wallet app for your mobile payments.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 ProSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
AA Editors Choice
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro
Up to 2 days battery life • Advanced sleep tracker • Fast Charging
MSRP: $449.99
Samsung's first adventure watch is a winner
Building on the Galaxy Watch 5's base with a much hardier body, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also features multiple health and fitness tracking tools, a bigger battery, and a better navigation system. All these improvements make for a great all-round smartwatch whether you're in the boardroom or out on the trail.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro vs Watch 6 Classic: Which should you buy?

A Galaxy Watch 5 Pro rests alongside a Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Samsung didn’t replace the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro this launch cycle. Instead, the company issued a few key updates to the device, signaling that the watch is still a priority product. With that in mind, it’s easy to recommend the 5 Pro with its massive battery and impressive specs. We called the watch the best wearable of the year last year, and it hasn’t dropped from our good graces yet. So, if you already have a 5 Pro, upgrading to the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic isn’t something we recommend to everyone.

On the other hand, many Samsung loyalists have eagerly waited for Samsung to return its rotating bezel. The feature is as useful as it is popular. It’s certainly worth purchasing if you have your heart set on it, especially if you don’t already own the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.


Which elevated Samsung Galaxy Watch model will you be buying? Let us know in the poll below.

Which elevated Samsung Galaxy Watch model do you prefer?

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