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Will there be a Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Pro? What we know so far and what we want to see
Samsung brought us a new generation of Samsung smartwatches at its mid-year Unpacked for 2023, and like the year prior, we got two new models to fawn over. But unlike the Galaxy Watch 5 generation, a “Pro” version wasn’t among them. Instead, the standard Galaxy Watch 6 was accompanied by the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. Samsung chose to reintroduce the “Classic” brand of two years ago rather than bring out a Galaxy Watch 6 Pro. This begs the question, will there be a Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Pro? Or has the Pro name been consigned to the history books? We’ll look at the evidence and attempt to answer these questions.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Pro at a glance
- When might it come out? There's no indication of when Samsung might launch the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro, but we do expect a possible launch in 2024.
- What new features could it have? We expect the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro to adopt some of the Galaxy Watch 6 improvements, including smaller bezels, a new chipset, and new temperature sensor tricks.
- How much might it cost? We expect the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro to be priced similarly to its predecessor, but a price increase could be on the cards.
Will there be a Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Pro?
We think that there will be a Galaxy Watch 6 Pro. There are strong factors to suggest this and good reasons why it wasn’t launched with the Galaxy Watch 6.
Firstly, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is still a top-tier wearable going strong. We named it the best wearable of 2022, and it takes some time for such an accolade to fade from our memory. Samsung acknowledged the continued importance of the Watch 5 Pro by releasing several key updates for the device. Both Galaxy Watch 5 models received improved sleep tracking, irregular heart rate notifications, a new Track Run sport mode, Samsung Wallet, and more. The Watch 5 Pro also got a GPX file database, allowing users to browse recommended routes, and the device’s Route Workout can now be used for running and walking as well as hiking and cycling.
That left Samsung with room to release two more smartwatches without the need for an interactive upgrade to the Watch 5 Pro just yet. At the same time, it also has a loyal customer base who were calling out for the return of the rotating bezel on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic — a feature that was not only popular but also very useful in many scenarios. When you take all of these factors into consideration, it makes a lot of sense for the “Classic” model to make a return after two years, and hence we got the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Why wouldn't there be a Galaxy Watch 6 Pro?
But all of this isn’t an argument against a Galaxy Watch 6 Pro ever appearing, it’s quite the opposite. The “Classic” model and the “Pro” model target different users, with the “Pro” model built for action and the “Classic” variant emphasizing style. There is space in the market to keep both flagship Samsung smartwatch lines running, and if it does, then it would make sense to alternate the release of subsequent generations of each to capture maximum smartwatch market share.
We only have to look at its audio range to see that Samsung has form on this approach. Samsung released the Galaxy Buds and Galaxy Buds Pro, and their successors, in alternating years, recognizing that even if the two models offer something a bit different from each other, there is space to keep one release on ice while the other one is marketed to new buyers. Not to mention this reduces the need to design and manufacture a new generation of each line every year.
All of this is conjecture — we haven’t heard of any rumors that a Galaxy Watch 6 Pro is in the works. But when you consider all the evidence, a better question would be, why wouldn’t there be a Galaxy Watch 6 Pro?
What is the most likely Galaxy Watch 6 Pro release date?
- Galaxy Watch launch: August 2018
- Galaxy Watch Active launch: March 2019
- Galaxy Watch Active 2 launch: September 2019
- Galaxy Watch 3 launch: August 2020
- Galaxy Watch 4 and 4 Classic launch: August 2021
- Galaxy Watch 5 and 5 Pro launch: August 2022
- Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic launch: July 2023
Since its existence hasn’t even been hinted at yet, there isn’t a Galaxy Watch 6 Pro release date available. We also don’t have multiple release dates for a “Pro” model to look back on and draw inferences from, as the Watch 5 Pro was the first in that particular line. But if we do get a Watch 6 Pro, there’s an obvious event at which it might first appear.
As the schedule above shows, Samsung releases at least one variant of the Galaxy Watch around the same time each year. A strong bet is that the Galaxy Watch 7 will be released in July or August 2024. If our speculation from the section above proves to be accurate, the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro will be staggered against the standard model releases and launched in early 2024. The Watch Active line shows that Samsung isn’t shy about two wearable launches in the same year.
Samsung typically holds two Galaxy Unpacked events each year to announce the company’s latest hardware. The first of each year is typically held in February, so we’re going to go ahead and guess that the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro will be released in February 2024.
The less likely alternative, at least in our eyes, is that Samsung alternates between a “Pro” model and a “Classic” model each year. That is technically what has happened in the last two years — there wasn’t a Galaxy Watch 4 Pro or a Galaxy Watch 5 Classic. If this is the case, the next “Pro” model won’t be released until July or August 2024, and it would be a Galaxy Watch 7 Pro.
What features could the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro have?
As we don’t have any rumors about what features the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro would have, the best we can do is make educated guesses on how it will differ from the Galaxy Watch 6. We can base that on the key differences between the Galaxy Watch 5 and the Watch 5 Pro and compare them to the upgrades on the Galaxy Watch 6 over the Galaxy Watch 5. Let’s get speculating.
The Galaxy Watch 5 was available in 40mm and 44m sizes and had an armor aluminum case. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro came in one size of 45mm and offered a titanium case. Given that the Galaxy Watch 6 had the same variants and materials as the Watch 5, it would make sense that the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro will be 45mm and have a titanium case.
One of the main differences between the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro was the significantly larger battery of the latter, offering longer use between charges. It had a capacity of around 40% more than the 44mm model of Watch 5 at 590mAh, and since the 44mm model of the Galaxy Watch 6 has a slightly larger battery than its predecessor, we can expect the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro to offer a battery capacity of around 600mAh.
We can expect that the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro will be noticeably heavier and slightly thicker than the Watch 6, in keeping with the previous generation. If the proportions hold true, the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro will be around 10mm thick and weigh around 46g. It will undoubtedly feature an IP68 rating and MIL-STD-810G durability rating.
The specs of the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro were essentially the same, with the difference between the two almost entirely in the design. Without other information to go on, we can only assume that the specs of the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro will be the same as those of the Galaxy Watch 6.
So we’re likely to see the dual-core 1.4GHz Exynos W930 chipset, 2GB of RAM with 16GB of storage, and the smartwatch operating on Wear OS 4 with One UI 5 Watch. It will almost certainly offer an accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic/light/temperature sensors, and the Samsung BioActive sensor — all geared towards the same sleep and fitness tracking as its stablemate.
What could the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro price be?
For reference, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 started at $279 for the 40mm Bluetooth-only version and jumped to $329 for the LTE version of the same size. The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro retailed for $449 for the Bluetooth edition or $499 for the LTE model. The base model of the Galaxy Watch 6 was marginally more expensive, starting at $299 for the 40mm base model.
We can extrapolate from this that the asking price for the Bluetooth model of the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro will be around $479 and approximately $529 for the LTE model.
In the meantime, if you’re shopping for a capable off-road smartwatch you have plenty of options. The Garmin Fenix 7 Pro (on the product’s website) makes for a good Android-friendly alternative, if you can afford it. iPhone users may consider the Apple Watch Ultra 2 ($679 at eBay) as an appropriate equivalent, despite its lofty price.
Perhaps due to the economic climate, we have seen Samsung freezing prices on new generations of Galaxy devices on more than one occasion this year. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro follow suit and retail for the same prices as the Watch 5 Pro. The difference with the other devices would be that there would be 18 months since the last release in the case of the Watch 6 Pro rather than 12 months for devices that haven’t seen a price increase.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Pro: What we want to see
We’re still very happy with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. However, there’s always room for improvement, and we’re happy to speculate about what a new generation could look like. In addition to the upgrades already found on the Galaxy Watch 6 line, there are a few changes we’d love to see make their way to a potential 6 Pro model.
A second size option
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is only available in a single 45mm case size. It’s bulky at best, and at worst, it’s simply too large for some wrists. We’d argue users with petite wrists value durability and battery life as much as the next person and would love to see a smaller case option in the Pro lineup to accommodate them. Often, shrinking device size also leads to decreased battery life, but in our ideal world, Samsung would find a way to offer a small Pro model that doesn’t compromise in that regard.
Even more battery life
Compared to its base model counterpart, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro packs a significantly larger 590mAh battery, with Samsung claiming the watch offers up to 20 hours of battery life in GPS mode. We didn’t find the device quite lived up to those claims during our review period, though we were happy to see it last about two full days between charges. For the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro to truly earn the “Pro” moniker, we’d like to see even better specs. A device aimed at outdoor enthusiasts should be able to last a long weekend camping trip without users needing to carefully manage their feature usage.
Less Samsung exclusivity
We’re starting to sound like a broken record, but one of the biggest drawbacks of Samsung’s wearables is that advanced health features are only accessible to Samsung phone users. The electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure monitoring each require the Samsung Galaxy-only Health Monitor app, which makes both tools unusable for anyone without a Samsung phone. When the smartwatch market is only getting more competitive, and shoppers have more options than ever, these limitations significantly impact the attractiveness of Samsung’s lineup. We’d love to see the Galaxy Watch 6 Pro break down this walled-garden approach to health monitoring.
Reliable heart rate data
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 Pro boasts heart rate accuracy we were happy to see during our review period. Unfortunately, the company seemed to take a small step backward with its Galaxy Watch 6 series devices. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, in particular, struggled to record accurate data during runs and wrist-centered workouts like weight lifting. We hope to see Samsung get back on track and offer a new Pro model that records precise data regardless of activity. Considering the usefulness of heart rate zones during workouts, a reliable sensor is even more important to athletes who may be shopping the Pro lineup.
More tools for adventurers
There is a clear trend in the smartwatch market to cater to increasingly active (if not full-out adventurous) shoppers. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 Pro opened the door to a new camp of users, but the device only dips a toe in the outdoorsy feature pool, especially compared to devices from competitors Garmin. We hope the next Pro model Galaxy Watch offers more tools for hikers and explorers, including a much broader navigation toolkit, more map-related capabilities, and additional safety features. Tools like Apple’s Siren or Garmin’s LED flashlight are also welcome.