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Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs Galaxy Watch 7: Should you upgrade?

Are the iterative upgrades only skin deep?
By

Published onJuly 10, 2024

Samsung Galaxy Watch 7
MSRP: $299.99
Check price
Positives
Enhanced storage
Sleep apnea detection
Stylish design
Multiple band options
Two size choices
Health tracking features
Negatives
No Classic design
Average durability
Limited color choices
Moderate battery life
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
MSRP: $299.99
Check price
Positives
Bigger, brighter AMOLED display
Snappy Wear OS 4 software experience
Sporty yet tasteful aesthetic
User-friendly quick-release strap
$100 less than Watch 6 Classic
Negatives
Mostly minor improvements over Watch 5
Unreliable touch bezel
Inconsistent GPS and heart rate data
Some features only available to Samsung phone users

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 has arrived, setting a new benchmark for one of the best smartwatch series. It packs a new chipset, new fitness features, and updated software, but you wouldn’t necessarily know this is a new watch on first viewing. The similarity to its predecessors makes the Galaxy Watch 7 appear as yet another iterative update, but is this the case? It also begs the question: Should you upgrade if you own a Galaxy Watch 6? Find out in our Galaxy Watch 7 vs 6 comparison below.

Galaxy Watch 7 vs Galaxy Watch 6: At a glance

Picking between two of the best Samsung smartwatches is a tricky task, so here's a quick summary of the big differences between the Galaxy Watch 7 and the Galaxy Watch 6:

  • The Galaxy Watch 7 is powered by a newer, more powerful chipset.
  • The Galaxy Watch 7 now includes FDA-approved support for sleep apnea detection.
  • While the Galaxy Watch 6 runs on Wear OS 4, the Galaxy Watch 7 is the first to run Wear OS 5.
  • The Galaxy Watch 7 has more RAM and storage space than its predecessor.
  • The Galaxy Watch 7 offers numerous new fitness and smart features powered by Galaxy AI.
  • Samsung's new watch also introduces three new watch strap designs.

Galaxy Watch 7 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Specs

The Galaxy Watch 7 introduces several hardware upgrades. It trades the dual-core W930 on the Galaxy Watch 6 for the five-core W1000 chipset, which claims to be much faster than the outgoing silicon. It’s also paired with double the storage and 33% more RAM than its predecessor.

Find the detailed specs list for the Galaxy Watch 7 vs 6 below.

Galaxy Watch 7Galaxy Watch 6
Dimensions and weight
Galaxy Watch 7
40mm: 40.4 x 40.4 x 9.7mm
28.9 g

44mm: 44.4 x 44.4 x 9.7mm
33.8 g
Galaxy Watch 6
40mm: 40.4 x 38.8 x 9.0mm
28.7g

44mm: 44.4 x 42.8 x 9.0mm
33.3g
Materials
Galaxy Watch 7
Case: Aluminum Armor
Front: Sapphire Crystal
Galaxy Watch 6
Case: Aluminum Armor
Front: Sapphire Crystal
Display
Galaxy Watch 7
40mm: 1.3-inch
Super AMOLED, Full color, Always On Display
432 x 432 resolution
330 ppi

44mm: 1.5-inch
Super AMOLED, Full color, Always On Display
480×480 resolution
327 ppi
Galaxy Watch 6
40mm: 1.3-inch
Super AMOLED, Full color, Always On Display
432 x 432 resolution
330 ppi

44mm: 1.5-inch
Super AMOLED, Full color, Always On Display
480 x 480 resolution
327 ppi
Processor
Galaxy Watch 7
Exynos W1000
5 cores
3nm process
Galaxy Watch 6
Exynos W930
2 cores
5nm process
RAM
Galaxy Watch 7
2GB
Galaxy Watch 6
1.5GB
Storage
Galaxy Watch 7
32GB
Galaxy Watch 6
16GB
Battery
Galaxy Watch 7
40mm: 300mAh
44mm: 425mAh

WPC-based wireless charging
Galaxy Watch 6
40mm: 300mAh
44mm: 425mAh

WPC-based wireless charging
Connectivity
Galaxy Watch 7
Bluetooth 5.3
LTE
Wi-Fi (2.4 & 5GHz)
NFC
GPS dual frequency (L1+L5)
Glonass
Beidou
Galileo
Galaxy Watch 6
Bluetooth 5.3
LTE
Wi-Fi (2.4 & 5GHz)
NFC
GPS
Glonass
Beidou
Galileo
OS
Galaxy Watch 7
Wear OS 5
One UI Watch 6.0
Galaxy Watch 6
Wear OS 4
One UI Watch 5.0
Sensors
Galaxy Watch 7
Samsung BioActive sensor (Optical Bio-signal sensor, Electrical Heart Signal, Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis)
Temperature sensor
Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyro sensor
Geomagnetic sensor
Light sensor
Galaxy Watch 6
Samsung BioActive sensor (Optical Heart Rate, Electric Heart Signal, Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis)
Temperature sensor
Accelerometer
Barometer
Gyroscope
Geomagnetic sensor
Light sensor



Durability
Galaxy Watch 7
5ATM
IP68
MID-STD-810H
Galaxy Watch 6
5ATM
IP68
MID-STD-810H
Compatibility
Galaxy Watch 7
Android 11.0 or later, RAM 1.5 GB or higher

No iOS support
Galaxy Watch 6
Android 10.0 or later, RAM 1.5 GB or higher

No iOS support
Colors
Galaxy Watch 7
40mm: Green, Cream

44mm: Green, Cream
Galaxy Watch 6
40mm: Graphite, Gold

44mm: Graphite, Silver

Galaxy Watch 7 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Design

Don’t worry; You don’t need to get your eyes tested. There are so few aesthetic differences between the Galaxy Watch 7 and Galaxy Watch 6 that telling them apart is a skill itself. Both watches are available in 40mm and 44mm sizes, with a prominent touch-sensitive bezel surrounding their screens and watch strap pylons that jut out from the main watch body.

The new watch is slightly wider and deeper than the Galaxy Watch 6, but these differences aren’t really noticeable to the naked eye. We’re also seeing a minor increase in the Galaxy Watch 7’s weight, but we’re talking tenths of a gram. There is no Galaxy Watch 7 Classic for rotating bezel fans this time. However, Samsung will continue to sell the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic ($429 at Amazon). That’s a tick for the older generation.

The new watch is slightly wider and deeper than the Galaxy Watch 6, but these differences aren't really noticeable to the naked eye.

The Galaxy Watch 7 includes three new strap designs: Sport, Fabric, and Athleisure. Each offers different designs, use cases, and comfort levels. You’ll likely find third-party bands for both Galaxy Watch models, but it’s a positive that Samsung offers some variety when purchasing the new device.

Nevertheless, for those hoping for a stark shake-up of the Galaxy Watch formula, you won’t find it with the Galaxy Watch 7. That said, the pricier and much larger Galaxy Watch Ultra ($649.99 at Amazon) looks nothing like the Samsung smartwatches of recent years.

Galaxy Watch 7 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Features

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 on a table.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The Galaxy Watch 7 has several changes beneath its skin, the chief of which is Wear OS 5. It’s one of the first wearables to run the new OS with One UI 6 Watch on top. The new watch also includes new smarts, from a new Double Pinch gesture to control various items on paired Galaxy smartphones to a Galaxy AI-powered message suggestions feature for WhatsApp and Google Messages.

Samsung’s new watch also introduces several fitness metrics and tools, some powered by Galaxy AI. The Galaxy Watch 7 offers wellness recommendations based on data gathered from the wearer, while a new Energy Score metric will provide an overview of a user’s perceived energy levels. Other features, like a self-competition feature for outdoor trainers, a Functional Threshold Power measurement for cyclists, and an enhanced sleep score system, all debut. In addition, the FDA-approved sleep apnea feature also lands with the Galaxy Watch 7, allowing wearers to monitor for moderate or severe spells.

Samsung's new watch also introduces several fitness metrics and tools, some powered by Galaxy AI.

While the Galaxy Watch 6 currently lacks Galaxy AI features, Samsung has mentioned that these updates will arrive on older Samsung watches in the future. There’s no concrete timeline, though, so you’ll have to upgrade if you want the new kit immediately.

Beyond the new additions, the Galaxy Watch 7 and 6 share base fitness tracking smarts, including heart rate monitoring, blood oxygen tracking, body composition analysis, and the ECG. The latter, as well as Galaxy AI-reliant features, remains exclusive to those with a Galaxy smartphone.

Galaxy Watch 7 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Price and colors

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Photo Sticker2
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Samsung Galaxy Watch 7: Starts at $299.99

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: Launched at $299.99

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 debuted on July 10, 2024, at an Unpacked event in Paris, France. It’s available in two sizes, each with Bluetooth-only and LTE variants. Prices start at $299.99 for the 40mm Bluetooth model. The watch is available to preorder, with general availability kicking off on July 24.

Samsung is offering the new watch in three colors. Green is available on both 40mm and 44mm models. Cream is the secondary option on the smaller watch, while Silver offers something different on the larger model.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is nearly a year old, launching on July 26, 2023, but it only went on sale on August 11, 2023. Like its successor, the 40mm Bluetooth model launched at $299.99, but you can now find it on sale fairly often. It launched at $399.99 and is available in a 47mm dial size. Samsung will continue to sell the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

The standard model’s colorways include Graphite, Silver, and Gold, with Black and Silver options for the Classic.

Galaxy Watch 7 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Should you upgrade?

A user accesses the App Library on their Samsung smartwatch.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

The Galaxy Watch 7 and Galaxy Watch 6 appear acutely similar, but their differences go deeper than just appearances. On paper, the Galaxy Watch 7 offers an upgraded chipset, a host of new software and fitness features, more day-one band choices, and more storage and RAM than its predecessor.

It also helps that Samsung hasn’t increased its base price, making it a much better buy for those who don’t yet own a Galaxy Watch model. But what if you do? What if the Galaxy Watch 6 is currently around your arm? Should you upgrade?

That answer is particularly tricky to answer. Beyond the hardware differences, the Galaxy Watch 6 won’t differ from the newer model much once it receives its Wear OS 5 software update. There are particular fitness metrics it won’t be able to track, but time will tell if these are genuinely useful. It’s best to hang on to your Galaxy Watch 6, at least for now. However, if you own an older model, especially one no longer supported by Samsung, now is the time to take the leap.

See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy Watch 7
14%off
Samsung Galaxy Watch 7
Enhanced storage
Sleep apnea detection
Stylish design
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Bigger, brighter AMOLED display
Snappy Wear OS 4 software experience
Sporty yet tasteful aesthetic

Galaxy Watch 7 vs Galaxy Watch 6: Which is the better buy?

129 votes

FAQ

The Galaxy Watch 7 includes a newer chipset, comes with more storage and RAM, and boasts new Galaxy AI-powered fitness features.

The Galaxy Watch 6 debuted in July 2023, but went on sale a month later.

The Galaxy Watch 7 starts at $299.99 in the US.

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