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Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs 6 Classic: What's the difference?

Beyond the bezel, these two devices have a lot in common.
By

Published onNovember 21, 2023

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
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

Once again, Samsung’s latest wearables arrive with a bilateral lineup. The base model of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series looks a lot like last year’s with a bright display, sporty aesthetic, and basic smartwatch design. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic brings back the fan-favorite rotating bezel. But does anything else differentiate these Samsung smartwatches from one another? Dig into our Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs 6 Classic comparisons to determine which model is right for you.

Galaxy Watch 6 vs Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: Specs

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Display
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
44mm: 1.5-inch
Super AMOLED
480 x 480 resolution
Full color Always On Display
Sapphire Crystal

40mm: 1.3-inch
Super AMOLED
432 x 432 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 6
44mm: 44.4 x 42.8 x 9.0mm
33.3g

40mm: 40.4 x 38.8 x 9.0mm
28.7g
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 6
Armor Aluminum case with Sport Band

44mm: Graphite, Silver
40mm: Graphite, Gold
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Stainless Steel case with Hybrid Eco-Leather Band

47mm: Black, Silver
43mm: Black, Silver
Battery
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
44mm: 425mAh
40mm: 300mAh

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

WPC-based wireless charging
Processor
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Samsung Exynos W930
Dual-core 1.4GHz
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Samsung Exynos W930
Dual-core 1.4GHz
RAM
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
2GB
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
2GB
Storage
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
16GB
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
16GB
Connectivity
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
LTE
Bluetooth 5.3
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
2.4+5GHz
NFC
GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
LTE
Bluetooth 5.3
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
2.4+5GHz
NFC
GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo
Sensors
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
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 6
5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810H
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810H
Software
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Wear OS powered by
Samsung (Wear OS 4)
One UI 5 Watch
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Wear OS powered by
Samsung (Wear OS 4)
One UI 5 Watch
Compatibility
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Android 10 or higher with more than 1.5GB of RAM
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Android 10 or higher with more than 1.5GB of RAM

Sporty vs traditional designs

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic rest on their sides, highlighting the difference in device widths.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Starting with the biggest ticket item, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic brings back one of Samsung’s most beloved design features to date. Last seen spinning through menus and apps on 2021’s Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, the rotating bezel garnered more popularity than perhaps the company even realized. Absent from last year’s lineup, the feature returns on the pricier model of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series.

This is, by and large, the biggest difference when comparing the Galaxy Watch 6 vs 6 Classic. The base model smartwatch is simple, sporty, and nearly identical to the Galaxy Watch 5. The Classic model looks more traditional and far from similar to the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

The Classic model also comes in slightly larger case sizes to accommodate the rotating bezel. The Galaxy Watch 6 is available in 40mm and 44mm cases. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic bumps those numbers up to 43mm and 47mm. With larger dimensions and stainless steel builds, the Classic models are also heavier than their aluminum siblings.

Both models offer thinner bezels than their predecessors and 20% larger displays with greater resolution and brightness. The devices also pack larger batteries than previous generations and improve battery consumption.

Matching feature sets

A device from the series manages the camera on a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Beyond the bezel and its impact on device size, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic are virtually identical. They feature the same displays, batteries, processors, and durability specs. They offer the same Wear OS 4 and Galaxy Watch UI 5 software experience, including smart features and health and fitness tracking tools.

Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic share the same sensor package.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

You may notice the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic has an extra sensor listed in our specs sheet above, but this 3D Hall sensor is simply responsible for the functionality of the rotating bezel. Nothing else differentiates one model from the other besides their price tags.

Similarities continue throughout the devices’ feature sets as well. On both watches, Samsung aims to personalize users’ fitness journey, offering heart rate zones for real-time feedback during workouts. The watches also add Track Run to over 100 existing workout types and a Custom Workout option. Overnight, both devices offer improved sleep tracking, including in-depth analysis of Sleep Score factors and detailed feedback each morning. Both watches also add irregular heart rhythm notifications.

Smartwatch improvements include Samsung Wallet for storing everything from your ID and credit card to tickets and boarding passes, Thermo Check for taking contact-free temperature measurements, WhatsApp on Wear OS, and other updated app experiences such as Gmail, Peloton, and more. The devices even offer an upgraded Camera Controller for managing the camera on your paired Galaxy Z Flip5 from your wrist. These are just a sampling of the experience updates offered on the new software, which is identical on both devices.

Device prices and color options

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 40mm: $299
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 44mm: $329
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 43mm: $399
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 47mm: $429

The base model Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 starts at just barely under $300 for a 40mm device. A 44mm device is also priced competitively, starting at $329. Respectively, Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic models cost $100 more than their counterparts. The smaller 43mm Classic prices out starting at $399. The larger model starts at $30 more for $429. The Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic are available now.

As for colorways, neither model offers a huge selection, but the neutral options are traditional and attractive. The 44mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is available in Graphite and Silver. The 40mm model is available in Graphite and Gold. Both Galaxy Watch 6 Classic sizes are available in the same Black and Silver colorways.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
Bigger, brighter AMOLED display • Snappy Wear OS 4 software experience • Sporty yet tasteful aesthetic
MSRP: $299.99
Bigger and better.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 brings the best of Wear OS 4 and Samsung's smartwatch features to the table. A large display and full Samsung Wallet app make the Watch 6 a powerful standalone device, while integration with Samsung phones makes the Watch 6 a valuable part of your Galaxy ecosystem.
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.

Galaxy Watch 6 vs Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: Which should you buy?

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic rests on a carton, highlighting the device's bezel.
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Really, the question is, how do you want to interact with your device? When Samsung ditched the rotating bezel last year and launched the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro without one, many were not pleased (that’s putting it mildly). Lamenting the loss of their favorite feature, some stuck with their Galaxy Watch 4 Classic rather than upgrade.

If you’re one of the many who desperately wanted to see the rotating bezel return, your choice is simple. Now is the time to fork over the extra cash for the feature you’ve been waiting for. If you’re new to the scene but value a traditional aesthetic and tactile navigation, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is also right for you.

However, if you’re just after a powerful Wear OS device at a reasonable price, the base model Galaxy Watch 6 is a great pick. It packs the same feature set, including Wear OS 4 and crucial health tracking sensors, for $100 less. It offers a more athletic look that is still very sleek, attractive, and easy to dress up.


What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series? Will you be upgrading? Let us know in the poll below.

Which Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series device will you be buying?

107 votes

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