2023 is definitely the year where Samsung does not bring in any major upgrades to its existing lineup. First were the Galaxy Flip and Fold 5 which refined the design factor with the devices finally closing without a gap in between. Now, Samsung’s Watch 6 is the latest device to hop on the minor update trend and redefine what the best of Android smartwatch looks and feels like. We’ve been testing the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 44mm LTE (SM-R945F) for nearly a week now and it graciously falls into the ‘Easy To Recommend’ category of devices. This might not be a monumental upgrade from the Galaxy Watch 5 but it undoubtedly is one of the best smartwatches you can buy right now! Jump right in for the full review of the Galaxy Watch 6 –
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Design
The Galaxy Watch 6 pretty much keeps the same design as last year’s Galaxy Watch 5. There’s the staple two size options here – 40 & 44 mm. I tested out the 44 mm LTE version of the watch with a silver strap. The Watch 6 also gets an interesting Gold colour variant which screams extravagance. Samsung might not have made major changes to the design of the Galaxy Watch 6 but there really is nothing to complain about it either. It is a known form factor which works well & is also comfortable. Even with the 44mm size, users will not feel the watch to be bulky or heavy on their wrists. A good indication of a comfortable smartwatch is when I do not have to remove it while typing my hours away at work, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 excels in that arena. The in-box silicon strap looks premium and feels comfortable.
While the design factor remains the same, Samsung has now introduced a ‘One-Click’ solution to swap the strap. Users just need to hold the button placed at the base of the band and pull it to remove the strap. While the general user will most likely not swap the silicon bands often, it is a welcome addition to the smartwatch lineup.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Display
Smartwatch displays are pretty much a standard affair. The pack and parcel of the smaller displays include users having to cover the screen with their hands in order to see the finer details under direct sunlight. Samsung fixes this issue and goes miles ahead by 2,000 nits of peak brightness with the Watch 6. The previous iteration only featured 1,000 nits of peak brightness making the Watch 6 a notable upgrade in that aspect. Mumbai’s September bipolar weather sports both heavy rains & bright sunny days; I did not witness any issues while using the watch outdoors in either of those weather conditions.
The Galaxy Watch 6 series uses a Super AMOLED panel across the lineup. However, the size and resolution of these displays are not the same. The 44mm model sports a 1.5-inch 480 x 480 screen whereas the smaller 40mm model rocks a 432 x 432 screen at 1.3-inch. There is nothing but a small 0.1-inch difference between the Watch 5 and Watch 6 but it makes a bigger difference when it comes to a small display. You can scroll around the bezels of the smartwatch which will never NOT be cool!
Performance & Health Features
There is a plethora of health features on the Galaxy Watch 6. Samsung uses an activity tracking UI which is similar to Apple. Three rings which count your steps, active time, and calories close up every day, and in all honesty, it is fun and simple to follow. Samsung has gone all out when it comes to health features of the Watch 6, including a temperature sensor which automatically measures your skin temperature while you sleep. I tested out the sleep features more than the fitness tracking features on this watch as I am at least consistent with sleeping as opposed to hitting the gym.
The Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) sensor allows users to scan their skeletal muscle, body water & fat, BMI, basal metabolic rate, and fat mass. It is crazy how far technology has come where we can find complex information about our bodies with just a few clicks on a smartwatch. The automatic workout detection feature remains my favourite feature of this watch. Besides this, Watch 6 offers 24/7 heart rate monitoring, cycle tracking, blood oxygen tracking, ECG, and much more. Samsung Health application allows us to streamline all these features really well.
It runs on the Exynos W930 dual-core processor clocking in with 1.4GHz speed. The performance here is reliable without any lags or jitters. It is running on Wear OS 4.0 with the prowess of Samsung’s One UI 5.0 layered on top of it. I did not face any problems in the overall UI experience of the Watch 6. Be it notifications or the vibration motor, everything works as expected. Receiving and making calls on the Watch 6 is also smooth sailing. Users can also pair their Galaxy devices with the smartwatch to get a preview of their camera, a feature which came in handy for me while clicking a picture of my dog without alarming her!
The Galaxy Watch 6 has an exceptionally good battery life for a device which packs in this many features. I am not entirely a fan of always on display on smartwatches as they tend to become a distraction. However, the AOD on the Watch 6 is subtle and does not beg for your attention all the time. I was easily able to get through the day with the AOD feature with 30-40% battery remaining. The watch was connected to my Galaxy S23 throughout the entire testing period and the battery life was simply dependable. The charging experience is also a smooth sail. Ultimately, there is a lot to love and virtually nothing to complain about the Galaxy Watch 6.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is the best smartwatch for Android users right now. Its extensive health features and simple design make it an easy pick.