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Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: A weighty contender with bigger battery and some limitations

Traditional looks will appeal to many but some features are only compatible with Galaxy phones

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
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Price: €429
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There are some things that you know will be a sure thing. Taylor Swift tickets selling out in minutes. TikTok trends infiltrating the real world.

But smartwatches? They weren’t guaranteed to catch on. Samsung has been chipping away at this for a while, first with the Galaxy Gear, which had a camera built into the strap, then with a line of Gear Fit bands aimed at the more active users, mainly using its own Tizen operating system.

Then the Galaxy watches came in 2018, an altogether slicker affair and looking very much like a regular watch rather than a high-tech gadget on your wrist. Add into that the popularity of the Apple Watch, which had established itself a few years prior, and smartwatches seem like they are here to stay.

The rotating bezel not only adds a touch of class to the aesthetic, but it also works very well as a way to interact with the watch’s software

The latest addition is the Galaxy Watch 6, the regular evolution of Samsung’s wearables, that comes in a range of sizes and models. That includes the standard Watch 6, and the Watch 6 Classic, the company’s nod to those of use who prefer our watches to have a more traditional look and feel to them. No poking at a screen for Classic owners; they get the rotating bezel as a way of interacting with the Watch.


It has been two years since we had an updated Galaxy Watch Classic, with the Watch 4 the last outing for the model. So what does the Watch 6 bring? A few new features and changes that could make it a worthy upgrade if you are in the market for one.

First the basics. The Watch 6 Classic looks the part. The version reviewed here was the 47mm with the eco-leather strap, and the general impression is of a classic watch with attention paid to the details. The rotating bezel not only adds a touch of class to the aesthetic, but it also works very well as a way to interact with the watch’s software. If you aren’t a fan of touchscreens, this watch has the best of both worlds.

The Classic comes in two colours, black and silver, and two sizes: 43mm and 47mm, with the latter a bit of a monster if you have smaller wrists. It is also heavier than the regular Watch 6, at 56g. For context, the regular Watch 6 is 33g for the 44mm version, and the Apple Watch Series 8 is 39g for the 45mm aluminium version and 51.5g for stainless steel.

However, that extra size serves is well. More space means a bigger battery, so you get longer between charges. Less than half a full charge saw the Classic last a full day with all the extras turned on, including the always-on display.

The latest version of the Classic also has fast charging, so you can be back up and running more quickly than before.

The new model also includes a temperature sensor, which is useful for health feedback such as tracking menstrual cycles. It’s not essential for everyone, but it is a nice extra to have if you are concerned about tracking those health metrics.

And like its predecessor, it has a blood pressure monitor and ECG, so you can keep a cursory eye on your heart health too.

A word of warning: you will need a blood pressure cuff to calibrate the watch’s BP monitor. While Samsung is clear that the watch sensor is not a replacement for a doctor’s expertise, if you fudge the calibration, you could get bad readings.

These two extra features are in a separate app, meaning it is yet more Samsung software on your phone. Alongside the regular Samsung Health app, you will need the Samsung Health Monitor App or else you can’t access the ECG or blood pressure readings on your phone.

That brings me to another issue: compatibility. To use the Watch 6 Classic, you’ll need a phone running Android 10 or later, with Google Mobile Services on board, which is to be expected. But many of these extra health features are ring-fenced exclusively for the use of Galaxy phones.

I get why the company does that; Apple does the same with its watch, limiting the entire experience to some sort of contact with an Apple device. It is worth noting that Samsung does allow the Galaxy Watch to work with other Android devices, just not blood pressure.

But if you are trying to persuade people to part with hundreds of euro for a watch that they will eventually have to replace in a few years, rather than something they can hold on to for years, they are going to want to get the most out of it.


The rotating bezel works well as a way to interact with the watch, especially if you find small touchscreens fiddly. However, Samsung has covered its bases here, and you can still poke at the display if needed. The display itself is bright and easy to read, even in bright daylight.

The bigger battery means longer use, too, although how long you get from it depends what you use it for. It is good compared with previous similar Samsung devices, but as with many smartwatches, it is still fairly mediocre.


Some of the best features are only compatible with the Samsung Galaxy range of phones, ruling out a large hunk of Android users. While the heart rate monitoring works well most of the time, there are some discrepancies between Samsung’s reading and other manufacturers’ readings during workouts.

Everything else

You get the usual features you would expect from a smartwatch, including sports tracking, sleep tracking and the built-in GPS, which works well for fitness-focused users. It also has some extras such as body composition and the infrared temperature sensor.


The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a good all-rounder, although it is a little on the weightier side.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist