Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 test: Much better than the Pixel Watch

Where Google drops the ball, Samsung delivers.

The $300 Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, launched last month, is a rare example of a device that shoves its most direct competitor into a locker and steals its lunch money. Most of the time, devices from major technology brands require a case to be manufactured in multiple directions, but in the case of the Galaxy Watch 6 and Google’s Pixel Watchthere is no comparison.

With a large, extremely useful display, a wealth of fitness and sleep tracking features, and ample battery life, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is the smartwatch for Android owners. Especially if you own a Samsung phone.


Google plans to announce its Pixel 8 on October 4th

Dynamite display

App screen on Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

The app screen offers space for numerous icons.
Photo credit: Molly Flores/Mashable

Samsung didn’t cause a stir with the look of the Galaxy Watch 6. Unsurprisingly, this is a pretty no-frills device that wouldn’t look out of place as an unassuming smartwatch on a TV show. The round dial is flanked on one side by a home button and a Samsung Wallet shortcut button, while everything else is done via touch. Oh, and the Galaxy Watch 6 comes in three colors: graphite, gold and silver.

Samsung offers 40mm and 44mm versions of the watch. Regardless of which version you choose, the display is about 20 percent larger than the previous model and the bezel is 30 percent smaller. There’s no physical rotating bezel here; For this you need to buy a Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

In practice, this all means that the Galaxy Watch 6 has a pretty nice and, more importantly, functional display. Notifications are easy to read from a short distance, as is the part where the time is displayed. You already know what watches are made for. You can even use a full keyboard to reply to texts, although I wouldn’t recommend this unless the situation absolutely requires it. Just trying to type the word “Hey” with my big fingers produced gibberish.

While there is no physical rotating bezel, there is may Slide your fingers across the bezel to quickly scroll through all of the different screens (here called “tiles”) available on the Galaxy Watch 6. Combined with the Home button, this allows for quick and painless navigation. Swiping down from the top of the screen brings up a quick menu (like any smartphone), while swiping up from the bottom of the screen brings up a full list of installed apps.

Speaking of which: The Galaxy Watch 6 has 16 GB of built-in storage. That’s obviously a lot less than the 32GB available on the Pixel Watch, but that’s not particularly important for a smartwatch, and the Galaxy Watch 6 scores on so many other counts, which we’ll get to later, that it is hardly worth mentioning.

All the sleep and fitness tracking you could want

Target tracking screen on Galaxy Watch 6

This little screen is my favorite.
Photo credit: Molly Flores/Mashable

Most of the Galaxy Watch 6’s fitness and sleep tracking features are carryovers from last year, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still worthy of praise. Here’s a quick list of things you can do with the Galaxy Watch 6:

  • Adjust your body composition to individually track your fitness goals

  • Measure skin temperature while sleeping to predict menstrual cycle

  • Detect irregular heartbeats and notify the user about them

  • Measure blood pressure

  • Take an EKG

  • Track your sleep patterns

I should note that the blood pressure and ECG features are exclusive to Samsung phones. Generally, you will need an account with the Samsung Health Ecosystem to access many of the Galaxy Watch 6’s advanced features, such as: B. body composition setup and some of the more detailed sleep tracking features. Device exclusivity for useful features is always a hassle, especially when a tailored login is required. Thumbs down for that.

But I give it a thumbs up for the amount of things you can do just with the watch itself. For example, you can get basic metrics about your sleep habits, including consistency scores that measure how reliably you sleep through the night without waking up. Personally, I always wake up sometime between 3 and 5 am, and my sleep consistency score reflects that.

Sleep tracking is also good for accounting for these gaps in your sleep cycle and telling you how many hours you’ve had in total, while also showing what times you were awake. I did notice that it doesn’t do a great job of detecting short naps, but I suspect that’s not really what sleep tracking is intended for anyway.

Sensor on the Galaxy Watch 6

This is how it senses things in your skin.
Photo credit: Molly Flores/Mashable

What I liked most, however, is how the Galaxy Watch 6 works with my walking habits. I try to take at least one long walk every day, weather permitting. Like any smartwatch worth its salt, the Galaxy Watch 6 counts your steps, active time, and calories burned on a given day, albeit with a neat little heart graph that fills up as you reach your goals.

I found that really motivating. As someone who loves video games, I get a little boost of serotonin every time I fill up my meter. Samsung’s gamified Activity interface on the Galaxy Watch 6 worked for me, convincing me to take another walk in the evening to top up my meters.

The whole thing has a small disadvantage. By default, the Galaxy Watch 6 automatically detects when you get up and move, and occasionally notifies you when you’ve reached a certain milestone, such as: B. 10 consecutive minutes of walking. This feature is… dubious. It occurs regularly when I have barely done any activity (e.g. walking from my bedroom to the kitchen and back), and several times throughout the day I have to get up and move around.

Is this probably for the best? Absolutely. But is it also annoying and intrusive? Absolutely.

I eat Pixel Watch’s lunch

Let’s address the elephant in the room. The Galaxy Watch 6 is probably the most direct competitor to Google’s Pixel Watch, which was released a year ago. These are Android-centric smartwatches with a wide gap in available features that are worth talking about. Oh, and one is significantly cheaper than the other; The Samsung watch starts at $300 and the Google watch starts at $350.

Remember the body composition, skin temperature, blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat tricks the Galaxy Watch 6 can do? The Pixel Watch doesn’t support any of these. Google’s watch seemed a bit primitive when it launched, and that became more apparent over time. There may be a Pixel Watch 2 to fill the gap in the near future, but fitness and health enthusiasts will currently benefit more from a Galaxy Watch 6 than a Pixel Watch.

Speaking of more: The Galaxy Watch 6 can be used for perhaps a day and a half with the always-on display switched on. That’s not unusual, but it Is better than the Pixel Watch, which had a battery life of just under 24 hours for me. Samsung also says that you can get 40 hours of use out of the Galaxy Watch 6 if you turn off the always-on display, although I strongly believe that having it on significantly improves the experience.

In other words, the Galaxy Watch 6’s battery life is so good that if you put it on the charger for 20 or 30 minutes in the morning while you’re getting ready, it’ll more or less not fail too often.

Android owners only

Galaxy Watch 6 with straps removed

It’s the winner for now.
Photo credit: Molly Flores/Mashable

Hopefully I’ve made my point clear by now: Android owners (particularly Samsung phone owners) don’t really have a better choice when it comes to the big mainstream smartwatches currently available.

With its large and useful display, a fairly extensive range of health and fitness features and more than sufficient battery life, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 has you covered. I really wish it didn’t hide a few features behind Samsung device exclusivity, and some of the automatic health alerts are a bit annoying. But overall, the only reason for a smartwatch-needy Android owner to wait would be to see if Google releases a second Pixel Watch soon.

Even if that were the case, Samsung’s years-long lead might be too big for Google to overcome in a year.

Samsung smart watches

Chrissy Callahan

Chrissy Callahan is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chrissy Callahan joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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