Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Review: Low Effort Greatness

Key Takeaways

  • The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic brings back the beloved rotating bezel and offers a larger and more vibrant display for easy viewing of information.
  • The performance of the watch is fast and smooth, with great battery life that can last up to two days on a single charge with typical use.
  • The combination of Wear OS 4 and Samsung’s One UI 5 provides access to Google and Samsung ecosystems, offering a wide range of features and apps for health and fitness tracking.

Ever since Samsung switched to Wear OS in 2021, it’s been putting out similar watches each year. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a sequel two years in the making, but it’s not quite the easy upgrade it should be.

Last year, Samsung ditched the famous rotating bezel in the Galaxy Watch 5 series. It’s back in the Watch 6 Classic, making this year’s watches more of a sequel to the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic than the Watch 5 or Watch 5 Pro. However, with so few other changes, it feels like when McDonald’s brings back the McRib after intentionally taking it away to drum up hype. Is a slightly bigger screen and the rotating bezel enough to distract from the fact that Samsung isn’t trying very hard? Let’s take a deeper look.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a return to the styling and functionality of the Watch 4 Classic. The rating bezel is back, along with thinner bezels and bigger displays.



Operating System
Wear OS 4, One UI 5

Heart Rate Monitor

Onboard GPS

Case Material
Stainless Steel

59 g, 52 g

46.5 x 46.5 x 10.9 mm, 42.5 x 42.5 x 10.9 mm

47mm, 43mm

Sapphire crystal, Super AMOLED

Exynos W930



425, 300mAh

MIL-STD-810H compliant


  • Large and beautiful display
  • Fast and smooth performance
  • Wear OS 4 and One UI 5 is a great combo
  • Top notch health and fitness features
  • Great battery life

  • Very similar to the two-year old Galaxy Watch 4 Classic
  • Not many reasons to pay $100 extra over the Watch 6

Design and Display: The Same, But Bigger

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic on a wrist.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic continues Samsung’s approach of designing smartwatches that generally look and feel like traditional watches. While the Galaxy Watch 6 has an aluminum case, the Classic models are made of stainless steel that come in black or silver. It also comes in two sizes: 43mm and 47mm. That’s slightly bigger than the 42mm and 46mm options from the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, and the 46mm Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

The highlight of the design is the triumphant return of the rotating bezel, which was missing from last year’s Galaxy Watch 5 series. The bezel has a smooth and clicky feel, and it can be used to scroll through menus, Tiles (widgets), notifications, and more. It also adds some flair to the watch, as it has a textured grip along the outside edge.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic buttons and bezel.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

The rotating bezel was a much-requested feature, but I can’t say it made the experience that much better for me. The last few smartwatches I’ve used did not have a rotating bezel, so it took me a while to get back in the habit of using it. If you find it handy, that’s great, but it felt more like a gimmick to me. Though I will admit, it’s still fun to fidget with.

The watch has two physical buttons on the right side: a home button and a back button. They are easy to press and have nice tactile feedback. The home button can also be customized to launch apps with a double press or a long press. I use these shortcuts for Google Assistant and Google Wallet, which is a nice way to avoid Bixby and Samsung Pay.

The watch comes with a soft and flexible hybrid leather and silicone band. I typically wouldn’t be excited about a stock watch band, but Samsung has a new quick-release mechanism that lets you easily swap it with other bands. Unlike Google’s annoying proprietary mechanism for Pixel Watch bands, Samsung has managed to do it in a way that still supports standard 20mm or 22mm bands. Imagine that.

The Watch 6 Classic is equipped with a Super AMOLED panel that is bright, sharp, and colorful. The display size has increased from 1.2 inches and 1.4 inches on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic to 1.3 inches and 1.5 inches on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. That’s thanks in part to the slightly larger cases but also 15% thinner bezels.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic watch band.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

I’ve been using the 47mm model, and it really does feel like I have a massive screen on my wrist. Everything is super easy to see, and I appreciate being able to see more information on the screen. That being said, I’m personally not a fan of big watches. It almost feels comically large at times. But I know that’s a look plenty of people like, so I can’t hold it against it.

Overall, the whole look is very similar to the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. The rotating bezel is thinner, the display is bigger, and the stock bands have a quick-release mechanism. Those are the main differences. There wasn’t a huge need to update the look, but it’s always a bit sad when essentially the same thing is rolled out again.

Performance and Battery Life: Fast For Multiple Days

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Quick Settings.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic runs on Samsung’s custom-built Exynos W930 chipset, which is an upgrade from the Exynos W920 processor in the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. RAM has also been ever so slightly upgraded from 1.5GB to 2GB.

I’ve been very happy with the performance of the Galaxy Watch 5, and I can’t say the Watch 6 Classic is much of an upgrade in this regard, despite Samsung’s claims. That’s certainly not a bad thing, though. It was great before, and it’s still great now, a running theme for this watch.

The battery life of the watch depends on the model you get. The 43mm model has a 300mAh battery, while the 47mm wearable has a 425mAh battery. These are slightly smaller than the batteries on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic (361mAh or 247mAh), but battery life has been very good for me with the 47mm model.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic back side.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

Samsung claims the watch can last up to two days on a single charge with typical use or up to seven days with power-saving mode. I found that these estimates are accurate for the most part. I was able to get two days on a single charge without much anxiety. If you love the Always-on Display, getting through one day is a breeze.

The watch supports wireless charging and comes with a magnetic charger in the box. You can also use the reverse wireless charging feature on some Galaxy phones to charge the watch, which is a nice backup method. It’s still very annoying that Samsung watches can’t be charged with regular Qi chargers or use reverse wireless charging from non-Samsung phones.

Software & Health Features: A Winning Combo

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic app launcher.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

The watch runs on Wear OS 4 and Samsung’s One UI 5 skin on top of it, which adds some Samsung-specific features and apps. The Wear OS and One UI combination gives you access to both Google’s and Samsung’s ecosystems, including Google Assistant, Google Wallet, Google Maps, Samsung Health, Samsung Pay, Samsung SmartThings, and more.

Wear OS 4 is not a huge update. There are a handful of new watch faces, a quirky new claymation aesthetic in some places, and a few updated Tiles, but the biggest new feature is the ability to transfer the watch to a new phone without doing a full reset. I was able to do this successfully, and frankly, it’s amazing. The fact that it’s taken this long to implement is crazy.

One UI isn’t my cup of tea on phones, but I happen to like it a lot on smartwatches. The aforementioned combination of Wear OS, One UI, and Google apps is a real winner.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic email notification.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic has a wide variety of health and fitness features to go along with a lengthy list of sensors. It has a heart rate sensor, an ECG sensor, a blood pressure sensor, a SpO2 sensor, a BIA sensor, and a fall detection feature.

The watch can track your sleep quality and duration, as well as your snoring patterns and skin temperature. It can give you a sleep score and some personalized advice to improve your sleep habits. I did not test the sleep tracking features due to the fact that the 47mm model is quite large. I’m not sure the Classic series is the most comfortable to wear in bed.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic heart rate sensing.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

The watch supports over 90 workout modes, including running, cycling, swimming, hiking, yoga, etc. It can automatically detect and record six types of workouts: walking, running, cycling, elliptical trainer, rowing machine, and dynamic workout. It can also measure your VO2 max, calories burned, distance traveled, speed, pace, cadence, heart rate zones, etc.

I was hoping for improved accuracy with fitness tracking, as that’s been a complaint with my Galaxy Watch 5. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is more or less the same in that regard. All of these features work best with the Samsung Health app on your phone, but there are plenty of other health and fitness apps to choose from. Keep in mind that many of the advanced features require Samsung Health and Samsung’s Tiles.

Should You Buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic with Google Assistant.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

There’s no getting around the fact that the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a solid smartwatch that offers a lot of features and functionality. It has a beautiful design, a nifty rotating bezel, a big display, smooth performance, great battery life, and a plethora of health and fitness features.

However, this watch is not an easy home run. The thinner bezels and bigger display are great, but the overall package hasn’t changed a ton from last year or even two years ago. On top of that, Samsung is essentially asking for $100 extra on top of the $299 Watch 6 just for a rotating bezel.

There should be a more clear-cut answer if you’re looking to upgrade from the two-year-old Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, but that’s not the case, unfortunately. The upgrades can easily be boiled down into three things: more screen, better battery life, and ever so slightly thinner body. That might be worth it if your old watch is starting to feel its age.

The moral of the story for the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is similar to a lot of Samsung products recently—namely the Galaxy Z Fold 5. The changes are not huge, but there didn’t necessarily need to be huge changes. At this point in time, Samsung is the Michael Jordan of the Android smartwatch ecosystem—it doesn’t have to try super hard to be the best. Great is great, no matter the effort.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a return to the styling and functionality of the Watch 4 Classic. The rating bezel is back, along with thinner bezels and bigger displays.

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