4 Things I Love (And 4 I Don’t) About the New Samsung Galaxy Watch6

4 Things I Love (And 4 I Don’t) About the New Samsung Galaxy Watch6

Samsung announced its latest smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch6, last week. During its Samsung Unpacked event, the company focused mostly on the new watch’s health abilities: There are upgrades to heart tracking, including a new irregular heart rhythm notification and a personalised heart rate zone, and new sleep features, including sleep score factor, sleep analysis, and sleep coaching.

In the announcement piece, I wrote that Samsung wore the crown for the best Android smartwatch and that I was interested to see if the Watch6 lived up to all it promised. A week later, I have to say yes. Save for a few things I don’t love.

Samsung Galaxy Watch6

Love: The sleep tracking. I sleep with a Google Nest Hub next to my bed – the one that tracks your sleep. I’ve even tried every gadget under the sun that promises to monitor your sleep. Nothing works as well as the Samsung Galaxy Watch6. On the watch face, you get a quick glance at how long your sleep was, with detail including total sleep time, sleep cycle, awake time, plus physical and mental recovery (aimed at helping you understand the quality of sleep). It’ll also give you detailed feedback about your sleep, and after seven days of sleep data, you’ll be allocated a Sleep Animal Symbol based on your sleep type. (It didn’t record my sleep on the plane as it was in chunks under two hours, so I need one more weekend sleep to qualify for an animal!). You can get more detailed data in the Samsung Health app.

Samsung Galaxy Watch6
Sleep stats on the Samsung Galaxy Watch6. Image: Asha Barbaschow/Lifehacker Australia

Don’t love: As much as I love the sleep tracking features this thing is packing, it’s quite uncomfortable wearing the Galaxy Watch6 to bed. When I had the Watch5 for a few weeks last year, I actually gave myself a bruise simply from the way I apparently position my hand while sleeping. Although I haven’t got a bruise this time, I’m hyper-aware of it on my wrist while I attempt to drift away. I even tried to rip it off in the middle of the night on Monday, thinking it was a hair tie.

Love: The design. The Galaxy Watch6 mostly competes with the Apple Watch and the Google Pixel Watch. Neither measure even close when it comes to fitness/health, but the other two also don’t look as nice. The Google Pixel Watch looks like you’ve carefully poured a thick liquid onto the table, and the surface tension is resulting in a raised liquid blob. The Galaxy Watch6, however, is sharper around the edges, but far less aggressively than the 5, and it just looks sleeker (perhaps it’s just the fact the all-black-everything is gorgeous). And the Apple Watch looks like a mini phone. It’s no competition, really.

Samsung Galaxy Watch6
Samsung Galaxy Watch6 (left), Apple Watch Series 8 (middle), Google Pixel Watch (right). Image: Lifehacker Australia

Don’t love: The size. The Watch6 also comes in a Classic version, but the Classic version is only available in 43mm and 47mm options – the watch I’ve been using is the Watch6 40mm, and I’d argue it’s already dwarfing my wrist. While I love the look of the watch, I also love the look of the rotating bezel and would love the Classic option in a smaller size.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic. Image: Samsung

Love: As much as I didn’t appreciate having to weigh myself to get the most out of the watch from a fitness/health perspective, I did gain some pretty valuable insights from spending a few minutes undertaking the body composition exercise. Samsung reckons its Galaxy Watch6 body composition measurements are as accurate as a DEXA scan. It can tell you your skeletal muscle, fat mass, body water, basal metabolic rate, among others. It’s not about losing weight (unless you want it to be); it’s about learning more about your body in a personalised way.

Don’t love: Once you enter an ecosystem, it’s hard to get out. I use an Apple iPhone, and I can copy on my iPhone and Ctrl+V on my MacBook Pro – it’s just so easy being inside Apple’s walled garden. But, alas, the same is the case for Samsung. You can’t use the Galaxy Watch6 with an iPhone. While you can still use it through the watch itself, you miss out on all the added stuff I do love.

Samsung galaxy Watch6
‘Why Can’t We Be Friends’ by WAR plays in the distance. Image: Asha Barbaschow/Lifehacker Australia

Love: That being said, I do love that I don’t have to have a Samsung phone as my main phone to get the most out of the Galaxy Watch6. Having the Watch6 ping my Galaxy Z Flip5 a few times a day still allows me to sync all exercise and sleep data. Besides, I spend most of my day with my iPhone on Do Not Disturb – I genuinely love that my watch doesn’t ping me to tell me LinkedIn wants me to waste my time on its app. Just a note – you can opt for one of Samsung’s cheaper phones and still get the benefits.

Don’t love: The price. The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 40mm (Bluetooth) has an RRP of $549, the LTE model is $649. The 44mm model will cost $599 (Bluetooth) and $699 (LTE).

You get what you pay for, however, and the Watch6 is a superstar.

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