Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 43mm LTE Smartwatch: A Comprehensive Review

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csm samsung galaxy watch6 classic intro1 59e2dd781d
csm samsung galaxy watch6 classic intro1 59e2dd781d

Along with the Galaxy Watch6, Samsung is bringing back the Classic model with rotating bezel, the Galaxy Watch6 Classic. It features a stainless steel casing and is larger. The brothers are quite similar under the surface. This year’s devices are distinguished above all by their screens.

After a one-year hiatus, Samsung reintroduced the Galaxy Watch Classic in 2023. The Galaxy Watch6 Classic is available in two sizes: 43 and 47 millimeters in diameter. Both sizes are available in black and silver. The black case is paired with a black strap, while the silver model includes a light gray strap.

The Galaxy Watch6 Classic is offered in WiFi-only and LTE versions. The base model with WiFi and a diameter of 43 mm is priced at ~$369. The 47mm version with LTE costs ~$449 USD. The test device provided for this review is the LTE-equipped 43mm silver model.

Galaxy Watch6 Classic with rotating bezel

Unlike the standard Galaxy Watch 6, Samsung has opted for a stainless steel casing on the Galaxy Watch6 Classic. The surfaces feature a combination of glossy and brushed finishes. The Classic models have noticeably wider screen edges than the regular Galaxy Watch6. For example, the 43mm Classic version offers the same screen size as the 40mm version of the Galaxy Watch6, and the same goes for the larger models.

A distinctive feature of the Classic model is its rotating bezel, which is fluted on the outside, allowing for easy grip and rotation despite being flush with the rest of the case. However, it’s worth mentioning that the bezel on the test model has considerable wiggle; can move in all directions with ease. This significantly affects the perceived quality, especially considering the price.

On the right side there are two buttons with a defined pressure point, and both seem a little loose. Behind these buttons and in the top band connector is a microphone, while the speaker is located on the left side of the case, under the stainless steel surface.

The screen is protected by a sapphire crystal, and the bezel also offers additional protection. The non-rotating inner part of the bezel is discreetly labeled. As for weight, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic weighs 51 grams without the band and 77 grams with the original band, making it noticeably heavier than the aluminum Galaxy Watch6 .

Samsung equips the Galaxy Watch6 Classic with 20 millimeter wide straps. The Classic model also features the new center button quick release, allowing users to change the strap quickly and easily without the need for tools.

the material used for the strap is “hybrid ecological leather”; it is divided in two parts. The lower part is made of rubber, while the upper part is made of artificial leather, clearly recognizable as such. There are some issues with the finish of the strap, some noticeable uneven spaces between the layers in certain places. Also, the way the strap is attached is not well designed; It frequently comes loose from the loops during daily use.

The Galaxy Watch6 Classic is IP68 certified, and Samsung guarantees 5 ATM water resistance. The wristwatch is also expected to comply with sections of the Mil-Std-810H standard, although the company does not specify which ones.

Setup and operation: variety of Samsung applications

For full functionality of the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic, at least two Samsung apps are required: the Wearable Galaxy app and the Samsung Health app. The smartwatch is paired with the smartphone through the Galaxy Wear app. Devices are immediately identified during the test and then the smartphone app is loaded using a plug-in.

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During installation, a Google account (required) and a Samsung account (optional) are paired. Apps from the Play Store can also be installed during installation. The software also suggests taking regular backups; To do this you have to install another app, Samsung Smart Switch.

The function descriptions in the smartphone app and the smartwatch instructions are well executed. Both appear throughout the setup process or immediately after completing it. Setting up an eSIM is possible both during the start-up process and afterwards. The software is designed for multi-SIM use. Although a separate SIM card can be set up in the test, the app constantly sends error messages even though the card is active and working.

Samsung justifies this with the fact that the watch only actively uses its own SIM card when it is disconnected from the smartphone to save battery life. Therefore, the standalone SIM card would often be inactive.

All associated Samsung Galaxy Wearable devices, such as headphones, trackers, and smartwatches, are displayed in the Galaxy Wearable app. The current watch face and charging status are displayed on the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic. Additionally, the app offers a large number of free watch faces. It is also possible to rearrange the applications on the wristwatch, as well as change the tiles and the quick menu called QuickPanel. There you can alter the contents and order.

The Galaxy Wear app can also be used to adjust smartwatch settings. For example, which apps can send notifications, what body data is measured and at what interval, or how powerful the vibration motor should be.

The button assignments can also be changed here. You can save an emergency contact and set Samsung Pay as your payment method. The eSIM is also managed here.

Most of these options are also available on the smartwatch itself. For more complex applications, the smartwatch launches the corresponding smartphone submenu. The watch is controlled using two buttons, a rotating bezel, gestures, and the 1.3-inch touchscreen.

Rotating the bezel scrolls through the menus. Pressing once returns the top button to the home screen. A long press activates the Bixby digital assistant in its default settings. Pressing twice launches the most recently used application. Only one function can be assigned to the bottom button. Pressing it once takes you one step back to factory settings. Key assignments are changeable, but not all functions can be stored for all keystrokes.

A swipe from left to right opens the notifications menu, messages appear sorted by application. Swiping your finger from top to bottom opens the shortcut menu with access to screen brightness, data connection, flight mode, etc. Swiping from bottom to top opens the application overview. Sliding your finger from left to right navigates between the different cards. Clicking on the corresponding card opens the corresponding menu or app.

The Galaxy Watch6 Classic comes equipped with speakers and microphones, allowing you to make calls. With its integrated eSIM, the smartwatch can make phone calls even without being paired with a smartphone. However, call quality is superior when paired with a phone compared to standalone mode, where transmissions can occasionally be choppy for the other party. With the volume at maximum, the smartwatch vibrates noticeably on the wrist.

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The watch’s phone app is well designed and displays all your smartphone or Google account contacts, call logs, and a dial pad for entering numbers. Notifications are displayed reliably and completely, including emojis and images. In addition, you can listen to voice messages through WhatsApp.

The watch offers wide response options. Provides preset short answers and allows individual responses using emojis, voice input, or a full keyboard. However, typing is less comfortable than on the Galaxy Watch 6 due to the bezel, especially in the peripheral areas.

Great choice thanks to WearOS

Samsung relies on its own Bixby voice assistant, by default. Users have the flexibility to easily download and use other assistants such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa through the Google Play Store. To use these alternatives on the Galaxy Watch6 Classic, it is necessary to link them to the corresponding accounts on the paired smartphone.

Bixby and Google Assistant can be activated upon request, while Alexa requires manual initiation via button press or touchscreen interaction. The responses of these assistants are displayed on the screen and transmitted through the smartwatch’s speaker.

 

Galaxy Watch6 Classic with various sensors

The smartwatch has a wide range of sensors and features designed to collect comprehensive health and fitness data. This data is collected and analyzed within the Samsung Health app. Within the app’s dashboard, users can customize the content and order of various metrics, such as daily activity, steps, workouts, food intake, sleep patterns, pulse rate, levels. stress, body composition, cycle tracking, water intake and blood oxygen levels.

In the Community section, users can compare their beliefs with those of their friends, creating a feeling of unity. In Fitness, Samsung offers a series of exercise videos, covering activities ranging from mindfulness and bodybuilding to running. These videos are shown on the smartphone while the smartwatch monitors vital signs. Samsung not only provides its own exercise programs, but also displays offers from third-party providers.

In the Profile section, users can see earned badges and personal best achievements. The software also offers a weekly summary of active time and sleep duration. It should be noted that data synchronization with Google Fit is possible exclusively through Google Health Connect.

A standout feature of Samsung’s smartwatch is its ability to measure body composition. By placing two fingers on the electrodes embedded in the buttons and entering height and weight, the software provides values ​​for skeletal muscle, fat mass and body water in kilograms. Additionally, it calculates BMI, body fat percentage, and daily basal metabolic rate in calories.

The app visually represents activity on a timeline and allows you to set custom goals. It not only provides information on daily activities, but also weekly and monthly achievements. In the steps section, the app also includes the number of floors climbed. Compare your step count to the averages of all users and users in the same age group.

The smartwatch has the ability to measure stress levels, which are displayed on a color scale ranging from green to red. Although Samsung doesn’t provide a numerical value, it presents stress levels throughout the day on a timeline and offers hourly summaries. To manage stress, the smartwatch provides breathing exercises.

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During sports sessions, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic measures VO2Max. Additionally, it can remind users to exercise regularly and detect prolonged periods of sitting, such as when working at a desk.

Samsung has reintroduced the Classic model to its line of smartwatches, although the differences with the standard Galaxy Watch6 are minimal. The main differences are seen in the materials and design of the case. The Classic version features a stainless steel case and a rotating physical bezel, while the standard version uses aluminum and lacks the rotating bezel.

Essential features such as display, battery life, memory, software and sensors remain identical on both models. This continuity is a positive aspect, as both versions excel in these areas. The smartwatch offers a wide range of applications thanks to its integration with WearOS, and accurately measures various body parameters. Additionally, the satellite tracking capabilities are impressive. The display stands out for its exceptional maximum brightness, which guarantees readability in all lighting conditions. 

We were less impressed with the quality of the test device. The bezel moves and the synthetic leather strap lacks luster in terms of binding and buckles. Likewise, the battery life is just adequate. In order to use the smartwatch during the day and night, users will need to charge it more than once.

For those considering this device, we recommend opting for the larger case variant, which comes with a larger battery. It is also essential to weigh the importance of stainless steel and the rotating bezel, especially taking into account the 100 euro premium compared to the standard Galaxy Watch6 . An alternative to consider, which offers similar advantages in terms of the operating system and greater autonomy, is the TicWatch Pro 5 . However, it is not yet available with eSIM.

Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Watch6 Classic is sold at various retailers such as Amazon or Best Buy . Samsung also has it listed in its own online store

The Galaxy Watch6 Classic barely makes it a day

Like its predecessor, battery life remains a major drawback for the Galaxy Watch6 Classic, especially in the smaller version. While the larger Galaxy Watch6 can last between 24 and 36 hours, the Galaxy Watch6 Classic often needs to be recharged partially during the day to ensure it lasts into the night.

When all functions, including continuous measurements and always-on display, are activated, the smartwatch can barely last a day, especially if it is used for activities such as training, making phone calls or using applications. In these cases, it may be necessary to charge the watch again before tracking sleep.

These are minimum estimates; Without the always-on display, the Galaxy Watch6 Classic can typically last a full day under similar usage conditions. Achieving several days of use is only possible with significantly limited use of its functions.

The smartwatch supports wireless charging using the Qi standard, allowing you to charge it with the charging pad of a compatible smartphone during the day. Samsung includes a charging pad but no power adapter. The watch attaches magnetically to the pad. A full charge from 0 to 100 percent takes about 80 minutes.

While charging, the smartwatch adjusts the screen orientation, allowing it to be placed comfortably on a desk or nightstand. The software provides an estimate of the expected charging time, although this value may fluctuate.