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HomeTech ReviewsSamsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review: This watch can measure stress, and a lot more

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review: This watch can measure stress, and a lot more

Smartwatches are no longer a niche. In fact, you stand out these days by opting for an analogue watch with people staring at you as if you have hit the bad times. But even as more users across the world switch to smartwatches of all shapes and sizes and price points, the fact remains that the technology itself has not changed much over the past few years. All companies are now looking at improving the efficiency of their devices and perfecting the features they offer. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is also a milestone in such a journey.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review: What’s new

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic looks like Galaxy Watches have for the past few years. But the Classic version this year has the rotating bezel, which though looks a bit archaic as a concept — I used to have a watch with one in school — but has been adapted so wonderfully well for the digital world. I felt the bezel is a very natural way to navigate a smartwatch, moving through screens and inside them, and easier to access than a crown. The way Samsung has used the bezel, giving it the ability to control almost everything on the watch is really innovative.

At 3.73 cm, the sapphire crystal display of the Watch 6 is also among the largest I have used in a smartwatch. While it gives you the real estate to see multiple data posts on your watch face, this is also large enough for you to even browse websites on the screen, since the browser is one of the apps available. I haven’t seen that before in other watches.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 being used to read Indian Express online The watch is also large enough for you to even browse websites on the screen, since the browser is one of the apps available. (Nandagopal Rajan / Express photo)

And while the Watch 6 Classic packs a larger 425 mAh battery, Samsung is also introducing fast charging. With a regular Samsung wall charger, the Watch 6 can fully juice up in about 30-40 minutes flat.

Using the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

I have to confess that I have been an Apple Watch user for years now, and it is a bit hard to switch, especially since a lot of the health data is monitored by my doctor to help me keep my sugar levels under check. Still, since the Galaxy Watch 6 has everything the Apple Watch has it was not that tough to make a switch, though some of the apps I use for tracking are not available on WearOS.

The Watch 6 is large and almost 60 grams in weight. I was a bit sceptical about the size, but once I wore it, the watch felt quite comfortable and natural. The rubber strap, with its faux leather kind of look, feels good and is the sort of material I don’t mind wearing to bed. The screen is bright and is perfect to use in all sorts of conditions, though it does look a bit too bright when you are in the cinema or winding down for bed.

The bezel easily became my primary way to interact with the watch, so much so that I did not find much use for the two buttons on the right side of the watch. Swipes and slides on the screen get quick response, even when there is a bit of water or humidity on the screen and this is when you realise the richness of the notifications via WearOS. Literally every notification on the phone can come here, along with weather alerts and other important stuff. A swipe down takes you to the control centre, which again is easy to understand as it is almost like the one on your Android phone. Compared to the Apple Watch, the notifications here take over the screen and are easier to consume.

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With any smartwatch, despite all the features it can offer, the primary use case for most is the fitness layer. For me too this is the most important aspect of a smartwatch these days.

I took the Watch 6 on my regular walks around my locality, where a single circuit is exactly 1.6 km, as mapped by Apple Watch and confirmed by other devices I have used over the years. On the Watch 6 too this data was the same. The calories I burnt and the steps I took for the same were also similar, which meant I could complete my 300 kcal daily workout in exactly the same time on the Watch 6 too. This for me is a validation of the data quality of the device, as I have seen many other devices which are way off.

Along with this, I found the sleep data to be pretty good with the Watch 6, especially since I found this a very comfortable device to wear to sleep. The app on the phone gives you your sleep score, the number of times you woke up and even if you were snoring at night. Thankfully, I was not snoring, though my sleep score left a lot to be desired. Interestingly, after a few days, the app even shows you what kind of a sleeper you are. Since this also tracks body temperature and breathing patterns during sleep, there is enough data for you to share with your doctors too, especially if they like mine think sleep has an important role to play in your overall well-being. I also need to check why my blood oxygen levels dipped below 90% last night.

There is a lot more on this watch. Sadly, both the blood pressure and ECG monitor apps were not available in India. Still, I could use the Qaly app for ECG. I found the stress measurements quite good, especially since it showed me without stress most of the time. But an early morning reading today showed a high level of stress, even though I did not feel it. The best thing here is how the app also recommended a breathing session to calm things down.

In fact, the Samsung Fitness app gives you more recommendations along with regular challenges you can accept to push yourself to the fit side. They, however, have never been my thing. What really pushes me is to see if I can shave off a few seconds from my lap every time and for that the Watch 6 is right there all the time, egging you to do better.

One other thing I have to mention is how the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is the only smartwatch on which I have used WhatsApp and that’s really cool. Yes, other smartwatches too give you notifications — the most irritating thing to have on your wrist, if you ask me. This is not that. Watch 6 offers you a full WhatsApp app on your wrist so that you can find contacts or chats and continue from here. It is almost like WhatsApp Web, but on your watch.

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You can always go to the Samsung App Store and download more apps that solve your problems and here, I think WearOS devices have an edge over the Apple WatchOS, which hasn’t got a lot of new dedicated apps over the past couple of years.

On a full charge, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic lasts just over two days which is almost the same as the Apple Watch Ultra. But you will need to carry the charger along even on short trips because if you fiddle around too much with the screen then the battery could drain faster.

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Should you buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic?

With a price tag starting Rs 26,999, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is among the best smartwatches out there and certainly the best option if you are a Samsung loyalist as it even lets you control other devices in the home. For me, this watch stands out for its ease of use, depth of data and understated style. What else do you need in a smart watch? I would suggest you spend that bit extra to get the Classic just for the convenience of this rotating bezel but don’t forget to check the size that’s best for you.

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