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Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Watch 5: Ultimate Comparison

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 comparison is intriguing. The Watch 5 series, launched in 2022, offers advanced fitness tracking technology, with gradual enhancements over the Watch 4. In contrast, the Galaxy Watch 6, introduced this year, doesn’t simply entail choosing the latest model.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Watch 5: Ultimate Comparison
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5 (Image Credit: Samsung)

The newer model introduces added features, but it may surprise you with its iterative nature. Both models showcase a classic timepiece design, featuring rounded faces and various strap options, available in 40mm and 44mm sizes. With the Watch 6’s release, the Watch 5, our top pick for Android users, will likely become more affordable as retailers clear out stock to accommodate the new arrivals.

So, what do you get for the higher price of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6? It turns out to be a series of minor enhancements and adjustments that, in our opinion, justify considering it. Below is our detailed comparison of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 6 VS. SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: SPECIFICATIONS

  • Display: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 (40mm) features a 432×432 Super AMOLED (Round) display, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 (40mm) has a 396×396 AMOLED (Round) display.
  • Dimensions: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 measures 38.8 x 40.4 x 9.0 mm, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 measures 39.3 x 40.4 x 9.98 mm.
  • Processor: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is equipped with an Exynos W930 processor, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 uses an Exynos W920 processor.
  • Colors: Both models come in Graphite, with the Galaxy Watch 6 also offering a Gold option.
  • Finish: Both models feature an aluminum finish.
  • GPS: Both have GPS/GLONASS/Beidou/Galileo support.
  • Water Resistance: They both offer 5ATM water resistance.
  • NFC Payment: Both models support Samsung Wallet for NFC payments.
  • Sensors: Both include Heart Rate, Temperature Sensor, Echocardiogram, Gyro, Light Sensor, and Accelerometer.
  • Storage: Both have 16GB of storage.

SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 6 VS. SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: PRICE

First, addressing the cost factor: Samsung has increased the base price of the Watch 6 compared to last year. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is priced at £269 / $279.99 / AU$499, while the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 comes in at $299 / £289 / AU$599 for the 40mm model. This price bump, driven by rising production costs, also applies to the 44mm models in the lineup. Simply put, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 takes the lead based on the sticker price alone.

SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 6 VS. SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: FEATURES
Galaxy Watch 6 (Image credit Samsung)

This price hike extends to the 44mm models as well. Coupled with the potential discounts the Watch 5 may receive as an older model series, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 emerges as the clear winner in terms of cost based solely on the sticker price.

Galaxy Watch 5
Galaxy Watch 5 (Image credit Samsung)

However, the new model does offer some improvements that make this minor price increase more palatable, particularly for those seeking the latest fitness tracker. In our initial assessment, having spent less than a week with the watch, it still represents good value at its current price. Yet, if you can secure a discounted Watch 5, the Watch 6 serves as an incremental upgrade and may not warrant the higher price.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 6 VS. SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: FEATURES

When we evaluated the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, we found it impressive but somewhat lacking in significant innovation compared to the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. Similarly, when comparing the Watch 5 to the Watch 6, we encounter a similar situation.

Galaxy Watch 6
Galaxy Watch 6 (Image credit Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 continues to utilize Wear OS, specifically Wear OS 4 with slight modifications courtesy of Samsung’s One UI Watch 5 skin. It’s important to note that this setup excludes iPhone users. The watch retains the ‘digital bezel,’ allowing users to navigate the screen by swiping clockwise or counterclockwise, accessing frequently used widgets like Sleep, Workouts, and Weather without constant screen tapping.

There are notable software enhancements, though. Samsung has improved Sleep Tracking and heart rate monitoring on the Watch 6, thanks to a new optical heart rate sensor. These enhancements come via the Sleep Insights dashboard and updated, FDA-approved irregular heart rhythm detection. If these features are of interest to you, the slight price increase may be justified.

Galaxy Watch 6
Galaxy Watch 6 (CREDIT: Samsung)

The display on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is slightly larger and clearer, moving from 1.2 inches to 1.3 inches, with a pixel density increase from 467 PPI to 470 PPI. While this change may not significantly alter your usage, a larger interface is a welcome improvement, especially with a touchscreen.

Galaxy Watch 6
Galaxy Watch 6 (Image credit Samsung)

Additionally, band swapping is now easier with a new system that utilizes a simple button for detachment. This feature is particularly convenient when switching from a silicone sports band to a stylish leather one.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 6 VS. SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: BATTERY LIFE

One concern with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 was its single-day battery life. Samsung aims to address this with a slightly larger battery in the Galaxy Watch 6. In the 40mm models we’re comparing, the Watch 5 has a 284mAh battery, while the Watch 6 boasts 300mAh. In the 44mm models, the Watch 5 has a 410mAh battery, while the Watch 6 features a 425mAh battery.

SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 6 VS. SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: BATTERY LIFE

GALAXY WATCH 5

Samsung claims the Watch 5 offers up to 50 hours of battery life and the Watch 6 up to 40 hours, although real-world usage often falls short of these figures. With one workout, always-on display, and Sleep Tracking active, you can expect about 24 hours of usage from both watches.

As we discussed in our Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Apple Watch Series 8 comparison, Samsung’s battery life claims (30 hours with Always-On display on, up to 40 with it off) don’t align with real-world performance.

Still, our fitness editor found that a short nightly charge between work and bedtime suffices for less than a week of use. There’s not a significant difference, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 slightly edges out with its improved battery life.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 6 VS. SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: EARLY VERDICT

Apart from enhancements in sleep tracking and irregular heart monitoring, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 doesn’t make significant leaps compared to its predecessor. However, it does refine existing features, offering a better processor and new functionalities. It may be the top choice for those who require the latest and greatest tech in the world of Wear OS watches.

SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 6 VS. SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5: EARLY VERDICT
SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH 5 (Image Credit: Samsung)

Yet, if you prioritize value, we can’t strongly recommend it unless you have a strong need for in-depth sleep or heart rhythm data. With the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 now available at a lower price, it’s an ideal choice for individuals seeking an affordable wearable to complement their existing Samsung smartphone.

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