120x600

Must-have wearables for Samsung users


The Apple Watch Series 9 is a solid all-round wearable with a great screen and fitness tracking, but it’s exclusive to the iPhone. So, what are Android users to do? While there are plenty of Android-focused smartwatches around, not all offer the same level of polish as Apple’s wearable.

In fact, it’s Samsung’s Galaxy Watch line that has come closer to Apple’s lofty wearable heights than any other manufacturer in recent times, boasting a high level of polish not only in terms of hardware but software too. That’s great to know, but you’ve still got quite a few models of Galaxy Watch to choose from, so the real question is, which is best for your needs?

Considering Samsung has been producing smartwatches since 2013, it’s safe to say it has a lot of experience in the wearable arena. The most recent Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic represent the latest and greatest of Samsung’s wearable line, both of which feature as part of our hand-picked selection of the best Samsung Galaxy Watches below.

There is a catch, however; while other WearOS-powered smartwatches from the likes of TicWatch and Fossil work seamlessly across all Android devices, Samsung’s are designed to work best with its Galaxy phones. While that’s fine for Samsung users, it means other Android users won’t get access to the complete Galaxy Watch experience – a key point worth considering.

Our reviewers have tested each of these wearables for at least a week with an accompanying Samsung smartphone, testing key performance indicators such as app support, features, battery life and general usability. We take them on runs, walks, and use them for day-to-day use, too, gaining a proper understanding of how well the device works in real-world conditions.

As a side note, you can also check out our round-ups of the best smartwatch, best running watch and best fitness tracker if you’re after a wearable that doesn’t have the Samsung brand attached to it.

Best Samsung Watch at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test smartwatches

Every smartwatch we test is used by the reviewer for at least a week, or longer if the battery life lasts beyond that point or we need more time to trial its features.

During testing, we will check it for key metrics including app support, usability and battery life. If the device offers fitness, location or health tracking features we will also test these for accuracy and reliability. 

For distance tracking we record how accurately the device recorded runs on tracks we know the length of. We also record how much battery is lost using things like in-built or connected GPS per hour. To check heart rate accuracy we compare the results recorded on the wearable to a dedicated HRM strap.

After recording the data we then pair it with our general experience using the wearable day-to-day, letting you know if it’s comfortable to wear or if we encountered unexpected bugs during use over the review period.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

Best Galaxy Watch

Pros

  • Still one of the most stylish smartwatches out there
  • Wear OS continues to get better
  • Lots of fitness and health data on offer

Cons

  • Underwhelming battery life
  • Sleep tracking isn’t quite there yet

It’s taken quite some time for Samsung to catch up to Apple in the wearables space but with the Galaxy Watch 6, the company has finally managed to enter the same realm as its closest competitor. While there’s still some ground for Wear OS to cover, Samsung’s latest smartwatch shows off the watchOS alternative in its best light.

What helps the Galaxy Watch 6 right off the bat is that it’s a far more fashionable device than most wearables out there, let alone the Apple Watch. Samsung’s use of a circular design makes the watch feel more like a classic timepiece, while the Graphite and Gold colour options feel eye-catching.

The big upgrade over previous Galaxy Watches is the increase in screen size, 20% larger than before, which also results in a 30% decrease in the surrounding bezel. Having that larger display allows watch faces to shine confidently, in turn making the device feel like the most complete smartwatch that Samsung has ever put out.

There’s also a slight change under the hood with the Galaxy Watch 6 touting the faster Exynos W930 chipset, allowing users to zip from one app to another without any slowdown. The Watch 6 has also been updated to utilise Wear OS 4, so it’s right up there with the Pixel Watch 2 in terms of using the latest software.

All of this is on top of the fantastic fitness tracking features that Samsung first brought to market in the Galaxy Watch 4, including the BioActive sensor which takes a holistic yet comprehensive look at various health metrics, including your BMI and skeletal muscle.

The only area where the Galaxy Watch 6 still needs to step up is battery life. Samsung’s device pales in comparison to the longevity offered by the TicWatch Pro 5 and the OnePlus Watch 2, but if a daily charge isn’t an issue then you’ll get on well with everything that’s offered here.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

Most stylish Galaxy Watch

Pros

  • Great design
  • Love the rotating bezel
  • Accurate fitness data

Cons

  • Battery life still too short
  • Lots of fiddly settings
  • So many terms and conditions

After a short hiatus from the Watch 5 series, Samsung decided to revisit its ‘Classic’ timepieces with the new Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. With a few years’ difference between the wearable and its predecessor (the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic), Samsung’s created a worthy upgrade here that’s well worth checking out if your old Galaxy Watch is starting to show its age.

As its name implies, the 6 Classic has a more distinguished style that separates it from the more sport oriented look of the standard Galaxy Watch 6. This includes the use of a tougher stainless steel chassis as well as a new hybrid eco-leather band that’s best paired with a suit.

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic also boasts the physical rotating bezel that helped to put the Galaxy Watch line on the map many years ago, letting you scroll through menus and apps just twisting the bezel like a dial. It works brilliantly and is definitely a step up from the digital rotating bezel on the Watch 6.

Beyond all of that however, there isn’t much else to lure users to the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, which is a shame given that it also brings a significant price bump over the entry level Watch 6 so if you’re not too fussed with the professional aesthetic here, then you might be better off saving your money.

The other specs are exactly the same as the Watch 6, boasting Wear OS 4 and the new Exynos W930 chipset, although this isn’t a bad thing per se. The watch works well in everyday use and while the battery life could definitely be improved, there’s a lot to like here.

Reviewer: James Stables
Full review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Best Samsung Watch for battery life

Pros

  • Solid fitness tracking services
  • Rugged, sports-ready design
  • Wonderfully bright display

Cons

  • Route planning process feels clunky
  • Battery life doesn’t match rival fitness trackers

If it’s loads of battery life you want in a Galaxy Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro offers it in spades.

It comes packed with a 590mAh cell, which is large for a smartwatch of this ilk and offered around two days of regular use before needing to be charged. In addition, its charge times are pretty decent, with it taking an hour and 22 minutes to go from dead to full, and from dead to 38% in 15 minutes – handy for when you need a quick boost and you’re about to head out.

The core feature set is the same as the standard Galaxy Watch 5, but the Pro model brings with it some noteworthy additions that serious fitness fanatics will appreciate. Particularly, the addition of GPX file support, as usually found on hardened fitness trackers from Polar and Garmin, will be useful for hikers and cyclists as it allows you to plot a root in an app like Strava and load it onto the watch. Once there, the Pro offers turn by turn navigation to ensure you follow the route exactly. Besides this, there’s the same handy BioActive sensor for health reporting, as well as its sleep-tracking animals and relatively accurate GPS. Even on this Pro model though, the new temperature sensor remains largely useless almost a year after its initial launch.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s design is largely the same as the standard Watch 5, but it offers a more rugged and hard-wearing appearance involving a raised edge display with a titanium bezel for protection as well as the same durable Sapphire crystal as the standard Watch 5. Like its sibling, the Pro is both IP68 and MIL-STD-810H certified, which is a testament to the watch’s durability.

The controls on the Watch 5 Pro feature a pleasing level of tactility and proved to be a welcome addition to such a fitness-focused device for a quick pause of a workout, and while there isn’t a rotating bezel as with other Samsung watches of old, the digital scroll is a somewhat worthy successor. The Watch 5 Pro opts to use a Super AMOLED display which is vibrant and one of the brightest we’ve seen on a wearable. Furthermore, all icons were readable and easy to see, thanks to the high brightness and excellent contrast.

Reviewer: Alastair Stevenson
Full review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Best affordable Galaxy Watch

Pros

  • Wear OS at its finest
  • The digital bezel works like a charm
  • Flat, minimalist design is stunning
  • Gorgeous collection of original watch faces

Cons

  • Still a lot of features yet to come
  • Doesn’t work with iPhone
  • Bixby is a mess

The slightly older Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 isn’t all too much of a downgrade admittedly from the fifth and sixth-gen options above, and can now be had for lower prices as a result of the new models. Here’s why it’s our favourite affordable Galaxy Watch.

It offers a minimalistic design, like the Galaxy Watch Actives of old, which looks great, and also feels rather comfortable too, with a lightweight housing that clocks in at just 26g, without the strap of course. That strap itself is comprised of smooth silicon that’s easy on the wrist when you’re working out.

Perhaps the headline difference between the Watch 4 and its predecessors is the fact it runs on an Google’s Wear OS 3 – this makes a change to older Galaxy Watches than ran Samsung’s own Tizen OS.

This new UI offers a tiled interface which brings with it easy access to the most frequently used functions, as well as integration with key services such as Google Maps, Google Pay and YouTube Music which is, bizarrely, a first for WearOS watches.

Alongside the new OS, there are a host of functions for fitness tracking and health monitoring, chief among which is the new BioActive sensor which compiles multiple sensors into one unit, offering a good all-round option.

Its fitness tracking features during testing proved to be rather accurate, as was the case with the likes of heart rate and distance measurements, while the Google Fit and Samsung Health apps provided a wealth of data for even the most hardened of fitness fanatics to get stuck into.

Compared to its predecessor, the Watch 4 also offers an improved battery life with two days’ worth of use before you’ll need to charge it. This compares well against trackers and smartwatches from other manufacturers we’ve tested too, with it beating off the Apple Watch 7 by 30 hours.

Reviewer: Thomas Deehan
Full review: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Review

We also considered…

FAQs

Is the Galaxy Watch 4 still worth buying?

As you’ll see above, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 remains one of our top recommendations for the best Galaxy Watch despite its age. If you’re not too fussed with the new options or you want a more affordable choice, the Watch 4 is a great choice with its modern design, Wear OS 3 software and much-improved battery life.

UK RRP

USA RRP

EU RRP

AUD RRP

Manufacturer

Screen Size

IP rating

Waterproof

Battery

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

ASIN

Operating System

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

Colours

GPS

About The Author

Related posts