SAMSUNG GALAXY WATCH6

6 min read

When you decide on purchasing a new smartwatch, how big a role does the ecosystem play? If you are serious about smartwatch features and are looking beyond simple step tracking and heart rate monitoring, it’s important that you look for a company that has regular hardware refreshes, new software features and seamless integration across devices.
Apple, of course, has its ecosystem and regular Watch updates. So does Samsung. What about Garmin? More of that later.
For close to two weeks, I have been using the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 which is different from the Watch6 Classic. The latter comes with a physical rotating bezel, which has its audience. On the Galaxy Watch6, there are size options – 40mm versus 44mm.

SGW6

MERRY.GO-ROUND FUN:
The display is something you may like a lot. There is the Apple Watch with its square display and sure, it has its followers. But there is something unique and charming about a traditional design, which Samsung brings to the table. There are a number of companies that have been inspired by the Apple way and offer square designs. The round shape has its advantages, especially when it comes to your wardrobe choice.
Before you buy any smartwatch, I would strongly suggest you try out both shapes. It’s a personal choice.
During the review period, the watch has been to the park and, of course, the office. The display is top-of-the-line and I haven’t had any issues with legibility or clarity.
The overall feel of the watch is premium, be it the wristband, the buttons or the chassis. The glass back feels excellent against the skin and though I am mostly in favour of cloth wristbands, the silicon strap here is very comfortable and my skin hasn’t had any irritation.
The buttons on the watch are tactile and responsive. But to mix things up a bit, Samsung should experiment with a crown in the future.
It helps when you have sweaty hands from exercising.

PACKED WITH FEATURES:
Samsung phone users will not have any problem firing this watch up and syncing all the data. It also works with other Android phones but all the features can be accessed only when you have a Samsung phone. It may seem a bit like the walled garden of Apple but that’s how ecosystems work.
In case you are pairing this with, say, a Pixel phone you will need to download a couple of apps to get the most out of the watch. The setup becomes simpler if you are in the Samsung ecosystem. Set-up is a one-time exercise, so that can’t make a difference to your purchase decision.
All the apps on the smartwatch are easily accessible and you get a wide variety of apps: Fitness tracker, digital wallet and whatnot.
There is Google Play Store integration if you want to install more apps.
The UI itself is good and offers easy access to all the functions you need on a smartwatch. What can Samsung do better? Reduce the number of taps required to access any particular function. For example, to get the watch to record a run, it takes a few taps to get it started. But this is more of a quibble.
There are helpful features too, like after a run, you get coaching tips to improve your running stride.
Sleep tracking is something worth 03:38 picking up the watch for. It gives accurate readings for sleep phases, like deep sleep and light sleep. Though the method of comparing sleep phases across smartwatches is not accurate, personal experience says Samsung is on the right path with its readings.
If you are looking for a smartwatch that’s perfect for most fitness enthusiasts as well as a fashion piece, this is the best you can find on the wearable Android landscape. There is always a crowd for Garmin but it has its limitations and Garmin is more focussed on a triathlete-level crowd.
I want a smartwatch that’s quirky, and fashionable and also helps to make some sensible lifestyle choices. Galaxy Watch6 offers that.
The new processor on the watch is slightly better than that on the last generation, there are some sleep-tracking updates and battery life is better. Now, the company is not asking all users to upgrade from Galaxy Watch5 but there are older Galaxy Watch users who can benefit from making a purchase. Battery life has been good as far as smartwatches go. I got around 30-32 hours from a full charge but, a lot of it depends on the brightness of the skin, how long you want the screen to stay on and what the the parameters you are keen on tracking and its frequency.
Remember, a lot depends on whether you have sleep-tracking on. There is also an improvement in battery life when you use GPS tracking.

SGW6

SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
There is an ECG function but that’s something not yet available in India at the moment. WearOS 4 now offers backups, so you don’t have to factory reset your watch in case you get a new phone. The software also makes the battery function smoothly.
Are you wondering if the Pixel Watch will ever launch in India? Nobody knows. I had a brief chance to use the first generation of Pixel watch during a work trip to the US last year and it was underwhelming. Another Pixel event is upon us and I am not going to hold my breath and wait for Pixel Watch to launch in India. Samsung does a very good job when you pair a Galaxy phone and a watch. What Samsung needs to be careful about is next year because there needs to be a number of new features to make people upgrade.
Samsung has made great strides in recent times with its smartwatch. Take a look at the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) sensor that’s on the watch.
It allows you to do a full body composition scan to reveal your skeletal muscle, fat mass, body water, body fat, body mass index (BMI), and basal metabolic rate (BMR) within seconds. Such a test usually takes expensive machines.
Another favourite feature is Personalised Heart Rate Zone which helps during your running workouts.
There is another upside to buying a Samsung smartwatch is the absence of a monthly subscription To get the maximum out of a Fitbi watch one needs to bear recurring monthly subscriptions. Samsung Health is free to use and this is something that’s becoming a rarity in the health-tracking space.
Whether to buy or not to buy comes with an easy answer: If you are looking for a smartwatch that works with your Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy Watch6 is a perfect match. It’s a solid option for any Android user and it’s an added advantage if you are using Samsung phone.

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