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Best Samsung watches in 2024

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Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 in black, positioned at an angle

Samsung wearables have gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years, blazing a trail for Wear OS smartwatches and setting performance benchmarks while still hitting attractive price points. The inclusion of Bixby was the only minor stumble made by the South Korean electronics giant, but later updates have made the default virtual assistant more agreeable and useful.



If that’s still a deal-breaker, Android enthusiasts rejoice! Samsung’s embrace of Wear OS brought Google Assistant into the fold of newer Samsung smartwatches, and we tested them all to recognize the positive differences that came with that. It also opened the door to more third-party apps, ensuring Samsung maintained a collection of the best smartwatches on the market.


Besides, no other smartwatch brand does a physical rotating bezel quite like Samsung does, so if you’re tempted to invest in a wearable from the company, read on to learn about which model might be right for you.

Our picks for the best Samsung watch

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

Best overall

BMI sensing, best-in-class, brim-full of bleeding-edge tech

$235 $300 Save $65

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 focuses on a brighter, larger display. The thinner bezel makes the screen look even bigger, and it now reaches 2,000 nits of luminosity. While it’s true that there’s no radical departure from previous models, this generation’s fitness insights have matured thanks to One UI 5.

Pros

  • Health insights are more detailed than ever
  • Reduced bezel equals more screen real estate
  • Screen is brighter
Cons

  • Battery life is still unimpressive
  • Touch bezel can be finicky
  • Not a huge update from previous models

Although we didn’t find it a notable upgrade from last year’s models, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 incorporates a few desirable features that help it top our list in spite of the familiarity. A brighter screen now pairs with a reduced bezel to increase overall readability and decrease eye strain. It also means there’s plenty of room for Wear OS apps to find their place. Think of this watch as a very iterative improvement over the previous Galaxy Watch 5, where you get bumps in speed, performance, brightness, comfort, and a better one-click strap mechanism that should be standard on all watches going forward.


The bump up means the Galaxy Watch 6 feels more attuned to being a fitness-focused smartwatch, courtesy of a snappy Exynos W930 processor and bigger OLED screen that make the latest metrics easier to see. Plus, you don’t lose out on the array of sensors inside, plus the BIA module, barometer, accelerometer, and compass. Samsung is also figuring out how to monitor sleep more accurately, from blood oxygen levels to snoring habits.

samsung-galaxy-watch-6-review 4-1

Wear OS 4 coordinates all of these sensors and keeps apps buttery smooth, as we see a nice melding of Google’s software with Samsung’s feature set. You get some extra benefits if you’re rocking a Samsung Galaxy phone, but any Android phone can play nice with the Watch 6. Battery life can hold steady when the 300mAh battery delivers all-day operation on the 40mm model, with a slightly larger 425mAh battery on the 44m version. Just don’t expect a great boost in battery life over last year’s watches because we certainly never noticed one.


Read our review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 review: Bright but never bold

Call it boring, but it’s still the best Android smartwatch, hands down

On the bright side, there are enough new health and fitness-focused improvements to make the switch over to the sixth generation of Samsung wearables worthwhile as a responsive and affordable upgrade.

Black Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic angled to the right

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

Premium pick

Bringing back the physical bezel for app interaction

$330 $400 Save $70

The Samsung Watch 6 Classic’s stainless-steel housing makes it look more stylish. Adding a hardened alloy also ensures this model can punch above its weight. The rotating physical bezel is back, a feature that’s as tactile as it is certain to guarantee precise finger control of sensitive app settings.

Pros

  • Built to take hard knocks without scratches and scrapes
  • The physical rotating outer bezel is back
  • Larger model comes in at an impressive 47mm
Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • 47mm case could be too bulky for smaller wrists

The same electronic innards grace the Classic as the regular Samsung Galaxy Watch 6. It’s fitted with the same sensors and app-accelerating Exynos W930 processor, with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Smooth performance and optimized fitness tracking are assured across the board, so why pull out that extra $100? You’re actually paying for external features when you purchase the Classic, not better electronics.

We’re specifically talking about the clicky, physical rotating bezel. After leaving it behind in the Galaxy Watch 5 lineup, Samsung brought it back here and it’s as sublime as ever. The regular Watch 6 tries to match the experience with touch-sensitive digital dials that are pretty good, but there’s just something satisfying about feeling the subtle clicks of a mechanical dial twisting smoothly under your fingers. We welcomed it back with open wrists, simply because that smooth feedback also encourages precision when making fine adjustments.


samsung-galaxy-watch-6-classic-weather

However, that’s not to say there aren’t some improvements under the hood. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic smartwatch uses larger batteries than the older Series 5 models, with the same size cells as the regular Watch 6. This means the Classic will reach up to 40 hours of battery on one charge.

The downside is that the bulkier chassis – enough to fit a 1.5-inch super-bright AMOLED screen on the 47mm model – means that bigger model may be too chunky for smaller wrists. That’s why the 40mm Galaxy Watch 6 might feel more svelte and appealing as an alternative, considering your options here are 43mm and 47mm sizes. Not to mention you save more than a few bucks going that route.


Read our review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review: Iteration with a twist

Mostly minor improvements from the Watch 5, but a fan-favorite feature returns

Ultimately, if you’d rather go a little heavier, Samsung’s Classic series is tough and attractive enough for those who value good looks as much as they do technological features.You don’t get a huge leap in performance relative to the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, but this is a truly stylish and funcitonal option now that the rotating bezel is back.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 with a purple band on a white background

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

Best value

An older but still very capable option

Hopeful fitness enthusiasts in search of a bargain could do a lot worse than the Samsung Watch 5. It’s driven by a slightly slower Exynos W920, which is accompanied by a drop in clock speed, but it still has a great deal to offer.

Pros

  • Affordable alternative to the newer Series 6 models
  • Monitors heart rate and blood oxygen
  • First Samsung watch to feature a temperature sensor
Cons

  • Smaller screen than the Series 6 models

The Galaxy Watch 5 is a winning alternative for those who don’t want to pay a lot, mainly because it has similar battery life and all the fitness tracking innards built into the Series 6 family, while costing a fair bit less. This watch has come a long way since the initial bugaboos that first affected it (not all Samsung’s fault, mind you), and stands out as a viable alternative at a more wallet-friendly price.


The Galaxy Watch 5 was once considered the series mainstay for good reason, incorporating all the sensors you’d expect, including heart rate monitoring, temperature, and blood oxygen. The same goes for thorough sleep coaching, with your every snore and night disturbance finding its way into Samsung’s health apps to be recorded on an array of graphs and wellness charts. Samsung is also still supporting the Watch 5 with software updates, including integration with Samsung and Android devices, thanks to the broader scope of Wear OS 4. You still need a Samsung phone to run the ECG or blood pressure monitor features, but that applies to all the Galaxy Watches supporting those features, not just this one.

two smartwatches are on a pastel blue block. One has an illuminated display; the other is face down.

Even so, this watch proved to be highly iterative relative to its own predecessor, only with Samsung touting significant battery life improvements we just never saw in our testing. It’s still solid despite the smaller 284mAh battery in the 40mm version and 410mAh battery in the 44mm model, lasting most of the day in most cases. While not a dramatic leap, the Galaxy Watch 6 does last a little longer per charge, largely because of the more efficient processor inside.


Read our review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 review: Suffering for slimness

Charging speed and battery are slightly better on this already-solid watch, but it’s not enough for die-hards

For cost-conscious Android enthusiasts, there’s a lot to like about the continuity of the Galaxy Watch 5 — not to mention the cheaper price — making any upgrade later on painless and rewarding.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro front-facing in black

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

Best for outdoor activity

Adrenaline-fueled fitness tracking

$300 $450 Save $150

Samsung’s Watch 5 Pro was designed to compete with dedicated sports watches. As such, it comes with a heftier price tag that reflects a rough-and-tumble user base. It all starts with the titanium casing, concluding comfortably with a battery lifespan that lasts for days. It’s the perfect outdoor companion.

Pros

  • Durable titanium chassis
  • Enhanced GPS features
  • Large battery for extended outdoor adventures
Cons

  • Only one chassis size available
  • GPX routing feature isn’t fully realized

It’s easy to recommend the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro to outdoors types and athletes, especially when Samsung partly built it for those users. There are no charging ports out in the wilderness, but that’s OK with a battery that lasts up to 80 hours. If the juice does run low, it won’t happen until well into the third day of a hike. Likewise, the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass topping the bright AMOLED display pairs perfectly with the durable titanium case to rebuff hard knocks.

A hand holding a Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro with a blurred image of grass and trees in the background


Scrapes, bumps, and impact-jarring knocks when rock-climbing or making it through triathlons simply won’t matter, not when this model’s sensitive sensors are wrapped up in a titanium body and sapphire glass screen. It remains the most durable of all Samsung smartwatches to date, and offers certain features we haven’t yet seen in other models.

One of those is GPX route tracking, a file format you’ll hear a lot about in enthusiast sports like mountain biking, though it’s still only applicable to hiking and cycling thus far on the watch. You’ll need a smartphone app and download source to grab hold of these turn-by-turn navigation files, which will probably incur a paid subscription to access them, too. Nevertheless, this device is a match for any sports watch. It’s just big — too big for smaller wrists — because of the thicker body rather than the 45mm case. You may also want to swap out for a strap that’s easier to manage given the tricky mechanism this thing uses.


Read our review

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review: All-star battery, minor league fitness tracker

Maybe this pro should have stayed an amateur

Then there’s the price, which won’t be cheap even with its age, but that’s what you’d expect when buying a premium smartwatch. All-in-all, it’s a small price to pay for such a robust watch, one that could be your only link to civilization in the wild.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Golf Edition in black and white at an angle

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Golf Edition

Best for golfing

A golfer’s special edition Watch 5

$380 $500 Save $120

Golfing is like walking, except there’s no final destination in mind. Using the guts of a specialized edition of a Watch 5 Pro, you’ll get a virtual caddie instead of a general-purpose virtual assistant with this model. There are no guarantees that it will improve your golf game, however.

Pros

  • Designed for tech-savvy golfers
  • Same titanium build as the Samsung Watch 5 Pro
  • Inbuilt caddie to calculate golfing stats
Cons

  • Extra expense
  • Smart caddie won’t carry your golf bag

This Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro also has a golf-centric variant, complete with a forest green home button for input, along with a chic two-tone green and white watch face tkeeping track when you hit the links. That virtual caddie is a button press away, ready to calculate pin distance or walk you through fairway hazards. Input scores, count shots, and record stats, or pause a moment at the tee while receiving tips that’ll improve your drive. Golfers shouldn’t be without this wearable.


The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Golf’s specs are identical to that of the regular Watch 5 Pro. In addition to its 45mm AMOLED screen, it features a 590mAh battery that gives an impressive 80 hours of battery life, an Exynos W920 processor with 1.5GB of RAM, an IP68 water resistance rating, and 16GB of internal storage. All this, combined with their proprietary take on Wear OS, should give the user a seamless golfing experience. Even if you were to download golfing apps on the other Samsung watches on this list, you wouldn’t get the same experience found in this model.

Its signature good looks, inspired by golf courses and those that play, conceal its Pro credentials quite well. In other words, although intended for golfers, it’s just as tough as any other Watch 5 Pro. Moreover, when paired with the sporty black and white band, this is an accessory that’ll look good on or off the course. And remember to check your heart rate on the bright AMOLED screen, especially when you miss your birdie. You don’t want to have a blood pressure spike when your game goes screwy.


What software do Samsung smartwatches run?

Samsung took a significant turn starting with the Galaxy Watch 4 line by supporting Google’s Wear OS over its own Tizen operating system, which is what all Galaxy Watch models going back from the Galaxy Watch 3 ran on. The switch opened up greater compatibility with apps on Google Play, enabling Samsung’s watches to do even more than they could before. Wear OS better intergrates apps from your phone so that you can see and respond to notifications and sync health and fitness tracking data.

Samsung never limited its own smartwatches to only work with its own smartphones, as you could use a Galaxy Watch with any Android phone. Certain features, like the ECG (electrocardiogram) and blood pressure monitor, are still exclusive to Samsung phones, just like controlling the camera from your Galaxy Watch is another unique feature.

Are Galaxy Watches waterproof?

Yes, and they have been for a while. Previously, Samsung made a variant called the Galaxy Watch Active that was designed to be more rugged and durable with higher dust and water resistance. For multiple generations now, Galaxy Watches routinely have IP68 protection and 5ATM, meaning you can wear one down to depths of up to 50 meters. That also goes for both fresh and saltwater, though it’s recommended you rinse the watch after you’ve taken it out of the ocean to remove any excess salt and sand.


Not all smartwatches come with that kind of durability, and being so highly water-resistant makes it much easier to use while swimming or exercising in the water. It also means rain and water splashes won’t affect functionality or the watch’s battery power and longevity.

Is it worth buying an older Galaxy Watch?

Samsung has established a fairly regular cadence in updating its Galaxy Watches, and updates have been coming going back at least to the Galaxy Watch 4 models. Wear OS models certainly get more attention now, but even the Tizen-powered Galaxy Watch 3 and Watch 3 Classic also received an update with certain Wear OS features as late as December 2023. Samsung usually continues to support its Galaxy Watches with software updates for at least three years, though increased that to four years from the Galaxy Watch 5 models onward.

The updates not only bring in new features that may be available in newer models, but also security updates to increase stability and reilability while using the watch, including for LTE models that can run on their own cellular connections.


Which Samsung wearable is best for you?

If your lifestyle includes walking fairways and chipping golf balls onto greens, then Samsung’s Golf Edition is your smartwatch – otherwise you have a bit more of a decision on your hands.

Unless you’re determined to own an aesthetically appealing smartwatch with a clicky mechanical bezel, the standard Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 will be the best bet for those who can afford it. It’s got the latest to run even the most intensive apps fluidly, while also packed with the latest health-tracking sensors.

For many, the regular Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 will work just as well though. It’s a great budget-minded option, with most of the same tracking and software tricks offered by the Watch 6 — you’ll just have to put up with smaller screens and an older processor. If your budget is one of your main priorities, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is a great option.


For those of you lucky enough not to be limited by budgetary constraints, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic delivers all the bells and whistles you could need and does so while wrapped in stainless steel. You can show it off as you ever so delicately click the mechanical dial over its large, bright screen. This is the default model for those who want the latest, greatest, toughest Android smartwatch around.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 in black, positioned at an angle

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

Best overall

$235 $300 Save $65

An argument could be made for the 6 Classic, but Watch 6 is our pick for the balance of performance and price. The new screen is the greatest selling point; it’s both larger and brighter than last year’s, with a slimmer bezel for an overall more premium look and feel.

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