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News, rumors, and what we’d like to see

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

Samsung’s 2023 smartwatches, the Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic, are our favorite smartwatches right now. But as we inch further into 2024, we can’t help but think about what’s up ahead: the Galaxy Watch 7 series. Samsung hasn’t outright confirmed it’s releasing new watches this year, but given it’s dropped a new Galaxy Watch generation each August since 2021, we feel pretty confident we’ll be seeing the Watch 7 on store shelves this summer. There still isn’t much info out there about the upcoming wearables, but we’ve been hearing rumors since late last year. Here’s everything we know so far — and what we hope to see.

Rumors and what we know so far

The most concrete info we have about the next generation of the Galaxy Watch is that there will be another Pro wearable this generation. Samsung confirmed to PCMag last year that it intends to alternate between Classic and Pro variants as its premium watch offering each generation. We have a Watch 4 Classic, a Watch 5 Pro, and a Watch 6 Classic. If our math is right, we could expect a Watch 7 Pro this year.

Samsung’s Classic watches come with more traditional watch styling and the fan-favorite rotating display bezel, which can be used to navigate various watch interfaces. The Watch 5 Pro doesn’t have a rotating bezel. Instead, it offers extra-long battery life, enhanced durability, and additional features meant for outdoor activities like hiking. Assuming Samsung takes a similar tack with the 7 Pro, we expect something similar this summer.

Last October, PhoneArena reported on a rumor that the Watch 7 series will be powered by a new, 3-nanometer (nm) process chipset, compared to the 5nm Exynos W930 used in the Watch 6 series. Lower numbers here mean more semiconductors can fit in the same physical area on a chip, improving performance and battery efficiency.

If this rumor is true, the Galaxy Watch 7 series should see significant battery life improvements over the Watch 6. Battery life is still a major sticking point for smartwatches, with some models failing to last even one full day on charge. The prospect of big gains in efficiency is exciting.

What we want

To date, that’s really all we’ve heard about Samsung’s next watches. Samsung has historically released new Galaxy Watch devices in the summer, so we’re likely still far out from any official confirmations that might come. But we have a few improvements we hope to see.

Reliable multi-day battery life across sizes

Samsung’s larger watches offer some of the best battery life you can get in a smartwatch. We found the 47mm Galaxy Watch 6 Classic regularly made it two full days on a charge, and 2022’s Watch 5 Pro lasted even longer. Its smaller models have smaller batteries and don’t last quite as long. A 40mm Watch 6 might make it two days with the always-on display option turned off, but heavier use can deplete it in under 24 hours.

If the Watch 7 series is built around a 3nm process chipset, we should see significant gains in battery life across sizes. A small smartwatch that can comfortably make it through a weekend of use without battery babysitting sounds like a dream come true. The Watch 7 series could give us that. Larger Watch 7 models comfortably lasting three or four days at a stretch wouldn’t be so bad, either.

Functional blood pressure monitoring

A smartwatch on a wrist, showing exercise tracking options.

The Galaxy Watch 6 series’ hardware is technically capable of monitoring the wearer’s blood pressure. However, the watches don’t have access to that functionality in the US. Wrist-based blood pressure monitoring is complicated, and in the US, wearables that claim to be able to pull it off typically need FDA clearance. According to an August 2023 forum post from a Samsung Care Ambassador, the company hasn’t secured that clearance for its Galaxy Watch devices.

Samsung received FDA clearance for irregular heartbeat notifications in time for the release of the Galaxy Watch 6 series, so it could hypothetically get clearance for blood pressure monitoring by the time the Watch 7 series hits stateside store shelves. Added to the suite of health parameters Galaxy Watch devices can already track, blood pressure monitoring would make for a pretty comprehensive health tracking experience, so we’re very hopeful Samsung can get this one nailed down.

Better compatibility with non-Samsung phones

A smartwatch sitting on top of a face-down Samsung smartphone

Samsung typically makes its mobile accessories work best with its phones. The company’s recent earbuds offer seamless switching between Galaxy-branded phones and tablets but don’t support Bluetooth multipoint on devices from other manufacturers. Similarly, some Galaxy Watch features are only available when the wearable is paired to a Samsung phone. Taking ECG measurements (and monitoring blood pressure in countries that allow it) requires the Samsung Health Monitor app, which is only officially available through the Galaxy Store on Samsung phones.

It would be nice to see this kind of feature exclusivity relaxed in the Watch 7 series, either by baking full ECG functionality into the Galaxy Health app available on the Play Store or by making the Samsung Health Monitor officially available on non-Samsung phones.

GPX for running on the Watch 7 Pro

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

We expect to see a Prostyle Watch 7 rather than a Classic. The Watch 5 Pro offered some appealing features for outdoor athletes, including GPX mapping for hiking and cycling. There’s no dedicated support for GPX-mapped runs, only hikes and bike rides. Building in a GPX running mode would be a boon for trail runners who want a Wear OS watch.

A smartwatch displaying Brightness settings

The Watch 6 series features Samsung’s brightest wearable displays, with peak brightness reaching 2,000 nits. That’s awesome for outdoor visibility, but it would be nice to see improvement in the other direction. As AP’s Ara Wagoner says in our Watch 6 review, Samsung bringing the Extra Dim setting offered in its phones to its watches “would allow the screen to be less ‘DEAR GOD, TOO BRIGHT’ when you’re checking the time during a 1:54 AM insomnia migraine.”

It’s a small thing, but four generations in, Samsung’s running out of glaring flaws to fix in its Wear OS watches. We’re expecting more small, quality-of-life-style improvements.

More exciting colors for the 7 Pro

A large smartwatch on a person's wrist.

Ever since Samsung started making Wear OS watches, its high-end models, the two Classics and the Watch 5 Pro, have been offered in blander colors than their standard Galaxy Watch counterparts. You can get a base-model Watch 5 in a lovely shade of dark blue, and the regular Watch 6 comes in silver and gold variants. Both Classic generations came in black or silver, and the Watch 5 Pro was even less exciting, available in black or gray.

For the Galaxy Watch 7 series, it would be nice to see Samsung buck the industry trend of Pro-level hardware coming in more subdued colors than less expensive options. If there’s a gold, blue, or pink Galaxy Watch 7, give us the same option on the Watch 7 Pro. Professionals like color, too.

Something surprising

A hand wearing a black smartwatch and holding a yellow flower in front of foliage

It would be great to see Samsung do something unexpected with its next generation of wearables. Samsung’s Wear OS watches are consistently among the best on the market, but even so, it’s hard to argue the Watch 5 or Watch 6 series moved the Wear OS ball forward in any meaningful way. Each generation has been a small, predictable step up from what came the year before.

Improvements in all the normal areas — responsiveness, battery life, health tracking — will surely make the Watch 7 series better than the Watch 6 devices we have. But it won’t guarantee Samsung’s new watches are exciting. Samsung has been a leader in the Wear OS space for a few years, and it should use that position to advance the platform. After three consecutive generations of similar offerings, it’s not unreasonable to expect something fresh and innovative. Whatever that may be.

When should we expect the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 series?

Samsung hasn’t officially announced that the Watch 7 series is coming at all, let alone when. We only have history to go on. The Watch 4 was released in August 2021, the Watch 5 in August 2022, and the Watch 6 in August 2023. Given the trend, our money is on an August 2024 release date for the Watch 7 series, likely with a full reveal the month before.

In the meantime, the Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic are great wearables. As we move closer to the next generation, they’re on sale more frequently. If you don’t want to wait for the Watch 7, the Watch 6 is still a good pick.

  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 in black, positioned at an angle

    Samsung Galaxy Watch 6

    The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is one of the best smartwatches you can buy today. With the Watch 7 likely still months from release at the earliest, Samsung’s current watches remain an excellent option.

  • Black Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic angled to the right

    Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

    The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic has more traditional styling and a rotating bezel for navigating menus. We don’t expect that rotating bezel to return in the Watch 7 series, so if the 6 Classic speaks to you, go ahead and grab one.

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