Release date, rumors, price, and what we know

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Watch 5 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 vs Watch 5 Pro

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Update: June 1, 2023 (04:28 PM ET): We’ve updated the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 rumor hub with confirmation of the launch location of the next Galaxy Unpacked.

Original article: While the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series may still seem like a fresh new wearable, we’re likely already almost at the next iteration. Sure, rumors about a Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 have been sparse so far. However, there’s no doubt in our minds that the current Wear OS juggernaut has a follow-up on the way. We’ll keep track of any details we hear below so you can stay abreast of what you might expect to see on the next Galaxy Watch. Plus, it’s never too early to start dreaming up a wish list.

Will there be Galaxy Watch 6 series?

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro displays its App Library including Google and Samsung native apps.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

To be blunt, there’s almost no way we won’t see a new Samsung smartwatch in 2023. Samsung launched a massive wave of smartwatch innovations when the Galaxy Watch 4 series introduced Wear OS 3. The Galaxy Watch 5 series currently still rides that swell. While plenty of other Wear OS-based wearables are making strides, there’s little doubt Samsung would launch a new generation this summer to keep up its own momentum. The company would be hard-pressed to abandon the race, especially with devices like the Pixel Watch gunning for a new user base.

Fortunately, Samsung all but confirmed that a series 6 is headed to shelves in a recent announcement of the new One UI 5 Watch features. In this press release, Samsung said the update will be available on the “upcoming Galaxy Watch series later this year.” Sure, they don’t use the official name, but it’s safe to say a new Galaxy Watch will be here soon.

Will there be a Galaxy Watch 6 Pro model?

This question is a bit trickier. There haven’t been many rumors about what we can expect from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series yet. It’s very likely Samsung will stick with its two-prong approach and offer two watches. However, will the company return to the Classic model, keep the Pro moniker, or go for broke and use both for a total of three variants? If our Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review is any indication, the latter proved a very successful pivot. We’ll just need to wait and see.

When is the Galaxy Watch 6 release date?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 4 side edge on

Andy Walker / Android Authority

Galaxy Watch 5 (left) with Galaxy Watch 4

  • Galaxy Watch: August 2018
  • Galaxy Watch Active: March 2019
  • Galaxy Watch Active 2: September 2019
  • Galaxy Watch 3 series: August 2020
  • Galaxy Watch 4 series: August 2021
  • Galaxy Watch 5 series: August 2022

Samsung has a well-established pattern for product releases. The one exception above is the Galaxy Watch Active, which was announced in February 2019 and landed in March of the same year. Every other Galaxy Watch has been announced in August and released a few weeks later. The Active 2 technically landed in September but was announced the month before like the rest of the lineup.

Based on the company’s past release dates, we expect the new generation to drop at the Samsung Unpacked event this summer. Rumors suggest a slightly earlier July launch this year, but there’s nothing ruling out an August release. One thing we know for certain is that the next Galaxy Unpacked is happening in Seoul. However, there’s no guarantee that that’s where the Galaxy Watch would launch.

What Galaxy Watch 6 features can we expect to see?

Design and specs

samsung galaxy watch 5 pro update installation screen

Andy Walker / Android Authority

The latest generation didn’t bring a remarkable design change to the Galaxy Watch line. In fact, our reviewer mentioned feeling déjà vu when unboxing the device for his Galaxy Watch 5 review. That isn’t necessarily a complaint, however, as the watches share an elegant aesthetic, eye-catching AMOLED displays, and impressive specs. With a winning design on its hands, it’s likely that we can expect Samsung to deliver much of the same next time around.

However, it does seems Samsung will switch things up slightly by offering a 2023 “Classic” model. Some leaked renders provided by Steve “OnLeaks” Hemmerstoffer (via MySmartPrice) appear to show the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. If this is what the Classic will look like, then it seems like the watch will be right in line with the most recent Classic — the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. From what we can tell from the renders below, there could be a rotating bezel, home and back buttons, and a magnetic strap.

As mentioned, it’s unclear if the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 lineup will include just the Classic or also include a Pro, but we expect at least two models in multiple sizes. It’s also very unlikely Samsung will deviate from its usual circular case or interchangeable quick-release bands. The Series 5 upped the ante on some durability specs, which will likely carry over to the next lineup, and we’re hopeful we’ll see the D-buckle clasp return as well.

On the specs side, it looks like the Galaxy Watch 6 series may land with a much better processor. According to SamMobile, there may be a Samsung Exynos W980 on its way, which could be up to 10% faster. It could also usher in better battery life, as Samsung might use a newer 5nm process than that of the W920.

There have also been some rumors that Samsung may bring microLED displays to the lineup, echoing similar rumors about Apple’s next Ultra model. According to SamMobile however, the tech won’t be ready in time for an August launch, so it’s likely this upgrade won’t debut until the Galaxy Watch 7. MicroLED displays offer a brighter viewing experience with better color reproduction and visibility. They could also help conserve battery life.

Speaking of battery life, according to GalaxyClub, the batteries on the Galaxy Watch 6 series could get a boost this year. The information comes courtesy of certifications obtained by the smartwatches in Samsung’s home country South Korea. The basic Galaxy Watch 6 model could have 40mm and 44mm variants. The former could have a 300mAh battery, compared to the 284mAh battery of the 40mm Galaxy Watch 5. Meanwhile, the 44m Galaxy Watch 6 could see a 425mAh battery, a slight increase over the 410mAh battery of the 44mm Galaxy Watch 5.

Health and fitness tracking

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Watch face

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

In early May, Samsung announced a few key features that will debut on the Galaxy Watch 6. These will arrive with One UI 5 Watch, a new version of the Wear OS skin.

Galaxy watch sleep tracking update May 2023

One of the biggest highlights of the update is Fitbit-like sleep tracking. With a word-based numeric score and a cute animal, the new sleep tracking platform offers a personalized look at your sleep history and even provides suggestions for improving your sleep habits. Unlike Fitbit, however, this feature will not be locked behind a paywall.

Not much detail is available yet about what tracking features might improve in the next generation. On the sensor front, it’s safe to assume we will still find an accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic sensor, and Samsung’s BioActive sensor (optical heart rate (PPG), electrocardiogram (ECG), and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) sensor package). The lineup will also most likely pack the same temperature sensor (though we hope to see it put to better use).

We found the fitness tracking and built-in GPS on the current series quite reliable. Also arriving with the new One UI 5 Watch are workout heart rate zones for even more advanced real-time training feedback. These zones will be distinguished as “warm up,” “fat burn,” “cardio,” etc. Additionally, Samsung is also bringing an update to fall detection for even safer workouts and outings. When the feature is triggered, users will be able to communicate directly with emergency services.

The Pro model brought new navigation features onboard for outdoor enthusiasts, likening the device to an experience you might find in Garmin’s stable. It’s likely that those tools are here to stay as well. It’s yet to be determined if they will make their way to the base model of the Series 6 lineup.

We’ll keep updating this hub as more information leaks about the next generation. By the time the Series 5 hit stores, we had a well-rounded picture of what users would find in the box. We anticipate plenty of information to spill about the newest addition as well.

What will the Galaxy Watch 6 price be?

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro displays a Samsung Pay prompt screen.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Pricing is a tricky topic to speculate on in the current climate. Last year, the Galaxy Watch 5 series launched at $279 for a base model device. The Pro model, which is only available in a single size, launched at $449. Each option also came with an upcharge for their respective LTE versions. These 5-series launch prices were roughly $30 higher than those of the previous generation.

On the one hand, it’s hard to imagine Samsung raising the price again this year. On the other, Samsung’s current prices remain competitive compared to its rival out of Cupertino. Asking shoppers to spend more for a quality wearable is not out of the question. If Samsung introduces significant enough improvements, the new series may warrant a more expensive bill.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series: What we want to see

More time on the wrist

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro rests on a black leather book

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Battery life is the crux of many wearables, and the Galaxy Watch series is no exception. Sure, we’ve seen incremental upgrades from series to series, but no company should be aiming for a “most improved” award to fix this legacy Galaxy Watch problem. Plus, on the Galaxy Watch 5, Samsung brought better specs to larger models but left small case sizes wanting.

Fitbit’s smartwatches tout nearly weeklong battery life, as does Garmin’s Venu 2 Plus. What’s more, Apple Watches now offer low power mode. This feature closes the gap and the small lead Samsung has over our top pick for iOS users. If other companies add more convenience to their devices by minimizing charging woes, Samsung ought to keep up. With that in mind, we wouldn’t complain about even faster charging as well.

The return of the Classic bezel

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic in a plant.

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

When Samsung dropped the Classic model of the 4-series in favor of an elevated Pro model, we rejoiced. From the premium build to the added navigation tools, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro brought something new to the table. It felt as though the company might be switching gears towards a more fitness-focused wearable for outdoor adventuring.

But the Pro model also came at a cost. Saying goodbye to the Classic also meant a regrettable farewell to many users’ favorite design feature: a rotating bezel. We’re hoping Samsung brings more interesting design changes, mixes it up with more colors, and, most importantly, offers a model that puts the beloved bezel back on our wrists. Thankfully, rumors of a Classic model are out, although we’ve yet to see whether or not the Classic is taking the place of a Pro model or if there will be three variants this year.

Fewer limitations

A Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro displays the ECG screen.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

For anyone interested in a Galaxy Watch, the past two years have been a great time to be a Samsung phone user. Despite our finger-crossing, the Galaxy Watch 5 series launched with the same health tracking limitations as the 4-series in terms of compatibility. Only select users can access the electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure monitoring. Both of these tools require the Samsung Galaxy-only Health Monitor app. In other words, they’re only usable when paired with a Samsung phone.

We want to see the next generation break down the barn door and let more users access the full feature set. Limiting key tools to select users makes the series a hard sell to anyone on the outs. This is especially true when competition in the wearables market continues to heat up.

More use cases for the built-in temperature sensor

A user checks their sleep score and sleep stage data.

Andy Walker / Android Authority

Finally, we were happy to see Samsung’s partnership with Natural Cycles leverage its temperature sensor for more than just sleep tracking. Though basal body temperature measurements weren’t available at launch, users can now use the sensor for women’s health tracking. Cycle tracking is a complex and, unfortunately, underdeveloped opportunity on many wearables. We hope to see Samsung continue to develop this tool kit and bring more insights to those who menstruate.

That’s everything we want to see from the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6. Which features do you hope for most? Let us know by voting in the poll below.

What feature do you most hope to see on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6?

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