Now that Samsung’s announced its new Galaxy Watch 6 lineup during this week’s Unpacked event, there are even more Android wearables than ever to choose from. Along with a physical rotating bezel, the new lineup sports even more health features than its predecessor, like passive irregular heart rhythm alerts, personalized heart rate zones, and more advanced sleep tracking capabilities.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 comes in two different flavors: the standard version and the Classic. The new wearables start at $299.99 and will be available on August 11th, though you can preorder them today. However, before you whip out your credit card, you might want to research how they measure up to another solid Android rival: the Google Pixel Watch. Released last year, the Pixel Watch is one of our favorites, but it’s different in a couple of key ways.
Price, for example, is one of the most obvious differentiators. The Google Pixel Watch costs $349.99, and you’ll pay an extra $50 for cellular connectivity. In contrast, the cheapest Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 starts at $299.99, while the Classic model starts at $399.99. As with the Pixel Watch, you’ll have to pay an additional $50 for cellular connectivity.
Those are just the surface-level differences, though. When you dive deeper, you’ll find that the smartwatches vary in terms of health features, battery life, and other ways. To help you decide which wearable is the right one for you, we’ve compared some of the most relevant features so you can see for yourself how they stack up against one another on paper.
Differences in size and style
Besides price, one of the most obvious differences is that, as mentioned before, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 comes in a standard and a Classic version. The standard comes in two sizes, 40mm and 44mm, while the Classic comes in 43mm and 47mm. In contrast, there’s only one version of the Google Pixel Watch, and it comes in just one size: 41mm. That could be problematic for those with larger wrists.
In terms of looks and build quality, the Google wearable sports a beautiful, circular domed display, but it lacks the Classic’s physical rotating bezel, and its bezels are thicker. However, you do have more color options when you buy the Pixel Watch: gold, silver, gray, and black. In contrast, Samsung only offers two color options per wearable and, in the case of the Galaxy Watch 6, based on size. The standard wearable comes in gray, but the 40mm also comes in a gold shade, while the 44mm version offers a silver option. Meanwhile, the Classic is available in black and silver.
Finally, the Google Pixel Watch is also made from a premium material — stainless steel — like the Classic version of the Samsung wearable. In contrast, the standard Galaxy Watch 6 is just made from aluminum.
Differences in features
Moving away from looks to features, Samsung’s lineup comes with a few advanced sensors the Google Pixel Watch lacks. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 can measure body composition, skin temperature, irregular heart rhythm notifications, and blood pressure, which the Google Pixel can’t. But you need to be a Samsung phone owner to use the wearable to measure blood pressure and take an EKG, which puts those outside of the Samsung ecosystem at a disadvantage. It’s actually one of the reasons we recommended the Pixel Watch over the last-gen Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 if you don’t own a Samsung phone.
The Pixel Watch does have one advantage Samsung lacks: its fitness tracking features are powered by Fitbit. Exercises are tracked within the Fitbit app, and that Fitbit integration also means you get FDA-cleared EKGs, along with excellent sleep tracking and stress management features. Unlike Samsung wearables, you also get better recovery tracking capabilities thanks to features like Fitbit’s Daily Readiness Score and Active Zone Minutes (AZM). That latter grants you more AZMs for each minute your heart rate spends in the Cardio and Peak Zone and less in the Fat Burning Zone.
As a Google device, the Pixel Watch is packed with built-in Google-centric features like Wallet, Assistant, YouTube Music, Maps, Home, and Calendar. Samsung’s wearable offers some of the same Google features but also a few Samsung-oriented ones like Samsung Pay (as well as Google Pay) and Bixby (in addition to Google Assistant).
In terms of software, both run on Wear OS, so you can download additional apps via the Google Play Store. The Google Pixel Watch offers 32GB of storage capacity, which is double that offered by Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6. That means you have extra space for music and to add even more apps — though it’s not as if Samsung’s 16GB will leave you lacking.
Battery life and power
When it comes to battery life and processors, Samsung has the edge. On paper, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 promises a maximum of nearly two days of battery life, a claim we have yet to test. Google claims the Google Pixel Watch can only last up to a day, which is about accurate — in our testing, we found the Google Pixel Watch quickly ran out of battery with normal usage, particularly when the always-on display is enabled. However, it’s possible the forthcoming Wear OS 4 update may improve battery life.
Last but not least, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 lineup comes equipped with the new Exynos W930 Dual-Core 1.4GHz processor. In contrast, the Google Pixel Watch is powered by the older Exynos 9110. In our experience, the wearable was snappy enough but not without issues, so it’s likely the Galaxy Watch 6 is faster — again, our final judgment is still to come.
By the numbers
That’s just an overview of some of the main differences between the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 lineup and the Google Pixel Watch. If you want to explore their respective differences in terms of pure raw specs, we’ve rounded them up in the chart below.