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Should you buy the Galaxy Watch 6 or wait for the Galaxy Watch 7?

Weather widget on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The annual turnaround for most devices is relentless and merciless. Even if a device still feels new to you, there’s likely a new version of it just around the corner, taunting you with a new design, upgraded specs, or improved features. How much this bothers you comes down to how strongly you feel FOMO (fear of missing out), but it’s probably going to strike even stronger when you’re looking to buy a new device.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is an excellent device and one of our favorite Android smartwatches. But it appears to be getting even less time in the sun than usual, with its successor, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7, set to launch on July 10. Knowing a newer version of the device you want is on the way is always going to make you think twice — but should it? While we only have whispers and leaks of the Galaxy Watch 7’s capabilities, it’s not hard to imagine it’ll be more powerful than the Galaxy Watch 6 and loaded down with extra features.

But should these improvements be enough to make you wait for the newest device? We’ve reviewed the latest rumors, whispers, and leaks about the Galaxy Watch 7 and compared them to the Galaxy Watch 6 so you can make the best choice.

Galaxy Watch 7 vs. Galaxy Watch 6: design

Someone wearing a Samsung Galaxy Watch 6.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

This is a tough category to judge because we don’t have a clear idea of what the Galaxy Watch 7 will look like. Samsung hasn’t changed the style of the standard Galaxy Watch since the Galaxy Watch 4, so it’s an understatement to say the range is due for a big shakeup. While the variants have had some big changes, going from Classic to Pro, back to Classic, and possibly now to Ultra, the regular Galaxy Watch has stayed largely the same.

Samsung is rumored to have a big new launch prepared for the Galaxy Watch Ultra, with a new design, so it’s a bit of a toss-up as to whether the Galaxy Watch 7 will continue the trend set by the last few years and be largely untouched, or whether it’ll sport a dramatic new look. Early reports said Samsung was considering a return to a square or rectangular face for the Galaxy Watch 7, but those reports have since been denied, so the odds are fairly good we’ll be seeing a similar look once again.

Granted, keeping the same style isn’t a bad thing, per se. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is a great-looking smartwatch, and it’s comfortable as well. If Samsung had to stick to a single design for years, we’re glad it’s one as good as this. As nice as it would be to see it mixed up with the next watch, it won’t be a bad thing if the same design is recycled again.

Galaxy Watch 7 vs. Galaxy Watch 6: performance and battery life

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 on its charger.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch has been running on Samsung’s Exynos platform for some time now, and that’s not likely to change with the Galaxy Watch 7. According to reports, we can expect the Galaxy Watch 7 to have a 3nm chip, which is probably the Exynos W1000. This processor is around 20% faster than the previous Exynos W930 and can be expected to offer better power efficiency than before.

But the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, and we won’t know how that translates into real-life performance until we get hands-on time. The Galaxy Watch 6 was a solid performer but wasn’t anywhere near as snappy as the Apple Watch, its prime competitor. If the W1000 can close that gap, then it’ll be a big win, but at the moment, we can’t say one way or the other.

A big part of whether the Galaxy Watch 7 is a better buy than the Galaxy Watch 6 is going to come down to the battery life. A more efficient processor could mean the Galaxy Watch 7 sports a longer battery life than the Galaxy Watch 6, and considering the older smartwatch could last one-and-a-half to two days on a single charge, any improvement on that would be very welcome. Charging will apparently get a boost on the Galaxy Watch 7, though, with all the new models being rumored to support 15W charging — making them 50% faster to charge than the older ones.

So, what’s the verdict on this? As you might be able to tell, it’s the literary equivalent of a shrug. Yes, the Galaxy Watch 7 is going to be the more powerful of the two, but the extent to which that will make a difference isn’t known yet, and there aren’t any other Exynos W1000 watches to make an educated guess. The same also applies to the battery life. But, since an enormous jump in battery life seems unlikely, and the performance increase probably also isn’t going to be dramatic, don’t let this category be the crux of your decision.

Galaxy Watch 7 vs. Galaxy Watch 6: fitness and tracking

Samsung Health widget on the Galaxy Watch 6.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

This is a big category to explore because it basically encompasses all of the Galaxy Watch’s ability to track fitness, mental wellness, health, and all of those little sensors that add GPS functionality and stuff like that. In short, it’s a lot. Thankfully, this is a comparison piece, so we can safely say that anything the Galaxy Watch 6 can do, the Galaxy Watch 7 will be able to do as well. That means it will have a massive range of tracking options for exercises and sensors providing in-depth information on your stress levels and heart rate. There’s also the Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) sensor that can perform a deep reading of your body fat, water levels, and even your skeletal muscle levels. It’s an impressive suite of tools, and the Galaxy Watch 7 will likely continue to impress.

But will it offer anything more? At the moment, it’s hard to say. There haven’t been many whispers about Samsung working on anything particularly new for fitness and wellness options. One game-changing inclusion would be a glucose monitor, but it’s also possible this may only come to the Ultra model if it arrives at all.

On the whole, it’s probably fair to say you’re likely to get a very similar experience on both watches where fitness, wellness, and health tracking are concerned.

Galaxy Watch 7 vs. Galaxy Watch 6: software

Quick Settings on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

This one’s an easy one: You’re going to get the same software on both of these devices. Samsung has crafted a unique blend of Wear OS with Google, and it suits the watches very well. If you’re familiar with Wear OS from other devices, then you’ll find a familiar interface here, while newcomers will discover a simple interface that doesn’t take much getting used to. In the Android space, this is very much the gold standard for software design, even if there have been a number of annoying bugs over the years.

Software update-wise, you’re looking at four years of support for either range. The more recent release obviously means the Galaxy Watch 7 will get software releases for another year, but considering you might replace your smartwatch before that date anyway, it’s a somewhat moot point. If you’re looking to go the distance and get the most use out of your smartwatch, though, the newer device is going to be the way to go.

Galaxy Watch 7 vs. Galaxy Watch 6: price

Side view of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

So far, there’s been no indication that Samsung intends to increase the asking price for the Galaxy Watch 7, so we’re assuming it will start at $300 — the same price the Galaxy Watch 6 currently starts at.

However, keep in mind that a new version of a device tends to mean deeper discounts on older tech, and it’s entirely fair to expect the Galaxy Watch 6 to get some big drops in price once the Galaxy Watch 7 is available. This, by itself, is a very strong reason to wait and see what the Galaxy Watch 7 has to offer. Even if a big new headline feature isn’t enough to sway you, you’ll likely be able to find the Galaxy Watch 6 at a lower price. It’s a win-win situation.

What about the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra?

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra in orange color.
Evan Blass

Samsung could be adding a new member to its stable this year, and rumors of it hang heavily over the Galaxy Watch 7’s release. But it’s not an usual addition to the Galaxy Watch. Instead, it looks more like an Apple Watch Ultra-style release. Leaks say the Galaxy Watch Ultra could start at $700, well above the $300 expected for the Galaxy Watch 7 but undercutting the Apple Watch Ultra 2’s price of $799.

A high price must mean high-level specs, right? You’d be correct. The latest rumors say the Galaxy Watch Ultra will come in a single 47mm size with a titanium build and a squared frame. The design looks a whole lot more rugged as well, and it’s clear from just a glance that this isn’t a standard Galaxy Watch by anyone’s standards.

There’s been a lot of speculation about what this device will offer. With Samsung’s clear positioning to take on the Apple Watch Ultra 2, we can see it being sold as an ultra-rugged smartwatch for the adventurous. Expect a presentation chock full of people diving, surfing, mountaineering, and all sorts of “extreme” activities.

But there’s also the chance Samsung could use the high price to package in some cutting-edge tech as well. A glucose monitor is right at the top of the list for wishes, and if Samsung isn’t able to implement such tech in the standard Galaxy Watch 7, it could well do so in the Ultra instead. Adding the ability to monitor blood-sugar levels without needing blood samples would be a game-changer for millions of people and could be a strong selling point for the Galaxy Watch Ultra.

But at a $700 price point, it doesn’t really factor into this particular battle between two $300 devices. The Galaxy Watch Ultra is a totally different beast and only worth considering if you’re in a very specific audience.

Should you buy the Galaxy Watch 6 or wait for the Galaxy Watch 7?

Someone wearing the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

It can be very tempting to grab a device right before a new one launches. After all, companies like to use the period right before a new launch to try to push out as many sales for the old tech as possible. That means discounts, and discounts to tech-heads are like sugar to a toddler. But remember, those price cuts are likely to come again and may well hit even lower after the new device comes out. So, if you’re thinking the Galaxy Watch 6 is a sure bet for you, it might still be worth waiting to see if prices can go lower.

But there’s nothing that takes the shine off a device quite as much as a successor, and if you’re anything like us, you like to buy the newest devices because newer equals better, right? It’s a natural impulse, and we get it, but as the latest rumors and whispers stand, it looks an awful lot like the Galaxy Watch 7 won’t be a massive upgrade over the Galaxy Watch 6. As such, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 still seems like a solid buy.

But remember, all of this is based on speculation, leaks, and rumors. We won’t know for sure what Samsung has planned for us until July 10. So, our final recommendation is this: wait and see what Samsung has planned. We don’t have long to wait, and once we have all the facts, we can make an even better choice.

Mark Jansen
Mark Jansen is an avid follower of everything that beeps, bloops, or makes pretty lights. He has a degree in Ancient &…
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