Apple has unveiled its 2023 wearable to go head to head with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, but how do the two compare?
Samsung unleashed the Galaxy Watch 6 upon the world only recently but it’s already got its most fierce competitor to date in the newly unveiled Apple Watch Series 9. Both of them serve as tempting accessories to sell their respective ecosystems to potential adopters, so if you’re not sure whether to invest in iOS or Android, then we’ve got you covered.
As you can imagine, even though they sell the same core premise, the Apple Watch 9 and the Galaxy Watch 6 are still very unique smartwatches and they handle things like fitness and smart features very differently. To get a rundown on the key differences you need to know, simply keep on reading.
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watchOS versus Wear OS
The key thing that separates these two watches is their operating software. The Galaxy Watch 6 runs the new Wear OS 4 while the Apple Watch 9 packs the revamped watchOS 10 software. Both come with their own pros and cons – watchOS has better third-party support while Wear OS uses tiles to give you quick and essential insights into your favourite wearable apps.
Because of Apple’s air-tight ecosystem, the Apple Watch 9 has to be paired with an iPhone in order to unlock its full potential. The Galaxy Watch 6 on the other hand is a bit more flexible, so you can pair it with a whole host of Android phones, ranging from the Pixel 7 to the Nothing Phone (2), not to mention Samsung’s own handsets.
Being able to ask questions of a digital assistant and even put forth requests directly on your wrist is a huge benefit of owning a smartwatch. The Apple Watch 9 uses Siri while the Galaxy Watch 6 utilises Bixby and Google Assistant.
The fact that the Galaxy Watch 6 can use Google’s digital assistant is a huge boon, and the functionality there is far more expansive than what you’ll find with Siri, but Apple’s assistant is still better integrated with the company’s ecosystem as a whole. Again, this comes down to which ecosystem strikes your fancy.
Touch-less controls on the Apple Watch 9
One of the big new features on the Apple Watch 9 is ‘Double Tap’ which makes use of the wearable’s newer chipset to allow for touch-less controls. Simply double tap your thumb and your index finger and you’ll be able to bring up the Smart Stack, play and pause music and even answer a call.
The Galaxy Watch 6 isn’t without its own unique control feature, with the digital rotating bezel allowing users to scroll quickly through menus and apps just by touching the outer rim of the device. It’s not quite as advanced as Apple’s non-touch controls, but it definitely helps to minimise any onscreen smudges.
More health sensors on the Galaxy Watch 6
The Apple Watch 9 is no slouch when it comes to fitness tracking, but if you want a more comprehensive look at your health then the Galaxy Watch 6 is the better option. The reason for this is that the Galaxy Watch boasts Samsung’s ‘BioActive Sensor’ which can track extended metrics like your skeletal muscle and BMI.
With that said, those at the start of their fitness journey might get on well with the Apple Fitness Plus service which offers tons of workout videos to get your heartrate up. It’s a close call but Samsung just about edges it out.
If you’re tied to a budget then there’s a clear winner here. The Galaxy Watch 6 has a starting price of £289/$299 while the Apple Watch 9 is a fair bit more expensive at £419/$399 and up.