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Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Apple Watch Series 8: Battle of the Smart Wearables

See how Samsung's new watch measures up to Apple's current flagship watch on specs and price.

Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Expertise Smartphones, Photography, iOS, Android, gaming, outdoor pursuits Credentials
  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Andrew Lanxon
Galaxy Watch 6

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic brings a physical bezel back to the watch face.

Samsung/Screenshot by CNET

Last week's Galaxy Unpacked event brought the official release of the Galaxy Watch 6, Samsung's latest smartwatch. How does the new wearable stack up with industry-leading Apple Watch Series 8? Let's take a look at the specs, features and price.

The big physical difference is that Samsung uses a round face for its watches, while Apple keeps its square look. But both are available in two sizes that are only a millimeter in difference, so there's little to go on here. Both are waterproof to around 50 meters (roughly 165 feet), use aluminum in their construction and have interchangeable bands. 

Watch this: Samsung Unveils Galaxy Watch 6 Series at Unpacked in Seoul

The features are closely matched too, with both models offering GPS tracking, heart-rate sensing, fall detection, sleep tracking, automatic workout detection and more. Both also offer contactless payments using either Samsung Pay or Apple Pay. The Galaxy Watch offers 16GB of onboard storage for saving songs locally to work out with, while the Apple Watch doubles that to 32GB. Samsung reckons its watch will last up to 40 hours between charges however, while Apple only promises 18. How that stacks up in real-world testing remains to be seen. 

One of the biggest differences, though, is the price: the Apple Watch Series 8 costs nearly $100 more than Samsung's Galaxy Watch 6, in both sizes. We'll be putting these through their paces in the full review soon to see whether it's worth saving that money, but you can check out the full specs comparison below. 

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Apple Watch Series 8

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6Apple Watch Series 8
Shape RoundSquare
Watch size 40mm, 44mm41mm, 45mm
Materials/ Finishes AluminumAluminum, Stainless steel, Ceramic, Sapphire glass
Display size, resolution 40mm: 1.3-inch, 432x432 Super AMOLED; 44mm: 1.5-inch, 480x480 Super AMOLED41mm: 1.7-inch, 352x430 45mm: 1.9-inch, 396x484
Dimensions 40mm: 38.8 x 40.4 x 9.0 mm; 44mm: 42.8 x 44.4 x 9.0 mm41mm: 41 x 35 x 10.7mm 45mm: 45 x 38 x 10.7mm
Weight 40mm: 28.7g; 44mm: 33.3g41mm: 31.9g (aluminum, GPS) 45mm: 38.8g (aluminum, GPS)
Colors 40mm: Graphite, Gold; 44mm: Graphite, SilverMidnight, Starlight, Silver, Red
Always On YesYes
Interchangable bands YesYes
GPS YesYes
Automatic workout detection Yes (running, walking, rowing)Yes
Compass YesYes
Altimeter YesYes
Water resistance 5ATM, IP6850 meters
Calls YesYes
Microphone YesYes
Speaker YesYes
Voice assistant Yes (Google Assistant, Bixby)Siri
Mobile Payments Yes (Samsung Wallet)Yes (Apple Pay)
Sleep tracking YesYes
Period tracking YesYes
Sensors Optical Heart Rate + Electrical Heart Signal + Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, Temperature Sensor, Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Light SensorElectrical heart sensor, Blood oxygen sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor,
Emergency features Emergency SOS, fall detectionEmergency SOS, fall and crash detection
Compatibility Android 10 and aboveiOS
Software WearOS 4Watch OS 9
Processor Exynos W930 Dual-Core 1.4GHzApple S8
Connectivity LTE6, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 2.4+5GHz, NFC, GPS/Glonass/Beidou/GalileoLTE, UMTS, Wi-Fi 2.4+5GHz, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, GPS/Glonass, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou
Memory and storage 2GB memory + 16GB storage1GB memory + 32GB storage
Power Faster wireless charging over USB-CFaster wireless charging over USB-C
Battery life Up to 40 hours (Always On Display off) / Up to 30 hours (Always On Display on)Up to 18 hours
Battery capacity 40mm: 300 mAh; 44mm: 425 mAh308 mAh
US price 40mm: $300 (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth); 44mm: $330 (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth)41mm: $399 (GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) 45mm: $429 (GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth)
UK price
From £289
From £419
Australian price
From AU$549
From AU$629