Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic vs Apple Watch Ultra: Best of both worlds

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Watch 6 Classic vs Apple Watch Ultra


The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is here to bolster the ranks of the Android smartwatch scene against the competition coming straight from Apple's very popular Apple Watch series. It's actually not a direct successor to the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro but a follow-up to the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, bringing back the signature hardware rotating bezel that boosts the functionality of the smartwatch.

No matter how you look at it, the super-premium new Galaxy smartwatch is in the same premium segment as the much more expensive Apple Watch Ultra. The latter is the most advanced Apple Watch by far and comes with some exclusive features not found on other smartwatches… yet. If you're invested into the Apple ecosystem, there's hardly a better wearable to consider than the Apple Watch Ultra

How does the exciting new Wear OS-powered Galaxy Watch 6 Classic fare against the best Apple smartwatch right now? Can the much lower price tag of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic match and beat the Apple Watch Ultra offering? Let's find out! 

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic (43mm): 20% off on Amazon

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is up for grabs at Amazon at a lower price on Amazon. At the moment, you can get the 43mm version with Bluetooth at 20% off, saving you $80. Limited quantities are available.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic (47mm): $80 off on Amazon

The larger-sized Galaxy Watch 6 Classic can be yours at a lower price via Amazon. The 47mm version with Bluetooth sells at $80 off. Select colors are available.

Galaxy Watch 6 (40mm): save $60 at Amazon

The quality Galaxy Watch 6 is sporting a cool $60 discount at Amazon. This is the 40mm Bluetooth-only version of the wearable.

Apple Watch Ultra: get at Amazon at 8% off

The rugged Apple Watch Ultra is available at Amazon. At the moment, you can get the wearable at 8% off. The product is available in very limited quantities

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic vs Apple Watch Ultra: Essential differences

  • Rotating hardware bezel (Watch 6 Classic) vs customizable new Action Button 
  • Aluminum vs titanium build
  • Classic round design vs square design
  • Single-band vs dual-band GPS
  • 43/47mm sizes vs 49mm size
  • Dive computer (Apple Watch Ultra)
  • 50M vs 100M water resistance
  • Dual speakers, triple-mic array (Apple Watch Ultra)

Table of Contents:

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Design & Sizes

The finest Samsung and Apple smartwatches

When it comes to design, Samsung is going forward... by taking a peek at its glorious past, and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic in particular. It was the last one employing a hardware rotating bezel. A fan- and reviewer-favorite feature, the rotating bezel was a signature element of most high-end Galaxy Watch devices up until then, but was absent from last year's Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. Instead, we got a raised capacitive bezel on that one that tried to emulate the same general utility, but wasn't as useful or as rewarding as the hardware solution on the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic.

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic relies on a stainless steel design; sadly, titanium hasn't transitioned over from last year's Watch 5 Pro. Fortunately, sapphire has––we have sapphire both at the front and at the bottom of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, protecting the display and the multitude of sensors at the bottom. Sapphire is quite scratch-resistant, so we are sure that the wearable will age well as far as scratches are concerned. 

In the meantime, the Apple Watch Ultra relies on titanium and sapphire for its build, a rugged and premium take on the Apple Watch. It's also by far the largest Apple Watch you can put on your wrist, and barring the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, it's easily one of the most imposing smartwatches available today. You will definitely know if it's on your wrist, and sleep tracking with this heavy watch might be a big no for most people.

Just like the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, which has a unique rotating bezel, the Apple Watch Ultra has some aces up the sleeve. There's a customizable Action Button, for example, and the whole design of the watch is noticeably more rugged and exuding masculinity. What it lacks in ruggedness, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will likely fill up in class and premium looks. 

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is water-resistant up to 50M, whereas the Apple Watch Ultra can survive up to 100M underwater. In fact, it even has a dive computer functionality that will automatically show you important information about your dive once you submerge. No such thing on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, but chances are you would hardly ever need this feature. 

In terms of size, the Apple Watch Ultra is only available in a single 49mm version, while the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will be available in both 43mm and 47mm versions, fitting slim and thick wrists alike. While we expect the Samsung smartwatch to have both Bluetooth-only and Bluetooth + cellular versions for each differently sized variation, all Apple Watch Ultra watches are cellular ones. 

Despite the difference in shape, both smartwatches are actually very similar in terms of size. I'm talking about the larger version of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, which measures at 47mm, and is equally as imposing as the Apple Watch Ultra. 

Colors-wise, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will likely come in silver and black colors. Hopefully, potential adopters would be able to customize their smartwatches in the Samsung Bespoke Studio personalization suite. The Apple Watch Ultra, at the same time, is only available in Titanium. 


New latching mechanism means your older Samsung bands might no longer work

Samsung has switched from a spring-bar to a push-button latching mechanism for the upcoming Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. Well, it should make changing bands a bit easier, though the push-button is a bit on the stiffer side. Good news is that older Galaxy Watch bands are still compatible with the smartwatch, and so are most standard 22mm watch bands you might find. Great for customizability.

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The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic comes with a new Hybrid Leather band, a silicone sport band, an 'extreme' version of the sport band with extra holes for improved perspiration, and finally, a new lightweight fabric band.

The Apple Watch Ultra comes with the same push-button latching mechanism that has been around for, well, forever. This means that you can use your older bands with the Apple Watch Ultra and enjoy the compatibility of the Apple Watch ecosystem. 

With the Apple Watch Ultra, Apple released three new bands, the Trail Loop, Alpine Loop, and Ocean Band. Each of these is intended for different activities, but all fit the rugged nature of the smartwatch quite nicely.

Software & Features

Capable fitness companions

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic boasts all the health and fitness features we've come to expect from a modern-day Galaxy smartwatch, namely BMI (body mass index) thanks to the BioActive sensor at the bottom, heart rate monitoring, ECG, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels, and now, heart arrhythmia, which will alert you if it detects any irregularities with your heart rate.   

Sleep tracking is a core feature on both wearables. First of all, you should know that wearing any of these at bed isn't a terribly comfortable experience. Still, if you go to bed with either, know that the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a bit more flexible in terms of sleep detection: it doesn't require a specific mode to be enabled and will even detect any accidental naps you take during the day on top of the granular sleep tracking. 

At the same time, the Apple Watch Ultra can only track your sleep if you are into the dedicated Sleep Mode focus, which also disables most smart features of the watch temporarily and only shows a dim digital clock on the watchface. Other than that, a granular sleep tracking experience is still part of the feature mix. 

The Apple Watch Ultra also supports heart-rate monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring, ECG monitoring with AFib detection, better cycle tracking that now considers your body's temperature fluctuations to forecast ovulation, respiration rate, and more. 

Activity monitoring covers practically every physical activity you might and now includes improved heart rate zone visualization, which displays you your activity intensity levels. There's even track detection, which kicks off when you arrive at a running track, providing essential statistics like pace, distance, and route map.

The Apple Watch Ultra also has a dive computer functionality, as well as a 86dB emergency siren, which can be used to alert emergency services of your location if you get lost in the wilderness. Chances are you might never use the dive computer, but the emergency siren is one feature you're better off having rather than not. 

When it comes to compatibility, it's tough luck for both ecosystems, as neither the Galaxy smartwatch can pair with an iPhone nor the Apple Watch Ultra plays nicely with the Android ecosystem. What's more, some of the more intricate health features of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will very likely remain exclusive to Samsung Galaxy devices, though you will technically be able to use the smartwatch with any Android device. A Galaxy phone remains highly recommended, though.

Battery and Charging

Could the Samsung smartwatch beat the Ultra?

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic comes with a 425mAh battery on board, while the Apple Watch Ultra has a 542mAh battery on board, the largest on any Apple Watch ever. 

Thanks to the new chipset on board, the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is good for a day and a half with regular usage including sleep tracking and some basic activity tracking. In my experience, the Apple Watch Ultra has a better endurance, with a little over two days of regular usage, sleep tracking included. 

In terms of charging, both devices top up in about an hour and a half, but will score more than 50% of battery charge in less than an hour. Fast charging isn't really an option here. 

Models and Prices

As we already mentioned, we expect the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is available in both 43 and 47mm sizes, while the Apple Watch Ultra is only available in one size, 49mm. 

Price-wise, Apple has put quite a premium on the Apple Watch Ultra, selling that one for $799, whereas the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic starts at $400 for the entry-level Bluetooth-only 43mm version and tops out at $480 for the cellular version of the 47mm variation.

This is the big difference here: Apple only sells a single version of the Apple Watch Ultra, which is cellular-enabled, while Samsung gives you way more options here. 

Voice Calls and Haptics

Both devices let you make and take phone calls. The call quality is adequate as far as the small speakers on the watches are taken into consideration, and you will both hear and be heard on the other side of the line. The Apple Watch Ultra has a triple-microphone array, so it is capable of picking and isolating your voice even in the windiest conditions, so it has the slight upper hand here. 

In terms of haptics, both devices offer excellent feedback, with strong and accurate taps. You can regulate the strength, of course, and even turn it off altogether. 


Here are the essential Galaxy Watch 6 Classic vs Apple Watch Ultra specs at a glance:



The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is the posh business smartwatch of 2023. Everything about it screams business and it wouldn't be too outlandish to see it worn at business meetings and fancy cocktail parties. At the same time, with a simple change of the watch band, it can easily act as your able-bodied fitness companion on a jog or a gym session. 

The same, however, applies to the Apple Watch Ultra, which can also fill the same shoes. Although it's intended as the durable wearable of choice for more adventurous folks that fancy going on hikes and camping, the Apple Watch Ultra is by far the best Apple Watch so far. Feature-rich and with long-lasting battery, it's certainly not an affordable smartwatch to get, but it's as premium as it gets. If you're into the Apple ecosystem, there's hardly a better one to get. 

Which one should you ultimately get? It's an easy question. If you're invested in the Android or Galaxy ecosystem, then you will most certainly want to go for the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, which doesn't work with iPhones. On the other hand, the Apple Watch Ultra can't really get paired with an Android device, so no dice there either. 

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