Leaked Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 photos herald return of the bezel

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Rotating bezels are back, baby. At least, that seems to be the case according to newly leaked photos of Samsung’s next-gen Galaxy Watches.

The Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic photos come from German tech site WinFuture, which has a solid track record when it comes to this sort of thing. But aside from the Classic’s return, there isn’t anything too exciting to look at in these leaked marketing stills. Mostly because the Galaxy Watch 6 looks like the Galaxy Watch 5, which looks like the Galaxy Watch 4. Meanwhile, the Watch 6 Classic looks pretty much like the Watch 4 Classic.

The Galaxy Watch 6 sure looks like the Galaxy Watch 4 and 5.
Image: WinFuture

The vanilla Galaxy Watch 6 will purportedly come in 40mm and 44mm, and an upgrade to sapphire crystal displays for durability. There had been rumors that the Galaxy Watch 6 would return to curved displays, but that doesn’t look to be the case based on these photos. Meanwhile, the Classic version will be a bit bigger at 43mm and a whopping 47mm — which is the biggest Samsung smartwatch we’ve seen since the 46mm Samsung Gear S3. Even last year’s Watch 5 Pro model was “only” 45mm. Bigger cases also generally mean bigger batteries. Hopefully, that translates to longer-lasting Samsung watches from day one, especially since poor battery life plagued the Watch 4 and 5 when they first launched.

But while the designs don’t seem to be anything revolutionary, it does seem like Samsung has several changes on deck. A few weeks ago, Samsung announced One UI 5 Watch, which will bring several new health and fitness features like improved sleep tracking and personalized heart rate zones. Google also noted at this year’s I/O that Wear OS 4 would arrive “later this year.” It’s possible that the Galaxy Watch 6 will be the first to launch with it. Details are scant about Wear OS 4, but Google emphasized that it ought to help improve battery life. It’s also rumored that Samsung will feature a new Exynos W930 chip in the Galaxy Watch 6 lineup.

It’s a relief to see Samsung bring the mechanically rotating bezel back. While there are bezel haters out there, it’s one of the most intuitive and distinctive smartwatch designs out there. Nobody else does it, which has historically helped set Samsung apart from the competition.

Considering all this, it’s not surprising to see Samsung backpedal back to a tried-and-true design. Especially since Google, a rookie smartwatch maker, overtook Samsung in the smartwatch market over the past year with its first-gen Pixel Watch. It didn’t help that the Watch 5 was an incredibly iterative update, while the Pro’s sportier design and capacitive bezel weren’t enough to make people forget about the physical rotating bezel.

In any case, it won’t be much longer until the Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic arrive. Samsung will likely announce them alongside some new foldable next month at its Unpacked event in Seoul, Korea.

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