The 6 biggest announcements we expect from MWC 2024 next week | Digital Trends

The 6 biggest announcements we expect from MWC 2024 next week | Digital Trends

MWC

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is happening next week in Barcelona, and we can expect to see a lot of cool new announcements and reveals for the mobile industry.

But what exactly will we get a peek of? There are a few companies that we already know will be there, and they’ll be pulling back the curtain on their latest releases and even future concepts. Here are some of the biggest announcements we expect from MWC 2024.

Nothing Phone 2a

Leaked renders of the Nothing Phone 2a's design.
Nothing Community

Nothing, the consumer electronics manufacturer wfrom former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, has already confirmed that it will hold an event at MWC on February 27, and the full launch of the Nothing Phone 2a will be a few days later on March 5.

The brand has already established itself as a popular option for low-cost flagships among the competition. Currently, the Nothing Phone 2 starts at $599, which is a much more reasonable price compared to Samsung’s $800 Galaxy S24 or Apple’s $800 iPhone 15. But the Nothing Phone 2a will be an even more budget-friendly option with a rumored price of just $400.

One of the most unique things about Nothing Phones is the transparent glass back with LED lights. While there have been some conflicting leaks about what the Nothing Phone 2a design will look like, we can now confirm the final design of the Nothing Phone 2a.

It appears that the camera bump will be centered and horizontal rather than vertical, like on the Nothing Phone 1 and 2. There will still be LED lights, but based on the leak, it only looks like we’re getting three lights at the top, around the camera bump.

In terms of specs, the Nothing Phone 2a will have the MediaTek Dimensity 7200 Pro. This is the first Nothing Phone with a MediaTek chip, and it’s also the first phone to use the 7200 Pro. The Nothing Phone 2a reportedly has a 120Hz 6.7-inch AMOLED display, a hole-punch camera cutout at the top, and a possible resolution of 1084 x 2412 pixels. The minimum RAM should be 8GB and it will start at 128GB storage.

There haven’t been a lot of leaks regarding the cameras, but the dual-camera system should have at least 50MP and a possible 32MP selfie camera.

OnePlus Watch 2

Black and green variants of the OnePlus Watch 2.
OnePlus

OnePlus is also another company that has confirmed it will be attending MWC 2024. In this case, we can expect OnePlus to reveal its OnePlus Watch 2, which we have some information about already.

The OnePlus Watch 2 will have a traditional timepiece design with a round dial and a flattened edge that is a bit reminiscent of Casio’s G-Shock series watches. It features a stainless steel body with two colors — including a black finish and one with a natural silver style.

The main thing OnePlus has teased about the OnePlus Watch 2 is its battery life. OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus Watch 2 will get up to 100 hours of battery per charge. Even more interesting are rumors that the OnePlus Watch 2 will run Wear OS 4. A Wear OS smartwatch with that level of battery life is unprecedented, so we’re very eager to see what OnePlus has done to pull this one off.

Honor Magic 6 Pro

Honor Magic 6 Pro family.
Honor

Although it doesn’t have a presence in the U.S., Honor regularly produces some of the more interesting Android phones on the market. The company revealed its Honor Magic 6 Pro flagship phone on January 11. However, we’ll likely see a wider release for the Honor Magic 6 series, which Honor is teasing for its MWC event on February 25.

According to reports, the Honor Magic 6 Pro could see a release in Europe and the U.K. This would also include a base model Honor Magic 6. The rumored launch date is February 25.

The Honor Magic 6 Pro runs on the Android 14-based MagicOS 8.0 interface. It has a 6.8-inch Full-HD+ OLED display with an in-display fingerprint sensor and a dynamic refresh rate from 1Hz to 120Hz. It runs on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, has 16GB RAM, and up to 1TB storage.

For cameras, the triple-lens system includes a 50MP main shooter, a 180MP periscope lens with 2.5x optical and 100x digital zoom, and a 50MP ultrawide camera. The selfie camera is an impressive 50MP. There is a massive 5,600mAh battery with support for 80-watt wired charging and 66W wireless charging. All in all, it looks like a pretty incredible package.

Xiaomi 14 Ultra

An official product render of the Xiaomi 14 Ultra.
Xiaomi

Xiaomi is another Chinese smartphone brand that will make an appearance at MWC 2024. Xiaomi will be showing off a new flagship smartphone for a more global audience (excluding the U.S.): the Xiaomi 14 Ultra.

Xiaomi released the Xiaomi 14 Ultra in China on February 22, and from what we’re seeing right now, it looks like one beast of a smartphone. We’re looking at a 6.73-inch display with a 1440p resolution and 3,000 nits of brightness, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, a 5,300 mAh battery, and 90W wired charging speeds.

The real magic lies with the camera specs, however. The main camera is a 50-megapixel sensor with a large one-inch sensor. There’s also a 50MP telephoto camera with 3.2x zoom, another 50MP telephoto camera with 5x zoom, and a 50MP ultrawide camera with a 122-degree field of view.

The Xiaomi 14 Ultra will join the current Xiaomi 14 lineup that includes the base model Xiaomi 14 and Xiaomi 14 Pro. These phones use Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipsets and feature an AI-heavy feature set and a new Android fork called HyperOS. The Xiaomi 14 has a 6.3-inch screen, while the Pro version has a 6.7-inch display, and both are LTPO displays with 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rates and peak brightness of 3,000 nits.

Xiaomi has confirmed it’ll be at MWC 2024 with the Xiaomi 14 Ultra, and we can expect this is where we’ll learn more about the company’s plans for an international/global release of the phone.

Crazy concept phones from Tecno

The folded Tecno Phantom V Fold and Tecno Phantom V Flip.
The Tecno Phantom V Flip (left) and Tecno Phantom V Fold Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If you’re in the U.S., you may not have heard very much about Tecno since you can’t walk into a carrier store and purchase a Tecno phone. But Tecno is a brand that is very popular in the East, and it is ready to showcase some extremely interesting phones at MWC 2024, including some rollable screen phones.

So far, only Samsung has really shown rollable screen concepts that may actually work in real life. Motorola and Oppo also had such concepts, but they never made it past demos. This year, Tecno will be dipping its toes into the rollable waters.

At MWC 2024, Tecno will unveil the Phantom Ultimate smartphone, which features rollable screen technology. This will still be a concept phone, but it will have an “innovative double-sided screen.” The screen in question will grow from 6.5 inches to 7.1 inches once the rolling mechanism gets going. The dimensions suggest that it will go from a portrait-first to a tablet-like mode.

Another concept that Tecno is working on is a foldable phone with no borders. There aren’t any known details about this one, but it would be interesting to see if this kind of foldable would have any practicality to it, or if it’s just purely aesthetics. Regardless, there’s a lot to look forward to.

A new Motorola phone

Hands on with the Motorola Rizr concept phone.
Digital Trends

Motorola is a familiar face at MWC, and we expect to see something from the company, even though it hasn’t made any official confirmations.

During last year’s MWC, we got a look at the Motorola Rizr concept. This was Motorola’s rollable concept with a 5-inch display and 15:9 aspect ratio that can roll out to a 6.5-inch display. It was comfortable to hold, and it was a great compact size.

Unfortunately, this never made it past the demo stage, as it had many durability concerns — the bottom of the screen had no bezel, so it was likely to get damaged if you dropped it. And when the screen is rolled out, it extends past the rest of the hardware, so it wasn’t flush.

Motorola adaptive display concept on wrist.
Lenovo

In October 2023, Motorola also revealed another concept phone that you can wear. This bendable phone can be worn on your wrist like a smartwatch, or it can bend and serve as a smart display.

We’re unsure if we’ll see another rollable or bendable phone concept from Motorola at MWC 2024. Or maybe we’ll see something entirely new. Whatever Motorola may have up its sleeve, it will certainly be something unique.

Editors’ Recommendations






Apple will remove Blood Oxygen app from Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 to evade US import ban

Apple will remove Blood Oxygen app from Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 to evade US import ban

It seems that Apple will be able to bypass an import ban on Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 devices and once again sell those products in the US after dropping a key feature. According to a letter to an appeals court judge from Masimo, a company that’s been involved in a patent dispute against Apple, the latter can skirt the ban by removing the Blood Oxygen app from Apple Watch units it sells in the US going forward.

Per the letter, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determined that “Apple’s redesign falls outside the scope” of the International Trade Commission’s (ITC) import ban on the two devices. Apple told CBP that its “Redesigned Watch Products definitively do not contain pulse oximetry functionality.” Other details related to the CBP decision are confidential and, as things stand, “no public version of the decision exists,” Masimo’s letter states.

According to Reuters, however, the CBP decision may be upended if the ITC disagrees. Apple is said to already have shipped modified Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 units to its US locations, but stores were reportedly told not to open or sell the new versions until getting the green light from higher ups.

Photo by Cherlynn Low / Engadget

In October, the ITC upheld a prior ruling that Apple violated Masimo patents concerning blood oxygen functions on the Apple Watch. The ruling led Apple to pause sales of the Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 in the US through its own website and Apple Stores by Christmas Eve. An emergency interim stay of the ITC ruling in late December enabled Apple to start selling the wearables again in the US.

According to 9to5 Mac, Apple’s concession won’t affect those who already have an Apple Watch with pulse oximetry features. Apple has offered the Blood Oxygen app on its wearables since it released the Apple Watch Series 6 in 2020. It’s possible that Apple will roll out a new version of the Blood Oxygen app to affected units once it resolves the patent problem.

Soon after Apple said it would stop selling the Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 to adhere to the ITC’s order, it was reported that the company’s engineers were working feverishly on a software update. Those efforts were said to focus on changes to the Blood Oxygen app and its algorithms to ensure the devices violated Masimo’s patents.

That said, according to Bloomberg, nixing the app altogether was seen as the quickest (and likely easiest) way to avoid having the ban reinstated, though removing what was once a highly touted feature of the Apple Watch is a significant concession. A federal appeals court could hear an Apple motion to extend the stay (which was granted pending an appeal) on the ban as early as this week.

Masimo has claimed that Apple hired its former employees and used its pulse oximetry tech in Apple Watch devices. Apple countersued Masimo, arguing that the company’s own smartwatch copies patented Apple Watch features.

Google Pixel Watch 2 problems: 5 common issues and how to fix them | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch 2 problems: 5 common issues and how to fix them | Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Last year, the Google Pixel Watch 2 launched alongside the Google Pixel 8 series. The watch has been much better received than the first-generation model and is one of the best smartwatches released in the past year. The Pixel Watch 2 offers longer battery life, faster operation, reduced weight, and other improvements.

Despite these positives, the Pixel Watch 2 isn’t perfect. As such, you may run into some problems with the wearable device. Here are some common Pixel Watch 2 issues and how to fix them.

Pixel Watch 2 is not charging correctly

The Google Pixel Watch 2's charging puck.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The first issue experienced by some users goes entirely against the watch’s improved battery life. Some report that they can’t charge their watch with the newly designed charging system. Separately, others have noted they have experienced aggressive idle battery drain.

As we previously explained, though Google doesn’t specifically address the cause of Pixel Watch 2 battery issues, it has offered a dedicated support page for further assistance. The document titled “Fix a Google Pixel Watch that won’t charge” provides a few suggestions, including turning off the watch’s Battery Defender feature.

If your Google watch is not turning on, you should first try charging it again. To do this, connect the watch to the charging puck that came with it. Make sure that the pins on the puck match the back of the watch perfectly, as the charging puck for the Pixel Watch 2 is different than the one for the original Pixel Watch. This was also mentioned in our review of the Pixel Watch 2. Let it charge for at least 10 minutes.

You should eventually see a lightning bolt on the watch display followed by a low number percent. When the watch finally boots up, you should see a Google logo in the center of the display.

If your smartwatch’s battery percentage is stuck at 80%, Google recommends turning off the Battery Defender feature. This feature helps prolong the battery’s lifespan by stopping the watch from charging once it has been on the charger for four or more days. If you see a notification on your screen, the watch’s battery is not charging beyond 80%. To charge your watch to 100%, remove it from the charger and put it back on. This will turn off the Battery Defender feature, allowing the watch to charge fully.

Pixel Watch 2 screen burn-in

The Google Pixel Watch 2 resting on a stone fireplace.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Some Pixel Watch 2 users are experiencing a screen burn-in issue. Screen burn-in is when you see discoloration or afterimage on an electronic display. It can affect various types of devices, including OLED and CRT.

Fortunately, the issue does not appear permanent on the Pixel Watch 2. It seems to be a software problem, and Google is expected to release a fix for it soon. In the meantime, there are two options you can try to resolve the issue: turning off the always-on display option or using Bedtime mode to keep the screen off.

To turn off the always-on display, go to the watch settings and select Display. Then, toggle off the always-on screen setting. To use Bedtime mode, swipe from the top to activate the Quick Settings menu and tap the Bedtime mode icon. With Bedtime mode on, the watch’s tilt-to-wake option turns off.

Outdated Google Calendar notifications

Notifications shown on the Google Pixel Watch 2's screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

One issue you might experience with your Pixel Watch 2 is repetitive calendar notifications or notifications for events that have already passed. Even after deleting the event from the calendar, these notifications may still appear on your watch.

To resolve this issue, you can try restarting your watch. To do so, go to the Settings app and select System. From there, tap on Restart. Alternatively, you can hold the watch’s crown for five seconds and then reboot through the menu that appears.

If the problem persists, you can try clearing the Calendar app cache. To do so, go to Settings, then choose Apps and Notifications > App Info > System apps > Calendar > App Info > Clear cache.

Too many passcode requests

Google Maps navigation screen on the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

To ensure maximum security and comply with the requirements of using Google Wallet with your watch, you must set up a PIN or pattern during the initial setup process. You only need to enter this information again when you use Google Wallet or put your watch back on your wrist.

Some Pixel Watch 2 users have noted online that they are being asked to add their PIN or pattern multiple times. This issue can most likely be resolved by ensuring your watch band is slightly more secure. This will make it more likely the watch knows the band is snug.

Turning off the PIN or pattern is another solution, but then you’ll lose the ability to use Google Wallet.

Media controls that don’t work

The side of the Google Pixel Watch 2, on a person's wrist.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Your watch can play and handle different media types, such as music, podcasts, etc. These controls are designed to launch automatically when needed. However, some users have reported that these media controls sometimes don’t work as expected or disappear randomly.

To fix this issue, you can try rebooting the Pixel Watch 2. Another solution is to toggle the Autolaunch Media Controls feature on/off. Go to the watch settings and select Apps and Notifications > App Info > System apps > Media Controls to do this. Then, turn off the feature and enable it from the same screen again.

When in doubt

Made by Google logo at an event venue.
Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

If you encounter any issue with your Pixel Watch 2 not mentioned in this list, other users face the same problem. Google is probably already working on a software solution to fix the issue and make it available soon.

Additionally, if you have an issue and nothing seems to fix it, it never hurts to contact Google’s support team to see your what options are.

We will keep updating this post as necessary when any new problems with the Pixel Watch 2 are reported.

Editors’ Recommendations






I was completely wrong about the Google Pixel Watch 2 | Digital Trends

I was completely wrong about the Google Pixel Watch 2 | Digital Trends

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

As a tech reviewer, part of my job is to review/test every new gadget with as much of a fair, unbiased perspective as I can. But I have a confession to make: I really didn’t want to use the Google Pixel Watch 2 when I received my review unit.

Why? I didn’t like the first Pixel Watch at all. I hated the large bezels, the performance was bad, the battery didn’t last long enough, and it was missing critical health/fitness features. When Google announced the Pixel Watch 2, I went into the watch assuming I’d hate it just as much as the first one.

What actually happened was the polar opposite. I’ve been wearing the Pixel Watch 2 for over a month and have had a lovely time with it. It’s not at all what I expected it to be, and I’m so, so happy I was wrong about it.

The Pixel Watch design is growing on me

The Google Pixel Watch 2 resting on a stone fireplace.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

So many things about the Pixel Watch 2 have been surprising — one of the biggest being its design. The Pixel Watch 2 looks virtually identical to its predecessor, featuring the same small case size and large display bezels. But for whatever reason, I like it a lot more this year.

Although I’d still love for Google to offer more case sizes with the Pixel Watch 3, the current 41mm body is growing on me. Going to it from the Apple Watch Ultra 2 was a shock at first, but I’ve come around to quite liking how the Pixel Watch 2 looks on my wrist. It’s sleek and subtle, and the domed glass around the screen really is gorgeous. The bezels are still annoying, yes, but they also haven’t been a deal-breaker over the past month.

A close-up view of someone wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2, showing the rotating crown.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

And while the overall design isn’t all that different, Google did make some small (but important) hardware upgrades this year. The rotating crown, which felt cheap and stiff on the first Pixel Watch, feels much better on the Pixel Watch 2. It rotates smoothly, the haptic feedback is great, and the way menus/lists scroll when you use the crown is more natural, too. It’s still no Apple Watch Digital Crown, but it’s a massive year-over-year improvement.

There’s another change I quite like, though it’s one you can’t see. Instead of using stainless steel like it did last year, the body of the Pixel Watch 2 is made out of 100% recycled aluminum. It still has a shiny finish and looks like stainless steel at first glance, but it’s lighter than before and has been (in my opinion) slightly more comfortable to wear.

Bad battery life? What bad battery life?

The Google Pixel Watch 2's charging puck.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The first Pixel Watch garnered pretty split opinions regarding its design, but there’s one thing everyone could agree on: it didn’t have particularly good battery life. Google used a processor from 2018 in last year’s Pixel Watch, and it showed. The Pixel Watch could get through a full day of use, but just barely. And if you wanted to wear it to track your sleep, you were often forced to charge it before bed. It wasn’t a good experience.

During my testing, the Google Pixel Watch 2 has been significantly better. When using the Pixel Watch 2 to track workouts and receive dozens of notifications throughout the day, I often don’t have to charge the watch until the late morning or early afternoon of my second day wearing it. And that includes having the always-on display enabled and using it for sleep tracking. It’s really quite impressive.

Someone wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2 with a yellow/green fabric band.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I’ve also been pleasantly happy with the new charger. Instead of a wireless charging puck like its predecessor used, the Pixel Watch 2 opts for a magnetic four-pin charging cradle. The charger itself feels a bit cheap, but it latches on to the Pixel Watch 2 securely, doesn’t make the watch too warm, and fills up the battery quickly.

Battery life was one of the main things that kept me away from the original Pixel Watch, but amazingly, Google completely resolved those complaints with the Pixel Watch 2. Bravo, Google. Bravo.

The Fitbit experience is getting there

The back of the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

I also need to give props to how much Google has improved the Fitbit side of the Pixel Watch 2. The first Pixel Watch was fine for basic health/fitness tracking, but it also lacked a lot of really key features, with automatic workout detection being one of them.

Once again, Google addressed my complaints head-on with the Pixel Watch 2. The Pixel Watch 2 does support automatic workout tracking, and it works really well — sometimes even better than my Apple Watch. The skin temperature sensor has also been a welcome addition, as has the cEDA sensor. If I’m feeling stressed, excited, or nervous about something, the Pixel Watch 2 does a good job of detecting those changes in my body and alerting me to them. It’s not always the most helpful thing, but it’s a nice addition that I’ll miss when using other wearables.

The home page of the Fitbit app on an Android phone.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Similarly, I’m a big fan of the redesigned Fitbit app. It has an interface that now feels right at home with other Google apps, and while the layout/information is largely the same, it feels more organized and less daunting than it used to.

I’m still not a huge fan of how many features are locked behind Fitbit Premium, but the overall fitness package is a notable upgrade compared to last year. Google’s on the right track here, and I’m excited to see how it keeps growing in the months/years ahead.

I can’t believe how good the Pixel Watch 2 is

A person sitting down and wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

When I wore the original Google Pixel Watch, I quickly found myself counting down the days until I’d be able to take it off. I tried my best to like it and give it the benefit of the doubt, but it’s not a smartwatch I ever truly enjoyed. Meanwhile, the Pixel Watch 2 has been extremely easygoing.

I use the Pixel Watch 2 to track my sleep and workouts, keep tabs on my notifications, set timers, etc. I’m doing all of this without thinking about how bad the crown is, how terrible the battery life is, or how I’m missing fitness features that I’d really like to have. It’s a shockingly great user experience, and it’s really caught me off guard in terms of how much I’ve liked living with the smartwatch.

The Pixel Watch 2 completely changed my opinion of the Pixel Watch as a whole.

I think that’s what’s stuck out to me most about the Pixel Watch 2. I’m going through each day with it on my wrist with nary a complaint. That never happened with the Pixel Watch 1, but that’s been a recurring experience with its successor. The Google Pixel Watch 2 isn’t a game-changer in the smartwatch landscape, but it is a surprisingly excellent device.

The Pixel Watch 2 managed to completely change my opinion of the Pixel Watch as a whole, and as we head into 2024, I genuinely can’t wait to see what Google does with the next generation. I don’t often like being proven wrong, but in this case, I’m thrilled that I was.

Editors’ Recommendations






Apple Watch battery drain issues to be fixed in upcoming watchOS update

Apple Watch battery drain issues to be fixed in upcoming watchOS update

Last week, a number of Apple Watch owners noticed that their batteries were draining much quicker than normal after they installed the latest watchOS version 10.1. Now, Apple has acknowledged the issue in an internal memo seen by MacRumors, and promised that a fix will arrive in an upcoming update.

The issue is affecting multiple models including older ones like Watch SE and Watch Series 5, up to brand new versions like Apple Watch Ultra 2, according to Reddit, Apple’s Support Community, X and other sources. The issue appears to be fairly serious, with one user noting that “watchOS 10.1 is killing the battery on my Apple Watch,” draining it from 100 to 50 percent in less than 60 minutes.

Apple appeared to address the issue partly with its iOS 17.1 update, noting that it resolved a problem involving “increased power consumption” when a Watch running watchOS 10.1 is paired with an iPhone using iOS 17, as MacRumors noted. That doesn’t seem to have fully resolved the issue, though.

Apple said in the memo that the issue will be fixed in a watchOS update “coming soon,” without providing a more specific date, specific models affected and reason for the problem. Given the nature of it, however, we’d hope it’s a high-priority item. Apple is reportedly set to release iOS 17.1.1 for iPhone, and will hopefully also release watchOS 10.1.1 with a fix.

The 22 best Apple Watch faces you should be using | Digital Trends

The 22 best Apple Watch faces you should be using | Digital Trends

The Apple Watch Series 9 (top) and Apple Watch Series 8 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Apple Watch is more than just a tech gadget; it’s also a fashion accessory. Thankfully, Apple gets that, and it’s made sure you have a wealth of options to customize and accessorize your wearable. This includes not just a huge assortment of the best Apple Watch bands and straps but also a variety of different watch faces to fit your individual style and even match up with your choice of band.

Whether you’re wearing the mainstream Apple Watch Series 9, the extreme Apple Watch Ultra 2, or the affordable Apple Watch SE 2, you won’t have a hard time making your Apple Watch your own. Apple has made sure that every band that’s been made for an Apple Watch still fits the latest models, and with very few exceptions, all of Apple’s watch faces are available across the entire lineup as well.

A collection of Apple Watch bands.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Apple also adds new entries to its core collection of faces each year, and the release of watchOS 10 was no exception. The company even sometimes releases new watch faces to complement certain special-edition watch bands for occasions such as Pride Month, Black History Month, and the Summer Olympics.

Now that the Apple Watch Series 3 has been put out to pasture, nearly all of the faces in watchOS 10 are available on every supported model of the wearable. The only exceptions are Explorer, which has always been limited to cellular-capable Apple Watch models, and the Contour and Modular Duo faces, which are limited to the Apple Watch Series 7, 8, 9, and the Apple Watch Ultra and Ultra 2 due to their larger screens. The two Apple Watch Ultra models also include a pair of unique faces: Wayfinder, which is geared toward the outdoor adventure enthusiasts who are its target customers, and a new Modular Ultra face that makes better use of the even larger display.

There are now a total of 64 Watch faces available in watchOS 10. That’s an enormous number of options, making it overwhelming to try and pick your favorite. So how do you find, customize, and make one your own? Here’s our guide to everything related to the best Apple Watch faces. After you’ve selected the right watch faces for your lifestyle, don’t forget to add some of the best Apple Watch apps to your smartwatch for another layer of functionality.

The best Apple Watch faces

Three Apple Watches showing Snoopy watch faces.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Snoopy is the most fun and whimsical face to come to the Apple Watch in years. As Apple describes it, this watch face “showcases Snoopy’s playful spirit” with a seemingly unlimited variety of playful animations as the iconic beagle interacts with Woodstock and the hands of the watch. It’s clear Apple’s designers had a great time designing this one, and you’ll get a different animation to delight you each time you raise your wrist, while watches with an always-on display will show Snoopy napping atop his doghouse when your wrist is down.

While there’s no room for complications, you can customize the style of the numbers and the colors, drawing from fun Peanuts-themed choices like Violet Gray, Doghouse Red, Great Pumpkin, Woodstock Yellow, Peppermint Patty, Blanket Blue, and Lucy Blue. There’s also a Sunday Surprise option that will show the grey Newspaper color most days of the week but cycle through different colors on Sundays, paying homage to the era when only Sunday edition comic strips were printed in color.

Three Apple Watches showing Palette watch faces.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Palette is another new watch face for watchOS 10 that provides a vibrant and colorful representation of the time, using gradients that follow the watch hands and even change as the second-hand moves around the watch face. Several color combinations are available, from single colors with hue variations to bright palettes that run a whole gamut of brilliant colors. This one also has room for the usual four complications — one in each corner.

Someone wearing an Apple Watch Ultra 2, showing the Modular Ultra watch face.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Modular Ultra adds another exclusive face for fans of the Apple Watch Ultra, taking the traditional Modular watch face and adding room for one extra complication and six options to adjust the size and layout of the time. However, this isn’t just about using the extra screen space found on Apple’s largest watch; Modular Ultra also lets you show Ultra-specific information, such as real-time depth or elevation data, and it adds the red night vision mode that was previously found only on the Wayfinder watch face, and can now be engaged automatically in watchOS 10.

Three Apple Watches showing Lunar, Metropolitan, and Playtime Watch Faces.
Lunar face (from left), Metropolitan face, and Playtime face Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Lunar offers a valuable addition for moon-watchers and folks who like to use alternate calendars. For whatever reason, Apple took away the ability to show a Chinese, Hebrew, or Islamic calendar date on the standard watch faces in watchOS 9, so the Lunar face is the solution to getting that back. You can choose between an analog or digital clock and place up to four complications in the corners.

Metropolitan is a stylish new watch face that provides room for four corner complications and a set of numbers that you can adjust in style by rotating the Digital Crown. This one also takes advantage of the always-on display on newer Apple Watch models to rotate the numbers into pills when your wrist is down and animate them back into numbers when you raise it again.

Playtime is a fun new dynamic watch face that shows the time as a series of artistic cartoon-like characters. A new one walks on when the time changes, and they’ll react when you tap on them. You can also rotate the Digital Crown to animate the stars and streamers in the background. Sadly, this one doesn’t offer room for any complications.

Three Apple Watches showing Astronomy watch faces
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Astronomy displays a real-time 3D representation of the Earth, moon, or solar system. It’s a great complement to the iOS 16 lock screen of the same name, and what’s cool is that it brings back Time Travel, a feature of Apple Watches past that was retired with watchOS 5. When the Astronomy face is active, you can rotate the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch to move the display ahead or back in time to see the phases of the moon and the positions of the planets in the solar system, or cycle through day and night views of Earth. Two text complications are available at the top and bottom of the face, which default to showing the date and the current weather conditions.

Wayfinder is an exclusive face for the Apple Watch Ultra designed to cater to the needs of outdoor adventure enthusiasts such as hikers and divers. The high-contrast display makes it easy to see in bright daylight, and it’s one of only two watch faces that provide a specific Night Mode, turning all the elements on the face red to preserve your vision on nighttime excursions. You get room for up to eight complications — four in the corners and four in the middle cluster — and you can tap on the bezel ring to immediately turn it into a compass and show your current latitude and longitude in the inner ring.

Three Apple Watches showing California watch faces.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

California is a great option for folks who like the more traditional look, and it’s especially great for the always-on display models, where the watch face is always shown in one form or another. You can configure it with a mix of Roman and Arabic numerals in different styles or simply go with pills for a more classic design. There’s room for two complications: a text one that defaults to the current date and a single, small circular one in the bottom-center position. However, we think this one looks best when it’s kept simple.

Two Apple Watches showing Chronograph Pro watch face.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Chronograph Pro offers a precision timer like a classic analog stopwatch, with modes for recording time on scales of 60, 30, 6, or 3 seconds, or a tachymeter to measure speed based on time traveled over a fixed distance. Tapping the center of the face switches into timing mode, and you can also surround the face with four corner complications of your choice.

Two Apple Watches showing Contour watch face.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Contour is an artistic face designed explicitly to show off the curved bezels introduced with the Apple Watch Series 7. Numerals appear in a custom font tucked into the edge of the display and morph in size to reflect the current hour. Like the California face, Contour offers two complications, but you’ll probably want to use these sparingly.

Two Apple Watches showing Gradient watch face.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Gradient is a great choice for folks who prefer a colorful minimalist design. In its standard form, it’s simply a pair of hands against a gradient background. There are quite a few gradients and styles to choose from, but if you want to add complications, you’ll need to opt for a more traditional circular look to make room for them in the corners. However, this is another one that we think is at its very best in its uncomplicated full-screen glory.

Three Apple Watches showing Infograph watch faces.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Infograph was first introduced in 2018 to show off the larger screen on the Apple Watch Series 4 — and how much more detail can fit onto it. The traditional analog clock is joined by up to eight complications — four in each corner and four as subdials in the center cluster. The top-center complication also offers an extra twist here, with the ability to show a band of semicircular text around the edge that can highlight your next appointment, current weather conditions, upcoming tasks, and more.

Three Apple Watches showing Memoji watch faces.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Memoji is one of the few Apple Watch faces that you can truly make your own, since it lets you put your own custom avatar right on your watch. You can choose from any of Apple’s standard array of Animoji characters, use a Memoji you’ve created on your iPhone, or create a new one using the watchOS Memoji app. You can even have your Apple Watch display a new character each time you raise your wrist. This face also offers room for two basic complications.

Three Apple Watches showing Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse watch faces.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are two of Apple’s most whimsical faces from the original Apple Watch, turning your modern smartwatch into a classic toy-style timepiece. Mickey or Minnie’s arms rotate to indicate the time while their feet tap out the seconds. This was also the first watch face where you could make your watch speak the time, and while that function has since been expanded to work on any watch face, this is still the only one that offers a different voice; hold two fingers down on this watch face and instead of Siri’s voice, you’ll hear Mickey or Minnie read out the current time,

Three Apple Watches showing Modular watch faces.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Modular is the original watch face for folks who prefer to see as much information at a glance as possible. It’s essentially the digital clock version of Infograph, and it’s almost entirely made up of complications. There’s room for six here, so it’s not quite as flexible as some of the other faces, but those six complications can be added in three different sizes, including a large center complication that shows more information than you’ll get on any other watch face. This can provide a list of tasks or upcoming appointments, the full name of whatever song is currently playing, detailed workout info, or a complete weather forecast.

The other complications are made up of four dials and a spot for the current date above the time. Variations on this one include Modular Compact, which provides room for three complications with an analog clock in the corner, and Modular Duo for Apple Watch Series 7 and later devices, which gives you room for a second large complication in place of the three bottom dials.

Three Apple Watches showing Nike watch faces.
Nike Analog face (from left), Nike Modular face, and Nike Global face Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Nike Faces are part of a collection of faces that were once the exclusive domain of Apple’s Nike Edition models. However, now that Apple has stopped manufacturing these Nike-branded models, it’s unlocked its Nike watch face collection for every Apple Watch owner to enjoy.

This includes the Nike Analog, Nike Bounce, Nike Compact, Nike Digital, and a new “retro sci-fi-inspired” Nike Globe for watchOS 10. However, it’s the Nike Hybrid face that offers the best of all worlds, letting you choose between analog and digital clocks with a Windrunner-inspired design. It’s the most customizable of the bunch and offers room for up to five complications.

Three Apple Watches showing Photo and Portrait watch faces.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Photos and Portraits offer two different ways to show off your favorite pictures right on your wrist. The Photos face has been around since the beginning, although Apple has enhanced it over the years to let you add color filters and display content from Memories. Photos can change every time you raise your wrist to show an album, memory, or any custom selection of up to 24 photos. In watchOS 8, Apple expanded this with a new Portraits face that displays a bokeh effect with the digital time layered in front of or even partially behind your photo’s subject. As of watchOS 9, this works with dogs and cats in addition to people and landscapes. You can also turn the Digital Crown to zoom in on your subject.

Three Apple Watches showing Pride watch faces.
Pride Woven face (from left), Pride Threads face, and Pride Celebration face Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Pride is a series of faces designed to celebrate and commemorate Pride Month each year. While Apple created Pride bands for its employees in 2016 and began selling a version to the public the following year, it wasn’t until 2018 that Apple began the trend of adding unique watch faces to complement each year’s new Pride band designs. While the standalone 2018 and 2019 Pride watch faces have been lost to time (they were built into watchOS 4.3 and watchOS 5.2.1 in an era before Apple offered downloadable watch faces), Apple has incorporated their designs into the Pride Analog and Pride Digital faces that arrived for Pride Month 2020. All of the styles are inspired by the rainbow flag, with Pride Analog offering a choice between the wave-style 2019 design or the solid 2020 version, and Pride Digital adding the original six-line 2018 Pride face to the mix.

In 2021, Apple expanded the colors to represent a wider breadth of diversity with its Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop and new Pride Woven watch face that added black, brown, light blue, pink, and white to symbolize Black and Latinx communities, those who have passed away from or are living with HIV/AIDS, and transgender and nonbinary individuals. This was followed up with a new design in 2022, Pride Threads, a more abstract design that shows the digital time behind a series of threads that shimmer when you tap the face or turn the Digital Crown, and then Pride Celebration for 2023 with three styles mixing the colors of the Pride Flag in a rippling, confetti-like pattern.

Three Apple Watches showing Solar watch faces.
Solar Analog face (from left), Solar Dial face, and Solar Graph face Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Solar is a collection of Apple Watch faces that track the position of the sun in the sky throughout the day in some artistic and creative ways. What’s now a collection of three different styles began with the original Solar watch face before it was renamed to Solar Graph and joined by Solar Dial in watchOS 6. Now, watchOS 10 expands that with a new Solar Analog that provides a more subtle indication of the sun’s position, with light and shadow that shift according to the sun’s position. Several color combinations and styles are available, plus room for two complications.

Three Apple Watches showing Siri watch face.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Siri leverages Apple’s digital assistant to show you the information you need at relevant times. This is presented in the form of cards from Apple’s first-party apps and any third-party ones that support the Siri watch face. It can include things like news headlines and weather for the day, upcoming appointments, suggested HomeKit scenes, a song that’s currently playing, or a traffic report for your evening commute. You can turn the Digital Crown to scroll through the cards, and there’s room for a complication dial in the top-left corner.

Three Apple Watches showing Unity Mosaic, Unity Lights, and Unity faces.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

Unity Faces mark an interesting milestone in Apple Watch history. The first Unity face (shown above on the right) debuted alongside the only limited-edition Apple Watch model the company has yet produced: the Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6, released in early 2021 to commemorate Black History Month. Like the Pride faces that came before, the Unity face was designed to complement the Black Unity Sport Band that went on sale around the same time. Apple followed up on the original Unity Face with Unity Lights for Black History Month 2022 and then Unity Mosaic in early 2023. The Unity watch faces are inspired by the colors of the Pan-African flag and feature customizable color accents. Unity offers room for two complications, while Unity Lights can accommodate four corner complications when set to a circular style. Unity Mosaic focuses on a more abstract design where complications don’t really fit in.

How do I add faces to my Apple Watch?

Three iPhones showing Apple Watch Face Gallery.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

You can add faces to your Apple Watch either directly from your wrist or via the Watch app on your iPhone. While adding directly on the Apple Watch is the quickest option, the iPhone app can be better for customizing your watch face and adding complications.

In the iPhone Watch app, selecting Face Gallery from the main options at the bottom also offers a great view of all the available watch faces, so it’s the best way to see everything that’s available. You can select any face you like from here, customize it, and then tap Add to send it to your watch.

Three iPhones showing steps to add Apple Watch Faces.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

To add, edit, or customize faces directly on your Apple Watch, press and hold your current watch face. This will take you to a left-to-right list of all your saved watch faces. You can edit an existing face by swiping to it and choosing Edit, or create a new face by swiping left or turning the Digital Crown upward until you see New. Select the big Plus button and then swipe or use the Digital Crown to scroll through the gallery of watch faces to find the one you would like to add.

Three Apple Watches showing steps to add a new watch face.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

When adding a new watch face or editing an existing one, you can swipe to the left and right to access different customizations such as color, style, and complications, and then swipe up and down or use the Digital Crown to choose your preferences.

To delete a watch face, press down on any face, scroll to the left or right until you find the face you want to delete, swipe up on the face, and select Remove to delete it.

How do I share an Apple Watch face?

Three Apple Watches showing steps to share a watch face.
Jesse Hollington / Digital Trends

You can also share your customized Apple Watch faces with friends and family. To do this, press and hold to access the face controls and tap the Share button.

From here, you can select one of your frequent contacts or scroll down and choose Messages or Mail to send your watch face to someone else. You’ll have the opportunity to edit or add your own custom message, or you can just quickly send it out with the default message.

What are Apple Watch complications?

Image used with permission by copyright holder

No, selecting an Apple Watch face really isn’t that complicated. In this case, “complications” is a term long used by watchmakers to refer to those extra dials and functions that show things other than the time. On traditional mechanical watches, complications were most commonly used to show the date, although higher-end luxury watches would sometimes throw in a chronograph, extra time zone indicator, phases of the moon, or even a Tourbillon — a device used to try and eliminate timekeeping errors that could occur in mechanical watches.

Of course, the Apple Watch has no need for such gizmos, but Apple still uses the term “complications” as a sort of homage to refer to all of those extra bits that you can display on your watch face in addition to the time — and that’s quite a few when it comes to the Apple Watch.

Although third-party apps can’t install their own custom watch faces, they can add their own complications, and most of Apple’s built-in watch faces include slots for these complications in various forms and sizes. How the complications appear and how many you’ll be able to add depends on the watch face you’re using, so if you like to use a lot of different complications, you’ll need to pick a watch face with a generous number of slots for them.

Apple Watch Series 7 vs. Series 6 complications.
Apple Watch Series 6 (from left) versus Apple Watch Series 7 Ajay Kumar/Digital Trends

Also, while developers can’t create an entirely new watch face, they can let you install a customized version of any of Apple’s faces that include app-specific complications for special purposes, such as keeping an eye on the weather or displaying extra metrics from a third-party workout app.

Editors’ Recommendations






Google Pixel Watch 2 review: Google really did it | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch 2 review: Google really did it | Digital Trends

Google Pixel Watch 2

MSRP $349.00

“The Google Pixel Watch 2 is a huge upgrade, offering better performance, battery, and more.”

Pros

  • Battery lasts more than 24 hours
  • One hour battery charge
  • Slick, fast performance
  • Comprehensive fitness tracking
  • Comfortable to wear 24/7

Cons

  • Only one case size
  • Subscription required for all fitness data
  • Small screen, big bezel

The Google Pixel Watch 2 has a difficult task ahead of it. It needs to compete with some other excellent smartwatches released this year, banish the technical issues that affected its predecessor, and change the minds of those who didn’t find the small, minimalist design appealing at all. That’s all while costing a high price and having a fitness platform with a monthly subscription.

That’s a lot to do, but happily, Google has stepped up to the task. At least in most cases.

Google Pixel Watch 2: design

The side of the Google Pixel Watch 2, on a person's wrist.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Pixel Watch 2 looks exactly the same as the first Google Pixel Watch, which is great if you thought the first model was attractive and suitably sized for your wrist. If not, then you’re out of luck, as Google hasn’t changed its mind about making it in more than one size or improving on the stark, overly simple design.

The 41mm case is 12.3mm thick and made of recycled aluminum (different from the Pixel Watch’s stainless steel), and it weighs 58 grams with the Active band. It’s even more comfortable to wear than the first Pixel Watch, helped by the reduction in weight and the flexible new band. I have had no problem wearing it overnight to track my sleep, and it takes just moments to tighten the band before exercising. If you want to forget you’re wearing something on your wrist, the Pixel Watch 2 is ideal. The shape of the case back means the sensor always makes contact with your skin, while the curvature means it’s practically unnoticeable.

A person wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

This also applies to the design. The minimalist, simple circular design lacks flair, and the single size means it will look too small on many wrists; in my opinion, it does on my 6.5-inch wrist. It also doesn’t make any kind of statement, which, like the small size, some will appreciate, but others will find off-putting.

This is supposed to be something we wear all the time, and for that, we should also connect with it on a personal, aesthetic level. The Pixel Watch 2 doesn’t succeed here at all and instead seems to be made to go unnoticed on your wrist. Because of this, in terms of design and intent, it is closer to a fitness tracker than a smartwatch.

The side button on the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

It’s also not especially high quality. The aluminum case doesn’t add much to its overall feel, it’s glass rather than sapphire over the screen, and the crown has an unpleasant clicky feel when pushed. There’s an IP68 water and dust resistance rating and 5ATM water resistance, but unfortunately, no MIL-SPEC toughness certification. It feels very ordinary, and apparently, little thought has gone into how we’re supposed to love the Pixel Watch 2. This is what separates it from other smartwatches and why it’s more closely related to faux smartwatches like the Fitbit Sense 2.

If I entirely ignore the fact it’s marketed as a smartwatch, then the Pixel Watch 2 is a superb wearable. It’s light, comfortable, durable, and entirely inoffensive on my wrist. But it is supposed to be a smartwatch, and it fails to be special or versatile enough to be an alternative to the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, the Huawei Watch GT 4, the Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4, or the Montblanc Summit 3. It’s also very far removed from the pure, individual, quality watch-like appeal of the Apple Watch Series 9.

Google Pixel Watch 2: screen, sensors, and performance

Daily step count shown on the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel Watch 2’s screen is a petite 1.2 inches with a 320 pixel-per-inch (ppi) pixel density and capable of a 1,000 nits maximum brightness. It’s smaller than the 40mm Samsung Galaxy Watch 6’s 1.3-inch screen and a lot smaller than the Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 5’s 1.43-inch screen. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 processor (with an ARM Cortex M33 co-processor) and 2GB of RAM. This is a step up from the Exynos chip in the Pixel Watch and different from the Snapdragon W5+, which comes as a package with the ARM Cortex M55 co-processor in the Ticwatch Pro 5.

Performance is excellent. It’s smoother, less jittery, and more pleasant to use than the Pixel Watch. It’s not quite as fast as the Ticwatch Pro 5, but it doesn’t suffer from the occasional pauses or stutters that sometimes occur with the Galaxy Watch 6 and plagued the Pixel Watch. Even notoriously slow, energy-intensive apps like Google Maps are up and running in moments, and Tiles load their information immediately.

The Google Pixel Watch 2's sensors.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The screen is bright, but it’s too small to really capture color or to look visually interesting, and once again, a distractingly large bezel surrounds it. The screens on Samsung’s smartwatches are far more appealing. It’s also not always quick to react when waking up, but after this, I have not seen any issues with performance. The crown twists to move through menus and subtle haptics accompany it and other actions. There is a button to show recent apps, but it’s flush and hidden on the lower half of the case, making it awkward to locate and press.

On the back of the Google Pixel Watch 2 is an updated, more accurate multi-path optical heart rate sensor which also tracks blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, and stress. The Pixel Watch 2 will also take an electrocardiogram (ECG) reading and send notifications if it detects irregular heart rhythms. There’s also a compass, altimeter, gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, and magnetometer.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Fitbit

The Fitbit app on the Google Pixel 8, connected to the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Fitbit is the Pixel Watch 2’s fitness platform. There’s a free version for everyone to use, or to access some features (including your Daily Readiness Score and in-depth sleep analysis), you’ll have to pay for Fitbit Premium. You get six months free with the Pixel Watch 2, and it’s $10 per month afterward. It’s not essential to anyone only casually interested in their health and fitness, but it’s an unpleasant addition to a $350 product, just as it is on the Oura Ring. Samsung Health and Garmin Health are not all that different functionally, yet both provide all data for free.

The further problem is the Fitbit platform is available on much cheaper products than the Pixel Watch 2, so if that’s the reason you’re thinking of buying it, why not spend half the price on a Fitbit Charge 6, which also comes with six months of free Fitbit Premium? It’s not like you’re really missing out on a stunning design by not going for the Pixel Watch 2. But before you get the Charge 6 instead, should you rush to get on board with Fitbit in the first place?

Screenshots taken from the Fitbit app, with data taken from the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Don’t expect it to do anything hugely different from any other fitness platform. It tracks your workouts, sleep, steps, heart rate, and other metrics — just like most of its competitors. The newly redesigned Fitbit app is much easier to understand and navigate than before, with good use of white space and prioritization of sleep data — so essential to understanding your daily readiness and health. Individual sections are clearly separated, text is glanceable, and you can tap to see more in-depth data.

One new feature is stress management. Turn it on, and if the Pixel Watch 2 notices changes in your body, it prompts you to log your mood. It then proves a daily stress score, and it’s interesting to look at how your mood and stress correlate with each other and how movement and sleep influence it. It sends quite a few notifications though, so be prepared to interact with it often. This is also the case for the daily movement reminders. It sets a target of 250 steps per hour, and it does not let you forget.

Screenshots taken from the Fitbit app, with data taken from the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Automatic workout tracking kicks in about 10 minutes into one of the exercises it recognizes, or manually setting workout tracking in motion is quick and easy from a Tile or the Fitbit Exercise app, and there’s plenty of data shown on the watch’s screen when you’re exercising. One new feature is the ability to set your own heart rate zone, and the app will alert you when you reach it or push you harder to achieve it. Daily Readiness is another new metric, but it has not worked for me yet, with the number remaining unchanged.

The different workout controls are logically placed on the screen during a workout, and there’s no irritating voice coach shouting out your stats to the world (take note, Apple and Huawei). Dig deeper into the Fitbit app, and it begins to rely more on you being a Premium member, including accessing the coaching programs. Plus, all of Fitbit’s Safety Signal emergency features — including fall detection and Safety Check — require both the LTE Pixel Watch 2 and a Premium account.

Screenshots taken from the Fitbit app, with data taken from the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Sleep tracking is another feature that shows more data when you have a premium subscription. The breakdown of data is impressive, with graphs on time asleep, REM and deep sleep stages, heart rate, and restorative time. Wear the Pixel Watch 2 for 14 days or more, and you get a full Sleep Profile. Data is also shown historically and includes hours slept and a look at your sleep schedule. It’s in-depth and informative, but the results do differ from my Oura Ring, mostly around time spent in different stages of sleep and the way both count time awake.

The Fitbit platform is expansive, detailed, and informative, yet still accessible to everyone regardless of fitness level or commitment. The new app has a great design too. However, the monthly subscription is a downside, and you can find other wearables with equal functionality and attractive apps — Samsung and Garmin, to name just two — that do not cost extra on top of the device.

Google Pixel Watch 2: Wear OS 4

Google Maps navigation screen on the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Google’s Wear OS 4 is installed on the Pixel Watch 2 and isn’t all that different from Wear OS 3.5. It still relies on the easy, convenient system of gestures to move around: sideways swipes to see Tiles — steps, weather, calendar, heart rate, and so on — an upward swipe to see your notifications, and down to see quick settings. Google’s promised efficiency improvements, along with the processor change, have made a positive difference to the Pixel Watch 2’s battery life. The small screen does make interacting with Wear OS feel like an oddly dainty exercise, though.

I’m disappointed with Wear OS’s reliability, something that doesn’t only affect the Pixel Watch, as the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic wasn’t much better. It doesn’t reliably deliver notifications from my phone — I’ve been using it connected to the Google Pixel 8 — and it has missed almost every phone call I’ve received too. It’s very frustrating to see a notification arrive on my phone’s lock screen and for the Pixel Watch 2 to sit there, not telling me anything. That’s fine when I’m at my desk, but not when I’m out, and my phone is in a bag. It has also randomly restarted after vibrating for a moment a few times.

Google’s efficiency improvements have made a positive difference to the Pixel Watch 2’s battery life.

Google Assistant is available either with a voice command or by long pressing the side button, and it has worked well. But Assistant’s reliability varies over time and between devices (my Google Pixel Tablet is going through a hard-of-hearing phase, for example), so I’m always half-waiting for it to stop working. When I reviewed the Apple Watch Series 9 recently, I was surprised at how much faster and better at understanding commands Siri had become, but I can’t say Assistant is noticeably better than it was on the Pixel Watch.

Several new apps have been released for Wear OS, and I’ve been using WhatsApp and Gmail on the Pixel Watch 2. Both look excellent, with designs that tie in with the phone apps, making using them very easy. Typing messages or replies on Wear OS’s keyboard is surprisingly natural, and it seems to be very accurate, but speech is the way to go for both. The microphone picked up my voice outside without issue, and I rarely had any awful inaccuracies to amend. Both are examples of how all apps should be on Wear OS going forward

Wear OS is far better than it used to be, and I’m very happy the era of Wear OS 2 appearing on every smartwatch has passed. But many of the issues that plagued the older versions remain, and while the design, functionality, app compatibility, and ease of use have improved, it’s still not quite as reliable and bug-free as it should be.

Google Pixel Watch 2: battery and charging

The Google Pixel Watch 2's charging puck.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I’m a bit confused by the Google Pixel Watch 2’s battery and charging because it doesn’t seem to match what Google says about it. Google’s blurb says to expect 24 hours with the always-on display active and 100% battery charge in 75 minutes. I’m not getting either of those two figures, and normally this would make me pretty mad, but with the Pixel Watch 2, I’m seeing much better results from both.

I’ve used the Pixel Watch 2 with the always-on screen active, and since I started wearing it, the 306mAh battery has lasted for 24 hours minimum, with the maximum I’ve seen reaching almost 36 hours. This includes at least one 30-minute workout tracked with or without GPS and overnight sleep tracking. This is great and a huge improvement over the Pixel Watch’s woeful battery life. The Pixel Watch 2 comes with a proprietary charging puck, and after 30 minutes, the battery goes from almost flat to 70% and on to full in about 55 minutes.

The Pixel Watch 2 is usable all day, every day, and for any task.

I have noticed the battery charge indicator will stick at 98%, but when you take it off and put it back on the charger, it almost immediately reaches 100%. Perhaps it’s a software bug that will be fixed in the future. Here’s more on how various tasks affect the battery life: track sleep, and it’ll consume around 12%, while a single, 30-minute, non-GPS workout takes just 2%. Use Google Maps for navigation, and a 30-minute route takes about 7%. What this means is the Pixel Watch 2 is usable all day, every day, and for any task.

Google has redesigned the charging puck for the Pixel Watch 2, so you can’t use the one that came with the Pixel Watch. It uses a USB-C connection and has four quite sharp locating pins on the puck itself, which then magnetically fixes to the back of the Pixel Watch 2. It’s secure — more so than the Pixel Watch’s charger — but the puck itself feels cheap and nowhere near as high quality as the Apple Watch Series 9 or Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic’s charger.

Google Pixel Watch 2: price and availability

A person using the digital crown on the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

There are two versions of the Google Pixel Watch 2. The cheapest is the Wi-Fi model at $349, while the model with an LTE connection will cost you $399. Remember, if you want to make use of the LTE connection, you will have to pay an additional charge to your carrier, which is usually around $10 per month. In the U.K., the Pixel Watch 2 costs 349 British pounds for the Wi-Fi model or 399 pounds for the LTE model.

You’ve got the choice of four different color combinations, but sadly you can’t mix and match like you can with the Apple Watch Series 9. The Polished Silver case with a Bay Active Band is the one featured in our photos, or you can pick a Matte Black with the Obsidian Active Band, a Champagne Gold with the Hazel Active Band, or a Polished Silver with the Porcelain Active Band. As discussed above, the Pixel Watch 2 only comes in a single 41mm case size.

The Google Pixel Watch 2's Active band and how it secures on a wrist.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Google Pixel Watch 2 is quite expensive compared with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6, which starts at $299 but is similar to the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, which starts at $399. Samsung often has good offers available, too, potentially reducing the price further. The Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 5 starts at $350. These are the most obvious competitors, but there are some other choices to think hard about too.

I really like the Garmin Vivomove Trend, which expertly bridges in-depth fitness tracking and lifestyle-friendly design, and costs $299. If you’re sold on Fitbit’s platform, the new Fitbit Charge 6 costs $160, and the Fitbit Sense 2 costs $300. Neither quite match the Pixel Watch 2’s feature list, but they aren’t all that different, and you avoid Wear OS’s downsides at the same time. It’s worth taking a look at all three, as you could end up saving quite a lot of money (and annoyance) by foregoing Pixel Watch features you won’t need.

Google Pixel Watch 2: verdict

A person wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Pixel Watch 2 is far better than the Pixel Watch. The battery lasts longer, it’s faster, and interacting with it feels altogether slicker. It’s even more comfortable to wear, and the reduction in weight has made a real difference, ensuring you can make the most out of its comprehensive health and fitness tracking.

But for all these improvements, other problems have been carried over. There’s still only one case size, the design is underwhelming, the screen’s bezel is too big, it doesn’t feel especially expensive, and Wear OS isn’t as reliable as it should be. Fitbit’s redesign has improved the app, but hiding features behind a subscription isn’t welcome at all.

A person wearing the Google Pixel Watch 2.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Much as I like the Bay Blue band, the rest of the Pixel Watch 2’s design leaves me cold, and because it’s functionally no better than the beautiful Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, I’d much rather wear that. If I didn’t care about design at all or wanted to hide my fitness wearable while I wore a traditional watch, I’d buy the Fitbit Charge 6 or a similar fitness tracker instead.

All this said, it’s great to see the Pixel Watch’s technical shortcomings rectified with the Pixel Watch 2. It means it’s actually a recommended buy this time around, but only if you can get past the painfully ordinary design, are sure the case size suits your wrist, and don’t mind paying monthly for all Fitbit’s data. Those are a lot of ifs, but if you don’t mind them, the Google Pixel Watch 2 is worth your attention.

Editors’ Recommendations






Swatch lets you put a Webb space image on a watch face | Digital Trends

Swatch lets you put a Webb space image on a watch face | Digital Trends

ESA/Swatch

Space fans have been marveling at the stunning images beamed to Earth by the James Webb Space Telescope ever since it went into operation last year.

The most powerful space telescope ever built is using its near-infrared camera (NIRCam) to peer deeper into space than ever before, with scientists hoping that its discoveries could help to unlock some of the mysteries of the universe.

Science aside, many of the images are beautiful in their own right, showing colorful nebulae and dazzling galaxies far from Earth.

Now, in a special partnership between the European Space Agency and watchmaker Swatch, it’s possible to create your own watch face using one of these amazing images.

Six new “Swatch X You” designs have been made available for a limited time, with each one featuring a space image captured by these groundbreaking telescopes.

You can design your watch face using the the online configurator on the Swatch X You website.

The watch, which costs $135, will be delivered along with with an ESA-branded strap, a special sleeve, and a postcard showing the telescope image used for the design.

The offer launched on Wednesday and will run through December 17.

ESA’s Professor Carole Mundell commented on the collaboration, describing it as a “wonderful opportunity to share our fascination for space and science through these beautiful, inspiring designs.”

Mundell added: “Astronomers were originally the keepers of date and time. Today, our telescopes look back thousands, millions, even billions of years. Whenever you check the time, these watches will also give you a breathtaking glimpse of time and space on a cosmic scale.”

In a related effort, the United States Postal Service (USPS) last year launched a specially designed stamp to celebrate the James Webb Space Telescope. The image on the stamp shows an artist’s digitally created depiction of the telescope, set against a striking starscape.

Editors’ Recommendations






The original Apple Watch lineup is officially obsolete

The original Apple Watch lineup is officially obsolete

Apple’s first generation Watch is now officially obsolete, including the Hermes and $17,000 18-karat gold Watch Edition models, according to Apple’s latest obsolete product list seen by MacRumors. That means the “Series 0” Watch models, first released in 2015, are no longer eligible for hardware service and providers cannot order parts.

On top of its obsolete list, Apple has a “vintage” list for products it stopped distributing more than five years ago, but less than seven years ago. On the current public-facing list (which should be updated soon) is the Series 2 Watch, so it’ll soon be on the obsolete list as well.

The news may stimulate some new discussion on “planned obsolescence.” According to Apple’s obsolete and vintage page, the company is only obligated to supply parts for five years after a product is last distributed (laws in France push that to seven years for iPhone and Mac laptops). Such discussion has stimulated change in the past — the company was forced to alter course in terms of device reparability, and a new EU law forced Apple to change its charging/data port to USB-C from Lightning.

The Watch Edition has been an interesting case since it first came out. Regular watches can appreciate in value enormously, largely because they can still perform their time-keeping function many years later. However, the Watch Edition cost over $10,000, but was always going to become obsolete. If you own one (let us know below) and the battery hasn’t already lost charge, this could be the final reason to wave goodbye.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review: Samsung’s best smartwach yet | Digital Trends

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review: Samsung’s best smartwach yet | Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

MSRP $400.00

“The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic has superb styling, all-day comfort, comprehensive health tracking, and more. It’s the smartwatch to buy for your Android phone.”

Pros

  • Rotating bezel
  • A choice of case size
  • Supreme 24/7 comfort
  • High quality materials
  • Comprehensive health and fitness tracking

Cons

  • Spotty notification reliability
  • Performance doesn’t always impress

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is the smartwatch we all hoped would be released, as it brings back the rotating bezel that has defined Samsung’s top smartwatches up until last year when it made the brave decision not to make a watch that used it at all. Now that it’s here, does the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic live up to our high expectations?

Well, I haven’t wanted to take it off, which should tell you the direction my review is going to go in.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: design and comfort

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic on a person's wrist.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I know very quickly if a smartwatch is designed well. If I’m still putting the smartwatch I’m reviewing on after a week and not hankering to get back to wearing my Tudor Black Bay or a G-Shock Frogman, then it’s a good one. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is one of those smartwatches.

I’ve been wearing the biggest 47mm version, and apart from a few issues getting it comfortable under some sleeves, it has not caused any bother at all. It weighs 85 grams in total, making it 20 grams heavier than the Google Pixel Watch, but I haven’t had any problem wearing it overnight to track my sleep. This is important, as sleep tracking is one of the biggest upgrades Samsung has made to the platform.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic on a person's wrist.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I wear a lot of watches, smart and otherwise, but very few are well designed enough that I can wear them 24/7 without them getting annoying — or where I just want to take it off to give my wrist a break. I put the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic on when I received it and haven’t really taken it off since, and when I have done, it’s certainly not because it became bothersome or irritating. The importance of this can’t be overstated —  if you don’t want to wear a watch, there’s not much point in having it.

A lot of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic’s wearability comes from the excellent strap. It’s a hybrid, meaning it has rubber next to your skin and leather over the top, so it resists sweat, will be durable over time, and looks great too. Samsung’s decision to integrate the strap into the lugs — just as it has done on other recent Galaxy Watch models — gives coherence to the overall design, and there are plenty of holes for adjustment, plus two keepers to ensure it’s all neat and secure.

A person wearing the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

It’s easily one of the best standard straps I’ve worn on a smartwatch, and the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is one of the best-looking smartwatches I’ve worn for a while too. When I first used the smartwatch, I fell for the version with the silver case and white strap. It’s classy, modern, and very watch-like. The black version I’ve been wearing for the review is understated and a bit boring in comparison, but the details that make the watch such a beauty remain — the polished and matte finish case, the coin-edge bezel, the tachymeter reading, the subtle button guard separating the side controls, and the attractive sheen from the sapphire crystal.

Samsung has nailed the “real” watch look with the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, and I want to show it off. The silver and white version does more effectively, as from a distance, the black version can look like just another smartwatch. But this can work in its favor, too, as some will prefer the watch to be less noticeable. This choice works so well with the decision to offer two different case sizes — 43mm and 47mm — as there’s likely a Galaxy Watch 6 Classic that suits both your taste and your wrist size. It’s something the Google Pixel Watch and the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 — the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic’s main rivals — don’t do, and it’s a serious oversight on their part.

A person wearing the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic looks superb, the stainless steel case and sapphire crystal give it class and durability, the strap is supremely comfortable, it can be worn 24/7 without a problem, and there is a choice of sizes and styles. There are even two new watch faces (Perpetual and Stretched Time) I like, which is a big step forward over previous Samsung models. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is Samsung at its very best, and it’s the Android smartwatch to beat when it comes to design, comfort, and wearability.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: controls and navigation

A person wearing the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

If the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic’s design is a winner, the return of the rotating bezel is the icing on the already delectable cake. After abandoning the rotating bezel for the Galaxy Watch 5 series, it’s fantastic to see this iconic Samsung feature back for the Watch 6 Classic. It’s shockingly simple — you use your index finger to twist the bezel around and navigate through the menu — yet wonderfully intuitive, and it makes using the smartwatch easier and more fun.

The motion is perfectly dampened and absolutely precise, allowing you to move swiftly through the software without any of the fiddling involved with using a rotating crown. It’s an ergonomic triumph, and once you’ve used it, you’ll not want to go back to a smartwatch without it. It’s joined by a pair of buttons on the case, a Home button at the top, and a Back button below, and each is configurable to a certain extent.

A person rotating the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic's bezel.
Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

For example, the Back button can either go back to the previous screen or show recent apps, while a long press of the Home button shows Bixby, Google Assistant, or the power off menu. Bixby is the default assistant, but it’s easy to swap to Google Assistant if you prefer, and voice recognition on the Watch 6 Classic is excellent whether you’re talking to an assistant or are searching for apps in the Google Play Store.

A long press of the bottom button activates Samsung Pay, which requires the installation of the Samsung Wallet app on your phone. While you can install and use Google Wallet on the smartwatch, you can’t configure the lower button to open it, but you can make it the action for a double press of the Home button. In addition to all this, you can also use the touchscreen to interact with the watch.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: software and performance

The app menu on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Google’s Wear OS 4.0 is installed on the Galaxy Watch 6 series smartwatches, with Samsung’s own One UI Watch 5.0 interface. There are only a few alterations between Wear OS 3.5 and Wear OS 4, and I can’t spot any major design changes between the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 6’s operating systems. You view the software on a 1.5-inch, 480 x 480-pixel resolution Super AMOLED screen, which is always bright enough to be seen.

Samsung’s smartwatch interface is excellent. It’s bright, colorful, and all the fonts and buttons are sensibly sized. A twist of the bezel shows different informative Tiles, and you can change the order and add or subtract them to customize the look to your requirements. I like the way it’s always really obvious what each one does and where to tap to do more. Swipe up on the screen to see your apps, down to see the quick settings, and right to access your notifications. It’s all very logical and doesn’t stray from the established way of using a Wear OS smartwatch.

Quick Settings on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

However, while Wear OS is much simpler and better designed than ever before, some of its age-old problems remain. Notifications are still unreliable, and it’s hit-or-miss if the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will show them all. WhatsApp (even with the dedicated app installed), Instagram, Line, and Gmail have been the worst offenders, but Messages, Outlook, and Samsung’s own apps were all fine. I’ve worn the smartwatch alongside an Apple Watch Series 8, which always shows notifications regardless of the app.

Notifications are announced with a strong vibration on your wrist, but they don’t always show up automatically when you raise your wrist, forcing you to swipe the screen or twist the bezel to see them. When you do, the software can get confused and cause a further delay. It’s annoying and makes the watch less convenient to use. Notifications and responsiveness have been Wear OS problems for years, and it’s baffling how they still haven’t been perfected.

Performance from the new Exynos W930 processor isn’t always as snappy as I expected either, despite the increase to 2GB of RAM. It’s most noticeable when the smartwatch wakes itself up, when apps and swipes take a beat too long to get going, meaning the slight ponderousness is likely down to power management. I’ve also had some unreliability issues, such as the watch refusing to leave sleep mode in the morning.

The unreliability and sometimes frustrating slowness don’t spoil the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, but they do make it appear less polished. The issues are also not unique to Samsung’s smartwatch and are more to do with Wear OS itself, so don’t expect a faultless experience even if you choose a different Android smartwatch. However, while Wear OS’s foibles and the Exynos W930’s performance are the least impressive aspects of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, the rest is so superb they are easier to forgive.

One final thing to know: the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic only work with Android phones and do not connect to an iPhone. If you own an iPhone and want a smartwatch, the best choice is the Apple Watch Series 8 or the Apple Watch Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: health and fitness tracking

Workout modes on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

There are more than 90 different workout tracking modes and the option to create your own custom workout plan, which is helpful for weight and circuit training if you have a personalized setlist already. During an activity, the watch shows information including time elapsed, heart rate, calorie burn, and heart rate zones. You can select a desired heart rate zone to hit, and the watch will alert you when it’s reached.

Starting a workout is done by navigating to the Workout Tile and tapping your required activity. I love that this is all it takes; there’s no need to agree to this option or confirm anything — it just gets on with it. Like the Apple Watch, it acquires the GPS signal in the background, and I’ve been impressed with how fast it grabs the signal when the surroundings are clear.

Daily activity on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The auto workout detection is excellent. It has repeatedly recognized when I’m out walking and activates the workout mode after 10 minutes. It then auto pauses when you stop, restarts, and ends the workout when it notices you’ve stopped for a longer period of time. It’s really helpful and makes reaching your daily goals easier too.

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic isn’t intrusive and doesn’t constantly push you to do more. During the day, you’ll get a few reminders to move and updates on how close you are to meeting your goals, but that’s about all.  This suits me personally, but if you want a more motivational smartwatch, the Garmin Epix (Gen 2) or the Forerunner 265 will suit you better. Heart rate, calorie burn, and pacing data have been similar to the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Ultrahuman Air smart ring, and while none are medical devices, it suggests the sensors return broadly accurate results.

I find the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic’s health and fitness tracking to be ideal for me as someone who exercises casually, and appreciate there’s enough additional depth for those who run, cycle, or work out more seriously. It fits in with my lifestyle better than a Garmin smartwatch, but if you are conscious about improving your fitness or are training for specific sports or events, you may find the more in-depth platform and tracking on a Garmin smartwatch suits you better.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: sleep tracking

Tracking sleep on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The most significant update to the Watch 6’s health tracking system is in the sleep tracking, and I’ve found it to be one of the best around. Wear the watch overnight, and you’ll get an overall Sleep Score, along with data on the time you spent sleeping and the individual stages, your blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, and snoring. Oddly, it does not include separate heart rate data, and there’s no heart rate variability (HRV) reading either.

All the data collected is shown on a Tile on the watch and in the Samsung Health app. Wear the smartwatch for more than seven days, and it will assign you a “sleep animal,” which corresponds with your sleep habits. From here, you can start a sleep coaching program. This lasts for three weeks and targets the areas where you need improvement. I was assigned a lion as my sleep animal, as I have a healthy sleeping pattern, and coaching was recommended to help maintain this. Samsung has added a special watch face for sleep coaching to help you commit to it.

Sleep tracking on the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is more comprehensive than the Apple Watch but not as in-depth as the Oura Ring, which provides a greater level of detail. The Samsung Health app is informative and logically laid out, with a decent level of information provided about what your nightly results mean. The coaching program may lead to you improving your sleep too, a feature lacking from simple sleep tracking devices.

One frustrating thing about sleep tracking is how the Galaxy Watch doesn’t automatically switch to sleep mode without you setting it up first, even if you have a nighttime Do Not Disturb schedule active on your phone. You can set it manually on the watch, but need to dig through menus and even apps on your phone so it’ll do it automatically. This is very annoying the first time you go to bed wearing the watch, and unless you know to set it up beforehand, the watch does not prompt you to do.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: body composition, skin temperature, ECG, and blood pressure

Taking an ECG on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

On the back of the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is the same BioActive Sensor found on the regular Galaxy Watch 6, which includes an optical heart rate sensor, an electrical heart signal sensor, an infrared temperature sensor, and the ability to perform a bioelectrical impedance analysis to assess body composition. This is the same functionality as found on the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

It takes 30-seconds to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) and informs you if it detects signs of atrial fibrillation, then records the results in the Samsung Health app. Using the Body Composition feature takes about the same time, and it shows data on skeletal muscle, body fat, and body water, plus it works out your body mass index (BMI) and your Basel metabolic rate (BMR). Body composition will likely be more helpful to more people than the ECG feature, which is likely to only be recommended to people with certain medical conditions and after consulting a doctor. Samsung also uses the skin temperature sensor to enable more in-depth cycle tracking, and it informs the Natural Cycles app to provide a better understanding of your menstrual cycle and fertility.

By using a feature like Body Composition, you may learn something new about your body.

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic can also take a blood pressure reading, provided the feature is active in your region, but it’s made very clear you shouldn’t use the data to take action or alter medication without speaking to a healthcare professional first. The feature also requires calibration using a blood pressure cuff before it works. I used a Withings BP Connect to calibrate the feature.

Unlike a blood pressure cuff, it doesn’t require you to sit in a certain position and only suggests sitting still and not talking. It takes less than 30 seconds to take a reading, and the ones I’ve taken are in-line with what I expect my blood pressure to be. It’s certainly more convenient than a cuff, but most people don’t need to check their blood pressure all that often, and those that do may prefer the accuracy and reliability of a cuff. How useful it is will depend on your own circumstances, but it appears to work well as a backup to a cuff should you want one.

Stress data on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

None of these features are reasons to buy the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic alone, but along with fall detection, plus an emergency call/message system with GPS in the event it registers one, and an elevated heart rate alert feature, Samsung is providing masses of value here. By using a feature like Body Composition, you may learn something new about your body and how to improve your general health, and while you may not need all, or even any, of the more specialized health features just now, you may do so in the future.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: battery and charging

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic on charge.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Inside the 47mm Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is a 425mAh capacity cell, and Samsung expects 40 hours of use without the always-on screen and 30 hours with it on. I’ve used the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic with the always-on screen, plus the blood oxygen and heart rate monitor active, while connected to a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.

It returns about a day and a half of use on a single charge, and that includes sleep monitoring and a single 30-minute workout without GPS tracking. Sleep tracking takes about 10% of the battery life on its own, and if you track longer workouts with GPS, the battery life will drop to a full day. In my tests so far, it hasn’t failed to last an entire day though.

It returns about a day-and-a-half of use on a single charge

The battery lasts longer than the Google Pixel Watch does on a single charge but less than the marathon performance from the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5, which is to be expected as it lacks the energy-sipping second screen. A proprietary charging puck with a USB Type-C connector is included in the box, and it takes around 80 minutes to fully recharge. However, a quick 20-minute zap adds about 25%, which is helpful if you forget to charge it before going to bed.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: is it going to be durable?

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic's strap and clasp.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic has a stainless steel case and a ceramic case back, with a sapphire crystal over the touchscreen. I’ve worn it continuously during my review period, including doing some manual work outside, cleaning different cars (so it spent some time getting wet and sudsy), exercising, and everything else you usually do in a day. Both the case and the strap still look new, and although the strap is soft and pliant, so has clearly adjusted to my wrist, it shows no crease marks at all.

Samsung has introduced a new strap removal system, where you push a big metal button on the underside of the strap to release standard quick-release pins that attach it to the lug. It’s neat and easy to use, and because it’s not technically a proprietary fitment, in theory, any 20mm strap should fit too. However, changing the strap has not crossed my mind, as the standard one is already fantastic. You can buy a new fabric strap which Samsung says is ideal for sleep tracking, but I haven’t felt the need to consider changing it.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic's case back and sensor array.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic has an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, plus it has been tested to 5ATM and meets the MIL-STD-810H military toughness standards. There’s nothing here that makes me concerned the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic won’t stand up to some rough treatment, and the choice of materials gives me confidence it’ll stay looking great too. The white strap may need a little more care, though. On the software side, Samsung promises four years of updates.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: what about the smaller version, and the Galaxy Watch 6?

The 43mm Samsung Galaxy Watch Classic in black.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic 43mm Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

I’ve been wearing the 47mm Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, but it also comes in a 43mm case size, and there are a few specification differences between them. While the diameter is smaller, the thickness is the same at 10.9mm, but the weight of the case falls by seven grams.

The smaller case size means a smaller 1.3-inch Super AMOLED screen with a 432 x 432-pixel resolution, although the pixel density should be about the same, so there shouldn’t be any change in clarity or crispness. The battery capacity drops to 300mAh, but Samsung doesn’t expect the use time to be any different due to it running a smaller display.

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

Samsung’s other smartwatch released for 2023 is the Galaxy Watch 6, which has a very similar design to the Galaxy Watch 5. It has an aluminum case, sapphire crystal over the screen, and comes with a rubber Sport Band. There are two case sizes, 44mm and 40mm, but the screens are the same as the Watch 6 Classic, as are the processor, battery, software, sensor array, and connectivity.

Making a decision between them will probably come down to price and whether you prefer the sportiness of the Galaxy Watch 6’s design or the rotating bezel and watch-like look of the Watch 6 Classic. Otherwise, functionally they are all basically the same, regardless of the model and size you choose. For a closer look at how the two models compare, see our Galaxy Watch 6 vs. Galaxy Watch 6 Classic guide.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic with the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic costs $400 for the 43mm version and $430 for the 47mm version — or $450 for the 43mm LTE model and $480 for the 47mm LTE model. It comes in either black or silver finishes. In the U.K., the 43mm model costs 369 British pounds or 429 pounds for the LTE model, or 399 pounds for the 47mm version, with the LTE model costing 459 pounds.

For comparison, the Google Pixel Watch is $349 (or $399 with LTE), and the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 is $350 but does not have an LTE option. While there are other smartwatches available, few have the latest version of Wear OS installed and an up-to-date processor inside, making these three models the best available.

The TicWatch Pro 5’s long battery life makes it very tempting, and I like the design too, but it only comes in one size and can’t rival the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic’s rotating bezel or its comprehensive health and fitness tracking. The Pixel Watch is less reliable, the battery doesn’t last as long, and it also only comes in one size. Plus, it uses Fitbit for fitness tracking, which — although it does have an extensive feature list and reliable data — a subscription is required to unlock all the features, including in-depth sleep tracking.

Perhaps the hardest decision to make will be whether to buy the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic or to save quite a bit of money and just buy the very similar Galaxy Watch 6. The design is different, there’s no rotating bezel, and it comes in different colors, but the features and technology are almost identical, and the price starts at just $300. It’s really the most tempting alternative to the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic: verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic showing a red watch face.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Yes, you should buy the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, and you should probably choose it over the other major Wear OS smartwatches that have come out recently too. It’s really well designed and made, so it always feels and looks good on your wrist, and because the health and general functionality is so comprehensive, it’ll do almost everything you could want from a wearable. Plus, the rotating bezel makes using the software easy and fun, and that’s all before you consider the durability and decent battery life.

Yes, you should buy the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

It’s Wear OS that lets the side down with its spotty notification reliability, and I’m not convinced the Exynos W930 processor is much of a step up in performance from the Exynos W920 in the Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro either. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic isn’t perfect, but it’s far less compromised than its rivals and absolutely crushes them when it comes to ergonomics through its incredible comfort, stylish watch-like design, and choice of case size.

If you ask me what smartwatch to buy and you own an iPhone, then I’ll always say an Apple Watch. This year, if you ask me what smartwatch to buy and you own an Android phone, I’m going to say a Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.

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