Leaked Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 photos announce the return of the bezel

Pivoting edges are back, baby. At least, that seems to be the case according to new leaked photos of Samsung’s next-generation Galaxy Watches.

The photos of the Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic come from the German technical site WinFuture, who has a solid track record when it comes to this sort of thing. But aside from the return of the Classic, there’s nothing exciting to watch in these leaked marketing stills. Mainly because the Galaxy Watch 6 resembles the Galaxy Watch 5, which resembles the Galaxy Watch 4. Meanwhile, the Watch 6 Classic is quite similar to the Watch 4 Classic.

The Galaxy Watch 6 certainly resembles the Galaxy Watch 4 and 5.
Image: WinFuture

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

But while the designs don’t appear to be anything revolutionary, it seems Samsung has several changes on deck. A few weeks ago, Samsung announced One UI 5 Watch, which will bring several new health and fitness features such as improved sleep tracking and personalized heart rate zones. Google also noted at this year’s I/O that Wear OS 4 would be coming “later this year.” It is possible that the Galaxy Watch 6 will launch first with it. There are few details about Wear OS 4, but Google stressed that it should help improve battery life. Samsung is also rumored to include a new Exynos W930 chip in the Galaxy Watch 6 range.

It’s a relief to see Samsung bring back the mechanical rotating bezel. While there are bezel-haters out there, it’s one of the most intuitive and distinctive smartwatch designs out there. No one else does, which has historically helped Samsung stand out from the competition.

Considering all this, it’s not surprising that Samsung is returning to a tried and tested design. Especially since Google, an upstart smartwatch maker, Samsung caught up in the smartwatch market last year with its first-generation Pixel Watch. It didn’t help that the Watch 5 was an incredibly iterative update, while the Pro’s sportier design and capacitive bezel weren’t enough to make people forget about the physical rotating bezel.

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