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Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Series vs Apple Watch Series 8: Which is best for you?

If you're torn between the newest smartwatch offerings from Samsung and Apple, here's a breakdown to help you decide.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Person turning the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Bezel
June Wan/ZDNET

While Apple holds the title for most popular smartwatch, competition in the smartwatch is ramping up. Samsung dropped the details on their new wearable this week, and it offers an impressive array of features. Of course, Apple's offerings are always strong as well, their newest watch isn't set to debut until some time later this year. 

Also: Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic vs. Watch 5 Pro: Which smartwatch is best for you?

For now, that leaves the Galaxy Watch 6 Series and the Apple Watch Series 8 as the biggest names in wearable. So which one should you pick?

For most people, this isn't much of a debate. The Galaxy Watch 6 won't fully work with an Apple phone and the Apple Watch Series 8 won't fully work with an Android, meaning if you're down to deciding between these two watches, you'll choose the one that works with your phone. 

But, if you're looking for a new wearable and you're willing to go along with the phone that matches, here's a breakdown of how the two go head-to-head. 


Galaxy Watch 6

Apple Watch Series 8


Regular: 40mm and 44mm, Classic: 43mm and 47mm

41mm / 45mm




MaterialAluminumAluminum / Stainless Steel


Sapphire crystal glass display

Ion-X glass on the aluminum model / Sapphire crystal on the stainless steel model

Battery40mm and 43mm: 300mAh, 44mm and 47mm: 425mAh41mm:  282mAh/ 45mm 308mAh
Operating systemWearOS 4
WatchOS 9
SensorsHeart rate, blood oxygen, altimeter, ECGHeart rate, blood oxygen, altimeter, ECG
Price$300 to $430$400 to $800 depending on model  

You should buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 if...

Galaxy Watch 6
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

1. You want more durable glass

Sapphire glass (which actually isn't glass at all) is the gold standard when it comes to wearable technology. It scores a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, just below a diamond. It's significantly more scratch and crack resistant, making it perfect for a watch display. 

Also: Every product announced at Samsung Unpacked

And while both the Galaxy Watch 6 and Apple Watch Series 8 have it, it's standard on all versions of the Watch 6, while you'll need to upgrade to the stainless steel version on Apple's -- doubling the price from $399 to $799.

2. You want a longer battery life

It's rare that a smartwatch gets much longer than a day of use off of a single charge anyway, but simply from a technical standpoint, the Watch 6 has a bigger battery. The smaller version carries a slight edge while the bigger version carries a more sizable advantage. Of course, the Watch 6 is still in preorders, so its true battery life is yet to be seen. But if you're holding out hope of finally hitting that "more than 24-hour" mark, wait for the Watch 6.

3. Price matters

It's almost unfair to mention price, as "competitive pricing" isn't a notion that's ever crossed the desk of an Apple exec. But, unless you're an Apple die-hard (in which case your decision is already made), price is a consideration. And between these two watches, there's a clear winner. The entry-level version of the Watch 6 comes in at a solid $100 less than the Series 8. 

Also: Samsung unveils Galaxy Watch 6 series: Price, release date, best features

But if you start considering upgraded/larger options, the price gap widens. The Watch 6 tops out at $429 for the best/biggest version while the Series 8 climbs to a sky-high top end of $799.

You should buy the Apple Watch Series 8 if...

Person wearing the Apple Watch Series 8
Christina Darby/ZDNET

1. You're already invested in the Apple ecosystem

While the Galaxy Watch 6 will technically work with an iPhone and vice versa, the feature set is pretty limited. Apple devices working seamlessly with other Apple products has been a selling point for years, and it's the single biggest reason to choose the Series 8 watch over the Watch 6. 

If you insist on a watch that pairs beautifully with not only your phone, but also a desktop/laptop, look here.

2. You want the most accurate sensors

Both watches carry the same sensors -- heart rate, blood oxygen, altimeter, and ECG. And while both do a serviceable job measuring their metrics, Apple watches have long proven to be incredibly accurate while Samsung users have had questionable results. 

Review: Apple Watch 8: A sleeper hit with improved sensors

If you glance at these metrics and say "Ok, there's that," then either watch will work. But if you want truly accurate measurements, you'll need to side with the Series 8.

3. You want more internal storage

A lot of people never even take it into consideration, but for some people, a smart watch's internal storage space is important. And if storage space matters, the Series 8 wins. Apple's newest smartwatch holds 32GB of storage, while the Watch 6 holds half that at 16GB. 

Also: My favorite WatchOS 10 feature is overlooked, underrated, and life-changing

But why is this important? If you like to store a lot of music or podcasts on your watch so you can work out or run without your phone, you'll probably want the most space you can get. If you're interested in installing apps (say, a third-party sleep/workout tracker, a notetaking app, or a preferred GPS or weather app), this is an important aspect to consider too. 

Alternatives to consider

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