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Does the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 work with the iPhone?

Side view of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 is a popular choice for a smart watch, available in both regular and classic forms. The bright, vibrant display and improved battery life to keep going all day offer an enticing option, even making for a tempting upgrade from the Galaxy Watch 4 or Galaxy Watch 5.

However, before you buy a smart watch there’s always the sticky question of phone operating system compatibility. To be useful, you need to link your smart watch to your smart phone — but not every option for smart watch software plays nice with every phone OS. Samsung’s smart watch options work happily with Android devices, but if you’re hoping to use a newer Samsung smart watch with your iPhone then you’ll run into some problems. Essentially, the newer versions of the Galaxy Watch aren’t compatible with iOS, so they’re not going to work with your iPhone.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 does not work with iPhones

The iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max all lying on a table.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Although previous Samsung Galaxy Watch models did work with iPhones, that’s no longer the case with the Galaxy Watch 6. Simply put, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 does not work with the iPhone — all because of baked-in compatibility issues.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 debuted in 2020 and was the last to run Tizen — an open-source operating system developed by Samsung. In 2021, the company released the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, which both ran on Wear OS 3 — a joint development of Google and Samsung. Since then, no Galaxy Watch has been compatible with Apple’s iOS or iPhones.

It’s understandable that the newest Samsung watches are incompatible with iPhones, just as Apple Watches cannot function with Samsung phones. This issue goes beyond corporate rivalry, however. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series runs on Wear OS 4 with Samsung’s One UI Watch 5 on top. This tight integration adds new health and fitness features, support for Google Assistant and Google Maps, new widgets, and new ways to control your watch. It also adds new watch faces.

The upshot is this: the older Samsung Galaxy Watch models like the Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Watch Active 2, and Galaxy Watch 3 will work with iOS. The newer models like the Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, Galaxy Watch 5, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, Galaxy Watch 6, and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will not work with iOS.

And if you’re holding out hope that the upcoming Galaxy Watch 7 might work with iOS, that seems unlikely.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 works with most Android phones

Apps page on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6.
Galaxy Watch 6 Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Luckily, there are a lot of phones that do work with the Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. However, you’ll need an Android-based device to unlock all the bells and whistles. The watches are designed to work seamlessly with any Android phone running Android 10 or higher. This compatibility ensures you can enjoy all the features and functions of your smartwatch without any hassle or complications. With this level of compatibility, you can be assured that your smartwatch and Android phone will work together flawlessly, giving you a smooth and streamlined experience.

Besides current-generation Samsung smartphones, the new watches will work with Google Pixel phones, many from OnePlus, and more.

Whether you prefer a smaller or larger watch face, you can find a size that works for you. The Galaxy Watch 6 is available in graphite or gold in 40 or 44mm case sizes. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic comes in black or silver in 43mm or 47mm sizes. The Galaxy Watch 6 was announced at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 5, Galaxy Z Flip 5, and Galaxy Tab S9 series.

If you have an Android phone, the Galaxy Watch 6 series is an excellent option due to its modern features and numerous benefits. It should bring you years of enjoyment and excitement. If you’re an iPhone user looking for a smartwatch, consider any of the best Apple Watches on the market, including the Apple Watch Series 8.

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Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
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