If you want to get your hands on one of the best smartwatches that money can buy, then the Apple Watch Series 3 and the imminent Samsung Galaxy Watch should be near the top of your shortlist. We’re going to explain how they stack up against each other.
We’ll cover the design, specs and the other essential features of a smartwatch so you can decide which one suits you best (or just get an idea of which of these tech giants makes the best watch).
As you’ll actually have to wear these on your wrist, we’ll start by looking at the aesthetics of these two devices.
Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Apple Watch: Design
Apple and Samsung have taken completely opposite approaches to designing their smartwatches, while Apple has gone down the rectangular route, Samsung has chosen a more traditional rounded approach.
Obviously, personal taste will come into which you prefer, but we will say the Apple Watch will be considered a design icon in years to come, just like the first iPhone, while the Galaxy Watch will largely be forgotten.
The Apple Watch is sleek, stylish, and customisable, with a number of compatible bands from Apple, fashion brands such as Hermés and Coach, as well as bands from smaller companies.
This ecosystem of compatible accessories is an area where Samsung has struggled in the past.
The Apple Watch comes in two sizes, 38mm and 42mm.
It’s rumoured the Galaxy Watch will also come in two sizes, 42mm and 46mm.
This means the Apple Watch is far more suited to smaller wrists, where as the Galaxy Watch may struggle in this area.
The Apple Watch comes in a huge number of colourways and materials, firstly, you can choose between aluminium, steel, and ceramic versions. Then you can also choose between different coloured metals, such as silver, gold, rose gold and black.
We’re not sure yet how many versions of the Samsung Galaxy watch there will be, but we do know about a new Rose Gold version, which Samsung accidently listed on its own website.
The last Samsung Gear S3 came in silver and black, so we can expect those to return as well.
Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Apple Watch: Specs
First let’s look at the screens. The Apple Watch Series 3 features a second-generation OLED Retina display with Force Touch. It’s max brightness is 1000 nits, and it’s protected by Sapphire crystal on the stainless steel and ceramic models.
The 38mm display has a resolution of 272 by 340 pixels, while the larger model has a resolution of 312 by 390 pixels.
We’re not sure what the display will be like in the Galaxy Watch, but the Gear Sport had a 1.2-inch circular display with a 360 by 360 resolution. It was Super AMOLED Full Colour AOD, and covered in Gorilla Glass 3.
Both are brilliant displays.
Internal specs for a smartwatch aren’t as important as they are with smartphones, as the operating system and apps are much less power intensive.
The Apple Watch Series 3 features a dual-core processor and 16GB storage.
We’re not sure how powerful the Galaxy Watch will be yet, but Samsung usually outdoes Apple on paper (although, the extra performance often isn’t noticeable in the real world).
One of the most important specifications is battery life, and while the Apple Watch battery requires charging every night (or, at least every other night), the Samsung Galaxy Watch is rumoured to last around seven days in between charge.
Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Apple Watch: Features
The Apple Watch’s feature list is about as long as my arm, but the main focus is on fitness.
The Apple Watch is able to track a number of workouts, including swimming, thanks to its 50-metre water resistance.
It has a heart-rate monitor and GPS. There’s even a model with cellular connectivity, meaning you can still receive and make calls while running without your phone.
WatchOS 5, which comes out in Autumn, features ‘Activity Competitions’ allowing you to compete with your friends, new works outs (including yoga and hiking), and pace alerts.
You can also download podcasts directly to the watch, and there’s a new walkie-talkie mode, which allows you to have a conversation with other Apple Watch users.
And finally, Siri is getting smarter.
There haven’t been many leaks surrounding the Galaxy Watch’s software yet.
The only rumour we’ve seen is that Reddit user u/Wan997 said the watch will feature 40 workout modes. That’s up from 10 in the Gear S3, so we can expect a big focus on fitness.
We can also expect to see Samsung’s virtual assistant, Bixby, feature on the watch.
Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Apple Watch: VERDICT
Obviously we can’t draw a verdict yet, as the Samsung Galaxy Watch hasn’t been released yet.
However, as soon as Samsung confirms all of these details about the Galaxy Watch, we’ll be straight back here to crown a victor.