Those into fitness trackers know the big names like FitBit and Jawbone, but even those that have no idea what a fitness tracker does know the names of Apple and Samsung. Both companies are the pinnacle when it comes to the high profile manufacture of smartwatches with fitness tracking abilities like the Samsung Gear S3 and Apple Watch Series 2.
Yet, the question still stands. Which smart watch is better? Did Apple finally get things right with the Apple Watch Series 2 or does the Samsung Gear S3continue its feature-laden streak of victory in the market?
Design and Display
When comparing the Apple Watch Series 2 and the Samsung Gear S3, which design wins out is probably best left up to preference. As you would expect from multi-billion dollar companies, the designs are both beautiful. The Apple Watch Series 2 is smaller and lighter compared to the Gear, but it takes a sleek modern route in its design. However the Gear S3 goes the complete opposite direction and features a design that could easily be mistaken for an expensive wristwatch.
For as great as the Apple Watch’s display is, that victory will have to go to the Gear S3. A number of fitness trackers feature that crisp OLED Retina display that is given a vibrant edge through the use of color like the Apple Watch. However, it is not every day that you see what, at a glance, appears to be a classic wristwatch transform into a GPS map the next. What the Gear S3 can and does display is something that truly shows how visibly powerful the AMOLED screen is and why the bigger size was a necessary choice.
However, in terms of usability, while they both have touch screen functionality, for the most part you use the bezel on the Gear and the crown on the Apple Watch to flick through apps. This is a great alternative to the all touch screen functionality that damages the screen more often than not.
In terms of features and sensors, the Apple Watch and the Gear S3 go toe-to-toe. The Gear S3 has built-in GPS, an accelerometer, a heart rate sensor, altimeter, barometer, and a gyroscope. This is basically everything you would get with other Samsung fitness trackers like the Samsung Gear Fit2, but without the beautiful interface, enhanced interconnectivity with your phone, and built-in speaker.
Alternatively, the Apple Watch Series 2 features an accelerometer, built-in GPS that is supposedly “instant”, gyroscope, and heart rate monitor. It lacks some of the other tools like altimeter and barometer, but both are excellent choices for fitness.
However, if you are a swimmer, Apple is the easy choice. Not only can the Apple Watch track indoor and outdoor swimming (the Gear S3 has no such function), but it is water resistant up to 165 feet. The Gear S3 can only withstand five feet of water for about 30 minutes.
When it comes to compatibility with various apps, both fitness and otherwise, both smart watches excel. However, as it typical with Apple products, the Apple Watch Series 2 still comes with one fatal flaw – you can’t use it with Android phones. The Samsung Gear S3 is compatible with both Android and iOS, meaning that no matter what phone you have, this watch will likely work with it, older models notwithstanding.
No one should have to get a new phone just to go with their smart watch.
To be honest, the battery life on both models is terrible. The Apple Watch takes an honest route and estimates around 18 hours while the Gear S3 estimates around four days, but that is only with the always-on function turned off.In truth, the battery lasts closer to about two days. However, since the Gear S3 is always-on and the Apple Watch is not, the fact that they have such comparable batteries is actually pretty terrible on Apple’s part.
So Which is Better?
Both the Apple Watch Series 2 and the Samsung Gear S3 have their advantages just as sure as they have their downfalls. While the Samsung Gear S3 looks to be the winner with its beautiful display, number of fitness features, and the fact that you can use it with both Android and iPhones, it does lack majorly in battery life, water resistance, and a nice small size on the wrist.
Similarly, the Apple Watch Series 2 is small, light, has a colorful display, and it the best choice for swimmers. However, it has a dismal battery life and can only be used with iPhones.
If none of the failings of either smart watch are deal breakers, then it ultimately comes down to what you want the watch to do, and which style you want around your wrist.