The recently unveiled Apple Watch Series 2 and the Samsung Gear S3 are now making rounds online, and between the two rivaling companies, the question is, who made the better smartwatch?
To get to the bottom of things, here's an early comparison of the contenders on board.
First up, the Gear S3 is packing in a dual-core chipset clocked at 1 GHz along with 768 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage. It sports a 1.3-inch display with a 360 x 360 resolution that's topped off with a Gorilla Glass SR+, the latest product for wearables from Corning. Targeted at sports enthusiasts, it has a GPS to track activities, an accelerometer, a heart-rate sensor and gyroscope.
Meanwhile, the Apple Watch Series 2 has a dual-core processor that's faster than what its predecessor is loaded with, GPS, heart-rate sensor and anything else that the typical smartwatch for working out has to offer. On top of that, it has improved graphics and "the brightest display Apple has ever shipped," according to the company.
Samsung has disclosed that the new watch it has in store has a 380 mAh battery that should be capable of going up to four days on a single charge when the always-on display is off or two days when it's on.
On the other hand, Apple hasn't mentioned anything regarding battery life just yet, and if it performs the same way as the original, then it's safe to expect a paltry 18-hour uptime.
The two can be juiced up wirelessly via the charging stand they'll both come with out of the box.
Simply put, the Apple Watch Series 2 runs on watchOS 3, and the Gear S3 runs on Tizen OS 2.3. The problem they both share is that they don't have that much developer support, and that means there won't be too many apps to customize them.
However, with the latest iteration of the Apple Watch, it looks like the Cupertino brand is picking things up, as the wearable will have support for one of the hugest mobile games to take the scene by storm Pokémon GO. Yep, it's potentially a viable but pricier alternative to Niantic's Pokémon GO Plus.
Compatibility with devices is an essential element in finding out which one will come out of top between the two, and with that said, the Gear S3 will work with updated Android devices and with iPhones — in the foreseeable future, at least.
Now, the Apple Watch Series 2 will obviously have no problems connecting to an iPhone, but what about other devices? Well, if Apple goes ahead with the same plans as the original's, then it won't work with Android phones. However, since there's no word about this yet, there's more or less a possibility that it could include support for other handsets other than the iPhone.
While the Gear S3 got a new rugged variant called frontier and a redesigned classic, the Apple Watch Series 2 simply took cues from the first Apple Watch. A little too many, in fact, as it looks exactly like it. That's just bad news for a lot of fans, but some may find it easy to gloss over it because of the numerous improvements in terms of performance.
Both of them resist water up to a certain degree, with the Gear S3 coming in with an IP68 rating for the classic and an IP68 plus MIL-STD-810G certifications for the frontier. On the other side of the fence, the Apple Watch Series 2 is swim-proof, and it can survive underwater up to 164 feet.
While they are practically equal on that front, Apple unfortunately didn't include LTE-capable variants in the roster. In other words, Samsung takes the cake here for adding in cellular functionality — for the frontier, at least.
Pricing And Availability
The Apple Watch Series 2 will start out at $369, and it's going to roll out on Sept. 16 and go up for preorder on Sept. 9.
Samsung has yet to unveil when the Gear S3 will become available and how much it will hold customers back.
Since the two wearables aren't up for grabs just yet, it should be mentioned that the results of this shootout aren't set in stone just yet, as real-life performance is a bigger factor compared to market descriptions and a complete price list is a much-needed bit of info to make a grounded decision.
On that note, the better of the two seems to be the Gear S3 at this point, thanks to its cellular capability, fresh designs and expected compatibility expansion. The only advantage that the Apple Watch Series 2 arguably has is support for Pokémon GO, and even though that's a welcome addition, it's not exactly a game-changing feature for everyone.