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Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Gear S3

It's not that different but the Galaxy Watch is better than the Gear S3 and it's cheaper. We explain how Samsung's two smartwatches compare.

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED
  • From $329.99
Announced along with the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung has a new flagship smartwatch for your wrist. Here we compare the Galaxy Watch to the older Gear S3 to find out what's changed and if you should upgrade.


We're aware that the Gear Sport was a more recent launch from Samsung, but the smartwatch isn't as much of a direct rival to the Galaxy Watch so we're focussing on the Gear S3 here. You can also see how it compares to the Apple Watch Series 3 over on Macworld.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
There's good news as the Galaxy Watch is cheaper than the Gear S3, starting at a reasonable £279/$329 for the 42mm model. If you want the larger 46mm model, then it will cost you £299/$349.

You can pre-order the Galaxy Watch which is released on 7 September and doing so will get you a free Wireless Charger Duo.

The Gear S3 was £349 at launch so pretty pricey. Since it's been around for a while you can get it a bit cheaper. The Frontier and Classic versions are £299 from Samsung and around £279 on Amazon.
DESIGN AND BUILD
It's hard to change the design of a watch to make it look that different so it's not really a huge surprise that the Galaxy Watch has a very similar appearance to the Gear S3.

Samsung has perfected the combination of a round screen with a rotating bezel around it which is used for navigation. It makes watches that can't do it seem very inferior.

The big change this time is that the Galaxy Watch comes in two sizes so if the 46mm option is too big then those with more dainty wrists can opt for the 42mm. It doesn't sound like much but does make a difference.

You can expect excellent build quality once again and the watches are matched with IP68 waterproofing.

It's a shame that the Galaxy Watch doesn't come with an option like the S3 Classic with a leather strap. Both sizes have interchangeable straps, though, so you can buy one if you like.

SPECS AND FEATURES
As mentioned, the Galaxy Watch comes in a smaller size, so you'll get a 1.2in screen compared to the usual 1.3in. Not a difference at all on a phone, but on a watch it is.

The trouble with the smaller model is the lack of space for a battery, so it's 270mAh compared to the 470mAh on the larger model. The Gear S3 is in the middle at 380mAh.

So if you want the best battery life possible then go for the larger Galaxy Watch. Samsung says it will last up to a week.

Specs across the watches don't really differ much, although the Galaxy Watch has a newer Eynos 9110 processor. You probably won't notice a difference in performance though.

With any watch you get decent connectivity (LTE optional) and features like NFC for Samsung Pay, GPS and wireless charging .

See below for the Galaxy Watch specs:
Specifications46mm Galaxy Watch (Silver)42mm Galaxy Watch (Midnight Black/Rose Gold)
Display1.3in Super AMOLED (360x360) AOD, Gorilla Glass DX+1.2in Super AMOLED (360x360) AOD, Gorilla Glass DX+
Dimensions46x49x13mm41.9x45.7x12.7mm
Weight63g (without strap)49g (without strap)
Strap22mm (interchangeable)20mm (interchangeable)
Battery472mAh270mAh
APExynos 9110 Dual-Core 1.15GHz
OSTizen-based Wearable OS 4.0
Storage4GB
Memory768MB (Bluetooth); 1.5G (LTE)
Connectivity3G/4G; Bluetooth 4.2; 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi; NFC; A-GPS/GLONASS
SensorAccelerometer; Gyro; Barometer; Heart-Rate Monitor; Ambient Light
ChargeWPC-based wireless charging
Durability5ATM + IP68, MIL-STD-810G
CompatibilityAndroid 5.0+; iPhone 5+ running iOS 9.0+
SPECS
Samsung Galaxy Watch: Specs
  • 1.2 or 1.3in 360 x 360 Circular Super AMOLED
  • Full Color Always On Display
  • Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX+
  • Dual core 1.15GHz Exynos 9110
  • Tizen Based Wearable OS 4.0
  • 41.9x45.7x12.7mm or 46x49x13mm
  • 49g or 62g (without band)
  • Strap 20mm or 22mm
  • 4GB Internal memory, 768MB RAM, 1.5GB 4g version
  • Bluetooth® 4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • NFC, MST, A-GPS/Glonass
  • Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer, HRM, Ambient light
  • 270mAh or 472mAh
  • Wireless charging (WPC Inductive)
  • IP68 and 5ATM

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