What’s the big deal about smartwatches?
Smartwatches have come a long way over the years. The first smartwatch, the Ruputer, was released back in 1998 by Seiko and could write memos and make calendar appointments. Today, smartwatches support eSIM technology that lets you send text messages and make phone calls and are even able to monitor heart rhythms and detect oxygen levels in your blood that can quite literally save your life.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising that wearables have seen such a tremendous rise in popularity.
According to data from Statista, global sales of smartwatches increased from 5 million units to 141 million units from 2014 to 2018.
Some of the biggest tech companies have released smartwatches, including Garmin and Huawei, but it is Apple and Samsung who have emerged as the most prolific and popular smartwatch manufacturers. Their latest and greatest offerings are the Apple Watch Series 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch3.
In this post, we compare the two new devices in terms of specs and performance, overall design, features and software, price and cellular plans, storage, and battery life.
Specs and Performance
The Apple Watch Series 6 is the next generation smartwatch by Apple. It is the successor to the Apple Watch Series 5. The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is the highly anticipated sequel to the flagship Galaxy Watch but the fourth in Samsung’s Galaxy series. Its predecessors are the Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Watch Active 2.
At the core of the Apple Watch 6 is a Silicon S6 chipset with a high-performance 64-bit dual-core processor that is based on the A13 Bionic in iPhone 11 but optimized for the smartwatch.
According to Apple, this hardware redesign will make the timepiece up to 20% faster than the previous generation. This is almost imperceptible compared to the Series 5, but users upgrading from a Series 3 and 4 will notice a difference.
Powered by an Exynos 9110 dual-core processor designed by Samsung, the Galaxy Watch3 is fast and reactive, albeit slower in comparison to other CPUs out there. Either way, it is a powerful piece of tech that performs well and is capable of handling more intensive apps.
Starting up third-party apps can take a few beats, but overall, the performance is seamless and the improvements are obvious.
Storage and Battery
The Apple Watch 6 is the clear winner when it comes to storage. It boasts 32GB of internal storage while the Galaxy Watch3 has a mere 8GB. Both have an additional 1GB of RAM.
There aren’t major differences in terms of battery life. Apple says the Apple Watch 6 lasts for about 18 hours, but many users have been able to get up to a day and a half of usage. The Galaxy Watch3 can last up to 2 days depending on your GPS usage and how hard you push the watch.
Enhanced charging capabilities on the Apple Watch 6 mean you can get a full charge in an hour and a half, 20% faster than the previous generation. The Galaxy Watch3 also has fast wireless charging capabilities but takes about 2 hours to fully charge, only slightly longer than the Apple Watch 6.
While many aspects of their smartwatches may be similar, the design of Apple and Samsung smartwatches are like night and day.
Apple prefers a sportier look while Samsung favors a more sophisticated design.
Other than being a bit thinner and having a new strap design and new colors (blue, gold, graphite, and red), not much has changed in terms of the design of the Apple Watch 6. It has retained the square design that Apple smartwatches are known for and is still available in 40mm and 44mm sizes.
The new watch strap is called a Solo Loop because it doesn’t have a clasp or buckle and is designed for easier attachment and removal. There are two options: liquid silicon and braided yarn. The silicon version is available in 7 different colors while the braided version is available in 5 different colors.
On the other end of the spectrum is the stylish Galaxy Watch3. A round watch face with a precision rotating bezel, premium leather straps, and Corning Gorilla Glass gives it a touch of elegance that will look good whether you’re dressing up or down. It is available in 41mm and 45mm sizes.
Features and software
The Apple Watch Series 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch3 are very similar in terms of features. Both smartwatches have an Always-On Display (Retina and Super AMOLED respectively), water-resistance of up to 50 meters in depth, excellent fitness-tracking features, and an embedded SIM (eSIM).
The duo also has an SpO2 reader (blood oxygen), ECG sensor (records the electrical signal from your heart), accelerometer (fall detection) and sleep tracking. However, although Apple is undeniably the leader when it comes to health tracking features, it lacks the ability to measure blood pressure.
This can be done on a second app on Galaxy Watch3.
The Samsung smartwatch also offers a more comprehensive analysis of your sleep cycles. To this end, it has partnered with the National Sleep Foundation to include educational content that helps you understand the data and ultimately improve your sleep.
Both watches operate on proprietary operating systems. The Apple Watch 6 runs on watchOS 7 and the Galaxy Watch3 runs on Tizen OS 5.5. Each system offers an array of customization options.
Price and Cellular Plans
The starting prices for both watches are the same – $399. If you want a GPS and Cellular model of the Apple Watch Series 6 it will be an extra $100.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two smartwatches in this category is cellular plans. Although the Apple Watch 6 has an eSIM, you are restricted to using the same carrier as your iPhone or getting a separate plan from an eligible carrier. This is not the case with the Samsung Watch3.
Samsung is not new to eSIM technology. They were the first to introduce eSIM to mobile devices (the Gear S2 smartwatch in 2016) and were also the first to offer standard eSIM service on smartwatches.
This means you can buy an eSIM plan online and use it in over 200 countries, with almost no limitations on which networks you can connect to (including 5G networks).
If you travel often or want to experience the true power of eSIM technology, the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 wins hands down in this category.
Note: Available features may vary by region, carrier, and device.
So, which smartwatch is better?
The Apple Watch Series 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch3 are both powerful smartwatches with fantastic features and beautiful designs. But which one is better?
That depends on what you want from the watch.
Both have excellent health tracking capabilities and are great watches for active lifestyles. However, Apple is more focused on creating a health device that can capture essential vitals with greater accuracy, while Samsung is more focused on everyday functionality and overall style.
If your primary goal is monitoring your health, the Watch Series 6 is certainly the better option. But if you want a smartwatch that combines health tracking technology with smartphone productivity and that offers more freedom with mobile plans, the Galaxy Watch3 is undoubtedly the superior watch.
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