Samsung’s latest competitor to the Apple Watch is here: the Galaxy Watch, a $US330 fitness-focused smartwatch.
Samsung introduced the new smartwatch on stage at its Unpacked event last week. The Galaxy Watch isn’t Samsung’s first wearable, but it’s the first since 2013 with the Galaxy brand name – for the past few years, Samsung’s smartwatches have been under the “Gear” branding.
The Galaxy Watch also sets itself apart with two key features: battery life (the watch can last up to four days on a single charge, Samsung says) and a rotating crown that lets you control the watch like a dial. Plus, it looks more like a standard watch than most other smartwatches on the market, Apple Watch included.
Still, Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch in the world, and Samsung faces an uphill battle if it wants to unseat Apple as the queen of smartwatches.
So as the Apple Watch and the Galaxy Watch prepare to go head-to-head – the Galaxy Watch will be available August 24 – here’s how the two watches are similar and different.
There are a lot of ways in which the watches are similar. Both the Galaxy Watch and the Apple Watch Series 3 come in three colours: black, silver, and rose gold.
The Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch start at the same price: $US329.
The 42 mm Galaxy Watch, which comes in black and rose gold, costs $US329. The 46 mm Galaxy Watch, which comes in silver, costs $US349. Samsung hasn’t said if there’s a price increase for the cellular version of the Galaxy Watch, which is coming later this year.
The 38 mm Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS costs $US329, but the price goes up when you increase the size and add cellular:
- The 38 mm Apple Watch with both GPS and cellular costs $US399
- The 42 mm Apple Watch with GPS costs $US359
- The 42 mm Apple Watch with GPS and cellular costs $US429.
The Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch both have OLED displays, although they’re totally different shapes.
Both the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch are fitness- and wellness-focused smartwatches.
The Apple Watch can track workouts like running, cycling, lap swimming, and high-intensity interval training. It also has guided meditation built in, and activity rings that track how much you move, exercise, and stand.
The Galaxy Watch has 39 built-in workouts, and can automatically track six of them. Like the Apple Watch, the Galaxy Watch also has guided meditation and breathing exercises, but it can also track your sleep cycle and calorie count.
Both the Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch are waterproof and can be worn while swimming.
The Galaxy Watch and the Apple Watch can both stream music, so you can leave your phone at home while working out.
Note that you’ll only be able to stream music if you have the cellular version of both watches.
Both watches are NFC-compatible, so you can pay for things without pulling out your credit card.
The Galaxy Watch has Samsung Pay, while the Apple Watch has Apple Pay.
Both watches have a digital assistant built in.
The Galaxy Watch has Samsung’s Bixby, while the Apple Watch has Siri.
Both Samsung and Apple make a variety of bands for the watches, so you can customise them to suit your taste.
You’re not restricted to the bands that both companies make for their watches, either – it’s easy to find third-party bands what will work with both the Apple Watch and the Galaxy Watch.
The are a few key differences between the watches — weight, for instance. The Apple Watch weighs a lot less than the Galaxy Watch.
The 42 mm Galaxy Watch weighs 49 g, while the 38 mm GPS Apple Watch weighs 26.7 g. Even the biggest Apple Watch Series 3 – the 42 mm watch with GPS and cellular – weighs significantly less than the Galaxy Watch: 34.9 g compared to 63 g.
The Galaxy Watch is compatible with a variety of smartphones, while the Apple Watch is only compatible with iPhones.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is compatible with an iPhone 5s or newer that’s running iOS 11 or later.
The Galaxy Watch, on the other hand, is compatible with both iPhone 5 or newer running iOS 9 or later, and smartphones running Android 5 or later (you can find a full list of compatible smartphones on Samsung’s website).
The Galaxy Watch can get up to four days of battery life, while the Apple Watch can get about 18 hours.
Samsung says that the 42 mm Galaxy Watch can get 2-3 days of battery life, while the 46 mm watch can get 3-4 days. Those battery life estimates are with GPS and cellular use factored in.
The Apple Watch Series 3 gets up to 18 hours of battery life, but that varies considerably based on how you’re using the watch (you can read more about the Apple Watch’s battery life on Apple’s website).
The Apple Watch Series 3 is available to buy now, while the Galaxy Watch will be available starting August 24.
You can buy the Apple Watch on Apple’s website, at Apple stores, and at various retailers.
The Galaxy Watch will be available to buy on Amazon, Best Buy, and Samsung.com.
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