Samsung is back with the Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier, two traditional-looking smartwatches with classic Swiss design elements.
There’s no functional differences between the two, however, just a different strap design and a slight weight difference: the Frontier comes in at 62g and the Classic weighs just 57g.
Apple’s stainless steel rival may be a lot older than the S3 but it’s still one of the best-looking wearables available. It comes in a standard and sports version (housed in an anodised aluminium case) as well as a couple more luxurious offerings in the form of the Hermés and Edition. You can also get the device in either 42mm or 38mm versions, with the former weighing 50g and the latter coming in at 40g.
When it comes to the Sport edition, the 38mm version weighs a hefty 62g while the 42mm alternative is even more substantial at 70g. While Samsung’s wearable is certainly a tad bulky, then, the Apple Watch Sport models manage to match, and even outdo, the S3 in terms of weight.
The S3 is compatible with standard 22mm straps and there’s a couple of crown buttons on the watch itself, as opposed to the Apple Watch’s main crown button and flush ‘Friends’ button. Apple’s device also has a wide range of extra straps which can be bought through the company itself.
The Apple Watch 42mm comes with a 1.65-inch screen, while the smaller 38mm offering features a 1.5-inch display. Both use AMOLED tech (the only Apple device to do so thus far) so blacks are typically nicely inky and the the whites are as bright as you’d hope.
Samsung, on the other hand, although increasing the screen size over the S2, still has a smaller, 1.3-inch screen on the S3. It too uses AMOLED technology, however, so there should be a comparably stellar contrast on the new wearable.
With an always-on display, the S3 has also been designed to mimic the look of a traditional timepiece. The screen displays 16 million colours now, so the watch faces look suitably premium, too.
The Apple Watch has a 322 pixels-per-inch density, which is more than enough for a screen this size, while the S3 only has 278. You still shouldn’t be noticing individual pixels with the S3, however.
There’s also a sapphire crystal coating on the Apple Watch, as opposed to the S3’s Gorilla Glass SR+, both of which protect against scratches, but the latter of which should provide slightly more protection.
The Apple Watch has been available for some time now, and we’re anticipating a new model fairly soon.
But if you simply have to have the Apple Watch right now, the 42mm version is going for around $649.00 to $1,099.00 depending on which band you get, while the 38mm model can be picked up for about $299.00 to $349.00. Prices vary depending on whether you go for the Sports version, and the higher end Hermés and Edition models are obviously pricier.
Unfortunately, pricing and release details are yet to be confirmed for the Gear S3, but we’re expecting it to be around the same price as the Gear S2, which starts at $499 and up depending on which model you go for.
Apple Watch v Samsung Gear S3: Verdict
Samsung opting for a clean, round look certainly wins the company points, especially if you remember the previous wearable designs. Both are comfy and easy on the eyes. One thing’s for sure, the latest Samsung smartwatch is a polished, unisex, circular smartwatch that no one would be ashamed of wearing.
However the Apple wrist-ware simply has more apps than the Tizen based OS device which gives it a major boost. Add the fact that Apple fans are incredibly loyal and, even if the Gear S3 may look a better deal on paper, we’d bet our house on the Cupertino contender winning comfortably in the sales stakes.
Either way, whatever watch you choose, you’ll be getting a gorgeous display, a unique OS and a great looking device.