Everyone’s talking about how the iPhone 6 stacks up against Samsung’s Note 4 and Galaxy S5, but how does the Apple Watch compare to Samsung’s latest smartwatch? We’ve compared the Apple Watch against the Gear S to help you decide which of these cutting edge wearables should be decorating your wrist.
1. Apple Watch vs. Gear S: Features
The Gear S’s main selling points are the virtual keyboard, S Health features, and the ability to go “solo” thanks to an included SIM card. Samsung has also partnered with Swarovski to offer some gorgeous straps that are covered in luxe crystals. The screen is nice and large, making this watch ideal for people with poor vision, or people who just want more area to view notifications.
Apple Watch apps featured during Apple’s keynote event included a Pinterest app, a BMW app that lets you find your car, an MLB app for checking scores, and a Nike fitness app. The watch can be used to make payments through Apple Pay, or to unlock your hotel room door at select hotels.
2. Apple Watch vs. Gear S: Design
CNET runs down the unique features of the Gear S in the video above.
Is the Gear S too big? That depends on how you want to use your smartwatch, as well as the size of your wrist and arms in general. The Gear S has a huge screen, which is great for some people. That being said, the large screen may be uncomfortable and overwhelming on the wrist of a small-boned person.
The Apple Watch has a much smaller face, and a dial that is more in step with the size of a traditional watch. Apple is planning to release a number of different watch styles, which will give the watches more flexibility in terms of coordinating with outfits or the wearer’s personality.
3. Apple Watch vs. Gear S: Compatible Smartphones
Android Central’s video above gives you a great sense of the size of the Gear S.
During the Unpacked Episode 2 event, Samsung said that the Gear S would work with over 20 different Galaxy phones. You will need to connect the Gear S to a Samsung device before you can “go solo” with it, however. In other words, this is yet another Samsung wearable that is inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t own the right kind of Samsung phone.
As expected, Apple’s smartwatch is also a limited affair. It will only work with certain iOS devices. The Apple Watch will work with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 5S. The Apple Watch relies on the GPS data from your iPhone.
4. Apple Watch vs. Gear S: Waterproofing & Price
Get an overview of the Apple Watch’s health features in the video above.
The Gear S has a rating of IP67. The Apple Watch’s precise rating isn’t known, but Cult of Mac notes that the Apple Watch will only be water-resistant, and not waterproof. The Apple Watch will start at $349. It’s not yet clear what the upper limit might be for the more premium models. The Gear S is expected to cost around $380 when it launches later this year.
5. Apple Watch vs. Gear S: Availability & Final Thoughts
Get a closer look at the Apple Watch in the video above.
The Samsung Gear S is expected to go on sale this October. The Apple Watch doesn’t have a firm release date yet, with Apple stating simply that the watch will be out by “early 2015.” Whether “early” means January or more like April is unknown at this time.
These smartwatches are both premium offerings, but it’s a little hard to compare them at this time. With Apple keeping some specs of the Apple Watch tightly under wraps, there are still a lot of unknowns here. As with so many wearables these days, the choice between these two watches will probably come down to what operating system your smartphone uses. The fact that the Apple Watch isn’t totally waterproof is a huge mark against it, however.