The Apple Watch Series 3 GPS and Samsung Gear Sport are two of the latest devices from smartwatch giants Apple and Samsung but, in this battle of the heavyweights, who comes out victorious? The results are in, and we can tell you the top smartwatch contender.
This pair of smartwatches enter the metaphorical boxing ring with similar prices – there’s only £30 between them. The Apple Watch Series 3 GPS (38mm) is the pricier of the two and costs £329, while the Samsung Gear Sport is £299. If you want the larger-faced 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 GPS, you’ll need to spend £359 – £60 more than the Samsung.
They’re both health and fitness focused, but have a full range of smart features too. In terms of key specs, how do they match up – and is there anything that sets these two apart? Below we take a look at exactly what each has to offer.
Best Buy smartwatches – find out which models beat the competition in our tough tests.
|Apple Watch Series 3 GPS (38mm)||Samsung Gear Sport|
|OS compatibility||iOS||Android & iOS|
|Display size (mm)||36||30.5|
|Display resolution (pixels)||340 x 272||360 x 360|
|Dimensions (mm)||38.6 x 33.3 x 11.4||44.6 x 42.9 x 11.6|
|Battery life claim||18 hours||Four days|
They could barely be more different to each other in terms of looks. The Apple Watch Series 3 has the rectangular bezel that the range has become known for, while the Samsung Gear Sport has a round watch face sat on a rounded-square surround, plus a rotating bezel.
When it comes to the size of the case of each watch (including the bezel and measured diagonally), there’s very little in it. The Samsung Gear Sport feels a little bulkier, mainly due to the rounded-square surround of the face, and the fact that it’s heavier than the Apple Watch: the Gear Sport tips the scales at 66g, against the 50g Apple Watch Series 3.
You’ll be wearing these devices every day, so you want to be able to customise the look to suit you. The Apple Watch Series 3 GPS is only available with an aluminium bezel, unlike the Cellular version which can also be bought in stainless steel, with variation in silver, black or rose gold. It comes with a silicone sports band as standard, which comes in silver, pink, grey or black. You can then choose from a range of bands, including woven nylon, leather or stainless steel, although these cost extra. The Samsung Gear Sport is only available with a blue or black silicone band.
These are both advanced devices, and will let you receive and respond to texts, calls, emails, social media notifications and calendar alerts straight on your wrist. Neither have built-in LTE connectivity, unlike the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular and the Samsung Gear S3. When it comes to on-board storage for storing apps and music, the Watch is the winner with 8GB versus the Gear Sport’s 4GB.
While they both have a raft of smart features, what’s important is how they deal with them. One of these smartwatches scored five stars for the smooth way it manages smart notifications, and the ease with which you can deal with these.
Health and fitness tracking
Both devices have plenty of on-board sensors for health and fitness tracking, including built-in GPS and a heart-rate monitor, plus a water resistance rating of up to 50 metres. They will both track steps, distance covered and calories burned, as well as a wide range of exercises.
Using the Gear Sport, you can set goals for steps taken, floors climbed, calorie consumption, and even water or caffeine intake. The Watch only lets you set a move goal, which is based on the number or calories burned through an activity. Both watches will notify you when a goal is met, and you’ll get an encouraging message such as ‘good work’ too.
You can add third-party apps for particular fitness tracking functionality, such as Strava or MapMyRun. The App Store has the advantage over Samsung’s Tizen when it comes to the fitness apps available – there’s still a lot of choice and you’ll find most of the well-known health and fitness apps, but Apple has far more.
One health metric that the Apple Watch doesn’t track is your sleep. Given the battery life claims, you may well be charging your device overnight anyway, but this feels like a bit of an oversight considering even basic fitness trackers can capture sleep data.
We know that the accuracy of health and fitness tracking data is important, as it helps you to track your improvements. But how did these devices perform in our tough fitness tracking accuracy tests? We reveal all in our full reviews.
More interested in fitness? Find out whether to buy a smartwatch or a fitness tracker.
In this contest, the Samsung Gear Sport delivers a knockout punch to the Apple Watch Series 3. Despite the number of features on offer, Samsung claims you’ll get around four days of battery life per charge, while the Series 3 promises just 18 hours – meaning you’ll need to charge it once a day, depending on usage.