Apple Watch Series 6, the latest smartwatch with upgraded health monitoring features has landed. It is already being reckoned as the finest iteration of a smartwatch that has everything from looks to features and power to run it all. Samsung on the other hand with its Galaxy Watch 3 is shaping up as a worthy rival for the new Apple Watch. Both the watches will appeal to a different set of people, considering iPhone users will prefer the Apple Watch 6 and Android users don’t have an option to use the Apple Watch, leaving them to settle for the Galaxy Watch 3. The latter shouldn’t be counted out at least when we know iPhone users have an option to pair with the Samsung watch.
This comparison is not about which of the two you should buy; it is a personal choice there. Here we pit the features and takeaways of each watch to see what the two tech giants are offering. Both are available starting at $399, in two sizes each with LTE option bumping up the price by a few dollars. Apple Watch Series 6 and Galaxy Watch 3 are both designed to work seamlessly in water – they are water-resistant up to 50 meters, and feature FDA approved ECG sensor, SpO2 monitoring along with a set of other features to reckon. Let’s delve deeper to know about the similarities and differences between these two smartwatches.
Design and display
Apple hasn’t really altered the look of its new watch – like the previous years’ it remains the same squarish design rounded at the edges with a digital crown that offers haptic feedback. The Galaxy Watch 3 has a rounded face – evocative of a traditional watch – of course with health and smartwatch features. It comes complete with a precision rotating bezel which can be used to navigate the menu when you don’t want to interact with the watch using touchscreen.
Galaxy Watch 3 and Apple Watch Series 6 both feature a similar OLED touchscreen display that is easily viewable in direct sunlight. Both watches come in two display sizes. Apple Watch comes in 40mm (1.57 inches) and 44mm (1.78 inches) displays, while the Galaxy Watch features 41mm (1.2 inches) and 45mm models. While the displays on Apple Watch Series 6 models have a slightly better resolution and look brighter to the naked eye; watches from both companies feature an always-on display to read notifications and fitness metrics at a glance.
Apple Watch Series 6 weighs fractionally lighter in the two watches and would have a slight edge in terms of how slim it feels on the wrist. Its case is made in a variety of materials including stainless steel, 100-percent recycled aluminum, and even titanium, meanwhile, the Galaxy Watch 3 comes only in stainless steel option. Reports suggest a titanium model of the 45mm watch is in the works. Apple gives us options to choose between blue, graphite, gold, and (product) red colors, the Watch 3 comes in mystic silver, mystic bronze, and mystic black (titanium option will only be available in black).
Apple has always been way ahead of the competition when it comes to watch faces and interchangeable band options, and this time is no different. Galaxy Watch 3 tends to match it toe-to-toe in customizations and also with the possibility of interchangeable straps (delivered through third-parties). In addition, the latter ups the ante with a feature to let users match the watch face with their look by feeding it with picture of the clothing you’re wearing on a particular day.
Both the Apple Watch Series 6 and Galaxy Watch 3 come with numerous preset automatic workout and activity detection option in addition to counting steps, tracking calories, monitoring heart rate, tracking sleep, and the potentially lifesaving fall detection. For monitoring the user’s health, Samsung watch now gets a vital upgrade with the Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor, which is available in South Korea – but now approved by the FDA – should be rolling out in the US soon.
Apple Watch included ECG sensor in Series 4 and in Series 6 it’s more refined at picking up heart rhythm irregularities. Galaxy Watch 3 can measure your blood oxygen saturation levels and Apple matches it with blood oxygen (SpO2) monitoring on the Series 6.
Smartwatches can be power guzzlers especially when they have to do so much of health tracking, displaying notifications, and doing a whole lot of other things paired with the smartphone or working standalone. Albeit, Samsung watch doesn’t have a very power-efficient processor, the battery life is significantly better than what Apple Watch touts.
Galaxy Watch 3 comes with a two days battery backup on full charge i.e. if you’re are not asking it to do too much – with GPS and other tracking features doing their bit, the backup is trimmed down by almost a day. It’s still superior to the Apple Watch Series 6, which lasts only 18 hours; it does offer a fast 90 minute recharge time. Interestingly, the Galaxy Watch 3 comes with Wireless PowerShare feature that can be used to charge the watch by placing it on the back of a compatible Samsung flagship phone, and it charges automatically – a handy way to juice up the watch on the go.
There is nothing separating the two watches at the base price except for probably a dollar more for the Samsung watch in the larger model. The smaller 41mm model of the Galaxy Watch 3 and the 40mm variant of the Apple Watch Series 6 start at the same $399 tag. The base price for the larger 44mm Series 6 is $429, and for the 45mm Galaxy Watch 3 is $429.99. Things get interesting with the LTE models – to have it work independent of the phone, you will have to shell out $449 for the Galaxy Watch 3 and 50 bucks more ($499) for the Apple Watch Series 6.
When it comes to the most important specs and features, there is very little to choose between these full-fledged smartwatches packed with fitness functions and personalization options. Still, in their own rights, each of these has some advantages over the other.
If you’re an iPhone user the Apple Watch Series 6 is the most logical choice given the possibilities of apps you can access and download to the 32GB of storage on the device. Though Galaxy Watch 3 can be considered by iPhone users, it is the only choice for Android fans with its modest 8GB of onboard storage.