Man do we have a good one for you today - the new LG G Watch R versus the Samsung Gear S. These have to be two of the nicest looking smartwatches on the market today...the only other one that comes close to these two is the Moto 360. In this comparison, we have the two extremes - round versus rectangle - and we are not talking about small sizes, but the nice big, bulky and manly chronograph style smartwatch versus the largest rectangle smartwatch out there.
Even with the extreme differences in looks, these two devices do have some similarities. They both use the OLED display technology and they both have 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and neither one can be expanded, nor do they have a camera. They both have the usual Bluetooth, a Gyro, Accelerometer, a compass, a barometer and these both have a heart rate monitor as well. Both devices are IP67 Dust and Water-resistant and they both have a microphone. Both devices also cost about $300 off contract.
Please take a look at the detailed Specification sheet below and you can see exactly where these two are alike and different. Then we will look at each smartwatch individually to try to determine some pros and cons in order to select a winner to this comparison.
LG G Watch R
The LG G Watch R is the second Android Wear watch from LG - this first G Watch looked a lot like the rectangle Sony SmartWatch 3 or the Gear Live - but the G Watch R (for Round) is a completely new animal. It has a solid stainless steel housing that looks like a fine piece of jewelry with a real leather band. It is definitely a masculine looking watch with a large bezel and minute markings around the outside edge - reminiscent of an diving watch.
The display is a 1.3-inch P-OLED with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels and 245 pixels-per-inch (PPI) which is much smaller than the 2-inch display on the Gear S. It is powered by a Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, which is a little beefier than the dual-core processor clocked at 1.0GHz in the Gear S. As we said earlier, they both enjoy 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory. The LG G Watch R has a nice size 410mAh battery versus the smaller 300mAh found in the Gear S, although both will make it through the day and then some.
The G Watch R runs Android Wear so it pair with ANY Android smartphone that is running Android 4.3 or higher. This also means you can use the "OK, Google" Now commands. It comes with a standard 22mm wrist strap so many third party watch bands or bracelets will work with it, as this smartwatch cries out for a metal band. It can be purchased at the Play Store or AT&T for $299.
Samsung Gear S
The Samsung Gear S is a beautiful smartwatch - if you like rectangle watches - but it is big, in fact, it looks like a curved miniature smartphone strapped on your wrist. In reality, it actually is like having a smartphone on your wrist - it has its own SIM card and its own plan with your carrier...and you cannot only receive phones calls, but you can initiate them as well.
The Gear S has a huge 2.0-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 360 x 480 pixels or 300 PPI. The display is stunning and even though it is harder to see in the sunlight, it is plenty bright enough to handle the outdoors. It is powered by a dual-core processor clocked at 1.0GHz with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of RAM. The Gear S's 300mAh battery is smaller than the 410mAh battery used on the LG G Watch R, but it will easily last you through a day or two.
The extra features on the Gear S include Wi-Fi and 3G, a UV Light Sensor, a microUSB connector, and a speaker for the phone calls. The Samsung Gear S is a mixed bag for some users - it is, without a doubt, the most feature-laden smartwatch available, however, it uses Samsung's own Tizen O/S and you have to have a Samsung phone in order to work properly. The Tizen is slick and fast and there are ample Apps that would satisfy most people and if you already own a Samsung smartphone, you are all set. The Gear S can be purchased at Best Buy, Verizon and AT&T for $199 on a two-year contract or off contract for $300 - $399 depending where you make your purchase.
...And The Winner Is...
People that know me will be surprised that I picked the LG G Watch R over the Samsung Gear S - I love the Gear S, I have no problem with Tizen and I have a Samsung smartphone, but for the masses, I think the LG G Watch R would be the best choice.
The G Watch R uses Android Wear, therefore can be used with ANY Android smartphone (Android 4.3 or higher), it is durable stainless steel and looks like a fine timepiece. "OK Google" works great on the G Watch R, it has the heart rate monitor, and is water resistant. It certainly offers the majority of smartwatch features, sans being able to make phone calls.
They are both expensive, and you may get a little more bang for your buck with the Gear S, but the calling, texting and emailing via a standalone smartwatch is still in its infancy. Many people are uncomfortable with Tizen, although there is really no need to be, but having to have a Samsung smartphone may be an obstacle for many. So for practicality purposes, I am choosing the LG G Watch R as the winner of this comparison.
Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know which one of these devices you would pick as the winner and WHY...as always, we would love to hear from you.