Smartwatch Comparisons: Motorola Moto 360 vs Samsung Gear S



Have we got a good one for you today – the much anticipated Motorola Moto 360 goes up against the Samsung Gear S powerhouse…which one of these two smartwatches, in every sense of the word, will come out the winner in this smartwatch comparison.  Both watches are a work of art in their own right.  The Moto 360 is honed from solid stainless steel, round like a fine jeweled watch and comes with a real leather band – it looks and acts the part of a genuine timepiece.  Then there is the Samsung Gear S with its huge 2-inch Super AMOLED, rectangle and curved display – looking every bit the part of a classy, yet a techno gadget that might even be capable of "beaming you aboard" the Enterprise.

Even with such diversity, these two smartwatches do find some common ground.  Both devices use 512MB of RAM and 4GB of non-expandable internal storage.  They both are packing Bluetooth (4.0 on the Moto G and 4.1 on the Gear S), a Gyro, Accelerometer, and Compass.  They both are IP67 certified water and dust resistant, both have a heart rate monitor, and even their batteries are fairly close in size – 320mAh versus 300mAh.  After that, their differences begin to surface as much as they do in looks.


Please take a careful look at the detailed specification sheet below and study their differences.  After that, we will look at each individual device a little more closely, determine some pros and cons, and hopefully pick out a winner of this comparison.


Moto 360 vs Gear S Specs

Motorola Moto 360

Moto-360-AH-2The long awaited Moto 360 finally arrived after a lot of press and speculation if it would live up to all of the hype…for the most part, it is has presented itself well and reviews have been good.  It looks great on your wrist and most like a true timepiece, although it was not without some critical comments – lack of a up-to-date and more powerful processor, the heart rate monitor's accuracy was suspect in some reviews and nobody liked the 'black patch' on the bottom of the display.


The Moto 360 comes to us with a 1.56-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 320 x 290 pixels and 205 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – easier to see outdoors, but not as brilliant as the 300 PPI Super AMOLED display on the Gear S.  In choosing a processor, Motorola strangely turned to Texas Instruments for a TI OMAP 3, rather than the more popular and faster Snapdragon series from Qualcomm.  We were happy to see that they did use the same 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.  The Moto 360 uses a slightly larger 320mAh battery versus the 300mAh found in the Gear S, however, tests have shown that the Moto 360's battery will give out long before the Gear S.  But when it comes time to charge it, the wireless charging of the Moto 360 is certainly a nicer arrangement than the clip-on charger used on the Gear S.

The Moto 360 has the usual features that we mentioned in the introduction, but it also has a pedometer, ambient light sensor, all stainless-steel casing in either champagne gold, silver or black, a real leather band, two microphones, wireless charging and the Moto 360 will work with ANY Android smartphone running Android 4.3 or higher.  It is running Android Wear and is subject to the many Google Now features and can be purchased at the Google Play Store for $249.99.

Samsung Gear S

Samsung Galaxy Gear S AH-41The Samsung Gear S really catches everybody's eye – not only because it is a striking design, but also because of its sheer size.  It has the largest(2-inch)display of any smartwatch on the market and Samsung even curved it so that it would fit more comfortably on your wrist, although it still resembles a small smartphone mounted on your wrist.  If you wear the Gear S to work or a party, expect to answer a barrage of questions.  Samsung was thinking more of functionality than it was of form factor.


The Gear S has a 2-inch Super AMOLED curved display with a resolution of 360 x 480 pixels and 300 PPI – it certainly outdoes the Moto 360 display in terms of size, brilliance and resolution.  Samsung relied on the Snapdragon 400 dual-core processor clocked at 1.0GHz, for speed and smoothness, as well as outdoing the TI OMAP 3 used in the Moto 360.  It does have the same 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.  The Gear S also has a smaller 300mAh battery when compared to the 320mAh in the Moto 360, but here is another example where size does not matter, as the Gear S will last longer on a charge than the Moto 360.

Besides the usual features that I mentioned in the introduction, the one BIG difference in the Gear S is that it also has 3G connectivity via its own SIM card and data plan with the carrier.  This means that it cannot only receive phone calls, but also initiate them!  You can make and receive phone calls without having your smartphone with you.  It also has a barometer, Heart Rate Monitor, UV Light Sensor, microphone and speaker.

It runs Samsung's own Tizen software and will only function with a Samsung smartphone that is needed to setup the Gear S.  It can be purchased at Best Buy, Verizon or AT&T on a two-year contract for $199 or off-contract it can range from $300 – $399.


…And The Winner Is…



I have to lean towards the Moto 360 in this comparison as the winner.  Both devices are beautiful and yet so different – the Moto 360 looks like a genuine watch while the Gear S definitely looks like a techno gadget smartwatch.  It depends what style you like more – personally, I like the Gear S look and the ability to make and receive phone calls, but that is still in its infancy at this point.  I chose the Moto 360 because it uses Android Wear, which I think has tremendous potential and the fact that it works with ANY brand of smartphone running Android 4.3 or above.  Again, I use a Galaxy Note 3, but I hate it when a company – Apple or Samsung – forces you into their brand for everything…Android is all about freedom and the Tizen OS, while it works very well, is almost like a closed iOS and I do not like those terms.

About the only thing I do not like of the Moto 360 is the processor and I hope that subsequent models will use a more mainstream and advanced processor.  The Moto 360 has the built-in heart rate monitor, which I know is important to those that exercise, it has a stainless steel casing, is water resistant, a Pedometer, two microphones, a real leather band and wireless charging.  Off contract, it is one of the more expensive smartwatches on the market, but still cheaper than the Gear S.


Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know which one of these two smartwatches you would have chosen and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.

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Senior Writer

Cory has written for Androidheadlines since 2013 and is a Senior Writer for the site. Cory has a background in Accounting and Finance and worked for the FBI in the past. From there he pursued his Masters in English Literature. Cory loves Android and Google related technology and specializes in Smartphone Comparisons on our site. Contact him at [email protected]

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