We have a good one for you today – The new Sony SmartWatch 3 (SW3) goes up against the new LG G Watch R. Rectangle versus round. Plastic versus stainless steel. LCD versus POLED display. We have it all in this comparison. While the devices – both excellent by-the-way – will perform the same tasks and internally are very close, their outside appearances are totally different…and looks, as subjective as it is, may end up being your choice for the winner of this spec comparison.
These two devices have different, yet equivalent processors and both are backed up with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. There is no way to expand storage and neither one has a camera. They both have Bluetooth 4.0, a Gyro, an Accelerometer and a compass. They are both dust and water resistant, although the SW3 is rated slightly better. They both have a microphone to use the "Ok Google" Now features. They both need an Android smartphone using Android 4.3 or higher to work properly. They both are running Android Wear and even their batteries – 420mAh in the SW3 and 410mAh in the G Watch R – are very close in size.
Please take a close and cursory look at the detailed Specification table below and you can see where these two devices really differ or are the same. Next, we will go on to looking at each smartwatch on an individual basis, pointing out any pros and cons, in our quest to pick a winner.
Sony SmartWatch 3
The Sony SmartWatch 3 (SW3) follows a long line of Sony smartwatches, but this is the first that uses Android Wear…which was a great decision on Sony's part. Their SW2 was beautiful looking, but the software was its weakest point. By choosing to use Android Wear, Sony can concentrate on strictly the hardware and leave the software to Google.
Speaking of hardware, the SW3 is a nice looking, minimalistic design with the ability to snap out the main 'head' to swap colored plastic bracelets, or turn it into a pocket watch or even a pendant for around your neck. The TFT LCD display is 1.60-inches with a 320 x 320 resolution and about 278 pixels-per-inch (PPI) – making it easier to see outside in the bright sunlight, but otherwise, the POLED display of the G Watch R is nicer to view. The SW3 uses a quad ARM 7 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, although not as well-known as the Snapdragon 400 quad-core found in the G Watch R, it is a fast and capable brain for the SW3. They both have 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory with no expansion available.
Extra features found on the SW3 that are not on the G Watch R would be that it is Wi-Fi ready, it has its own GPS so you could leave your smartphone at home when you go on a run, it also has an ambient light sensor as well as NFC. It can be purchased at the Google Play Store for $249.99.
LG G Watch R
The LG G Watch R is a quick follow up of the LG G Watch – a complete makeover from the ground up. The original was very similar looking to the SW3, but they added an 'R' to the end of the name and it stands for 'Round.' It went from plastic to stainless steel and from looking like the rest of the smartwatches to what I think is the best looking smartwatch on the market today. The Moto 360 is nice looking, but the LG G Watch R kicks it up several notches…certainly a more manly watch with its bulky bezel.
The LG G Watch R comes with a 1.3-inch POLED display with a resolution of 320 x 320, about 245 PPI…the display is one of the best out there on a smartwatch, and you can actually read it when on standby. It uses the Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz for fast and smooth performance. It is coupled to 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory.
Additional features include a Barometer and Heart Rate Monitor and it comes with its own charging cradle that attaches to the contacts on the back of the watch. The LG G Watch R can be purchased at the Google Play Store or at AT&T for $299, so the base price with a leather band is about $50 more expensive than the SW3.
…And The Winner Is…
I said this was going to be a tough one and it was…BOTH of these are excellent examples of Android Wear smartwatches. I gave slight edge it to the LG G Watch R because I like the main design of it better – although the Sony SmartWatch 3 does use a simple microUSB port for charging, so no need to bring the special adaptor along. The LG G Watch R has a heart rate monitor and the standby display is much easier to read.
I know looks is a subjective topic, but if you want a smartwatch that looks like a fine piece of jewelry that also happens to do many other functions, including being a timepiece, then you definitely want the LG G Watch R. If you want a 'sports' style watch for at the beach, in high school, or if you simply like the rectangle design, then the SW3 would be your choice.
Like I said, functionally, these two devices are almost identical thanks to the Android Wear, but when it comes to looks and pricing – the SW3 costs $50 less than the LG G Watch R – that is where you will have to make up your own mind. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know which one of these smartwatches would be your choice as the winner and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.