Smartwatch Comparisons: Sony SmartWatch 3 vs Samsung Gear Live



We have a good one for you today – the Sony SmartWatch 3 versus the Samsung Gear Live.  Even though one is from Japan and the other from South Korea, these two devices have much in common and it will be very hard to pick a winner in this Smartwatch Comparison.

Both displays are very close in size and both are 320 x 320 pixels, although they differ in technology.  Both use a very capable, yet different processor and both have the same 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.  Both smartwatches are running the same Android Wear operating system.  They each contain an Accelerometer, Compass and Gyroscope and both are water and dust resistant.  Even their sizes are very similar, with the Samsung Gear live slightly thinner at 8.9mm versus the 10mm of the Sony SmartWatch 3.  Both smartwatches need any Android smartphone running Android 4.3 or higher to receive its full benefits.


Please take a close look at the detailed spec sheet below where you can really see how close these two smartwatches are, and then we will take an individual look at each device and list some of its pros and cons to help us pick a winner of this Smartwatch Comparison.


Sony SmartWatch 3 vs Gear Live Specs

Sony SmartWatch 3

05_SmartWatch_3_LimeThere was one reviewer that pegged the look of the new Sony SmartWatch 3 (SW3) as "cheap and charmless' looking and while the Moto 360, LG G Watch R and Samsung Gear S "ooze class," and the SW3 looks "juvenile."  I do not know if I would go that far, but Sony certainly seems to be going in the direction of the younger, party, high school crowd, or perhaps the more fitness/sportswear oriented look.  The central part of the watch can snap out and be put into other colored bands, even setting it up to use as a pocket watch or as a pendant around your neck.


While it may be plastic/rubber coated metal on the outside, inside, Sony really upped their game when compared to their SW2.  The 1.60-inch TFT LCD display has a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels and 278 pixels-per-inch (PPI).  This is only slightly smaller than the 1.63-inch display found on the Gear Live – the biggest difference is in the display technology.  The SW3 uses an LCD display and the Gear Live uses Samsung's Super AMOLED display – both are beautiful displays with the Gear Live having more vibrant colors while the SW3 can be seen better outdoors.

Sony chose the Quad ARM 7 processor clocked at 1.2GHz while the Gear Live chose an equally capable Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core clocked at 1.2GHz.  As I mentioned earlier, both use 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage with no room to expand.  Neither smartwatch has a camera to take pictures, but they both have Bluetooth 4.0 LE, a Gyro/Compass and Accelerometer.  The SW3 adds IP68 water and dust protection, an Ambient Light Sensor, GPS, NFC, a microUSB connector and comes with a black and yellow band.  The SW3 also has a larger 420mAh battery, which should give you two days of solid use.  It can be purchased in the Play Store for $250.

Samsung Gear Live

AH Google IO-1404 Gear Live 3.4The Samsung Gear Live does resemble the outline of the SW3 in its design, but once you turn the light off and the outline gives way to the real McCoy, you can see that the Gear Live is much sleeker looking with its outer metal body – it just looks more sophisticated and adult-like.  The Gear Live comes with a black strap and a 'wine' or purple looking strap – one for that dinner party and the other for a pool party.


The Gear Live has a slight advantage in display size – 1.63-inch versus 1.60-inches – but the 320 x 320 resolution is the same.  For those of you that like Samsung's Super AMOLED display over the LCD technology, you will enjoy a brighter , more colorful display on the Gear Live, however, once you are in bright sunlight, the SW3's LCD display is easier to view.

Both devices use a great processor, although the Gear Live's Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core clocked at 1.2Ghz may be more familiar to users.  They both have the same 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.  The SW3 wins out in the battery department – it has a 420mAh battery versus the smaller 300mAh battery on the Gear Live, but you will still get a full day and more out of one charge.  Speaking of charges, the Gear Live does use an awkward clip-on charger that is rather a pain.

When it comes to other features, the Live Gear is also Bluetooth 4.0 LE ready and has a Gyro, Accelerometer, compass and also a Heart Rate Monitor built-in to the back of the watch head.  It is also water and dust resistant with its IP67 rating, has a standard 22mm strap so you can add third party bands and it too needs any Android smartphone that is running Android 4.3 or higher.  The Gear Live can be purchased in the Play Store for $200, or $50 cheaper than the SW3.


…And The Winner Is…

AH Google IO 2014 Galaxy Gear Live  (3 of 7)


This was a real tough one to choose and it could really be called a tie.  I picked the Samsung Gear Live for a number of reasons – none of which are real compelling.  I like the looks better of the Gear Live and it gives more of a WOW factor…the SW3 just looks like a 'kids watch' to me.  The Gear Live's built-in heart rate monitor is a nice touch, it has a feature to locate your smartphone and alert you to a low battery on your smartphone.  It does have a slightly bigger display, is a little thinner and will cost you $50 less.

The Sony SmartWatch 3 will not disappoint you if you like the way it looks.  It is also Wi-Fi ready and has NFC capability and it does have its own GPS built-in so you can leave your smartphone at home or the gym when you run.  The larger battery will give you a full two days before a charge, but all of that will cost you an extra $50.


Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know which smartwatch you would rather own and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.