Apple Watch Series 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: clash of the flagship smartwatches

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Apple Watch Series 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: clash of the flagship smartwatches
Apple just released not one, but two new Apple Watches. For the first time in the history of the wearable, we have two models from different categories. From the pair, the Apple Watch Series 6 is the more premium one and the true successor to the Apple Watch Series 5.

As the top Apple smartwatch, it deserves to face against its main competitor from other brands, a title which can be attributed to only one watch right now, the Galaxy Watch 3. And yes, we realize that iPhone users choosing a Galaxy Watch over the Apple Watch are few and far between and Android users don’t even have the option to use an Apple Watch.

But this comparison isn’t as much about which one you should choose, as it is about the tech that the two biggest brands in the smartphone world are bringing to the smartwatch table.

Now let’s get to it!

Apple Watch Series 6

- Improved health features, faster Apple S6 processor, Always-On Retina Display, ECG and Oxygen monitoring, and more

$399
Buy at Apple

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

- Stainless Steel, Mystic Bronze, Bluetooth

$399
Buy at Samsung



Apple Watch Series 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: design comparison


Both these watches follow the characteristic aesthetics of their brands. The Apple Watch is once again an elegantly rounded rectangle with the digital crown on its side for navigation. A look that has become iconic and just like other Apple designs has been copied by its competitors.

Not by Samsung, however. Since the first Galaxy Watch, Samsung has relied on a more traditional design for its smartwatches, replacing the analog watch face with a digital one but keeping the round shape and the rotating bezel which many timepieces have as well.

The result of the different approaches taken by Apple and Samsung is that the Apple Watch feels more like its own thing. А gadget that you wear on your wrist but is not there just to replace your watch but rather to be a tiny version of your iPhone. It’s why many people that have never worn a regular watch didn’t mind wearing an Apple Watch.


Samsung, on the other hand, aims to make the transition to smartwatches easier for traditionalists by offering not only a physical design that speaks to them but digital watch faces that resemble classical ones as well. Of course, on both watches, you have hundreds if not thousands to choose from but while Apple’s watch faces are often more abstract and filled with new-age complications, Samsung offers ones that mimic analog watches as defaults.


But these being smartwatches, it’s more about what they can do rather than how they look, so let’s compare some features!

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Galaxy Watch 3: features comparison


This year, both Samsung and Apple made big strides towards providing features that they were lacking, almost entirely levelling the field.

Health tracking


First it was Samsung's turn since the Galaxy Watch 3 was released about a month ago. With it, Samsung caught up with Apple in a few meaningful ways. The Galaxy Watch 3 finally has Electrocardiogram feature that's approved by the FDA and can be used in the States. Another important and potentially life-saving feature that arrived to Samsung's smartwatch is fall detection. Samsung also introduced blood oxygen saturation measuring, something the Apple Watch Series 5 doesn't have.

Now, however, it's time for Apple to punch back. The Apple Watch Series 6 brings oxygen saturation tracking, quickly taking away that advantage from Samsung. Another long-awaited feature that most smartwatches have was also announced today: sleep tracking. With those two additions, Apple adds two big check marks to its feature list.

One advantage the Galaxy Watch 3 still has is blood pressure measuring. Yes, this feature is not very precise and requires you to calibrate the watch with a dedicated BP monitor, but still, it's a plus in the Samsung column.

Of course, both watches can track numerous types of workouts, count your steps, calories and heart beats per minute.

Watch faces


Showing off your cool watch face is a big part of the smartwatch experience. Which is why Samsung and Apple are putting a ton of effort to bring new ones to go along their new models. Samsung has a good lineup of preinstalled watch faces but the biggest benefit comes from the vast customization options and allowing users to distribute watch faces between each other through the Galaxy Watch app. This does, however, also mean that you might have to browse through hundreds of watch faces before you can find one that suits your taste. But then again, you can always make the perfect one yourself.

While Apple also allows customization of its watch faces, it mostly relies on its special designs. With the Apple Watch Series 6, you get a totally new art-inspired watch face, as well as one that includes your personal memoji. Apple doesn't let users get too crazy with custom designs perhaps in fear they might make something too ugly to grace the Apple Watch display.

Apps


Third-party apps can greatly improve the functionality of a smartwatch and in that category the Apple Watch Series 6 is the clear winner. Apple Watch has been dominating the smartwatch market for years and naturally, developers make their apps for it first and then maybe for the Galaxy Watch later. In many cases, apps don't reach Samsung's smartwatch ecosystem at all. Of course, you'll find the most popular ones for both the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Galaxy Watch 3, but the sheer number and the variety of the apps available for wachOS tip the scale in Apple's favor. Additionally, the Apple Watch with its new S6 chip is much more powerful than the Galaxy Watch 3, powered by the same processor as its predecessor from a couple of years ago. This gives developers more freedom to create useful, or just plain entertaining apps.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Galaxy Watch 3: price comparison


While in the past Apple was usually seen as the expensive brand, these days Samsung has more than caught up in that regard. And when it comes to smartwaches, the two companies are matching prices almost to the cent.

The Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399 for the smaller 40mm model and $429 for the larger 44mm one. For the LTE models, the prices are $499 and $529 respectively.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 starts at $399.99 for the smaller 41mm model and $429.99 for the larger 45mm one. That's almost a dollar more! However, Samsung gives you the LTE connectivity $50 cheaper than Apple, pricing the two Galaxy Watch 3 LTE models at $349.99 and $479.99 respectively.

So, all in all, it seems no matter if you're on team Apple or team Samsung, you can get a very capable smartwatch at pretty much the same price. As with its smartphones, Apple is still unmatched when it comes to chip design, which alongside the richer ecosystem gives the Apple Watch Series 6 an edge over the Galaxy Watch 3. 

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