Samsung’s latest Gear S2 smartwatch is about to go up against one of the top tier smartwatches in the game. Today we’re doing a brief comparison between the Gear S2 and Apple Watch to find out which one you should buy…
Obviously if you’re locked into the Android or iOS ecosystem your choice is simple. Samsung’s Gear S2 lineup will only work with Android smartphones and Apple Watch with iPhone. But deeper than that there are some things to discuss.
As far as design goes, the Gear S2 lineup rocks a full circular display and takes on a futuristic or modern design depending on the version you pick. It kind of looks like something out of a science fiction movie, but the S2 Classic leans towards a traditional watch look and feel. The Apple Watch almost looks like an old school iPhone and while the design is square, it still functions well as a smartwatch.
The 42mm Apple Watch features a 1.5-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 312 x 390 (326 ppi), while the Gear S2 sports a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 360 x 360 (302 ppi). Internally, each device sports good enough specifications to support their respective operating systems, but the differences between the software is going to be drastically different.
Check out our Apple Watch vs Gear S2 comparison video below:
As for build quality, each side of the table feels solid, as they should being flagship smartwatches. There’s a metal body on the Gear S2, Classic, and Apple Watch. With display coverage, the Gear S2’s Gorilla Glass falls short of the sapphire security blanket around the stainless steel Apple Watch, but they both feel durable nonetheless. Sizing between the two is actually comparable when it comes to the Gear S2 Classic and Apple Watch, but the other S2 variation is a bit bulkier. There’s not a huge difference here or on your wrist as you can see.
Navigation is also going to differ between these two. On the Apple Watch the primary form of navigation is going to be the touch screen, but Apple has implemented to use of a “Digital Crown” and a button to scroll, select, and zoom within specific situations. Over on the Gear S2, the primary form of navigation is actually the rotating bezel. It’s how you’ll do most of your poking around and browsing on this watch and it’s comfortable to use. The touch screen is really secondary to the rotating bezel, and finally there are a couple of buttons to go back or access apps.
For a closer look at the Gear S2, check out our first impressions video/article here.
Each watch features a heart rate sensor and activity tracking for anyone who’s into that and you’ll also find changeable bands, but only under certain conditions depending on the device. Apple Watch bands are proprietary for the most part, but so are Gear S2 bands. The S2 Classic will allow for standard bands to be attached, but again that’s the only one that looks like an analog watch.
Battery life should be comparable in real world use, but Samsung claims the S2 will last up to 2 to 3 days, which is really 2 days over the claimed Apple Watch battery life, but we’ll see how real these claims are in the full review. What do you think about the Gear S2 or Apple Watch? Which is your favorite?