The Apple Watch 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 were 2020’s most significant smartwatch releases.
These are the biggest watches from two major brands in electronics, jam-packed with the most up-to-date fitness indicators and features, which proved vital during the pandemic.
Both start at a similar price – in particular, the starting price in the US is precisely the same – so there isn’t a price difference to acknowledge. So, which one do you get?
Apple struck gold with the initial Apple Watch concept, so it hasn’t needed to make major cosmetic updates since its debut 6 years ago.
The Apple Watch 6 is 10.4mm thick, available in either 40mm and 44mm sizing.
Depending on how much you want to spend, the shell will be made of aluminium or stainless steel. However, for this new release, the aluminium version became an option to have in blue, and the stainless steel version in gold.
Aside from the colours, the Apple Watch 6 is the same as you’ve always seen it, at least visually speaking.
The Galaxy Watch 3 is distinctive. Samsung’s first iteration was fantastic, but it was a bit cumbersome and overtly “manly” for some.
The second iteration, the Galaxy Watch Active 2, was overtly smaller but lacked the physical rotating bezel control that distinguished a Galaxy Watch.
Thus, the Galaxy Watch 3 attempts to combine the two. Although it is sleeker than the first, it retains the analogue design and rotating bezel. If you haven’t seen it yet, the case and display are round.
It is available in 45mm or 41mm, both slightly bigger than the equivalent Apple Watch 6. However, we like that, at least for analogue smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch 3 is not too thick, at 11.1mm or 11.3mm (depending on which model you go for). The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 outperforms nearly all other round smartwatches.
Each device has OLED displays of sufficient resolution that pixel counts are largely irrelevant.
The 44mm Apple Watch 6 encompasses a 1.78-inch screen offering 448 x 368-pixel resolution, matching Apple’s 326 ppi ‘Retina’ quality.
The larger Galaxy Watch 3 has a 1.4-inch circular screen and 360 x 360-pixel resolution, and a pixel density of 364ppi. They are both bold, vivid, and vibrant.
Apple claims that the 6 will reach 1000 nits of brightness, which is comparable to some of the most brilliant tablets. Samsung has not commented about the Galaxy Watch 3’s scorching OLED pixels; however, it does work sensationally well in direct sunlight.
Each has an Always-On display mode as well. With similarly matched hardware and display tech, you have to judge based on appearances. What do you prefer: a slender rectangular display or analog circle?
However, Samsung has an advantage in one region. You will get a Samsung in stainless steel for the same price as an Apple Watch 6 in aluminum, not a material offered by Samsung.
When it comes to safety features both watches have their own smart technology to assist in emergency situations. While the concepts are the same the operating systems are slightly different. Let’s compare them side-by-side.
Apple Watch Series 6
Apple Watch Series 6 has a few different safety features. Fall detection is one of them. The watch since series 4 has sensors that can detect shifts in motion that would insinuate a fall. If it does detect a fall the watch “taps” you on the wrist, sends you an alert to respond to, and sounds of an alarm.
You can then choose to let the watch know you are OK or select call emergency services. If you are moving after the fall the watch will wait for you to respond to the alert. If you haven’t moved in a full minute, the watch starts a 3o second countdown with more taps and an alarm that gets louder and louder.
If no response the watch automatically calls emergency services. After that, it alerts your emergency contacts in your Medical ID with your location and what has happened.
The Samsung Galaxy3 has a lot of similar features such as incident or fall detection. It operates slightly differently but works just as well. Since the Galaxy4 has been introduced and updated its fall detection for all previous models, the Galaxy3 both relies on the accelerometer for sudden shifts and uses other sensors to detect sudden fainting even if standing still.
If the sensors are provoked a 60-second alert and alarm goes off allowing you to answer it. If you don’t answer within 60 seconds it alerts your emergency contacts that you have taken a fall and where your location is.
Many wearables attempt to perform the functions of medical equipment. And the Apple Watch 6 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 (and many others) are no exception.
They encompass standard exercise monitoring functionalities; GPS, an electronic heart rate monitor, a gyroscope plus accelerometer combination, and an altimeter feature are included.
The more sophisticated additions are an ECG/EKG sensor and a blood oxygen tracker. Both the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Apple Watch 6 have them.
In a nutshell, an electrocardiogram is an electronic equivalent to an optical heart rate monitor. One electrode is located on the watch’s underside. Another can be found on either the Apple Watch 6’s crown or Galaxy Watch 3’s designated key. To complete the circuit, place your finger on whichever, and the device will analyze your heart rate.
What is the goal? To seek out abnormalities that could indicate an arrhythmia, which your doctor should evaluate.
Blood oxygen or SpO2 levels are measured using a sensor located on the belly of the optical heart rate monitor. Red and infrared LEDs pulse through the wrist, while an optical sensor measures the reflected light.
Since oxygenated and deoxygenated blood consumes varying amounts of red and infrared light, a wearable will estimate the oxygen saturation by measuring the changes in the timing of your blood pumping.
SpO2 and ECG sensors, for example, must be approved by the appropriate body in each jurisdiction. The FDA is in charge in the United States, while the EU is in charge of the CE symbol. It’s a good idea to double-check that these are approved in your area as what’s available depends on where you are in the world.
The Apple Watch 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Watch Series 6 are also outstanding exercises and general wellness trackers.
Apple Fitness Plus is a paid service that provides guided video exercises on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, similar to Peloton. The Apple Watch plays a role in this by broadcasting your movement stats to the Fitness Plus interface, allowing you to see the heart rate and exertion as you exercise.
Isn’t that cool? The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 lacks this feature, but it can broadcast its own heart rate readings through Bluetooth. This enables you to use the watch as a chest strap HR controller for third-party platforms such as Zwift.
Operating system, processor and battery comparison
With the Galaxy Watch 3’s battery, Samsung reclaims some of the brownie points. It has a battery that will last up to three days if you wear it all the time but don’t use it too much. Otherwise, you get two days if you’re using GPS for a couple of runs.
Apple claims that the 6, like past generations of watches, has 18-hour battery life. While watchOS 7 now supports sleep monitoring, you’ll need to recharge whilst you’re sedentary but not asleep. See our tips on improving the battery life of the Apple Watch. Good luck!
The battery life of the Galaxy Watch 3 isn’t perfect, but it’s longer than the Watch 6’s if Apple’s calculations are right.
- Have a look at our tips to increase the battery life of your Apple Watch
There’s also no point worrying about the processor capacity of these watches. They use various tools and applications, so they have a few points of reference in common.
Both have an app store.
- Find the best apps for your Samsung Watch here.
It’s logical, as there are more Apple Watch users than other smartwatches, resulting in a larger pool of future buyers.
The Galaxy is a Tizen OS-based interface with a rotating bezel that allows you to swipe across pages of information screens and application menus.
In the United States, the price for these watches starts at around $400.
That buys you either the 40mm aluminum Apple Watch 6 with a silicone band or the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 41mm version with a leather strap.
If you want to go bigger in either, of course, you’ll need to pay more.
Ditto, if you want the LTE functionality to enjoy freedom from your smartphone.
Samsung has also launched a Titanium model, but you’d be looking at about 1.5x the price of the standard model.
So, which is better? The Apple Watch 6 or Samsung Galaxy 3?
This is high-tech competition. Two tech giants going head-to-head.
Really, we all know who wins. Obviously, it’s the Apple Watch. In this category, the odds of the Galaxy Watch out-gunning Apple are almost zero.
However, there are two reasons to opt for Samsung. For starters, the battery lasts more than a day. We like it, and while we’d like two weeks of battery life, it’s just not available in a full-fledged smartwatch.
And there’s the expression. Some people would simply favour the Galaxy Watch 3’s round, watch-like design to the once-modern but now immediately familiar Apple Watch.
Still unsure? Check out the full reviews of each below:
- If you’re now keen to learn more about the Apple Watch, check out our insane list of pros and cons here.
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