So I have been fixating on smart watches these days.
Full disclosure – I just ordered a new 46 mm Galaxy Watch. I use a Samsung Galaxy S8. I abandoned the Appleverse years ago, first in a terrible foray into the Windows Phone (great hardware…shittiest software experience ever) and then to Android, but not just any Android, Samsung – arguably the king of the Android experience (although Huawei and Xiaomi have some awesome offerings as well).
Back to Apple. You see since I ordered the Galaxy Watch I have been on pins and needles in regards to the Apple Watch series 4 which was just announced today.
Should I have waited to see what Apple is going to release?
This question weighed hard on me but in the hours since Apple’s big event I am pleased I went ahead with the Galaxy Watch. Let me be clear – the Galaxy Watch does not play well with the iPhone but it does play. The Apple Watch on the other hand does not play with anything other than Apple.
So right now the divide is – if you are an Apple iPhone user (11.9% of the market as of Q2 2018) according to Statista then the Apple Watch makes the most sense. If you are an Android user (88% of the market as of Q2 2018) than I would argue the best watch available to you is the Galaxy Watch.
Now smartwatches are interesting things. You cannot review and compare them in a vacuum because, by their very nature, they are integrated into any number of other worlds and technologies.
Still the temptation is strong. For instance if we were to compare the Galaxy Watch to the Apple Watch 4 without consideration of integration to iOS or Android devices but simple as standalone smartwatches I would argue that the Galaxt Watch wins handily over the Apple Watch.
For starters the form factor of the Galaxy Watch is round…this is not simply Samsung being traditional but recognizing that hundreds of years of watch development have dictated that the round form factor makes the most sense for people.
The rotating bezel around the edge is also the most elegant way to navigate through a smartwatch. The battery life on the Galaxy Watch is as long as seven days compared to 18 hours on the Apple Watch 4. The screen is now larger on the series 4 Apple Watch at 44 mm compared to Galaxy Watches 42 mm or 46 mm versions. The rotating button on the Apple Watch’s side also now incorporates haptic feedback. The new watch also has a louder speaker (50% louder than before). The Galaxy Watch has a feature to clear its speaker of water after swimming.
Apple has developed some interesting new health features including a fall sensor and a EKG ability for the Apple Watch – how much of this is hardware verses software time will tell as others like Samsung seek to emulate.
Apple has been a little short on the details too with the new watch announcement. Samsung practically overloaded us with technical details but some of those details are very important like the new MIL-STD-810G U.S. military durability standard it has achieved. I want to know how this compares to Apple because, while I may not be torturing it from a fitness and active lifestyle perspective this is a big selling feature for Apple’s watch. We should know how it compares.
We will have to wait and see – there is little in the way of tech specs that Apple releases even for previous versions of the watch so once Tom’s Guide, TechRadar and the others release full and detailed reviews perhaps we will know.