The LG Watch Style is a brand-new, fairly minimal wearable that's relatively small as far as smartwatches go. How does it fare next to the big, bedecked Samsung Gear S3 in a spec-by-spec comparison?

Size

Sick of Ads?

Join more than 500 New Atlas Plus subscribers who read our newsletter and website without ads.

It's just US$19 a year.

More Information

The LG Watch Style is bigger than many normal "dumb" watches, but it's still no match for the Gear S3. The Gear S3 is available in both streamlined Classic and rugged Frontier editions (the latter is shown here) but both are the same hulking size.

Build materials (watch face)

Both watch faces are made out of stainless steel, but the back of the LG Watch (the area that touches your skin) is plastic. Both displays are made out of capable Gorilla Glass, but the SR+ glass on the Gear S3 is specifically engineered for wearables.

Colors

The LG Watch Style is available in three metallic finishes. The Samsung Gear S3 is available in two editions, but they only have one color option each.

Band

Both watches have interchangeable bands, so you can swap out sporty silicone for classier leather when the occasion calls for it.

Android/iPhone compatibility

Both of these watches are compatible with both Androids and iPhones.

Display size

The LG Watch Style's 1.2-inch round display is about 15-percent smaller in area than that of the Gear S3.

Display resolution

Both wearables have 360 x 360 displays, which translates into a slightly higher pixel density on the LG Watch Style's smaller screen. The difference to be very noticeable, as both look fairly sharp.

Always-on display

Both watches have always-on display options, which offer info (like time) at a glance much like a traditional watch would. You can turn off the display to prioritize battery life.

Scrolling input

The LG Watch Style takes a strong cue from the Apple Watch's Digital Crown navigation. You can twist the crown to scroll through the watch contents.

The Gear S3 takes a more original approach: You can twist the bezel itself to navigate through your apps and content.

Water resistance

Both watches are water resistant enough to withstand splashes and brief, shallow immersion. The Gear S3's higher IP rating means it offers slightly higher protection.

Cellular connectivity

The Gear S3 has a cellular connectivity option, so you can use it independently of your phone if you want to.

GPS

The Gear S3 also has a GPS, so you can map workouts and routes right from your wrist.

Heart rate sensor

Unlike many smartwatches, the LG Watch Style can't take your pulse.

Mobile payments

...nor can it be used to make mobile payments, since it does not contain NFC technology. On the other hand, the Samsung Gear S3 works with Samsung Pay, which is similar to Apple or Android Pay with an added benefit: Merchants don't need an NFC reader to accept it.

Battery

The Gear S3, with its ample sensors and mass, has a larger battery to back it up.

Voice control

The LG Watch Style works with Google Assistant, the same virtual assistant in the Pixel and Pixel XL. You can also talk into the Samsung watch, but we don't have as much faith in its S Voice function.

Touch keyboard

You aren't restricted to tapping, talking or twisting. You can also type with onscreen keyboards.

Onboard app store

One of the perks of the Style is that is has an onboard Google Play store. You don't need to download apps for your watch with your phone first.

Software

LG Watch Style is one of the watches that Google announced alongside its Android Wear 2.0 release earlier this month. Samsung uses the Tizen operating system.

Release

The LG Watch Style is one of the newest smartwatches on the market. The Gear S3 was released last November.

Starting price

The Gear S3 is US$100 more, though all of its additional functions may be well worth it. Since it has cellular connectivity, you may also be able to grab one through your cell carrier on a favorable payment plan. However, its sheer size might be a deal breaker for some, especially women with slimmer wrists.

Stay posted for a full-length review of the LG Watch Style. In the meantime, check out our first impressions and compare them to the Gear S3 full-length review.

View gallery - 21 images