Smartwatches

LG Watch Sport vs. Samsung Gear S3

New Atlas compares the features and specs of the LG Watch Sport (left) and Samsung Gear S3
New Atlas compares the features and specs of the LG Watch Sport (left) and Samsung Gear S3
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Android compatibility
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Android compatibility
Voice assistant
2/24
Voice assistant
Battery
3/24
Battery
Build
4/24
Build
Colors
5/24
Colors
Display materials
6/24
Display materials
Display resolution
7/24
Display resolution
Display size
8/24
Display size
Display type
9/24
Display type
GPS
10/24
GPS
Heart-rate tracking
11/24
Heart-rate tracking
iPhone compatibility
12/24
iPhone compatibility
Keyboard
13/24
Keyboard
LTE
14/24
LTE
Onboard app store
15/24
Onboard app store
Mobile payments
16/24
Mobile payments
Release
17/24
Release
Scrolling input
18/24
Scrolling input
Software
19/24
Software
Swappable band
20/24
Swappable band
Water resistance
21/24
Water resistance
Dimensions
22/24
Dimensions
New Atlas compares the features and specs of the LG Watch Sport (left) and Samsung Gear S3
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New Atlas compares the features and specs of the LG Watch Sport (left) and Samsung Gear S3
Starting price (full retail)
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Starting price (full retail)

LG has two new smartwatches that mark the arrival of the long-delayed Android Wear 2.0. Let's see how the more powerful of the two, the LG Watch Sport, stacks up next to its most obvious rival, the Samsung Gear S3.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

The LG Watch Sport is a big smartwatch, but it doesn't quite reach the considerable proportions of the Gear S3.

Build

Build
Build

Both watches have stainless-steel bodies, though the Watch Sport uses plastic on the wrist-facing side.

Colors

Colors
Colors

The LG Watch Sport ships in both titanium and blue color options, while the two editions of the Gear S3 (Classic and Frontier; the Classic model is pictured in this comparison) each only come in one hue.

Android compatibility

Android compatibility
Android compatibility

Both watches work with recent Android phones.

iPhone compatibility

iPhone compatibility
iPhone compatibility

In a change from recent years, both Samsung's and Google's watch platforms can now play nice with iPhones.

Display size

Display size
Display size

While both watches are large, LG managed to squeeze in a better screen-to-front-face ratio, with its 13-percent bigger display.

Display resolution

Display resolution
Display resolution

The Watch Sport has an unusually high-resolution display for a smartwatch, with a 25-percent higher pixel density than the (already-sharp) Gear S3.

Display type

Display type
Display type

The Sport uses P-OLED (Plastic OLED) display tech, while the Gear S3 has an AMOLED panel.

Display material

Display materials
Display materials

We're looking at two different variants of Gorilla Glass: Samsung opting for the newer (wearable-focused) SR+, with LG sticking with older Gorilla Glass 3.

Scrolling input

Scrolling input
Scrolling input

If you thought Apple's tech-industry influence had dropped in recent years, this category might make you think twice. The LG Watch Sport pinches the Digital Crown from the Apple Watch. (Here it's called a rotating power button.) While Samsung's scrolling bezel on the Gear S3 isn't as direct a knockoff of Apple's idea, it's a similar idea with a different placement.

Despite the apparent lack of originality, we prefer these kinds of scrolling methods over repeatedly swiping on a touchscreen (though you can do that too, if you prefer).

Cellular connectivity

LTE
LTE

You can buy both watches in standalone, LTE-connected models, though cellular is standard on the LG Watch Sport but only an optional variant of the Gear S3.

GPS

GPS
GPS

Both watches also have GPS, so you can track your location without the help of a paired smartphone.

Water resistance

Water resistance
Water resistance

Both have strong IP68 water resistance, meaning they can hang out in up to 1.5 m (about 5 ft) of water for up to 30 minutes. Swimming, however, isn't a good idea with either.

Battery

Battery
Battery

The LG Watch Sport has a bigger battery, though it also has more pixels to drive in its display. We'll test the battery life of a review unit soon.

Heart-rate sensor

Heart-rate tracking
Heart-rate tracking

Each smartwatch can keep tabs on your pulse.

Swappable band

Swappable band
Swappable band

You can swap out the Gear S3's band for standard 22-mm replacements. The Watch Sport can't pull off this trick, since it has antennae inside its band.

Voice control

Voice assistant
Voice assistant

This should be a pretty dramatic difference: The LG Watch Sport includes Google Assistant, the same AI found in the Pixel smartphones. Samsung's S Voice, by comparison, is a watered-down Siri knockoff.

Mobile payments

Mobile payments
Mobile payments

Both watches let you pay with your wrist, though Samsung Pay has the advantage of working with most standard credit card readers (no NFC equipment required at the store).

Onboard app store

Onboard app store
Onboard app store

On the Gear S3, you have to install smartwatch apps from your phone, which then automatically pair with the watch. With Android Wear 2.0, watches like the Sport get their own watch version of the Google Play Store that can install apps sans phone.

Touch keyboard

Keyboard
Keyboard

If you don't fancy talking to your wrist like a modern-day Dick Tracy, both watches have keyboards and handwriting options.

Software

Software
Software

We're looking at Android Wear 2.0 vs. Samsung's Tizen OS.

Release

Release
Release

The LG Watch Sport is now shipping, while the Gear S3 has been on store shelves since last November.

Starting price (full retail)

Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (full retail)

These two high-end wearables are going to cost you, at an even $350 (though Verizon charges $380 full-retail for the Sport). You may, however, be able to buy on an installment plan that spreads the cost out over a couple of years.

For more, you can hit up our review of the Watch Sport or revisit New Atlas' full review of the Gear S3.

1 comment
JamesDillard
I've looked at a a lot of reviews and I am AMAZED no one has gone over the heart rate sensors, and their accuracy. What good is a "fitness watch" if you can't track the most important metric? Your heart.
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