The new LG Watch Style may be sporting the latest version of the Android Wear operating system, but it has much in common with some of the leading older smartwatches. Here's how it matches up with the Samsung Gear S2.
Note that in this comparison, we're including both the Samsung Gear S2 and the Gear S2 Classic, which are very similarly equipped. In areas where there is no difference, only the Gear S2 is pictured.
These official dimensions can be a little misleading, since each manufacturer seems to measure its watches a little differently. The LG Watch's horizontal measurement includes the crown butting out from its side, while the Gear S2's vertical measurement seems to include some portion of the area where the band meets the face.
Either way, these watches are very similarly sized, and the Samsung watches are on the thicker side, meaning they'll jut out from your wrist a little bit more.
Build materials (watch face)
Both watch cases are stainless steel with Gorilla Glass 3 display coverings, though the back of the LG Watch Style is plastic.
Since smartwatches are somewhat jewelry-like, color options might be more important than they are in other types of tech. This lineup includes a few different neutral and metallic color ways.
Similarly, these watches have quick-release bands, so you can buy additional compatible bands and swap them out as you please. The LG Watch Style and Gear S2 Classic ship with leather bands, but the Gear S2's band is plastic.
The LG Watch Style and Samsung Gear S2 have matching 1.2-inch round displays.
They also share the same 360 x 360 display resolution, but presumably due to rounding up or down of screen sizes, the pixels-per-inch measurements from each maker vary by a few pixels. Regardless, they have nearly identical resolution.
The LG Watch Style opts for P-OLED (plastic OLED) while Samsung has remained loyal to AMOLED technology for some time.
Both have always-on display options, so you don't need to "wake up" the watch in order to view time or key notifications.
We appreciate it when smartwatch manufacturers include an additional physical method for navigating the watch, apart from taps, swipes and voice control. It makes it easier to access and move through the watch's content.
In this case, the LG Watch Style has a rotating power button similar to the Digital Crown on the Apple Watch. The Gear S2 has a more novel approach – the whole bezel rotates.
Both watches can withstand splashes and brief immersion, though the Gear S2's IP68 water resistance rating designates a slightly higher level of protection.
The Gear S2 is available in a 3G/LTE variant, but it's a separate option that costs more.
Only the 3G/LTE models of the Samsung Gear S2 are equipped with GPS, for mapping routes and workouts right from your wrist.
Heart rate sensor
The Gear S2 has a heart rate sensor, but the relatively minimal LG Watch Style does not.
The Gear S2 supports Samsung Pay, for making mobile payments with a swipe of the wrist. The LG Watch Style does not contain the requisite NFC technology.
The Gear S2's battery capacity is slightly larger, but many factors go into the equation of overall battery life. The Watch Style dropped a bit quicker than we would have liked, requiring the always-on clock face to be turned off to make it through a full day.
The LG Watch Style sports the latest Android Wear operating system, which includes favorable recent additions like an onboard version of the Google Play Store and Google Assistant. Samsung's Tizen operating system is decent, but we do find it a little chintzy at times, and its voice control features are more limited.
The LG Watch Style has just hit the market, while the Gear S2 has been around since the end of 2015.
The LG Watch Style's starting price is lower than that of either Gear S2 model, but the Samsung watches can easily be copped at a discount these days. We definitely advise against paying full price for the Gear S2 at this point.
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