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Here's how Samsung's new R5,500 Galaxy Watch compares to the Apple Watch

Avery Hartmans , Business Insider US
 Aug 17, 2018, 06:15 AM

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Samsung's latest competitor to the Apple Watch is here: the Galaxy Watch, a R5,500 (and up) fitness-focused smartwatch. 

Samsung introduced the new smartwatch on stage at its Unpacked event last week. The Galaxy Watch isn't Samsung's first wearable, but it's the first with the Galaxy brand name — in the past, Samsung's smartwatches have been under the "Gear" branding.

See also: Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy Watch, its answer to the Apple Watch — here's everything we know about it

The Galaxy Watch also sets itself apart with two key features: battery life (the watch can last up to four days on a single charge, Samsung says) and a rotating crown that lets you control the watch like a dial. Plus, it looks more like a standard watch than most other smartwatches on the market, Apple Watch included. 

Still, Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch in the world, and Samsung faces an uphill battle if it wants to unseat Apple as the queen of smartwatches.

See also: This chart shows how far Samsung has to go with its new Galaxy Watch to challenge Apple for smartwatch dominance

So as the Apple Watch and the Galaxy Watch prepare to go head-to-head — the Galaxy Watch will be available in South Africa in September — here's how the two watches are similar and different. 

There are a lot of ways in which the watches are similar. Both the Galaxy Watch and the Apple Watch Series 3 come in three colours: black, silver, and rose gold.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


The Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch start at the same price: R5,500.

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

The Galaxy Watch will start at R5,500 in South Africa. (Samsung hasn't said if there's a price increase for the cellular version of the Galaxy Watch, which is coming later this year.) That is the same price as the 38 mm Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS.


The Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch both have OLED displays, although they're totally different shapes.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Samsung


Both the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch are fitness- and wellness-focused smartwatches.

(Note: The Galaxy Watch does not come with a headphone jack, the above photo was taken at a hands-on event where the watches were secured to the demo table)
Justin Sullivan/Getty

The Apple Watch can track workouts like running, cycling, lap swimming, and high-intensity interval training. It also has guided meditation built in, and activity rings that track how much you move, exercise, and stand.

The Galaxy Watch has 39 built-in workouts, and can automatically track six of them. Like the Apple Watch, the Galaxy Watch also has guided meditation and breathing exercises, but it can also track your sleep cycle and calorie count. 

Both the Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch are waterproof and can be worn while swimming.


The Galaxy Watch and the Apple Watch can both stream music, so you can leave your phone at home while working out.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Samsung

Note that you'll only be able to stream music if you have the cellular version of both watches. 


Both watches are NFC-compatible, so you can pay for things without pulling out your credit card.

The Galaxy Watch has Samsung Pay, while the Apple Watch has Apple Pay. 

See also: Standard Bank clients can now get free coffee and burgers if they tap their Samsungs to pay at tills



Both watches have a digital assistant built in.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Samsung

The Galaxy Watch has Samsung's Bixby, while the Apple Watch has Siri. 


Both Samsung and Apple make a variety of bands for the watches, so you can customise them to suit your taste.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Samsung

You're not restricted to the bands that both companies make for their watches, either — it's easy to find third-party bands what will work with both the Apple Watch and the Galaxy Watch.


The are a few key differences between the watches — weight, for instance. The Apple Watch weighs a lot less than the Galaxy Watch.

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The 42 mm Galaxy Watch weighs 49 g, while the 38 mm GPS Apple Watch weighs 26.7 g. Even the biggest Apple Watch Series 3 — the 42 mm watch with GPS and cellular — weighs significantly less than the Galaxy Watch: 34.9 g compared to 63 g. 


The Galaxy Watch is compatible with a variety of smartphones, while the Apple Watch is only compatible with iPhones.

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The Apple Watch Series 3 is compatible with an iPhone 5s or newer that's running iOS 11 or later.  The Galaxy Watch, on the other hand, is compatible with both iPhone 5 or newer running iOS 9 or later, and smartphones running Android 5 or later (you can find a full list of compatible smartphones on Samsung's website). 


The Galaxy Watch can get up to four days of battery life, while the Apple Watch can get about 18 hours.

Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Samsung

Samsung says that the 42 mm Galaxy Watch can get 2-3 days of battery life, while the 46 mm watch can get 3-4 days. Those battery life estimates are with GPS and cellular use factored in. The Apple Watch Series 3 gets up to 18 hours of battery life, but that varies considerably based on how you're using the watch (you can read more about the Apple Watch's battery life on Apple's website). 


The Apple Watch Series 3 is available to buy now, while the Galaxy Watch will be available in South Africa in September.

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