Apple recently unveiled its new Watch Series 4 alongside three iPhones during a media event in California. The new smartwatch has a larger display, an updated operating system and a range of advanced health functions.
The new Apple Watch is being launched a few weeks after Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Watch, which we recently mentioned as the best smartwatch from TechRadar in the world.
Because Google chooses to stay on the sidelines for a while and let our hope that a Pixel Watch starts soon, the battle for the supremacy of smartwatch returns to a two horse race.
To help you decide whether your next wearable from Apple or Samsung should come, here is how the new Watch Series 4 will measure against the Galaxy Watch.
Design and display
Samsung and Apple take two distinctly different approaches to the smartwatch design with the respective wearables. The Samsung Galaxy Watch has a circular touch screen with a rotating bezel to scroll through the operating system; format options for the Samsung are 42 mm and 46 mm, referring to the diameter of the housing.
The Apple Watch now has a more rectangular design and a touch screen that can be adjusted. It has no rotating ring, but instead uses the rotating Digital Crown to aid navigation through the watchOS interface. New to the Watch Series 4 is a crown with haptic feedback, which subtly clicks under your fingertips as you scroll through lists.
Apple continues to offer two sizes of watches for 2018, but where all previous generations include 38 and 42 mm cases, the Series 4 extends slightly to 40 mm and 44 mm. This growth is due to the new wearable with a larger display, which is 30% larger than the Series 3 and is suitable for more complex faces that show the wearer more information at once.
These size options make the Apple Watch 4 slimmer of the two and more suitable for people with smaller wrists – or just for consumers who prefer a more compact timepiece. Meanwhile, the Samsung is more suitable for those who want a larger smartwatch.
As far as color options are concerned, Samsung sells the 42 mm Galaxy Watch in black and rose gold, while the larger 46 mm is only offered in silver.
It's a bit more complicated with the Apple Watch Series 4. The GPS model, which does have Wi-Fi but no LTE, is only supplied with an aluminum housing, while the GPS + Cellular model can be purchased in stainless steel or aluminum.
All models are offered in silver, gray or gold. On top of that there is the Nike + version in silver and space gray aluminum and the Hermes collection in polished stainless steel with a series of luxury leather belts.
The AMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy Watch measures 1.2 inches wide on the 42 mm model and 1.3 inches on the 46 mm, and both have a resolution of 360 x 360.
The Series 4 Apple Watch has a resolution of 368 x 448 on the 44 mm model and 324 x 394 on the 40 mm version.
The Apple Watch's square screen is better for reading text and interacting with most apps than the Samsung's round screen, reducing the angles while scrolling. But then the Samsung feels more like a watch, with its digital faces that resemble real watches instead of the Apple Watch mini-computer-on-your-wrist look.
Fitness and functions
Both Samsung and Apple have included heart rate monitors on these smartwatches, and with help of accelerometers they can follow your daily steps and exercises. The Galaxy Watch uses its heart rate monitor to monitor your stress levels, so you can relax and breathe for a moment when it sees a peak that can not be attributed to exercise.
The included Galaxy Watch fitness app automatically recognizes and follows six different training activities, but when you switch on the app and set things up yourself, it can register forty different sports and exercises, such as running, cycling, weightlifting, yoga and much more. Water resistance up to 5 ATM means the Galaxy Watch can also track your swimming performance – a stat that matches the Apple Watch Series 4.
Meanwhile, new for the Apple Watch Series 4 is the ability to make an electrocardiogram (ECG), a medical test that is used to monitor the rhythm and electrical activity of your heart. This is the first time an over-the-counter device can do this and it has received certification from the US Food and Drug Administration.
The ECG (also known as an ECG) is taken by opening an app and placing the index finger of your hand without wearing the watch on the Digital Crown. The Watch Series 4 then registers your heart rate classification and saves the data, ready to be presented to your doctor as a PDF on your iPhone.
Also new for the Series 4 (and unique among smartwatches today) is the possibility to alert you to an abnormal heartbeat that may be a sign of atrial fibrillation (AFib).
However, both new cardiac monitoring functions will only be available in the US when they are introduced later in 2018. Hopefully, Apple will soon receive certification in other countries, including the UK and Europe.
What's available at launch is a feature where the Watch Series 4 detects when you fall over and can be set to automatically call the emergency services.
OS and power
An important difference between the smartwatches of Samsung and Apple is that only the first works with both Android and iOS, while the Apple Watch works exclusively with iPhones, leaving Android owners in the cold.
That said, the support of iOS by the Galaxy Watch is limited compared to how it works with Android and especially Samsung smartphones.
As always, the Galaxy Watch runs Samsung's own Tizen operating system, while the Watch 4 comes with Apple's WatchOS 5. For us, Apple's software has a limited edge over that of Samsung, with more apps being produced by a larger network of developers. We are also fans of the Watch & # 39; s Taptic Engine, which warns you of notifications with a firm tap around the wrist, rather than just a vibration.
Inside, the Apple Watch 4 is powered by its own S4 system on a chip, which has a 64-bit dual-core processor, while the Galaxy Watch works on the Exynos 9110 dual-core 1.15-GHz chipset.
As far as RAM is concerned, the smaller 42 mm Galaxy Watch has 768 MB and the 46 mm model is full of 1.5 GB. Apple is not someone who immediately reveals the RAM of his watches, so we will have to wait until Watch 4 goes on sale to find out the exact figure.
It will be a similar story with the battery capacity. We know that the Samsung Galaxy Watch has a 472 mAh cell, much larger than the 279 mAh battery of the one-year Apple Watch Series 3, but the larger screen and body of the Watch 4 would mean a small increase here.
Apple has yet to reveal the exact size of the battery, but says the Series 4 can deliver the same 18 hours of battery capacity as the Series 3, which is considerably less than the claim of Samsung of up to four days on the 42mm Galaxy Watch and up to seven days for the 46 mm model. However, our tests showed that the larger model lasted about four days.
Storage for the Galaxy Watch is 4 GB, while the Apple Watch Series 4 has 16 GB.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch has a price of £ 279 / $ 329 for the 42mm model and the larger 46mm version costs £ 299 / $ 349.
On the other hand (or wrist), the more expensive Apple Watch 4 costs £ 399 / $ 399 / AU $ 599 for the 40 mm model with a rubber sports strap and GPS. Increase the box size to 44 mm and the price jumps to £ 429 / $ 429, while the LTE versions of each measure start at £ 499 / $ 499 / AU $ 749 and £ 529 / $ 529, respectively.
As always, Apple offers a large number of watch models, with prices going to £ 1,000 / $ 1,000 for Hermes examples and £ 1,499 / $ 1,499 for the flagship. That said, the basic functionality of every Apple Watch 4 is the same regardless of what you pay (regardless of LTE recording).
The winner eventually comes to which smartphone you are currently – iOS or Android – and what you appreciate the most on your smartwatch.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch has a much longer battery life, meaning you sleep the night and charge less troublesome, while the Apple Watch is available in more variants to help with your personal style, and Apple's work with ECG and health monitoring distinguishes it from others.
The Watch 4 is probably also suitable for slimmer wrists, or is preferred by those who are put off by the more extensive design of the Galaxy Watch. Although said, larger timepieces are all the range in the traditional watch industry, so the fact that they are bigger is not that the Samsung does not have enough fans.
As for what is best – and if Apple can reclaim the top step from Samsung – we have to make a judgment until we get the Apple Watch Series 4 in our hands.