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Galaxy Watch

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The Galaxy Watch is Samsung's latest flagship smartwatch. It comes in two sizes, promises days of battery life on a single charge, and has a faster processor. The problem? It's far from cheap.

Gear Sport

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2017's Gear Sport is still a great gadget. It shares many of the Galaxy Watch's features, including built-in GPS, waterproofing, and Samsung Pay. If you need LTE or maximum battery life, however, it may not be for you.

Gear Sport

Budget pick

Looks and feels great
Has 90% of the Galaxy Watch's features
More affordable
Only available in one size
No LTE support

Samsung's Galaxy Watch is the smartwatch to get if you want the very latest the company has to offer, but if you're okay sacrificing about 10% of the experience, the Gear Sport has many of the same features for a lot less money.

Which watch is for you?

While there are a few things that distinctly separate the Galaxy Watch from the Gear Sport, the watches have more in common than you might think.

From a software perspective, you'll be met with the same general experience. The Galaxy Watch is running a slightly newer version at Tizen 4.0 compared to Tizen 3.0 on the Gear Sport, but the overall look and feel is pretty much the same. You've got access to the same apps, watch faces, and user interface. The Galaxy Watch does have some software tricks that the Gear Sport doesn't have, such as Bixby Voice, but Samsung's proven to do a good job in the past with updating its older wearable tech to newer software that's come out following its release.

The two watches also both have built-in GPS for tracking your runs/walks without needing to carry your phone, NFC chips for Samsung Pay, waterproofing, heart-rate sensors, and rotating-bezels around the display that can be used for navigating the various menus and apps.

Samsung Galaxy WatchSamsung Gear Sport
Operating SystemTizen 4.0Tizen 3.0
Dimensions46 x 49 x 13 mm (46mm)
41.9 x 45.7 x 12.7 mm (42mm)
42.9 x 44.6 x 11.6 mm
Display1.3-inch AMOLED 360 x 360 (46mm)
1.2-inch AMOLED 360 x 360 (42mm)
1.2-inch AMOLED 360 x 360
ProcessorExynos 9110 Dual core 1.15GHzExynos 3250 Dual core 1.0GHz
Battery472 mAh (46mm)
270 mAh (42mm)
300 mAh
ConnectivityLTE
GPS
NFC
Bluetooth 4.2
GPS
NFC
Bluetooth 4.2
ColorsSilver
Midnight Black
Rose Gold
Black
Blue

If so much is similar between the two, what does the Galaxy Watch do to justify its higher price?

For starters, the battery life is much better. The 472 mAh battery inside the 46mm Galaxy Watch is rated for 4+ days of use on a single charge. The battery inside the 42mm Galaxy Watch is actually smaller than the Gear Sport's, but the newer processor should still offer similar, if not better, endurance.

Also, if you want to be able to receive notifications and make calls on your smartwatch without having to always be connected to your phone, only the Galaxy Watch has an LTE model.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

14 Comments
  • Do you think the Gear Sport will ever be updated to Tizen 4.0? And, if so, will it bring any changes or just under-the-hood improvements? It was released less than a year ago, so I think Samsung is still supporting it.
  • You forgot about No MST support and only offering Silver on the mens size as being Cons. Both of which are reasons I ended up with an S3 Frontier after waiting almost a year for the Galaxy watch.
  • I was looking so forward (waited over a year...) to getting a black S4.... Oh well...
  • Except the GEAR SPORT doesn't have MST either, so yeah.
  • Is the waterproofing really the same? I was under the impression that the Galaxy Watch could withstand saltwater and higher waterpressure than earlier models?
  • Gear S3 has ip68.
    Gear sport has 5atm
    Galaxy Watch has 5atm. Gear sport and Galaxy watch are the same in regards to water resistance.
  • I have both of these watches and one reason I prefer the Galaxy Watch is that it has a speaker and the Gear Sport does not. It's nice for receiving notifications or even listening to music while running or walking the dog (granted not great quality sound). I prefer the round style of the Galaxy Watch, but it does sit higher on the wrist than the Gear Sport so that's a bit of a bummer.
  • On that TMO model of the Galaxy Watch there is also no band 71 which makes it a non starter for me. I live in an area that had band 71 turned on late 2017 and the difference in signal strength and overall quality of service is substantial. So, not including it on the Galaxy Watch takes the watch out of contention. I'll just wait until someone decides to put band 71 on their watch.
  • Gear Sport does not need charging every night. I charge mine every third night when using it for normal activities, i.e. no active GPS. When I do use the GPS for a round of golf (~4.5 hours) it needs charged every other night. I imagine it would need charging every night if you used active GPS for 10 hours or so. But you also would not get 4 days out of the Galaxy Watch if you did this.
  • Suggest anyone considering the purchase of Samsung wearable read reviews. 25%of comments negative regarding moisture damage and Samsung's lack of accommodation for this problem. My comments ref to Gear S3. Their lack of supporting their product is very worrisome and in my mind excludes them as a someone I work do business with. Buyer beware
  • Well, the gear sport has worked for me during work outs, and swimming....
  • I absolutely love my Gear Sport. I get great battery life (2-3 days) and it runs fast with no lagging for my needs. It connects with my phone via Bluetooth or by Wi-Fi at home with no issues. The Galaxy Watch looks nice, but I don't see a need to upgrade.
  • Hey, can you tell me how does the Gear Sport fair in strength training and weightlifting? Those will be my main goals in terms of tracking. Is there a better option?
  • Anyone who owns the Gear Sport, how does it fair in strength training and weightlifting? Those will be my main goals in terms of tracking. Is there a better option?