Huawei Watch 2 vs. Samsung Gear S3: Battle of the Smartwatches!

By | November 13, 2018
(Last Updated On: November 12, 2018)

The Samsung Gear S3 and the Huawei Watch 2 are two of the best smartwatches out there. Both of these offer a classic version that looks good with formal wear, and sports versions that are just perfect for rugged adventures and casual settings. Which one should you buy?

Huawei Watch 2

Huawei has given the Watch 2 and the Watch 2 Classic a more traditional look. Their bezel is made of ceramic, like what you would see on most luxury watches. The ceramic bezel is stronger and is more scratch-resistant than steel. It helps make the Huawei Watch 2 light at only 57 grams, and the Classic version weighing only 3.5 grams more. Both versions have the same dimensions: 1.93 inches by 1.77 inches with a thickness of half an inch.

Meanwhile, you can swap the bands of your Huawei Watch 2 Classic. The company itself offers nine different colors for its band, but you can use any 22 mm strap. Speaking of customization, you can also choose different watch faces to suit your mood.

These smartwatches are water- and dust-resistant, with a water resistance rating of IP68. This means that you can submerge them in water 30 meters deep for 30 minutes.

Features

There are the features you should know about the Huawei Watch 2 and its Classic variant.

Activity and fitness tracking

If you have an active lifestyle, the Huawei Watch 2 can give you more data and insights into your workouts. For instance, it has a continuous heart rate monitor that can provide you with accurate pulse readings and present your heart rate for the past six hours.

The Huawei Watch 2 has a dedicated button that makes it easy for you to tell it to start recording your workouts. It also features live GPS tracking with real-time maps and a high-resolution track. Meanwhile, you also get progress reports and reminders on distance, time, and lap.

You can scroll through all your fitness data starting with the steps you have taken and the calories you have burned, right down to VO2max, recovery time, and training effect, among other data.

Furthermore, the Huawei Watch 2 can play online streaming music. It also has enough storage for 4 GB of music for some online listening.

Connectivity

The Huawei Watch 2 has a 4G model that allows you to have 4G connectivity to call and text anybody. It also lets you connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. The Huawei Watch 2 also has Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS on board.

Smart features

The Huawei Watch 2 has a built-in Google Assistant allowing you to ask questions and issue commands just by saying it. On top of that, you can download mobile apps to your watch, including Foursquare, Facebook Messenger, and Uber.

You can also use your Huawei Watch 2 to pay for your purchase with Android Pay or NFC.

The differences between Huawei Watch 2 and Huawei Watch Classic

The original Huawei Watch 2 does not have a standard band size. At 20 mm, you would need to rely on the bands that Huawei makes for its smartwatch. The Classic version makes use of the standard 22 mm bands, giving you more choices. The original is also lighter than the Classic version. Furthermore, while both have GPS compatibility, the original Watch is compatible with A-GPS and GLONASS.

Huawei Watch 2 comes in a variety of silicon bands, while the only Classic option has a leather band.

Cellular connectivity is absent on the Classic version. This means that you would need to have your smartphone nearby to make and receive calls and SMS messages if you have the Huawei Watch 2 Classic.

How does Huawei Watch 2 compare to the Apple Watch 2? Read here!

Samsung Gear S3

The Samsung Gear S3 has two variants: the Gear S3 Frontier and the Gear S3 Classic. They use stainless steel for their bezel and either silicon or leather for their band. In fact, you can just buy any standard 22-mm band for them if you want a new look.

Both the Classic and the Frontier have the same dimensions: 1.93 inches x 1.81 inches x 0.51 inches. However, the Frontier at 63 grams is a bit heavier than the Classic’s 59 grams.

With the Gear S3, you have the rotating bezel, which allows you to navigate and scroll through lists and menus. The buttons and the touchscreen complete how you interact with the watch.

Features of the Samsung Gear S3

Fitness tracking

As a fitness and activity tracker, the Samsung Gear S3 delivers all the tracking data you would expect: it counts your steps, calculates the calories you burned, and tracks everything else. It also has an embedded GPS sensor that gives you location data and helps you explore new trails and hiking routes.

You would also love how the Gear S3 reminds you to get up on your feet and start moving. Instead of beeping or buzzing, it shows you a cute animation that will tell you that it is time to move. What’s more, this smartwatch will offer you tips and suggest activities. On top of that, it can coach you as you do these suggested exercises. It can even count the repetitions out loud, making it more interactive than other smartwatches out there.

The Gear S3 can track six different exercises automatically.

If you are the type who likes exercising to music, then you can use your favorite Bluetooth headset and listen to songs stored directly on the smartwatch. The Gear S3 has enough space for 4 GB worth of songs, allowing you to leave your phone behind when you go out for a run.

The Gear S3 has an included heart rate monitor and can keep track of your pulse as you do your exercises.

Connectivity

This smartwatch offers you both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to connect with other devices. You would also enjoy making wireless and wallet-less payments using Samsung Pay with the embedded NFC antenna.

Comparing the Samsung Gear S3 and Huawei Watch 2

What should you expect from these smartwatches? What do they have in common?

First, there’s the music and audio component. All of these smartwatches have 4 gigabytes of storage space, and 768 MB of RAM. But there is no way to add more memory, meaning you cannot insert a microSD and other types of expandable memory into these devices.

When it comes to sound, all of these smartwatches have a loudspeaker and can connect to Bluetooth headphones. However, they do not have a 3.5-mm jack for those who like to listen via wired headsets. Dimensions for the Samsung Gear S3 and the Huawei Watch 2 are roughly the same, as well.

They all offer a wide variety of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and they have an NFC chip embedded for wireless payments. There is also a variant from each brand that allows you to insert a SIM card into the watch to make calls and send SMS messages without connecting or pairing with your smartphone. Both models of the Gear S3 and the Huawei Watch 2 all have an LTE version.

As for sensors, all of these smartwatches have a gyro, heart rate sensor, barometer, accelerometer, ambient light, and speedometer. As such, they potentially can measure the same fitness metrics.

Other areas where these smartwatches are the same include having an audio player and photo viewer on board, as well as having a voice dial feature. All of these smartwatches have an IP68 waterproof rating, making them safe from splashes, but not suitable to be worn when diving or swimming for an extended period of time. You also get multi-touch displays for all of these smartwatches.

What’s different?

All of these smartwatches are on the heavier side. Huawei’s smartwatches are generally lighter than the Samsung Gear S3. The Huawei Watch 2 weighs 57 grams, and the classic version weighs 61 grams. Meanwhile, the Gear S3 Classic weighs 59 grams, while the Frontier version weighs 63 grams.

Samsung uses both leather and silicon for both smartwatch models. Huawei Watch 2 has a silicon band, while the Watch 2 Classic has a leather band.

When it comes to bezel material, Huawei Watch 2 wins with its ceramic bezel, which is stronger and more durable than the stainless steel you see on both Gear S3 models.

  • Display. When it comes to displays, the Gear S3 has a slightly bigger and better display: a 1.3 inch Super AMOLED screen with resolutions of 360 pixels by 360 pixels with a 278 ppi pixel density. The Huawei Watch 2 has a slightly smaller AMOLED display at only 1.2 inches. It has a resolution of 390 pixels by 390 pixels with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. This means that the Huawei Watch 2 has a better resolution.
  • Operating systems. Samsung opted to use Tizen-based wearable platform 2.3.2 for its smartwatches’ operating system, while Huawei went with Android Wear OS 2.0. The advantage of not going with Android Wear OS is that Samsung is able to do everything it wanted when it comes to the design and functionality of its smartwatch. However, Android Wear 2.0 has more mobile apps readily available for you to download and install on your watch.
  • Sensor. The Huawei Watch 2 has a compass on board, which allows you to use your smartwatch as a compass if you get lost.
  • Battery. Huawei Watch 2 has a bigger capacity battery at 420 mAh, compared to the Gear S3’s 380 mAh. However, a single charge of the S3’s battery can deliver up to 72 hours of use, compared to only 48 hours with Huawei Watch 2. What’s more, Samsung Gear S3 offers wireless charging.

Side-by-side comparison

  Samsung Gear S3 Classic Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Huawei Watch 2 Huawei Watch 2 Classic
Prices start at  $290.00  $297.94  $194.99  $224.99 
Dimensions (inches)  1.93 x 1.81 x 0.51  1.93 x 1.81 x 0.51  1.93 x 1.77 x 0.50  1.93 x 1.77 x 0.50 
Weight (grams)  59  63  57  60.5 
Waterproof rating  IP68  IP68  IP68  IP68 
Band material  Leather or silicon  Leather or silicon  Silicon  Leather 
Bezel material  Stainless steel  Stainless steel  Ceramic  Ceramic 
Display         
Display type  Super AMOLED  Super AMOLED  AMOLED  AMOLED 
Multitouch screen  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Display size (inches)  1.3  1.3  1.2  1.2 
Resolution (pixels)  360 x 360  360 x 360  390 x 390  390 x 390 
Pixel density (ppi)  278  278  326  326 
Corning Gorilla glass protection  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
What’s Inside         
Operating system  Tizen-based wearable platform 2.3.2  Tizen-based wearable platform 2.3.2  Android Wear OS 2.0  Android Wear OS 2.0 
Chipset  Exynos 7270  Exynos 7270  Qualcomm MSM8909W Snapdragon Wear 2100  Qualcomm MSM8909W Snapdragon Wear 2100 
CPU  Dual-core 1.0 GHz  Dual-core 1.0 GHz  Quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A7  Quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A7 
Internal memory  4 GB, 768 MB RAM  4 GB, 768 MB RAM  4 GB, 768 MB RAM  4 GB, 768 MB RAM 
Expandable memory  No  No  No  No 
Loudspeaker  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
3.5mm jack  No  No  No  No 
Vibration alert  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Wi-Fi  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Bluetooth  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
GPS  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
NFC  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Accelerometer  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Gyro  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Heart rate  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Barometer  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Compass  No  No  Yes  Yes 
Natural language commands  Yes  Yes  No  No 
Audio player  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Photo viewer  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Voice dial  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Battery         
Lithium ion battery  380 mAh  380 mAh  420 mAh  420 mAh 
Maximum battery time  72  72  48  48 
Wireless charging  Yes  Yes  No  No 

Final say

Both the Samsung Gear S3 and the Huawei Watch 2 are well-made smartwatches that are on the heavy side and look rather well on your wrists. If you are looking for features, you can go with either one of these smartwatches. They offer stellar fitness and activity tracking, as well as a vast range of smart features.

When it comes to design, you have more choices with the Gear S3, but the Huawei Watch 2 has a stronger and more durable ceramic bezel.

As for interacting with the watch, the rotating bezel on the Gear S3 trumps the buttons-only navigation on the Huawei smartwatches.

The biggest drawback of the Samsung Gear S3, however, is its relative lack of apps. The Huawei Watch 2 relies on Android Wear OS, which means that it has more apps at its disposal.

Further read, The 3 Best Smartwatches for Texting Made Easy

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