Android Wear was by far the most interesting thing to have come out of the Google I/O event. Yes, Android L has received a universally positive response, but its release was a given and we have been using Android for over half a decade now. Android Wear however is something completely new. An OS designed from the ground up for the smartwatch. An OS that ties itself tightly with the Android OS on our smartphones. During I/O, two out of the three smartwatches we know of so far running Android Wear were unveiled. They are Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch. Lets take a look at how both these watches compare.
|LG G Watch||Samsung Gear Live|
|Display||1.65-inch LCD IPS (280 x 280)||1.63-inch Super AMOLED (320 x 320)|
|Processor||Snapdragon 400||1.2 GHz processor|
|Sensors||9-Axis (Gyro / Accelerometer / Compass)||Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass, Heart Rate|
|Dimensions||37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95mm||37.9 x 56.4x 8.9 mm|
|Colours||White Gold/ Black Titan||Black and Wine Red|
The display on the Samsung Gear Live is clearly superior to the one on the LG G Watch. It has a higher resolution pixel count at 320 x 320 compared to G Watch’s 280 x 280. At identical dimensions the Gear Live will have a more pixel dense display, which is important since the text will be relatively small. The Gear Live also uses the Super AMOLED technology which will come in extremely handy as Samsung includes an ‘always on’ function. With just the time being displayed, the OLED panel will use very little battery. The same cannot be said about the LCD panel on the LG G Watch. Samsung has a clear edge here.
All Android Wear watches will come with a default set of sensors. These include a gyroscope, compass and an accelerometer. However the Samsung watch also includes a heart rate sensor. Samsung first introduced this sensor on the Galaxy S5. We’re not sure how Samsung intends to utilise this sensor, but it does make more sense on a watch than on a smartphone. Again the Korean giant has an edge in this particular area.
The dimensions may just be the most important spec people will look at when deciding a watch. Unlike a phone, a watch will be worn on a wrist and will remain there until you take it off. This is why it’s extremely important that the watch is not too big and heavy. The Samsung Gear Live is 4g lighter than the LG G Watch, which not seem a lot at first. But it’s 59g and 63g we’re talking here so the different might be noticeable. The LG G Watch however is significantly less wide at 46mm compared to the Gear Live’s 56mm width. The Gear Watch wins some points back with its thinness, which is at just 8.9mm compared to the G Watch’s 9.95mm.
A watch is no good if it’s going to be charged every other day. A sizeable battery is a must in this case. The LG G Watch comes with a 400mAh battery compared to Samsung’s 300mAh battery. This could be why the LG Watch is slightly heavier and thicker. We’re not sure how much of a difference it will make in the end, but rest assure that the G Watch will last longer than the Samsung watch (provided they both use the same chipset). However, there is another variable here; the display. The G Watch comes with a more power hungry IPS panel while the Gear Live uses a more efficient OLED panel.
Samsung Gear Live will set you back $199 while the LG G Watch will be priced at $229. From what we have seen above it’s the Gear Live that seems to do most things better than the watch from LG. This makes the Samsung watch a much better value, at least on paper. Whether the company can translate this on-paper advantage into something concrete remains to be seen.
Both the watches are now available for pre-order from Google Play Store.