Five reasons the Samsung Gear S3 is still better than the LG Watch Sport

Google announced the release of Android Wear 2.0 along with two new LG smartwatches yesterday. While these are solid new Google watches, here's why the Gear S3 is still the better watch.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
Image: Samsung/LG

Despite the fact that the Apple Watch accounts for half of all smartwatch sales, Samsung has been in the game longer and the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is the best smartwatch available today.

ZDNet's Jason Cipriani covered the Google and LG announcement yesterday while our friends at CNET posted a preview of the LG Watch Sport. The LG Watch Sport adds in features we see in the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S3 and may be the best Android Wear smartwatch. (Jason will soon have a watch to review, so stay tuned for his upcoming articles).

As a user of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Huawei Watch running the Android Wear 2.0 preview, here are five reasons the Gear S3 Frontier is still better than the LG Watch Sport:

  1. Rotating bezel: The LG Watch Sport has a rotating crown with the updated Android Wear 2.0 user interface that takes advantage of such a rotating mechanism. Crowns are small and have limited circumference, but the rotating bezel on the Gear S3 is innovative and highly functional.
  2. Design and style: The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is constructed of stainless steel, glass, and plastic with classic watch looks. The LG Watch Sport is also made of these materials, but it is even chunkier than the Gear S3 and looks more simple than the Gear S3.
  3. Replaceable bands: LG built the LTE antennas into the bands of the LG Watch Sport so the elastomer bands you purchase are your only options. Samsung embeds everything into the watch body itself and gives you the ability to quickly and easily swap out the bands for standard ones readily available online. The Strap Studio bands are reasonably priced and look fantastic.
  4. Samsung Pay: Android Pay is now available on the LG Watch Sport, but the more universal Samsung Pay with MST support is present on the Gear S3 Frontier. It is handy to pay for things while out and about without your smartphone and Samsung Pay continues to add financial institutions and programs.
  5. Activity tracking: The LG Watch Sport supports Google Fit and third party apps while the Gear S3 relies on S Health. We've seen a ton of improvements in S Health and the automatic activity tracking is tough to beat on the Gear S3. Plenty of third party apps and services are also supported on the Gear S3.

The LG Watch Sport may have better apps, but all of the data studying smartwatch usage has shown that the key to success with smartwatches is in performing the core functions better than others. These functions include informing the user of the time, tracking activity, triaging communications, and interacting with the voice assistant.

The Apple Watch accounts for half of all smartwatch sales, but the smartwatch market still hasn't garnered massive demand. I like to wear a watch, and over the last couple of years all I have worn is smartwatches. Once you start wearing one daily and use it to triage email, track your activity, make calls while your phone is tucked away, and use it to quickly check some basic info, it becomes a device you don't want to leave behind.

Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch first impressions: in pictures

With Apple, LG, Huawei, Asus, and Samsung still making new smartwatches, I think this market will eventually get the attention of the masses, but it is going to take longer than the adoption rate we have seen with smartphones.

Smartwatches less than one-third of all wearables in US: Kantar:

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