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Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016)
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
See Top Ranked Smart Watches

Samsung Gear S3 (2016) vs Garmin Forerunner 645

Analysis:

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016) and Garmin Forerunner 645 Music make for good, if unremarkable, Smart Watches at their respective budgets.

With that said, while they both should serve reasonably well, you might want to look into other options at the $430 and $370 price points - it's likely that there are some better alternatives available.

If you want to learn more about the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016) and the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music, however, we prepared a summary of the information that we have:

Two highly trusted sources that perform well-thought-out in-depth testing consider the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016) to be a great product - it earned the "Ranked 2 out of 11" title from Tom's Guide and "Ranked 3 out of 11" from TechGearLab in their respective Smart Watch roundups, which is a good indication of it being a notable product.

As for the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music - it was really well-received by reviewers at Wirecutter (NYTimes), a great source that's known for conducting high-quality in-depth testing. It performed great in its "The Best GPS Running Watch" roundup and was named its "Top Pick", which, on its own, makes it a product that warrants a closer look.

Out of the sources that tested and rated both of these Smart Watches, Expert Reviews, Pocket-lint, Techradar, and PhoneArena preferred the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016), whereas reviewers at TrustedReviews and PCmag liked the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music better. Digitaltrends gave them identical review scores.

We also took a look at which sources liked these products best - the highest Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016) rating came from Expert Reviews, whereas the Garmin Forerunner 645 Music most impressed reviewers at WIRED; they earned scores of 10 and 9, respectively.

Lastly, we averaged out all of the reviews scores that we could find on these two products and compared them to other Smart Watches on the market. We learned that both of them performed far better than most of their competitors - the overall review average earned by Smart Watches being 7.2 out of 10, whereas the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016) and Garmin Forerunner 645 Music managed averages of 7.8 and 7.5 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016) vs. Garmin Forerunner 645 Music comparison might not be entirely fair - some sources don't take value for money into account when assigning their scores and therefore have a tendency to rate more premium products better.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
Tom's Guide
TechGearLab
CNET
PCmag
OutdoorGearLab
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Android Authority
Android Central
Gear Patrol
Expert Reviews
Tech. Specs Comparison
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016)
$399
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
$259
Cellular
No
No
GPS
Yes
Yes
NFC
Yes
Yes
Operating System
Tizen
Garmin Watch OS
Recommended by trusted experts
Tom's Guide
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best of IFA 2016 Awards: Laptops, Smartwatches and More” 
Last updated: 2 Sep 2016
TechGearLab
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Rated 7.7 out of 10
in “Best Smartwatch of 2020” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Alternatives to the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro” 
Last updated: 3 Oct 2018
Gear Patrol
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Which Smartwatch Is Right for You?” 
Last updated: 24 May 2017
Gadget Review
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best SmartWatches in 2020 (September Reviews)” 
Recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best GPS Running Watch” 
Last updated: 5 Aug 2020
rizknows.com
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Garmin Forerunner 645 vs 935 vs 630 Running Watches” 
Reviewed
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The Best Running Watches of 2020” 
Last updated: 21 Aug 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #8 out of 8
in “The best Garmin watch 2020: find the right Garmin fitness tracker for you” 
Last updated: 2 days ago

Key things to consider when buying Smart Watch

Our super simple Buying Guide

A smartwatch is a wearable computer in the form of a wristwatch. Smartwatches bring notifications, apps, voice control, fitness tracking, and more to your wrist. Although they vary in their features and designs, smartwatches generally help increase productivity and keep track of fitness and health data, like heart rate and sleep tracking.

With exceptions of no-name brands and cheap knockoffs, smartwatches range from $100 on the low end and up to $2500 for the most premium devices. The price goes up significantly when looking at products made of luxury materials, or ones with a very specific use case. Most people will be satisfied with getting a mid-range smartwatch. An option that costs around $200 will typically offer all of the essential tracking and productivity features but may be missing some more premium ones, like cellular connectivity, NFC, or onboard music storage. For $500 you can get a fully-fledged smartwatch that will track a wide array of activities, have a large number of extra features, and will be made of high-quality materials. The high-end of the market is reserved for smartwatches that are aimed at fashion-conscious people who want their smartwatch to have premium looks, without offering any additional functionality over the more reasonably priced options.

The smartwatch market is evolving quickly, with products getting discontinued after two or three years and new flagships being released annually.

A few key players in the industry:

  • Apple enjoys the biggest share in the market and dominates it with their universally lauded, iPhone exclusive Apple Watch smartwatches. They feature great build quality, run on their well-developed wearOS, flawlessly integrate with the iOS ecosystem, and have a wide selection of applications.

  • Samsung mainly produces smartwatches for Android smartphones, but its wearables are also compatible with iPhones and Windows devices. The company's smartwatches run on Tizen OS, which has all of the essentials but lacks some popular apps.

  • Fitbit is known for its great lineup of fitness-focused smartwatches that come at a relatively low price. Fitbit built their own OS that's compatible with all types of smartphones.

  • Garmin offers smartwatches with advanced tracking functions and rugged build quality. The company is primarily focused on outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Xiaomi, in partnership with Huami, also produces good products and focuses on the budget end of the smartwatch market.

These are the most important specs to consider when buying a smartwatch:

  • iOS - This is arguably the most polished operating system for wearables currently available and Apple keeps constantly improving it by pushing regular updates to the OS. It only works properly when their Apple Watch is linked to an iPhone; Apple states that phones from other manufacturers aren't supported.

    WatchOS is the wearable operating system that's currently exclusively used by the Apple Watch. It's smooth, battery-friendly, has a large library of apps, and is well-connected to the iOS ecosystem.

  • Tizen - Tizen is a great OS choice for smartwatches because it's very battery-friendly and smooth to use. However, the current lack of apps and the inferior Bixby virtual assistant are considerable drawbacks to an otherwise good OS.

    Tizen is a custom operating system developed by Samsung. It's known for its versatility - it's used on smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, in-car entertainment systems, TVs, and other smart-home appliances.

  • Cellular - A cellular connection on a smartwatch allows you to do anything that requires data without having your phone nearby. That means that the watch can independently make calls, text, receive notifications, stream music, and more. However, it negatively affects battery life and usually comes at a premium - models that support a cellular connection are typically more expensive and incur extra costs in the form of monthly network operator fees.

  • GPS - Information from a smartwatch's GPS sensor is typically used to provide important workout metrics such as the distance covered, speed, and pace. There may be some small inaccuracies, but the error variation across different devices is typically insignificant for the majority of users.

    The Global Positioning System uses signals from satellites to determine the exact location using triangulation. GPS functionality in smartwatches is essential for certain sports, like cycling, running, golf, and swimming.

  • NFC - NFC in smartwatches lets you perform contactless payments, replacing credit or debit cards. The technology is convenient, fast, and adds versatility to the smartwatch.

    Near Field Communication (NFC) is a type of wireless data transfer that detects and enables other nearby devices to communicate with each other without internet connectivity.

    While you may struggle to find NFC functionality on older smartwatches, the majority of newer models come with an NFC chip.

  • Fitbit OS - This operating system was purpose-built for a more fitness-focused experience. It's optimized to be battery friendly and features an app store that's mainly populated by health and fitness applications. Fitbit doesn't have its own voice assistant and currently uses Amazon's Alexa.
    Fitbit OS is the operating system used by Fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers.

  • Android - Wear OS is compatible with a wide selection of devices and can easily be synced with iPhones and Android smartphones alike. However, there are certain features that won't work with iPhones, such as iMessages, replying to messages through third-party apps like WhatsApp or Slack, and full integration with calendar and emails. Wear OS has a clean and simple user interface, Google Assistant integration, and a good amount of apps available on Google's Play Store. However, the OS can sometimes feel laggy and buggy; some apps can take a few seconds just to launch. Another major drawback of WearOS is its poor battery life - its competitors are delivering multiple days of battery life, whereas most Wear OS devices still need to be charged every night.

    Originally named Android Wear, Wear OS is Google’s Android-based operating system specifically designed for wearables and smartwatches. Because of its open platform, it's used by a variety of smartwatch manufacturers.

Find the best product and price, effortlessly.

Discover deals on products actually worth buyingthe best products

We do the research. You save the money.
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