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Samsung Galaxy Watch (2018)
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016)
See Top Ranked Smart Watches

Samsung Galaxy Watch (2018) vs Samsung Gear S3 (2016)

Analysis:

The Samsung Galaxy Watch (2018) is a great Smart Watch for its $165 asking price.

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016), however, while a reasonable product for $399, doesn't stack up against its competitors quite as well. If you're considering Smart Watches in the $430 range, you might want to check out some better options.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch (2018) was loved by reviewers at TechGearLab, a highly trusted source that performs reliable in-depth testing. It did great in its "Best Smartwatch of 2020" roundup where it was named its "Top Pick", which, in itself, makes it a product worth considering.

Returning to the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016), it managed to impress reviewers from two sources that are considered to be some of the most highly trusted on the internet, thanks to their in-depth hands-on testing - Tom's Guide and TechGearLab. It performed great in their respective Smart Watch roundups - it was named "Ranked 2 out of 11" by Tom's Guide and "Ranked 3 out of 11" by TechGearLab. That's quite an endorsement, especially coming from such high-quality sources.

Out of the sources that tested and rated both of these Smart Watches, Gadget Review, PhoneArena, Lifewire, Tech Advisor, TrustedReviews, CNET, TechGearLab, Tom's Guide, Digitaltrends, and PCmag preferred the Samsung Galaxy Watch (2018), whereas reviewers at Expert Reviews liked the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016) better. Pocket-lint, Techradar, and T3 gave them identical review scores.

We also took a look at which sources liked these products best - the highest Samsung Galaxy Watch (2018) rating came from Gadget Review, whereas the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016) most impressed reviewers at Expert Reviews; they earned scores of 9.2 and 10, 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 Galaxy Watch (2018) and Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016) managed averages of 8.0 and 7.7 points, respectively.

Due to the difference in their prices, however, it's important to keep in mind that a direct Samsung Galaxy Watch (2018) vs. Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016) 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
TechGearLab
CNET
PCmag
Tom's Guide
GSMArena
Android Central
Techradar
Expert Reviews
slashgear.com
PhoneArena
Tech. Specs Comparison
Samsung Galaxy Watch (2018)
$165
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (2016)
$399
Cellular
Yes
No
GPS
Yes
Yes
NFC
Yes
Yes
Operating System
Tizen
Tizen
Recommended by trusted experts
TechGearLab
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best Smartwatch of 2020” 
Last updated: 19 days ago
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “Best of 2018 Awards — The Best Smartwatch & Fitness Tracker” 
Last updated: 28 Dec 2018
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “The best swim watch 2020: what you should be wearing in the pool” 
Last updated: 24 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Samsung smartwatch
in “Best smartwatch 2020: The best wearables for iPhone and Android” 
Last updated: 3 Jun 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best Samsung Smartwatch in 2020” 
Last updated: 13 Aug 2020
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Ranked #3 out of 5
in “Best Samsung watch 2020: see our top smartwatch choices before buying” 
Last updated: 13 Aug 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Another great watch
in “Best Fitness Accessories for Google Fit in 2020” 
Last updated: 3 Jun 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Oversized Option
in “Best Fitness Smartwatches in 2020” 
Last updated: 21 Jan 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The Best Smartwatch & Fitness Tracker
in “Best of 2018 Awards — All The Winners” 
Last updated: 28 Dec 2018
Gear Patrol
Trusted Source
-
Depth of
analysis
No
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The Best Smartwatches of 2019” 
Last updated: 19 Dec 2019
Techradar
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best gadgets 2020: the top tech you can buy right now” 
Last updated: 16 Jan 2020
Android Central
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “Best Accessories for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9” 
Last updated: 19 Apr 2019
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: 19 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

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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