Gear S3 vs Galaxy Watch [The Differences That You Should Know]

In the year 2021, choosing the right smartwatch isn’t easy. There are so many options, but they seem to overlap if you can’t tell the difference. Samsung is one of the big guys on the smartwatch market, as it knows how to check every box that consumers need efficiently.

However, since Samsung released many versions and models, the average consumer can get lost. So, we’ve picked the most popular models to discuss: Gear S3 and Galaxy Watch. They have their similarities and differences, and they outperform each other in different categories.

So, here’s everything that will help you set them apart.

The Short Answer

The superior choice is the Samsung Galaxy Watch if you’re looking for a feature-packed smartwatch that performs fast and withstands water submersion while tracking every type of workout you can imagine.

Yet, the Samsung Gear S3 is an excellent choice that covers all the smartwatch basics that still impresses in different areas such as ruggedness and Samsung Pay.

Specs Comparison:

ModelDisplayBattery LifeInternal MemoryProcessorWater-Resistance
Gear S3 frontier1.3″ Super AMOLEDUp to 3 days4GBDual-core 1GHz Exynos 7270IP68
Galaxy Watch1.2” or 1.3” Super AMOLEDUp to 4 days4GBDual-core 1.15GHz Exynos 91105 ATM

Gear S3 vs Galaxy Watch – Full Comparison

Now that you’ve got a small hint, let’s delve into the bigger picture.


At first glance, both watches look similar. As you can see, both sport the classic Samsung choice of a circular watch face. Also, they both have a rotating bezel, which is a practical way to scroll through the watch without using the screen if your hands are slippery.

Plus, they’re very stylish, high-end, and timeless-looking, so they’re good if you want to show off your new piece a little.

However, they aren’t 100% equal in their design. For example, the Gear S3 feels chunkier and heavier on the wrist; it weighs around 2.2 ounces without the bands. Its only option is 46mm, which is unsuitable for small-wristed people and women. So, it’s not for everyone.

On the other hand, the Galaxy Watch comes in two options: 42mm and 46mm. This versatility widens the range of people that can wear the smartwatch comfortably.

Another difference in design is the level of water resistance. The Gear S3 has an IP68 rating, which means that it resists dust and water for up to 5 feet underwater for a maximum of 30 minutes. It also resists extreme weather. This level of protection is worth something for casual use or hiking, but swimmers are probably not impressed.

That said, if you’re a swimmer, you’ll love the Galaxy Watch because it has a 5 ATM rating, meaning that it can handle being underwater for up to 164 feet.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch


The level of durability needed changes from one user to another. Some people wear smartwatches as a fashion accessory because many of them look cool, while others wear them in harsh environments where they explore nature and use their watches to track and navigate.

In terms of durability, the Gear S3 knows what to do. You can tell almost immediately that it can handle workout junkies and nomads that need a reliable companion in unpredictable environments.

Its steel bezel, combined with a Gorilla Glass SR+ screen, means that it won’t be the end of the watch if you drop it or it hits something. While the Galaxy Watch is also durable, it’s not built specifically for outdoor activities, so bear that in mind.

Winner: Samsung Gear S3

Display and Specs

Both Samsung watches sport crisp, colorful 360 x 360 super AMOLED displays with 278 PPI, an area where Samsung excels. We never appreciate bright, colorful displays enough until we go out in the sunlight and can’t see anything on the screen.

That being said, the Gear S3 only comes with a 1.3” screen, while the Galaxy Watch offers two display sizes: 1.2” for the smaller size and 1.3” for the larger one. So, despite offering almost identical displays, the Galaxy Watch goes a step further in this category.

In terms of processing abilities, the Gear S3 doesn’t mess around; it has a dual-core 1GHz Exynos 7270 processor. Yet, the Galaxy Watch performs a tiny bit quicker, thanks to its dual-core 1.15GHz Exynos 9110 processor.

Regarding the RAM, the 42mm versions are equal in both, offering 768MB. However, the Galaxy Watch offers 1.5GB, which is a significant upgrade.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch

Read also: Garmin Fenix 5x Vs 5x Plus

Battery Life

Battery life is such a tricky topic because the more features that a smart device has, the shorter its battery life. Samsung smartwatches don’t have the longest battery life because they have a lot to offer. Features such as always-on can drain the battery quickly.

The Samsung Gear S3 lasts for two days if you’re a heavy consumer and three if you don’t use all features at the same time. However, the Samsung Galaxy Watch lasts for three days on average, but you can easily push it to 4. So, while both battery lives aren’t the best, the Galaxy Watch outperforms.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch

Built-in GPS

GPS is a crucial feature to have in a smartwatch. We don’t just depend on it to track our activities but also to know where we are.

Both contenders have built-in GPS. This feature is pretty helpful for hikers, runners, and outdoor enthusiasts who want to leave their smartphones at home but still be able to navigate through their adventures and track their workout.

The fact that they have an altimeter and a barometer means that they can detect

not only your location but also the geographical details around you and what to expect from the weather, as well.

Winner: Tie


Both smartwatches run on Tizen, the Linux-based operating system that is very similar to Android but is more lightweight. It also supports smooth scrolling, which is perfect for a smart device on the go.

The Gear S3 ran on Tizen 3.0 but was recently updated to 4.0. The Galaxy Watch already runs on Tizen 4.0. So, for a while, the Galaxy Watch was ahead of the curve, but the Gear S3 finally caught up.

The benefits of having Tizen 4.0 include an abundance of watch faces that you can change up to fit your outfit or even pick what’s more visually satisfying. The interface is more user-friendly than previous versions. In addition, Tizen 4.0 includes more features such as theater mode and goodnight mode, which definitely makes the watches more reliable.

Winner: Tie

Health and Fitness Tracking

Smartwatches allow you to leave your smartphone in the bag or pocket while tracking your health and fitness essentials from the watch itself.

The Gear S3 covers all the basics. It tracks sleep time, heart rate, steps, calories, all common workouts, and more. Fitness and health junkies may want more, and they’ll find it in the Galaxy Watch limitless catalog for workouts and activities.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay is a lifesaver that allows you to make payments wherever you are. Having it on a smartwatch is one of the most convenient features, and both watches have it.

Nonetheless, one of them goes a bit further. While the Galaxy Watch allows you to only pay through NFC, the Gear S3 helps you pay with MST, as well. Frequent users of Samsung Pay will definitely appreciate this versatility.

Winner: Samsung Gear S3

Read also: The Top 5 Smartwatches for Google Pixel in 2021

What We Like and What We Don’t Like About Gear S3 and Galaxy Watch:

Gear S3


  • Versatile Samsung Pay
  • Durable and rugged
  • Neat interface
  • Reasonably priced


  • Huge
  • Limited water resistance

Galaxy Watch


  • Good battery life
  • Fast performance
  • Attractive-looking
  • Water resistance
  • Extensive workout tracking


  • Expensive

Final Thoughts

While both smartwatches have their advantages, one of them clearly offers more than the other. The Samsung Galaxy Watch isn’t cheap, but it has more size choices, longer battery life, faster performance, actual water resistance, and more extensive health and fitness tracking.

That being said, if you want a great Samsung smartwatch with comparable features at a better price, go for the Samsung Gear S3.