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There aren’t too many reviews or comparisons between the Samsung Gear S3 vs the LG G Watch R or LG Watch Urbane so this may start something…
The LG G Watch R was arguably the best looking and working Android Wear based smart watch when released in 2014. In use the watch was just as good as any other smartwatch running the platform BUT had one feature that stood out – it had a fully round screen! No other brand and a fully round screen. Without the flat tire aka screen like other smart watches missing pixels like the heavily promoted Moto360 the G Watch R was the most complete model. It’s case was based on a regular watch and even the button in the correct location mimicked a standard watch perfectly. The other feature was a heart rate sensor which few devices had at the time. We like the LG Watch R and have and one in daily use with complete reliability and it’s still going strong!
In hindsight it is clear now why the LG G Watch R wasn’t a high profile model it should have been when released and was due to not paying off the high profile vloggers on Youtube and the Apple bias ‘0nline’ tech magazines simply didn’t bother. You can understand why Youtube in particular needs to change.
The LG G Watch R’s hardware it still current and so is the Android OS software that was not designed for the round face which is annoying and there are still some stability issues on certain 3rd party apps. You can get a more polished version of the G Watch R in a reclothed version called the LG Watch Urbane.
Two years is a long time in tech and the new Samsung Gear S3 is a seriously good piece of kit. In terms of looks and feel the design is very good regardless of which model you get it looks like a upmarket watch in the Classic version and a outdoors watch in the Frontier version. It does look better than the LG G Watch R in standard spec and even better with another watch band.
In terms of size the G Watch R and the Samsung Gear S3 are basically identical without resorting to a ruler to measure them. and likewise the weight. Seriously the Gear S3 is a very balanced watch in terms for handling and feel and is better than the LG. Both quite large smart watches but smaller than Casio G-Shocks so perfectly acceptable.
In terms of hardware features the Gears S3 has the lot for 2016 and uses all its functions with ease. Differences in the hardware between the two watches are a speaker, barometer, altimeter, GPS, nicer looking screen, wireless charging, NFC and Magnetic strip transceiver and the operating system. The Gear S3 also has the option of a LTE or 4G model you can use as a stand alone phone. Makes the older LG seems a little under equipped. In terms of battery life the LG G watch R can still last 4 days if you just leave it on the desk but make it do some work and you are looking at 1-2 days if really active. The Gear S3 battery life easily lasts 1-2 days if using it often and can also go the 4 days if just left on its own.
In terms of software and interface the Gear S3 and G Watch R are quite different The Gear S3 runs Tizen OS and is clearly the easier to use interface. The scrolling dial is perfectly logical to use and so are the buttons. The G Watch R runs Android Wear which works well but not as good as the Tizen as everything relies on screen gestures which logical is not as intuitive as pressing a button or spinning the dial then using the screen if necessary.
The Samsung Gear S3 is the better smart watch no question and so it should be given the 2 year development gap!
|LG G Watch R
|Samsung Gear S3
|1.3 inch 320 x 320 pixels OLED
|1.3 inch 360 x 360 pixels OLED
|1.2 Ghz Snapdragon 400
|1 Ghz Exynos 7270
|Bluetooth 4.0/WiFi/4G LTE
|46.4 x 53.6 x 9.7 mm
|49 x 46 x 12.9 mm
|Gyro/Accelerometer/Compass/Heart rate/Microphone/Speaker/Barometer/GPS/NFC/Magnetic transceiver/Wireless charging
|IP67 – Dust and water resist
|IP68 – Dust and water resist
|Any Android device running 4.3
|Any Android device running latest OS