The worst kept secret in technology is finally out of the bag. The Apple Watch was unveiled a few days ago in Cupertino, California, and Apple will be hoping to gain a significant portion of the smartwatch market with this release. So how does this new smartwatch compare to two of the existing market leaders, the Galaxy Gear S and the Motorola Moto 360?
Apple Watch vs Moto 360 vs Galaxy Gear S: Design
In terms of design, the Samsung Gear S and the Apple Watch are pretty different. The Samsung Gear S is the bulkier of the two devices, with a large, curved display and single button setup. The strap is also noticeably wider than that of the Apple Watch. Predictably, the Apple device is very much focused on design quality. Its rectangular design is far more striking and ergonomic. The Moto 360 is based around a completely different design, with a circular aspect which is also distinctive.
While Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE:MSI) has done a good job with the aesthetics of the Moto 360, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) usually cleans up in the design department, and the Apple Watch looks to be no exception to this basic rule.
As smartwatches are obviously intended to be worn by the consumer, customization is an essential element of any smartwatch. Apple has really focused on this by offering a vast array of wristband options, two different sizes, and three separate materials. The Galaxy Gear S does have color options but these are limited compared to the Apple Watch, and this is also the case with the Moto 360.
Samsung has previously been criticized for the plasticky feel of its Galaxy S5, yet this hasn’t dissuaded the Korean corporation from constructing its smartwatch from plastic. Both the Moto 360 and the iWatch are comprised of stainless steel, and the metallic feel would seem to be preferable.
Samsung is running its own Tizen OS on the Gear S while Apple’s Watch OS is used on the Apple Watch. Apple has concentrated on ensuring that the operating system is slick and offers convenient functionality. By contrast, Tizen is very much akin to a smartphone operating system. Moto 360 runs off Android, and the abiding impression is that the customized system employed by the Apple Watch may be the superior of the three.
The Apple Watch has made health a central focus of its feature set and emphasis. Already the Apple Watch videos released by Apple display a particular fixation with athletic endeavors. Apple will also release a specific iteration of the Apple Watch which is specifically tailored to health and fitness. Tizen is intended to be more of an all-rounder, but offers the ’S health’ program and can also track heart rate. The Moto 360 also has health tracking features, but Apple really seems to have put this element at the centre of its new Apple Watch.
The Samsung Gear S is certainly the winner in this department, just simply because it offers a more updated version of Bluetooth. Both the Apple Watch and Moto 360 run Bluetooth 4.0 LE, while the Samsung Gear S has been more recent Bluetooth 4.1 LE included within its portfolio of functions. All of the devices are fitted with Wi-Fi capabilities, so there is little to choose in this department.
Features and Software
Each of the smartwatches attempts to separate itself from the competition with a variety of different features. It is interesting, though, that the Apple Watch has included a camera in its portfolio of functions, which will undoubtedly make it attractive to many consumers. Although we won’t see the Apple Watch until 2015, it does seem to offer something of a unique and attractive smartwatch package.