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Apple Watch vs. Samsung Watch: What’s Better in 2024?

Apple Watch vs. Samsung Watch: What’s Better in 2024?

It’s no surprise to anyone interested in tech that Apple and Samsung products lead the pack, especially when it comes to smartwatches. If you’re in the market for one, then there’s a good chance these companies are at the top of the list. Although they will set you back a bit, there’s no argument that both the Apple Watch and Galaxy Watch are some of the best smartwatches that money can buy. Sure, you could opt for a cheaper model. But the durability, integration, and connectivity that these brands offer are ahead of the rest. Usually, it comes down to an Apple Watch vs. Samsung Watch contest.

Understandably, the smartphone you own will often settle the debate quickly. This is because the latest Apple and Samsung watch models are only compatible with phones running the same OS. For most users, this will decide for you. However, if you’re in the process of replacing your handset, or simply curious about how things look on the other side of the fence, then you may want to know more about how these watches stack up. To this end, we’re going to compare the most recent models that everyone’s talking about. These are the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic. Let’s begin!

Apple Watch vs. Samsung Watch: Side-By-Side Comparison

Ultra 2 vs. Watch 6 Classic

CategoryApple Watch Ultra 2Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
Dimensions49 x 44 x 14.4mm42.5 x 42.5 x 10.9mm (43mm), 46.5 x 46.5 x 10.9mm (46mm)
Weight61.4g77g (43mm), 85g (47mm)
Battery life36 hours, fast charging compatible30 hours, fast charging compatible
Storage64GB16GB
DisplayLTPO OLED Retina display, 3000 nits, 502 x 410pxSuper AMOLED display, 2000 nits, 432 x 432px (40mm), 480 x 480px (44mm)
FeaturesAlways-on display, ECG, temperature sensor, heart rate sensor, cycle tracking, improved GPS, emergency SOS, fall/crash detection, improved water resistanceAlways-on display, ECG, temperature sensor, heart rate sensor, blood oxygen, cycle tracking, GPS, emergency SOS, fall/crash detection, water resistance
MaterialsSapphire glass, ceramic backing, titanium frameSapphire glass, stainless steel case
OSWatchOS 10Wear OS 4
PriceFrom $779From $339.99
Compatible withiPhone Xs or later, with iOS 17 or laterAndroid 10.0 or later (Samsung phones), Android 8.0 or later (non-Samsung phones)
Carbon Neutral
Apple Watch Ultra 2
$779.99
  • Fast charging battery
  • ECG and temperature sensor
  • Durable titanium frame
  • Built-in cellular
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03/03/2024 08:44 am GMT

Series 9 vs. Watch 6

CategoryApple Watch Series 9Galaxy Watch 6
Dimensions41 x 35 x 10.7mm (41mm), 45 x 38 x 10.7mm (45mm)40.4 x 38.8 x 9.0mm (40mm), 44.4 x 42.8 x 9.0mm (44mm)
WeightAluminum – 32.0g (41mm) or 38.8g (45mm). Stainless steel – 42.3g (41mm) or 51.5g (45mm)28.7g (40mm), 33.3g (44mm)
Battery life18 hours, fast charging compatible30 hours, fast charging compatible
Storage64GB16GB
DisplayLTPO OLED Retina display, 2000 nits, 352 x 430px (41mm), 396 x 484px (45mm)Super AMOLED display, 2000 nits, 432 x 432px (40mm), 480 x 480px (44mm)
FeaturesAlways-on display, ECG, temperature sensor, heart rate sensor, cycle tracking, GPS, emergency SOS, fall/crash detection, water resistanceAlways-on display, ECG, temperature sensor, heart rate sensor, blood oxygen, cycle tracking, GPS, emergency SOS, fall/crash detection, water resistance
MaterialsIon-X glass (aluminum), Sapphire glass (stainless steel), ceramic backingSapphire glass, aluminum case
OSWatchOS 10Wear OS 4
PriceFrom $359From $249.99
Compatible withiPhone Xs or later, with iOS 17 or laterAndroid 10.0 or later (Samsung phones), Android 8.0 or later (non-Samsung phones)
Great Display
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
$251.58
  • Advanced BIA sensor
  • Sync seamlessly with other Samsung devices
  • Wide variety of bands
  • Stylish design
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03/03/2024 08:49 am GMT

Apple Watch vs. Samsung Watch: What’s the Difference?

For such small devices, a lot is going on under the hood. Although you can compare the various models using the tables above, we’re going to dive into exactly what sets these products apart.

Durability

Overall, all of these watches are pretty sturdy. If you’re a casual user, then you can’t go wrong here. Most of them use Sapphire glass for their displays. This is one of the most scratch-resistant options available (Rolexes use it, so you know it’s good.) However, the Apple Watch Series 9 uses Ion-X glass instead. This is a lighter-weight glass, but does tend to be easier to scratch than Sapphire. Considering that your smartwatch is going to be on your wrist most of the time, this opens it up to more potential damage than your smartphone. Therefore, if durability is a big priority for you, then this may count the Series 9 out of the race.

Another key distinguishing factor is the improved water resistance of the Ultra 2. The Ultra line is designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind. It’s built to be able to withstand extreme water sports. All of these models are water resistant under casual use, i.e., swimming around a pool for a short while. But the Ultra 2 takes this a step further.

Fitbit Sense vs Galaxy Watch 4
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is made for outdoor use, with souped-up water resistance.

Features 

As with most smartwatches, these models come with a lot of features. Whether you want to track your heart rate, heart health, sleep patterns, or even your menstrual cycle, both Apple and Samsung have you covered. It should be said that, for the Galaxy watches, you must use a Samsung phone for the ECG feature. This is because it’s only available via the Samsung Health Monitor app from the Galaxy Store.

While most of the features seem pretty similar, there is a difference between the Apple and Samsung watches. This is blood oxygen tracking. This used to be a feature that Apple included. But because of a dispute between Apple and the medical tech company they were using, this has now been removed from their newest watches. Therefore, blood oxygen is only available on the Samsung watches, which is a point in Samsung’s favor.

Similar to its durability, the Ultra 2 also pulls ahead when it comes to GPS. This is expected since it’s a watch made for the outdoors. Although the standard GPS of these watches is still pretty useful, the Ultra 2 uses dual-frequency GPS for more precise measurements. If you love to get outside with your gadgets, then this is something to consider. Other notable improvements of the Ultra 2, aside from the GPS, are the Precision Finding and Double Tap features. If you’re prone to forgetting where you’ve put your phone, the Ultra 2 allows you to see how far away your phone is, as well as the general direction relative to your watch. Double Tap lets you pause and play music, answer a call or message, or silence an alarm. These probably aren’t essential features to have, but they’re a point of difference between the models.

Storage Capacity

The storage debate has a pretty clear winner, and it’s Apple. Both the Series 9 and Ultra 2 boast a huge 64GB of storage. In contrast, the Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic only have 16GB. Realistically, most users don’t need a whole ton of storage, since a lot of the data you’ll be accessing on the regular will be stored elsewhere. However, if you’re an avid fan of music, you may want to fill your watch with your favorite tunes and playlists. Likewise, you might want to sync and store your photos on your watch. 16GB is still a pretty hefty amount, but if you think you’re going to be using a lot of space on your wearable, then this may not seem like enough for you.

types of storage devices
All models have plenty of storage, but the Apple Watches have a lot more.

Battery Life 

For all their high points, Apple isn’t exactly well-known for products with amazing battery life. Granted, this situation has improved a lot in recent years, but there’s still a big difference here. While you can get around 18 hours of battery life out of the Series 9 (with always-on display activated), the Watch 6 and 6 Classic beat this out of the park with 30 hours. The playing field narrows considerably if you go for the Ultra 2 instead, which can last for up to 36 hours under similar usage. The Ultra 2 is a significant investment, however, so for most people, the Galaxy Watch will be the clear winner here. Apple fans will still have to deal with charging their watch every night.

Compatibility 

Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, compatibility has only gotten more restrictive with the latest models from both Apple and Samsung. The newest iPhones and Samsung phones are only compatible with their respective manufacturers’ smartwatches. Android users do have more options since the Galaxy Watch 6 works well with a variety of non-Samsung phones that are running Android 8.0 or later. If you’re looking to upgrade your smartphone (or are willing to change the model for your smartwatch), then you have a little more freedom.

Great Battery Life
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic
$394.00
  • 30 hours battery life
  • Super AMOLED display
  • Sapphire glass face
  • Advanced sleep coaching
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03/03/2024 08:59 am GMT

Design

Aesthetics can be hugely important when it comes to wearables. Lots of us like to show off our new buys and make sure they blend seamlessly with our styles. It’s safe to say that the Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic are more reminiscent of a typical watch than Apple’s offerings. The watch face is more rounded, whereas the Series 9 and Ultra 2 are decidedly square. The Galaxy watches also feel more understated since your color options are silver, black, or graphite.

Apple’s colors are a little more vibrant, and you have a lot more possibilities for customization. The Ultra 2 comes with a lot of band colors. Choices depend on whether you’re going for the alpine, trail, or ocean bands. Naturally, these are made for different kinds of use, as it’s an outdoor watch. Blue, indigo, olive, dual-tone orange/beige, blue/black, and green/grey are all potential options, which is more than we can say for Samsung. When it comes to Series 9, the colors are broken down by the material of the case. With aluminium, you can choose from pink, midnight, starlight, silver, or red, while with stainless steel, the options are gold, silver, or graphite. It’s a shame that the more vivid colors are only available with the aluminum case. However, Apple still has the advantage.

best apple watch games
Apple offers more options for colorful watch bands.

Price

Unsurprisingly, Samsung’s watches are cheaper than Apple’s. How much though depends on the model you’re looking at. While the Series 9 is $110 more expensive than the Watch 6, it’s only $20 more than the Watch 6 Classic. Where the big discrepancy comes in, however, is with the Ultra 2. Now, this watch is designed to be the crème de la crème. It has a faster processor, more rugged materials, better GPS, and two extra features. But whether those upgrades are worth shelling out $400 extra is a tough question to answer. The Ultra 2 will be more of an appealing purchase if you own a particularly old model or no smartwatch at all. But it’s hard to justify the price hike if you’re already in love with the Series 9.

Apple Watch vs. Samsung Watch: 8 Must-Know Facts

  1. The Galaxy Watch 6, 6 Classic, and Apple Ultra 2 all have Sapphire glass displays. The Series 9 uses Ion-X, which is less scratch-resistant.
  2. The Ultra 2 costs substantially more than the rest. The Watch 6 Classic and Series 9 are similarly priced.
  3. The Apple watches are only compatible with iPhones (Xs or later, running iOS 17 or later), and the Samsung watches are only compatible with Samsung or Android phones (running Android 10.0 for the former and Android 8.0 for the latter.)
  4. Samsung watches have a more traditional, rounded face, whereas Apple’s watches are more squared.
  5. Both watches have similar features, although the Samsung watches have blood oxygen tracking.
  6. The Ultra 2 has improved GPS, and the Precision Finding and Double Tap features.
  7. The Watch 6 and 6 Classic have much better battery lives than the Series 9, but the Ultra 2 beats those by six hours.
  8. Apple watches have more customization options and colors to choose from.
Best Health Features
Apple Watch Series 9 Smartwatch
$349.00
  • Very customizable
  • Powerful S9 chip
  • Advanced health features
  • Compatible with all Apple devices
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03/03/2024 09:00 am GMT

Apple Watch vs. Samsung Watch: Which One Is Best?

If you’re firmly in the Apple or Samsung smartphone camp and have no plans to switch, then that’ll probably make your decision for you. However, if you’re more open-minded about your next smartphone, then both options have something to offer. The Ultra 2 is the MVP here, with superior battery life, build, GPS, and other features. If you’re into extreme sports, then the Ultra 2 is the clear winner. However, its cost is not insignificant, which is a drawback.

With the more affordable models, the Galaxy watches undoubtedly have the best battery life. They also have the blood oxygen tracking feature that the Apple watches lack. If you prioritize price as well as health features, then the Galaxy watches pull ahead. But if you love your iPhone and want as much integration as possible, then the Series 9 is a great choice. The same is true if you want to customize your watch band to make it your own. You get more freedom here with Apple.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between the Apple Watch and Samsung Watch?

The latest Apple Watches no longer have blood oxygen tracking. The Galaxy Watches also have far better battery life than the Series 9, although the Ultra 2’s battery life is superior overall (but it costs a lot more.) The Series 9 also uses Ion-X glass rather than Sapphire, which is more prone to scratches. Both watches have compatibility restrictions.

Can an iPhone be used with a Samsung Watch?

Not with the latest models. The Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are only compatible with iPhones, and the Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic only work with Samsung or Android phones.

Is buying the Ultra 2 worth it?

Yes, if you plan on using it during extreme sports, and you tend to misplace your phone a lot (it has a phone-finding feature.) The Double Tap feature is also convenient to have, but probably won’t sway you if budget is a concern.

Which watch has more storage?

Apple’s latest watches have 64GB of storage, whereas Samsung’s only have 16GB.

How do the watches' designs differ?

You get more options for your watch band with apple, as Samsung’s watches are more understated. Apple’s watches also have very squared faces, whereas Samsung’s are more traditional and rounded.

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