Looking for the best Samsung smartwatch? You have five devices to choose from in 2018.
These are the Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, Samsung Gear Sport, Samsung Gear Fit2 GPS and Samsung Gear S2. These are Samsung’s latest smartwatches and are your best bet if you want a great smartwatch experience.
Here’s some quick facts about all these smartwatches:
• They are all compatible with devices running Android 4.4 or later
• They are all compatible with iPhone devices running at least iOS 9
• They all feature a heart-rate sensor and activity tracking
• They all offer push notifications when synced with a smartphone
• They all run Tizen OS, Samsung’s proprietary smartwatch operating system. This doesn’t offer as many apps as Wear OS but is just as feature-packed and easy to use*
*All Samsung’s latest smartwatches run Tizen OS. It is easy to use and looks great - in some ways it’s nicer than Wear OS. The downside is the app ecosystem isn’t as diverse. This is definitely something to consider with Samsung smartwatches.
Our Samsung Smartwatch Recommendations
Below, we will discuss these smartwatches in greater detail. We’ve ordered them by our own preference - yours may be different.
Samsung Gear S3 Classic
The Samsung Gear S3 is the best-reviewed Samsung smartwatch to date. New for 2018, it’s got everything you want in a smartwatch including awesome build quality, a sharp and vibrant 1.3” 360 x 360 Super AMOLED always on display and GPS. It’s also an excellent fitness tracker with a heart rate sensor and step counter.
The Gear S3 runs Tizen, Samsung’s own OS, which is intuitive and comes loaded with useful applications. One of the most desirable features of this smartwatch is a rotating bezel, which gives a satisfying click when turned. It allows you to navigate the OS quickly and easily one-handed without touching the screen. This is also one of the fastest smartwatches to use with its Exynos 7270 processor and 768MB of RAM.
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
If you want the best Samsung smartwatch, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is definitely right up there. It has a very clever rotating bezel for seamless app switching and one of the most premium builds of any smartwatch on the market. It feels like an expensive smartwatch, and importantly, has a rich feature set to match.
The S3 Frontier smartwatch is IP68 water resistant, has Samsung’s latest-generation 1.3" Super AMOLED always on display and offers up to 4 days battery on a single charge. It packs an optical heart rate sensor into its frame, has wireless charging and in-built GPS. NFC is also included, and the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier runs Tizen which is highly intuitive. The key difference between the Frontier and Classic is their designs. The Frontier is more rugged.
Samsung Gear Sport
With its 5ATM water resistance rating, GPS and GLONASS positioning systems and waterproof silicone watch band, the Samsung Gear Sport is the best Samsung smartwatch if you’re looking for something rugged. That useful rotating bezel features here, and the Sport also packs NFC into its frame, allowing you to pay for things card-free using Samsung Pay.
This is a very well-made smartwatch, that much is clear as soon as you pick it up. Its premium metal frame makes an immediate impression and the 1.2” display is a lovely unit with bright colours and a sharp 360 x 360 resolution. Thanks to being compatible with devices running Android 4.4 or later and iPhone devices running at least iOS 9, this is a Samsung smartwatch for everyone. It’s one of the best smartwatches on the market today.
Samsung Gear Fit2 GPS
It isn’t categorized as a smartwatch by Samsung (they list it as a smart fitness device) but make no mistake it can operate as one. The Samsung Gear Fit2 GPS is perhaps the best Samsung smartwatch in 2018 for fitness aside from the Gear Sport. It has a built-in optical heart-rate tracker and GPS and GLONASS for tracking your routes.
The display is a 1.5” Curved Super AMOLED unit. It’s sharp and easily viewed outdoors - even in direct sunlight. The operating system is Tizen, and it’s absolutely fine here. It puts fitness first and is intuitive to navigate. You can setup the Gear Fit2 GPS for push notifications which are displayed on the screen and vibrate on the wrist. This is a top option if you want a durable, fitness-focused Samsung smartwatch.
Samsung Gear S2
It might not be the latest model, but the Samsung Gear S2 is still one of the best Samsung smartwatches you can buy in 2018. It has fantastic build quality and a striking design befitting of a premium smartwatch. It lacks GPS (unless you buy the 3G version) and has a slightly smaller display than the Gear S3 (1.2” vs 1.3”) although both units are AMOLED and share the same 360 x 360 resolution.
Interestingly, the S2 is lighter and thinner than the S3. That’s because it has a smaller battery and display. This isn’t a big deal though. The S2 is a pleasure to use and makes the most of its battery with a low power mode. It runs Tizen and packs a heart rate sensor into its frame. Now that it’s been discontinued, you’ll have to act fast to get your hands on a new one. The used market will always remain an option too.
So, there we have it - the best Samsung smartwatches you can buy in 2018. Before you head off and buy your favourite, though, the Gear S4 will be released this year.
The S4 is expected to launch in August and is rumoured to have an even better rotating bezel than the Gear S3. It’s also expected to have a bigger battery and more RAM (although the processor will stay the same). It might be worth sticking it out then if you want the latest and greatest Samsung smartwatch.