The Android smartwatch market is very competitive with both Google and Samsung offering their own operating systems as worthy competitors to Apple. Wear OS (Google) and Tizen OS (Samsung) are, for Android users, the two options to choose from. And now that many watchmakers like Fossil, Skagen, Swatch, and more are building compatible devices, Android users are starting to compare Wear OS vs Tizen OS more closely.
To help make choosing between Wear OS and Tizen OS more simple, we’ve compared both of these smartwatch operating systems to see what are their best features. Let’s take a look.
Which is best: Tizen or Android Wear?
The first key difference between Wear OS and Tizen is the watch selection. Several manufacturers produce watches with Wear OS, including Motorola, Fossil Group, Mobvoi, and others. By comparison, Samsung is the only one creating watches with Tizen.
We could call it a draw. If you’re looking for choice, Wear OS is available on a wider range of smartwatches. Tizen may run on just two smartwatches, but these two are widely considered two of the best on the market
Wear OS vs Tizen OS: A quick comparison
|Wear OS||Tizen OS|
+ many more
|Samsung Wearables only
(e.g. Galaxy, Galaxy Active 2)
|Features||Onboard Assistant (Google)
Onboard Assistant (Bixby)
|Apps||Larger app selection
Full Google suite
|Smaller app selection
Limited interactivity with phone apps
|Health & Fitness||
Heart rate monitor
Heart rate monitor
What is Wear OS?
- Larger app store and more third-party apps
- Many different smartwatch brands and styles
- Possible future integrations with Fitbit
- App store still limited
- Fitness suite not as good as Tizen OS
In 2018, the original Android Wear operating system rebranded itself to Google’s current Wear OS. The Wear OS operating system is compatible with all Android phones, and many of the largest watch brands now design smartwatches with Wear OS inside.
Wear OS features nearly all of Google’s best features. It has Google Assistant, Calendar, Google Pay, Maps, Gmail, and Play Music. In addition, Wear OS lets you make calls and messages straight from your watch.
The Google Fit app works well in (and with) Wear OS, and syncing to your phone or another device is effortless. Wear OS also lets dedicated fitness fans use third-party apps like Strava, Runtastic, or Lifesum.
One of the downsides about Wear OS is that it still has a limited app store, compared to something like the Apple Watch. However, with Google’s $2.1 billion-dollar acquisition of Fitbit, they have a much more significant market share than their 10% from 2015. This means app developers have an increased incentive to make their apps compatible with one of the largest wearables companies in the market.
Read also: The Best Fitbit for Kids
Wear OS Smartwatch – What are the best smartwatches with Wear OS?
The important question is what is the best smartwatch that employs Wear OS? Well, after some consistent research, we’re suggesting the Fossil Sport.
The Fossil Sport has a classic, lightweight, and stylish design: muted grey colors, clean edges, and simplicity in execution. The onboard storage comes in at 4GB and it has a 1.2GHz Quad-core processor, and it employs the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, so overall the internals are respectable for the price. The screen is a 1.2-inch 390 x 390 AMOLED, so your home screen and trackers will be sharp and bright. Overall, this is a great entry-level all-rounder.
Most chosen Wear OS smartwatch
Check out more of the best Wear OS and Android Smartwatches that money can buy.
What is Tizen OS?
- Very good health apps and suite
- Open-source software
- Works flawlessly with Samsung wearables
- A limited number of watches currently available
- Smaller app store
Tizen OS in the Linux-based operating system that Samsung developed for its wearables, smart TVs, and other devices in their ecosystem. Linux is an open-sourced operating system that is found in all of the top 500 supercomputers worldwide. This sets Tizen OS up to be a highly competitive operating system, with unparalleled room for expansion and high-end development.
The Tizen OS allows for many of the staple wearable features that you would expect to find a smartwatch today: mobile payment, GPS tracking, Spotify or music players, Uber, calendars, mail, and more. In addition to this, the Tizen OS health and fitness features are notoriously good. The Samsung Fit app is a favorite amongst many fitness fanatics.
One of the downsides about Tizen OS and the Tizen OS ecosystem is that there are currently many fewer apps in their app store, with third-party apps currently having limited availability or compatibility. Undoubtedly this should change with time. That being said, although the ecosystem is limited, it does work incredibly well with all of its own proprietary apps and features.
If you’re comfortable using Here Maps, Samsung Pay, Bixby, or other Samsung apps, then Tizen OS is a good operating system – if you have a Samsung TV, you’ve probably been using Tizen OS already, so no need to worry.
Tizen OS Smartwatch – What are the best Tizen watches?
If Tizen OS sounds like the operating system for you, which is the best Tizen watch to buy?
There aren’t many to choose from, but even if there were, we’d have to pick the Samsung Galaxy Watch. The watch comes in two sizes, the larger 46mm version, and the smaller 42mm version. Both have quality internals, boasting 1.15GHz Dual-core processors, and 4GB of in-built storage. The battery life on these Tizen OS watches is very good, coming in at about 2 full days. And, the Samsung Galaxy Watch has a proprietary rotating touch-sensitive bezel for effortless navigation (think ‘iPod classic touch wheel’ and you’ll get the idea). Overall, a great Tizen OS watch with high-end design features.
Best Tizen Smartwatch
Conclusion: we recommend Wear OS but Tizen is not a bad option!
With the current condition of both operating systems, Tizen OS seems to be slightly better in terms of overall performance and UI.
However, Wear OS is compatible with many devices so if you don’t manage to pick up a Samsung wearable then it’s likely this will be your Android smartwatch OS.
In fact, the deciding factor on whether you prefer Wear OS or Tizen OS will likely rest on your choice of a smartwatch.