Smartwatch Shootout: The battle for your wrist

By James Lu - 9 Feb 2015



The Samsung Gear S stands out as the black sheep of our shootout. We applaud Samsung for putting so much into the device, and its feature set is unbeatable. Having said that, all that extra functionality makes the Gear S much more expensive, and after we got over the initial novelty of making calls on the watch, Dick Tracy style, we ended up just using its basic smartwatch functions, such as the pedometer, notifications, and obviously checking the time - all things that can be done with any Android Wear smartwatch. It's also worth remembering that the Gear S is only compatible with Samsung smartphones, and while it can technically be used without pairing with a smartphone, you really need to pair it to get the most out of it.

Breakdown of Scores
  ASUS ZenWatch LG G Watch R Motorola Moto 360 Samsung Gear S
 Design 8.0 8.0 8.0 7.5
 Features 7.5 8.0 8.5 8.5
 User-Friendliness 7.5 8.0 8.0 8.0
Performance 8.0 8.0 7.5 8.0
Value 8.0 8.0 7.5 7.5
Price S$299 S$398 TBA S$498
Overall 7.5 8.0 8.0 8.0

As for our three Android Wear smartwatches, essentially, they all offer the same functionality. As such, the most important factor when choosing an Android Wear smartwatch is probably going to be how it looks. After all, if you're going to walk around with this thing strapped to your wrist all day, you want it to look good, right? And unlike smartphones, which are basically all rectangular slabs with screens on them, smartwatches have a lot more room to play with different form factors, styles and even display shapes. With that in mind, the two watches that stood out to us were the Motorola Moto 360 and LG G Watch R. While there’s nothing wrong with traditional square-face watches (in fact, we quite like them), but square smartwatches like the ZenWatch just look too much like tiny computers strapped to your wrist.

Between the Moto 360 and G Watch R, while we liked the sleek, minimalist style of the Moto 360, the black bar that cuts off the bottom section of the screen ruins its otherwise elegant design. Add to that its poor battery life and often laggy transitions and its a deal breaker for us. On the other hand, while the G Watch R’s chunky, angular black aesthetic looks more aggressive and masculine, it also looks a lot more like a watch, especially with its faux diving bezel. Its excellent battery life, gorgeous crisp display, ability to take any standard 22mm watch strap and snappy processor sealed the deal for us.

Last but not least, you might be wondering why we've not reviewed Sony's smartwatch offering, but it's only because Sony wasn't able to send us a unit for evaluation despite giving them extra grace. We'll review their offerings separately when we get them next. So for now, here's how the smartwatches stack up:-

Our Final Ratings
LG G Watch R

Click for detailed results break-down

Motorola Moto 360 Click for detailed results break-down
Samsung Gear S Click for detailed results break-down
ASUS ZenWatch Click for detailed results break-down
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