Apple Watch. Source: Apple

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently made one of its biggest reveals with the launch of its first wearable tech product, the Apple Watch. But while it's a first for Apple, rival Samsung (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF) is already on its second version of its Gear smart watch.

With both of these mobile giants now competing in the wearable space, let's take a quick look at how Samsung's Gear 2 and the Apple Watch compare:


Apple Watch

Samsung Gear 2

Display size

Not available,
38 mm and 42 mm bands


Screen resolution

Retina display



Not available

2.39 ounces

Battery life

Not available

2-3 days

Internal storage

Not available



Accelerometer, heart rate

Accelerometer, gyroscope, heart rate


802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0

Bluetooth 4.0

Operating system


Tizen OS


Apple S1 chip

1.0 GHz Dual Core Processor




Source: Apple and Samsung.

It's pretty easy to see that there's still quite a bit we don't know about the Apple Watch. The device goes on sale in early 2015, so Apple has a few more months to fill in the gaps before consumers decide whether the $349 price tag's worth it.

Both the Gear 2 and Apple Watch can send and receive messages, answer calls when paired to a phone, monitor physical activity, play music, and have standard features like a calendar, email, and voice commands.

But there are a few features that set each watch apart from the other.

Apple Watch. Source: Apple.

The Apple Watch's wow factor
One of the Apple Watch's advantages is the device's overall design. The watch is available in two different sizes, four different finishes (including 18K gold), has six different watchbands, and 11 customizable digital watch faces.

The Gear 2 offers different watch faces as well, but only comes in three colors and one standard size.

Apple's new device also sports a Digital Crown, which lets users scroll through apps, settings, messages, zoom into maps, etc. without covering up the screen with their fingers. Though it has a touchscreen, the Apple Watch should let users see more of the display while in use, compared the Gear 2.

The most differentiating feature of the Apple Watch is Apple Pay, the company's new mobile payment platform. iTunes users can add debit and credit cards to their account then securely pay for goods in stores. Both new iPhone 6 models and the Apple Watch can be used as a payment device at 220,000 merchant locations in the U.S. and works with American Express, Visa, and MasterCard debit and credit cards.

Samsung's strong points
Three advantages the Gear 2 has over Apple's device is an embedded motion-sensing gyroscope, a 2-megapixel camera, and the ability to record 720p HD video straight from the watch. Consumers can take pictures and record video, and still pay $50 less than they would for Apple's device.

But Samsung's device likely has a better battery life as well. The Gear 2 can go up to three days without a charge, while Apple's been mum on the Apple Watch's battery life. In the company's keynote, CEO Tim Cook made it sound like the watch would need recharging every night.

Galaxy Gear 2. Source: Samsung.

The clear winner in a cloudy market
I think the Apple Watch's design, customization, functionality like the Digital Crown, and new Apple Pay feature make it a clear winner compared to Samsung's Gear 2. But that doesn't mean it's a slam-dunk.

Back in July, just 20% of consumers said they're interested in buying a smart watch and at Apple's premium price, many may wait for the cost to drop.

Earlier this summer noted Apple analyst Katy Huberty said she expected anywhere between 30 million-60 million Apple Watches to sell within the first 12 months, though Gene Munster from Piper Jaffray thinks it'll be just 10 million. That's a big range, and it shows no one knows just yet how successful smart watches will be. For comparison's sake, Parks and Associates expects 18 million global smart watch sales in 2014.

According to NPD, consumers that purchase smart watches favor Samsung's devices. The company accounted for 78% of the $96 million in U.S. smart watch revenue since October 2013. But Samsung hasn't competed against Apple in the wearable market, and that high percentage is likely to drop.

Though Apple seems to have the better of the two devices, investors will have wait until early 2015 to see how the two compare in sales. My guess is Apple loyalists will be happy to have a completely new Apple device, particularly one that can make mobile payments. But considering we're still in the early stages of wearable tech, I think it's still unclear whether or not consumers actually want smart watches.


Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.