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A man walks into a smartwatch store... (LG Watch Sport vs. Samsung Gear S3 impressions)

Mar 15, 2010
I went to the AT&T store after work today with the hopes of buying an LG Watch Sport. The reason I started looking at smartwatches to begin with was because I simply wanted something that could take voice memos without having to pull out & hold my phone every time.

The Senstone, a device born from Kickstarter/Indiegogo, records voice memos as its sole purpose, but its flower-shaped design seems oriented more towards women. If I was a girl, the "pendant" necklace would be an obvious choice, but alas I cannot change my gender overnight (or at least I'm not willing to). Wearing a watch would just be more natural for me, and, -- bonus points! -- smartwatches come with Android Pay, GPS, Music, Heart rate monitor, App store... the list goes on.

I did some research and had my eyes fixed on the LG Watch Sport, which packs all the latest technology and looked really nice from all the photos I saw of it. But when I saw the LG Watch Sport in person, I was baffled at how THICK it is. It just looks unnatural. I tried it on, and, yeah... it looked horrible on my wrist. I cannot see this looking good on anybody: it sits in a different zip code. Oh, and one more thing: the watch bands are not replaceable on the LG Watch Sport because they have antennas inside of them.

So, with the LG out of the question, I hopped on over to the Samsung smartwatches. Although they are only 1-2mm thinner, it somehow makes a world of a difference. Both the Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic look GREAT on me, with my preference leaning heavily for the Classic - it simply looks like a very nicer watch in my opinion.

Being my first time ever really using a smartwatch, I moved back & forth between the Gear S3 Classic and LG Watch Sport, playing around with them. I noticed the UIs seemed drastically different and after looking into it (thanks Google - you are much smarter than the AT&T reps), I realized that Samsung uses their own Tizen OS instead of Android Wear. Dealbreaker?

I'm not well versed in Tizen vs. Android Wear, but I couldn't get myself to buy the S3 Classic without it running Google's OS. My intuition tells me that Google knows what they are doing when it comes to software, and Samsung does not. I also read specifically on some website that Samsung did not execute well on their voice memo app - how hard could that be?

So, with neither the LG Watch Sport or the Samsung Gear S3 meeting my needs, I'm going to be surveying the smartwatch space closely over the next few months, eager to find a smartwatch that 1) has equivalent or better specs than the LG Watch Sport and 2) isn't a clunky, steel board attached to my wrist.
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Happy update! After doing some research, I pulled the trigger on the LG Watch Style which I think will be best of both worlds. It doesn't have all the bells & whistles, but I think I can live without a heartrate monitor, GPS, NFC, and LTE considering I was just looking for something to take voice memos haha. It's also on sale for $219 on Amazon (retail price $249).
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