Gear S vs. LG Urbane Comparison & Buying Guide!

gears-vs-lg-urbane

Gear S or LG Watch Urbane? Probably the two best smartwatches out this year are these two bad boys from Samsung and LG and you probably couldn’t go wrong with either of them. But which one is the right one for you?  Let’s find out!

Last October I bought my Gear S smartwatch in South Korea within a few days of its release. I’ve swore this watch really set the bar high on the smartwatch world with its curved 2-inch AMOLED screen with a whopping resolution of 360×480. That sounds small but for a small device like a watch, it gives you that pixel-free life-like display that’s going to beat any other smartwatches on the market. Compare that to LG Urbane’s measly 320×320 resolution and Apple Watch’s 270×340. Sometimes, Samsung does the display right and this time they killed it months (or maybe years) before their competition.

And probably the coolest feature on the Gear S is that it comes with a giant screen that doesn’t look so giant on your wrist since it has a curved screen.  Anyway you look at it, this is a glimpse of the future smartwatches and Samsung has brought it to you couple years early.  Not only that, the Gear S allows you to get full 3G HSPA data along with voice calls so you can be a Dick… Tracy of 2015.

Okay, that’s great but what about the LG Urbane?

I bought the Watch Urbane 2 months ago as soon as it came out and LG Urbane sets a new high standard for how smartwatches should be made. With the world’s first true 360-degree screen, the LG Urbane gives you a traditional watch look with smartwatch features and latest Android 5.1.1. Besides that, it uses standard 22mm watch bands so you can easily swap them out for your favorite bands. And did we mention you can pair with any Android smartphone while the Gear S requires you to use Samsung smartphones only?  With an option of silver or gold stainless steel, the LG Urbane brings you the latest Android Wear technology onto sleek hardware, you cannot go wrong with that.

So, you are excited about both watches like myself, but which one should you buy?

First, if you don’t have a Samsung smartphone, you probably want to go with the LG Urbane.  Gear S runs Tizen, which means you will be locked down to Samsung apps only. This is one thing that hurts Samsung and they are doing it to lock their customers into Samsung phones. I think it’s evil and they should really be using Android Wear OS so people can use it with any smartphone and also enjoy the apps they buy on any future Android Wear watches they buy.

But if you are a Samsung-whore, you use Samsung phones exclusively, Gear S may not be a bad choice either.  As far as specs go, the Gear S kills LG Urbane and anything else on the market. I definitely think Gear S is something we would have seen in 2 to 3 years but thanks to Samsung’s in-house manufacturing of AMOLED displays, semi-conductors, CPUs, and pretty much all facets of making a smartwatch, we are able to see something like the Gear S in year 2015, not 2017. Did you know my parents live in a Samsung apartment in South Korea and my mom drives a Samsung car?  Yeah, it’s amazing what one company can make.

However, if you don’t own a Samsung device, I would definitely buy the LG Urbane.  And if you don’t want to scream, “I AM WEARING A WATCH FROM THE FUTURE”, LG Urbane may be the better choice.  It doesn’t have a curved screen with a super-high resolution nor make phone calls but LG Urbane does look a bit more sleek in a different way compared to the Gear S.  You could wear your dress clothes, t-shirt, or pajamas and it still looks good.

Now there are couple situations where Gear S might be better for you than the LG Urbane.

If you are a swimming teacher and you are in the water all day long. You probably don’t to carry your smartphone yet you probably want to get back to people and call people back while in the pool. Gear S can help you do that as you will be able to make calls, even type SMS text messages back without getting out of the pool.  There are simply situations where you don’t want to carry your smartphone yet you still want to receive/make calls and have some kind of internet access. Gear S may help you do that and be a Dick…Tracy.

Durability?

I’ve tested both of my Gear S and LG Urbane to the fullest, taking them both to daily showers and daily driving them, sometimes hitting the wall or other objects accidentally. Both watches actually do really well, they lived up to my daily beatings fine. The only minor difference? My Gear S has a rather large scratch while my Urbane has minor scratches on its stainless steel but no scratches on the screen itself.

I feel like the curved screen on the Gear S is great and all but it is more scratch-proof since your screen is exposed and vulnerable when you hit an object. The LG Urbane is more practically designed as your screen is protected by its stainless steel, which allows your stainless steel to act as a screen protector. So if you tend to be very active and run into thing often, you may be better off with the LG Urbane.

Battery life is excellent on both of these watches, both get full day of battery life and more if you use theater mode.

Overall, I love both of these watches, they are both certainly better than the rest out there I think. And I just wanted point out some of the differences and situations that you may want to consider before buying these watches.

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of HighOnAndroid.com. Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.