LG G Watch vs. Samsung Gear Live [VIDEO]


gear g watch Yesterday Google officially gave us a close look at Android Wear and two new smartwatches. One was expected, but the other was a complete surprise. As expected the LG G Watch was on stage for demos and went on sale later in the day. Samsung also unveiled a new smartwatch, as to not be outdone by their rival, LG. The Gear Live is also available for purchase right now. Which one is better? In terms of specs these devices are very similar. Both have rectangular displays; the G Watch is ever so slightly bigger, but the Gear Live has better resolution. Powering these devices are 1.2GHz processors and 512MB of RAM. Battery is a big concern with these devices since the display is on at all times. The G Watch edges out the Gear Live’s 300mAh battery with a 400mAh juice pack. Size is another concern for these devices. A smartwatch is on your wrist at all times; you don’t want it to be too bulky or heavy. The Gear Live is a full millimeter thinner and 4 grams lighter. However, it’s also slightly taller which could make it seem bigger on your wrist. The other things to consider when comparing these devices is the overall design. The G Watch is completely black and plastic. If someone was tasked with designing the most generic smartwatch on the planet they would come up with the LG G Watch. The Gear Live is nothing special either. Samsung clearly re-used their design for the latest Gear smartwatches It has more character than the G Watch, but it also has that cheap Samsung feel to it. The choice depends on your personal taste. G Watch vs Gear Live The last thing we have to compare is price. The LG G Watch is available for $230 while the Samsung Gear Live is $200. What it really comes down to is which one you think looks nicer. The specs are very similar, and $30 difference in price is not major. Which smartwatch will you choose? Are you waiting for the Moto 360? Tell us why you’re choosing the G Watch or Gear Live! be sure to visit the forums to discuss either your G Watch or Gear Live with other users!

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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  1. When you pre-order a device from Google Play, do they charge your card right away?

    1. I ordered this morning and it was already posted on my card.

      1. Thanks for your help!

  2. Looks like the LG G WATCH band is a standard size/replaceable.

    Can you guys verify this?

    1. From the Play Store page:

      Changeable straps
      Customize your G Watch with any standard 22mm (0.86 inch) watch strap.

      1. Wow, I missed that. Dee-De-Dee…….


  3. The LG G Watch has a standard 22″ band and can be replaced quite easily.

    1. the Live does as well according to documentation (although it doesn’t look like it)

      1. what documentation?

  4. I just ordered the LG watch. I am excited to see how it fits into my every day life.. I may switch to the 360 when that is available.. depending on how big it sits on my wrist.

  5. Just can’t support Samsung since they have a tendency to require their own products to be usable. Gear watches require a Samsung Phone or Tablet to work. They’ve stated in a CNET interview that they are going to create “services unique” to their watches in the future like they have with their other products. I have a Gear 2 (from Tizen conference) and it won’t do much without a Samsung phone or tablet. All it really needs is the ability to have their gear and store apps work on a non-samsung phone and the watch will work. Samsung decided to be a jerk about the whole thing so they are out of my future purchase considerations.

    1. While I tend to agree, it looks like the Gear Live is compatible with any device running 4.3 or later (although it does call out that it’s specifically compatible with Samsung phones).

      Smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher (check compatibility at g.co/WearCheck).

      1. It still does not stop Samsung from changing the software down the line. They change the original gear watch from Android to Tizen. They can update it to whatever they want since they still feel they own the product and not you. Very much an apple mentality. LG can do the same thing but so far they do not have a history of doing that, Samsung does.

        1. The change was not mandatory on the original. No, they cannot update it whenever. No, they don’t own it after you pay for it. Not even in the same ballpark as Apple mentality. LG can’t, and won’t… and one occurrence of an optional update doesn’t exactly create a “history” of forcing something you don’t want.

          Fixed. You’re welcome.

          1. The change may not have been “mandatory” but it also means you can’t update the watch anymore and will not getting any more support from them until you update. Apple’s mentality is that they want you on their OS and commerce ecosystem which is under their control. In essence they still own the equipment because you still have to live by their rules. Samsung is doing the same thing with the introduction of Touchwiz and their own app store, music service, etc. Amazon Fire is the same thing.

          2. Much better post! Back to your original point though – these updates will come from Google for the Wear system so people won’t be relying on the manufacturers for software updates like Sony’s Watches and the Tizen based Samsung watches. Firmware though… I guess that would be where you are potentially right, but I doubt it’s an issue of concern unless Google decides to abandon Wear (not likely).

          3. Android comes from Google but it doesn’t mean every phone is updated to the latest OS and each manufacturer makes changes to it. Google can control the base Wear OS and close ui changes but It’s still open so it can be changed by the manufacturers to limit to their hardware compatibility.

          4. I know what you are referring to, but Google is going to treat Wear like their Nexus line – no overlays, just stock…


            …there are more mentions of this – I just grabbed the first one I saw.

          5. Google is talking about making sure the UIs and software is unified. So no more Touchwiz, SenseUI, etc. But it doesn’t limit hardware compatibility issues. It’s easy for Samsung to just add in a few lines of code to limit it to their hardware. Until Google specifically comes out stating that it will all be 100% hardware compatible, Samsung can still screw with it. Maybe it’s part of the deal with Android Wear but until I see a statement otherwise, I’m going to assume Samsung will act like it has in the past. The Gear issue is not even a problem of the OS, it’s the problem of the communication software that Samsung decided only their products will have it. So that will even bypass the controls Google have in place for Wear.

  6. Nope, going to wait for the 360.

  7. Does the LG have a heartbeat sensor? The samsung does.

    1. Samsung works only with samsung phones.

      1. not true.

      2. Quit giving false information.

    2. No. Only the Samsung does.

    3. It’s an optical heartbeat sensor. Not very accurate. Tried a similar one on my Gear 2. I took two readings one after another. First one says 70 beats while the second one says 92 beats. Also there has been complaints that the optical sensor does not work if you have dark skin. I wouldn’t use the heartbeat sensor as plus when deciding on which one to buy.

  8. The choice is clear if you don’t own a samsung phone. The android wear watch from samsung only works with samsung phones. Says it on the specs page on google play store and I also confirmed it with samsung on twitter! Should add that to your post since that is important.

    1. The Samsung watch works with any smartphone running Android 4.3 or higher. That tweeter was incorrect. Yes, the Google Play page does also say it works with “Samsung phones,” but later, on that very same page, it also says: “Requirements: Smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher (check compatibility at g.co/WearCheck).”

    2. Mine works fine with a Nexus 5.

    3. The Gear watches with Tizen are the ones that are restricted to Samsung phones. (Original Galaxy Gear whether or not you took the Tizen update is the same way).

  9. “The Gear Live is nothing special either.” You’re not lying. I do think it looks better than the LG, but that’s not saying much.

  10. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU guys for a truly useful unboxing. I really wanted to see exactly how these things charged, and so many other videos ignored that obvious demo. For me, LG has the one up on Samsung again, because of the easier magnetic charging cradle.

    1. So being able to charge it a little easier makes it have a one up but not a super amoled display or a heart monitor? (even if it isn’t really useful if you’re not a fitness nut). I also like the look of the Gear Live with the metal face over the G Watch and now that I’ve heard that the gear also has changeable bands it’s even more of a winner for me… Still gonna hold out for the Moto 360 though

      1. YES. To me it does. That’s why I wrote it. Some people on these boards must understand that different people have different needs and different preferences. What may be important to you may not be important to me, and that’s fine. Whenever I make a purchase, I consider EVERYTHING. Yes, the Gear Live’s heart rate monitor was considered, but I don’t use heart rate monitors except for the ones connected to cardio equipment at my gym, so it really makes no difference to me. The slightly higher resolution and I think, slightly better aesthetics of the Gear Live are plusses for it, to me. However, the method of charging is of HIGH IMPORTANCE to me, and while a cradle and adaptor is not ideal to me, the ease of the LG’s connection trumps the fumbling and clicking all the time with the Gear Live, that would personally, annoy me every day. Have you not seen the constant crying on these boards about having to charge your watch every day? While that doesnt bother me like it does others, certainly the easier that process is made, the better. The changeable watchbands of the LG also is a major plus FOR ME. I’ve since heard from some that the Gear has changeable bands too, but I have yet to get an official confirmation on that, and the Gears own webpage does not say as such, so I wont believe that until I hear official word. Another one up for the LG, for me, is the fact that along with the lack of heart rate monitor (which again, I don’t need) and a slightly lower res screen, it has a slightly larger battery; and an important related fact is that LG is actually giving numbers on battery life, which Samsung is not. I too, am getting the Moto 360 (which not only LG’s, but Samsung’s amoled screen pales in comparison to), but hoped to get another, also. Not quite sure if either of these 2 will be my 2nd.

        1. The gear 2 and gear neo has interchangeable bands

          1. Yes, I know. If that holds true for the Gear Live, points to LG for actually publicizing that fact.

  11. “The G Watch is completely black and plastic.”

    It says all over the web that it is a metal body…

  12. The LG G watch is so ugly, how come they din’t minimize the bezel like Motorola did, looks bulky.

  13. I’m just going to wait till next year, they should have it down by then. The G watch looks too ugly, the live gear doesn’t have as good of a battery and the Motorola 360 isn’t even 360, and they all look are very thick.

  14. Pre-ordered the LG G watch, (Not much of a Samsung Fan) When The Moto 360 comes out, I’ll toss my LG watch to a friend and grab the moto 360.

    1. Can I be your friend? lol. But seriously, it would be cool to see how you like the G Watch. I’m going to try one on when they are in stores. If I were to get one, I would be switching the band to a black expansion band. I think that would look nice.

  15. Yeah that clasp on the Gear Live looks annoying to deal with. Makes it even a deal breaker.

  16. Its obvious for me. Gear Live has more functions, better specs especially the AMOLED screen and higher screen resolution, looks better, thinner, lighter, and samsung has better expertise in smartwatchs.

    1. But the Samsung watch has a weaker battery and the charger is not magnetized that on the LG watch so it’s more clumsy to charge.
      BTW, the Samsung gear
      is NOT thinner.
      Samsung does indeed have more experience with smart watches, but in this case that hasn’t translated to a better designed product.

      I’m not getting either, but if I were, I’d be getting the LG version which is better because of the superior battery and the charger.
      The Samsung gear has a heart rate monitor but as a health care professional I can tell you that that’s not a very useful feature, but to each his own

      BTW, I’m not a Samsung basher or an LG fan. I use a Note 3 and a Galaxy Note pro, not really because they’re made by Samsung but because they’re simply the very best phone and tablet as far as functionality goes.

      1. According to the specs in this article, thickness of LG: 9.95mm, Samsung: 8.9mm

  17. Wait, the G watch is more expensive in the US? The Gear Live is £10 more in the UK on the play store.
    What’s that about?

  18. With Google Glass and now Google Wear, Goolroids are giddy.
    A fool and their money soon part!

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