Did Samsung steal LG’s thunder at Google I/O 2014? Seems to be the case with the announcement of the Samsung Gear Live Android Wear Watch. The LG G Watch release was announced some time ago and there were no major surprises earlier today at Google I/O. The watch itself is quite a looker and with Android Wear, it would be compatible with all Android 4.3 and above devices that are currently in the market. Samsung’s Gear Live was a surprise though. Samsung had seemed to be going on a separate development path with focus on their Gear 2 devices and the Tizen Operating System but just a couple of weeks before Google I/O, Samsung also released that they would be joining the I/O party.
And from initial reviews, and comments, it seems like the Samsung Gear Live is a close sibling to the LG G Watch with almost identical specifications, except for an AMOLED screen, smaller battery, and an additional feature: the heart rate monitor.
The G Watch’s 1.65-inch display is a bit bigger than the 1.63-incher on the Gear Live, and even then the Gear Live features a higher screen resolution — 320×320 as opposed to 280×280 — and thus a higher pixels-per-inch count. The AMOLED screen might come in handy considering the permanent on feature of the Android wear devices. AMOLED does not consume any power when displaying black pixels.
The next important point is that the battery on the Gear Live is 100mAh smaller than the G Watch’s. While we don’t yet know how this translates into real world usage, right now our best guess is that the G Watch will do better with endurance. I don’t think I am ready to have a watch that requires charging every day, just yet. Wireless Qi charging could be something handy to integrate into a watch in future. The LG G Watch is slated to last 36 hours in an always-on state.
Lastly, both have a gyro, accelerometer, and compass, though the Gear Live also adds a heart rate monitor (akin to the Samsung Galaxy S5). Samsung’s heart rate monitors haven’t always been accurate, but this certainly looks like a plus. That little difference could just be enough for Samsung to steal potential consumers away from LG.
Both watches are on sale now at Google Play – and a few selected countries around the world. They are unfortunately not available in Singapore yet, but we will keep you updated on that front asap. The Samsung Gear Live is also surprisingly cheaper on the US Play Store at US$199, while the LG G Watch retails at US$229. Tax and shipping not included, and you could buy it through VPost or ComGateway. Looking at past pricing of the Gear 2 series in Singapore, there’s a good chance that the Gear Live will be competitively priced too.