Watch Series 6 vs Watch GT 2e vs Galaxy Watch 3 – The king of smartwatches in South Africa

South Africans looking to buy the best smartwatches on the market have three brands to choose from – Apple, Huawei, and Samsung.

Apple accounts for more than half the smartwatches sold on the global market, and recently launched the Watch Series 6, its latest flagship smartwatch.

Huawei and Samsung currently offer the Watch GT 2e and Galaxy Watch 3 as their respective premium options.

We’ve compared the design, hardware, features, and pricing of these three smartwatches to see which is the true king of smartwatches in South Africa.

Design and display

In terms of design, the Watch GT 2e and Galaxy Watch 3 both feature round cases, while the Watch Series 6 sports Apple’s distinctive rectangular form-factor.

Both the Series 6’s 44mm and 40mm models offer bigger displays than the other two options, which should make for easier navigation and use.

The 44mm boasts a 1.78-inch 368 x 448 screen, while the smaller 40mm gets a 1.56-inch 324 x 394 OLED.

This is compared to the 1.2- and 1.4-inch 360 x 360 AMOLED displays of the Galaxy Watch 3 41mm and 45mm, and the 1.39-inch 454 x 454 screen on the Watch GT 2e 46mm.

All of the displays have always-on capability, which means you don’t have to lift your wrist to view the time.

There are a variety of case materials and colours to choose from for each smartwatch, as indicated in the table below.

Smartwatch Case material Case colour
Apple Watch Series 6 Aluminium, Stainless Steel, Titanium Silver, Space Grey, Gold, Blue, Red, Space Black, Graphite, Titanium
Huawei Watch GT 2e Stainless Steel Black, Silver
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 Stainless Steel, Titanium Mystic Black, Mystic Silver, Mystic Bronze

Fitness and other features

The smartwatches all come with a host of sensors which allow for a wide variety of health, fitness, and smart features.

These include accelerometers, barometers, heart rate sensors, GPS and GLONASS tracking, and blood oxygen sensors (Sp02).

Various activity, sleep, and stress tracking capabilities are available on each smartwatch.

There is also support for notifications from calls, texts, and applications, although this may be limited based on the smartphone you use them in conjunction with.

For example, while the Watch GT 2e can work with multiple Android smartphones – which may include Samsung’s own Galaxy range – its integration can be limited.

Importantly, the Watch Series 6 does not work with Android, so you will require an iPhone to realise its full potential.

In terms of storage for apps and music, the Watch GT 2e offers 4GB, enough for up to 500 songs which can be downloaded and played back via wireless headphones when offline.

The Galaxy Watch 3 boasts double this capacity, with 8GB available, while the Watch Series 6 has 32GB of internal storage.

Battery life and connectivity

When it comes to battery life, Huawei’s Watch GT 2e is the clear winner, with two weeks of use between charges of its 455mAh battery.

The Watch 3 places a distant second with a rated battery life of two days on the 340mAh pack of the larger 45mm variant, whereas the Series 6 performs worst, with only 18 hours of use.

Aside from its superior battery size and OS optimisation, it should be noted that the GT 2e’s battery may further benefit from the fact that it does not come in an option with Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity, which can drain more power.

If you want to be able to send messages, make and take calls, and use online services without being connected to a smartphone, you will have to opt for either Apple or Samsung’s options.

The Galaxy Watch 3’s eSIM capability is supported on MTN and Vodacom, while the Apple Watch Series 6 is only offered on Vodacom’s network.

The Watch 3 also supports Samsung Pay in South Africa through NFC, which means you can purchase products at any tap-enabled terminals once you’ve linked a valid credit or debit card to the app.

Pricing

Huawei’s pricing for the GT 2e beats both Apple and Samsung by some margin, at only R3,499 on the Huawei Online Store with a Smart Scale and Sport headphones included.

The Galaxy Watch 3 starts at R8,995 for the GPS-only 41mm variant and R9,495 for the 45mm, while the LTE version of each model will cost you R500 more.

The Watch Series 6 is the most expensive, starting at R8,999 for the 40mm GPS-only option. The Cellular version of the same iteration starts at R11,499.

The table below compares the specifications of the smartwatches.

Specifications Watch Series 6 Watch GT 2e Galaxy Watch 3
OS WatchOS 7 Huawei Lite OS WearOS 5.5
Display 1.57-inch 324 x 394 OLED (40mm)

1.78-inch 368 by 448 OLED (44mm)

1.39-inch 454 x 454 OLED (46mm) 1.2-inch 360 x 360 OLED (41mm)

1.4-inch 360 x 360 OLED (45mm)

 

Processor S6 SiP Kirin A1 Exynos 9110
Storage 32GB 4GB 8GB
Sensors Accelerometer
Ambient Light sensor
Barometer
Blood oxygen sensor (Sp02)
Electrical heart rate sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Gyroscope
GPS / GLONASS
Accelerometer
Ambient light sensor
Barometer
Blood oxygen sensor (Spo2)
Gyroscope sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
GPS / GLONASS
Accelerometer
Ambient light Sensor
Barometer
Blood oxygen sensor (Sp02)
Electrical heart rate sensor
Optical heart rate sensor
Gyroscope sensor
GPS / GLONASS
Connectivity 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE (optional) Bluetooth 5.1 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, LTE (optional)
Battery life 18 hours 14 days 2 days (45mm)
Water resistance 50 metres 50 metres 50 metres

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple Watch Series 6


Huawei Watch GT 2e

Huawei Watch GT 2e


Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

Now read: Apple Watch Series 6 and SE – South African pricing

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Watch Series 6 vs Watch GT 2e vs Galaxy Watch 3 – The king of smartwatches in South Africa