Samsung preps rivals for Apple Watch and HomePod

By

Samsung Watch and Samsung Home go up against Apple equivalents.
Samsung Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Home go up against Apple equivalents.
Photo: Samsung

Along with its newest smartphone, Samsung just unveiled two more products designed to take on some of Apple’s. The Galaxy Watch isn’t the Korean company’s first Apple Watch competitor, but this is the first time it’s unveiled a HomePod rival.

Apple dominates smartwatch sales, so Samsung faces an uphill battle. Amazon has the lead in smartspeakers though, and Apple has shown it’s not an easy market to break into.

Samsung Galaxy Watch vs. Apple Watch

This new wearable runs Samsung’s Tizen OS 4.0, not Google’s operating system created for watches. There are a handful of applications created for earlier wrist devices, like Uber and Spotify. Apple’s watchOS has wider app support, but not by much.

A major difference is screen shape. Samsung’s are round, while Apple’s are square. Galaxy Watch comes in 1.8-inch (46mm) and 1.65-inch (42mm) versions. Both have OLED screens. The larger version is $349.99, and the smaller is $329.99. 

Those are almost the same prices as Apple’s wearable. Its 1.65-inch (42mm) option is $359, while its 1.5-inch (38mm) model is $329. 

All the Big 4 U.S. carriers will introduce an LTE-enabled Galaxy Watch later this year. The price for that is unknown, though. Last year’s Apple Watch Series 4 was the first with LTE.

The latest Samsung smartwatch launches late this month. The third-gen Apple wearable came out last year, and Series 4 is expected soon.

Samsung Galaxy Home vs. Apple HomePod

Today’s announcement of Samsung’s smartspeaker was more of a preview that a launch. The company isn’t yet talking about a price or a release date.

The Galaxy Home will feature omni-directional speakers, and it will support the Bixby voice-activated digital assistant. 

The rival Apple HomePod supports Siri, of course. The first version debuted early this year at $349.