Apple Watch Series 2 full review

The Apple Watch Series 2 is catching all the headlines, but how does it compare to some of the other smartwatches out there in the market, namely the Sony SmartWatch 3 and Moto 360 Sport. In this comparison we look at how the 2016 Apple Watch Series 2 compares to the Sony and Motorola smartwatches. Also see: Best smartwatch | Our original Apple Watch review.

Note: We have yet to receive an Apple Watch Series 2 and we are basing this comparison on specs and features. We will be basing this article on the Series 2 version. If you're looking for an Apple Watch buying guide, see Macworld UK for an in-depth comparison of Apple's range.

Apple Watch vs Sony Smartwatch 3 and Moto 360 Sport: Compatibility

Apple Watch

Compatibility will arguably be the biggest factor in your purchasing decision. This depends if you plan to use the smartwatch with an Android smartphone or iPhone.

The Apple Watch is still iOS only and requires you to have an iPhone 5 or up, and be iOS 8 or higher. If you've got an Android phone and have no intentions to buy an iPhone, the Apple Watch shouldn't be a consideration.

The Sony Smartwatch 3 can also only be used on one operating system, which is of course Android. You will need an Android phone running 4.3 or above.

On the other hand, the Moto 360 Sport is a jack-of-all trades. It runs natively on Android 4.3 and above, but also works on iPhone's running iOS 8.2 and above. The watch will run with more functionalities and be more natively supported on Android, but with the inclusion of Android wear on iOS, you can at least use the core elements of the watch on iPhone.

Winner: Moto 360 Sport - due to its compatibility with both Android and iPhone.

Apple Watch vs Sony Smartwatch 3 and Moto 360 Sport: Price

One of the biggest deciding factors is always price - and it plays a huge role in what most will see as an accessory not a necessity. Smartwatches are still considered to be a luxury item, where they only serve to be a small time saver, versus a genuine heart tracking monitor or a watch that can be used for several days without needing to be recharged.

The 38mm Apple Watch is pricey, at £369 from the Apple Store it's not a cheap purchase. This is also the base price, where it rises to £399 for the 42mm version, can come in more expensive straps and can go upwards of £1,249 the Apple Watch Edition. There is also the Series 1 watches that cost £269, but in this comparison we are purely looking at the Series 2 line.

Sony SmartWatch 3

The Sony SmartWatch 3 can be found as cheap as £99 from Amazon for the rubber strap version and go up to £190 for the leather variant.

The Moto 360 Sport costs £170 on Amazon UK, where the non-sport version is upwards of £250.

Winner: Sony SmartWatch 3 - at only £99, the Sony smartwatch offers great value for money.

Apple Watch vs Sony Smartwatch 3 and Moto 360 Sport: Design and build quality

A product's design and build is always going to be subjective, as everyone has a different taste. Nevertheless, objectively speaking there are many design elements we like and display from all manufacturers.

Apple Watch design and build quality

Apple Watch colours

The Apple Watch was once considered a fashion statement, and it still is. The Apple Watch comes in a variety of straps, base watch colours and can be found in different materials. Although these add to the overall cost of the watch, we still find the cheapest £369 Apple Watch a very attractive piece of technology.

The Apple Watch has a button and a 'Digital Crown' on the right-hand side, a heart rate sensor around the back and a sleek and stylish design around the edges of the watch. The watch has a square screen and is charged through a magnetic charger. Also see: Original 2015 Apple Watch review.

Sony Smartwatch 3 design and build quality

Sony SmartWatch 3 design

Sony has gone for a rectangular shape, with the Smartwatch 3. Depsite the watch having a similar design to the very glamorous Apple Watch, we find the Sony Smartwatch a little rough around the edges. It looks and feels like an unfinished version of the Apple Watch.

Nevertheless, one of its standout features is its ability to be charged using a microUSB cable. Unlike other watches that require a specific dock, the Sony Smartwatch 3 is a lot more convenient to charge on the go or at your friend's house. 

The Sony watch has a heart rate monitor at the back and a single button on the right side of the watch face. Also see: Sony SmartWatch 3 review.

Moto 360 Sport design and build quality

Moto 360 Sport

With a low-profile design and a rubber band, where the Moto 360 Sport isn't looking to be a fashion statement. Its design won't turn heads, but it's a comfortable watch to wear, especially if you're looking to take it with you on runs.

The watch has a single button on the top right-hand side and a heart rate monitor around the back and is charged through a dock. Despite having a beautiful circular screen, the Moto 360 Sport has a small black section at the bottom of the screen, the 'flat tyre'. Also see: Motorola Moto 360 Sport review.

Winner: Apple Watch - with a sleek and stylish design it's hard to beat the design and build quality of the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch vs Sony Smartwatch 3 and Moto 360 Sport: Features and specifications

A watch's specifications don't always give the full picture, but it's worth looking out for certain features that you might be likely to use.

Apple Watch specs (38/42mm):

  • Display: AMOLED 272x340 (38mm), 312x390 (42mm) at 326ppi
  • GPS: Yes 
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz
  • Bluetooth: Yes v4.0
  • Waterproof: Yes, IPX7 (swimming proof - water depth up to 50m)
  • Dimensions: Height: 38.6/42.5mm | Width: 33.3/36.4mm | Depth: 11.3mm
  • Weight: 28.2/34.2g
  • Storage: 2GB 
  • Battery size: 205/246mAh

Sony Smartwatch 3 specs:

  • Display: Transflective LCD 320x320 at 283ppi
  • GPS: Yes 
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g 2.4GHz
  • Bluetooth: Yes v4.0 LE
  • Waterproof: No, IP68 (dust, and water resistant up to 1.5m and 30mins)
  • Dimensions: Height: 51mm | Width: 36mm | Depth: 10mm
  • Weight: 45g
  • Storage: 4GB
  • Battery size: 420mAh

Moto 360 Sport specs:

  • Display: LCD 360x325 at 263ppi
  • GPS: Yes
  • Heart rate sensor: Yes
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g 2.4GHz
  • Bluetooth: Yes v4.0 LE
  • Waterproof: No, IP67 (dust and water resistant)
  • Dimensions: 45mm diameter | Depth: 11.5mm
  • Weight: 54g
  • Storage: 4GB 
  • Battery size: 300mAh

Apple Watch models

While looking at the specs, the biggest difference between the watches, notably the Apple Watch is its waterproof certification. IPX7 denotes the ability to withstand a water depth of 50m and be taken on a swim. The other watches are only dust and water resistant, making them good for the beach, but not a swim or being submerged into deep water.

If you're looking for a smartwatch that has waterproof abilities, the Apple Watch is the only one between the three that can really boast about this feature.

Battery life is also very important to a lot of users and with its 420mAh battery and Transflective LCD, the Sony Smartwatch 3 boasts a better battery life than both the Motorola and Apple watches.

All of the watches have fast processors and enough RAM to cope with daily tasks. We found the original Apple Watch sluggish, but with watchOS 3 and a new S2 dual-core processor, the Apple Watch performs a lot better than ever before - Apple claims 50 percent faster.

All watches also feature GPS and a heart rate sensor, which makes it a viable option for those who are into fitness and running. It should be noted that the heart rate monitor on all watches (in the market) should be used as an indicator not an ultimate measure of your actual heart rate.

Moto 360 Sport heart rate

The display of each of the watches is around the same size, however the Apple Watch, which has a fantastic 326ppi and a colourful AMOLED display, particularly impresses us. This really does set it apart from the other two, especially when put up against the Sony Smartwatch 3 that houses a Transflective LCD 283ppi display that has poor viewing angles and below-average colour reproduction.

Storage space is also another key feature for some users, who like using their Apple Watch as a way of doing runs without the need of a phone. All watches can store around 2GB of music, with the Sony and Motorola boasting 4GB of internal storage. This is certainly not enough for your entire music collection, however should suffice for your workouts.

In terms of its software, we find the Apple Watch and Moto 360 Sport to have good software integration, but the same can't be said about the Sony, which is a little rough around the edges.

In terms of specifications and features, there is no clear winner. If a waterproof watch is important to you, the Apple Watch would be our recommendation. However if it isn't, the Motorola and Sony provide fantastic all-round packages. Also see: Complete guide to new Apple Watch.


Apple Watch Series 2: Specs

  • Apple Watch Series 2 specs (38/42mm)
  • Colours: Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Space Grey Aluminium case and Space Black, Silver Stainless Steel case and Ceramic
  • S2 Dual-core processor
  • GPS
  • Height: 38.6/42.5mm
  • Width: 33.3mm/36.4mm
  • Depth: 11.4mm
  • Case weight: 28.2/34.2g
  • Retina display with Force Touch (2x brighter than original)
  • Digital Crown
  • Heart rate sensor
  • WiFi 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Up to 18hrs battery life
  • Water resistant IPX7 (swimming proof - water depth up to 50m)

Best prices today

Retailer Price Delivery  

Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide