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Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Ticwatch S2

When an entry-level Ticwatch S2 goes against the Samsung Galaxy Watch3, one has to ask... how did the Ticwatch S2 put up such a good fight?

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Ticwatch S2 main screen

These two watches are miles apart.

In terms of design, the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 looks much more “solid”. 

“Solid” being that it feels heavier, it looks shinier. The two buttons on it have a ribbed surface. The screen is sharp and bright. It also has a rotating bezel. I think if I had a choice between the two, I’d definitely go for the Galaxy Watch3, just by how things look.

The Ticwatch S2 is all plastic and silicone. It’s a marvel of modern human-made materials. It has one button — the home button. The screen is just OK.

But let’s not forget that the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 and the Ticwatch S2 differ in price — by a lot.

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Ticwatch S2 apps

Tizen OS vs Wear OS

Have you ever heard the adages, “You pay for what you get” and “Buy cheap, buy again”?

I suppose those phrases resonate with people because humans are more inclined to believe the negative and we all have experienced cheaping out and paying the price for it.

But when it comes to smartwatches, the gains from putting an extra hundred dollars don’t necessarily translate into $100 more in value.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is quite telling. While it has all the premium hardware features (NFC, speaker, automatic brightness) that I’d expect from a flagship smartwatch, it also has the Tizen OS.

Whereas the Ticwatch S2 has a hardware configuration consistent with entry-level smartwatches. No speaker, no NFC, no auto brightness. But it has the Wear OS.

I haven’t elaborated on why I mentioned the Tizen OS and Wear OS. Here’s why: the operating system that’s employed makes a huge difference.

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Ticwatch S2 texting

Texting and emails

Let’s talk about texting and emails. 

This is an area where the Tizen OS and the Wear OS offer a similar experience, but each has its advantages.

The Wear OS has a better speech to text system while the Tizen OS allows Samsung users to access their text logs directly

The convenience of a good speech to text system is very important. When I receive a text or email and I want to reply, I usually head straight for the speech to text system.

Both the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 and the Ticwatch S2 offer alternative methods of input including using a pre-composed reply, using a keyboard or drawing letters to form words.

Those are nice to have, but I always find myself whipping out my smartphone instead of trying to work with these alternative input methods.

So, when it comes to the quality of the transcription, the Wear OS comes out ahead as compared to Samsung’s speech-to-text system. Both aren’t perfect, but I find that I get more accurately transcribed messages with the Wear OS, while I seem to discard more messages with the Samsung.

While I like Samsung’s ability to access email and text logs, I rarely use that feature. It seems a lot faster to just use my smartphone instead.

Winner: Ticwatch S2

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Ticwatch S2 voice assistant

Google Assistant vs Bixby

Google Assistant beats Bixby.

In case you don’t know, the Ticwatch S2 has Google Assistant as a voice assistant while Bixby is used across all Samsung smartwatches.

Google Assistant consistently can do more than Bixby can. One of the biggest differences is when you ask Bixby some random question. It will just tell you it doesn’t know how to respond.

However, Google Assistant is a real keener. If you ask it a random question like, “Where’s the capital of Australia”, it will be able to tell you where and show you an image.

Overall, you will do better with Google Assistant, although Bixby satisfies my needs for the most part: getting information about the weather and setting timers.

Winner: Ticwatch S2

Phone calls

You can’t make phone calls on the Ticwatch S2 because it has no speaker.

On the Samsung Galaxy Watch3, you can take phone calls and you can also make phone calls. You can access your call logs and your contacts to make those calls. The quality is decent enough for both the caller and the person being called.

I really enjoy having this feature. It’s convenient to always be able to pick up calls when they come without having to hunt for your phone.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Ticwatch S2 watch faces

Watch faces

One thing that Samsung does really well is its watch faces. I really like the designs that you can get on the Galaxy Watch3. I also like the widgets (known as “complications” in the watch world) that you can put on the watch faces

The Ticwatch S2 comes with a suite of watch faces whose design is just OK. Across all their smartwatches, I have always had the same feelings about it. They’re definitely more utilitarian in their design rather than being expressive and colourful as some Samsung watch faces are.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Ticwatch S2 sports


The Galaxy Watch3 has a major advantage over the Ticwatch S2 — it has some really cool features. 

Both watches have the MIL-STD-810G rating that comes from a set of standards from the US military and they are both also water resistant to 5ATM.

I’ve taken both into water and they were fine. Good.

I have also taken both out to track my workouts and I honestly think that the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is better because it integrates into Samsung Health.

Furthermore, the Galaxy Watch3 has a running coach mode which helps you pace yourself.

This is a pretty advanced feature that I was expecting only on more specialized sport smartwatches. I am glad to see it on the Galaxy Watch3.

The running coach can track your footwork, it can also tell you about your cardio fitness.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 can also tell you your blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) and your ECG to check for irregular heartbeat patterns. This has just been rolled out in the US but some countries might not have access to it yet.

The Galaxy Watch3 can also track sleep patterns. The Ticwatch S2 does not have this ability by default.

The Ticwatch S2 does an OK job of tracking workouts. Mobvoi, the makers of the Ticwatch, include a proprietary set of apps named the TicHealth/TicExercise/TicPulse.

They overlap with Google Fit and these days, there’s very little advantage that Mobvoi’s suite has over the Ticwatch’s apps.

The one advantage the latter has is that it reminds you to get moving regularly — something my massage therapist reminds me to do. It also has a pool swim tracker that Google Fit doesn’t offer.

But for everything else, I much prefer Google Fit because it has a much better smartphone app and more sports to choose from.

Overall, both smartwatches can track workouts but the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 offers a more well-rounded suite of health and workout tracking functions.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy Watch3

Samsung Galaxy Watch3 vs Ticwatch S2 rear heart rate sensor


The Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is overall a better experience, in my opinion.

I like how it looks. I like how it feels. I like its rotating bezel. I like everything about it except a few things.

The biggest problem is that it’s a very expensive watch and it has some flaws that become much more magnified because of how its price sets expectations.

For example, it has a poorer speech to text system and a poorer voice assistant.

Comparatively, the Ticwatch S2 is well-priced and does what I expect a watch of that price.

The fact that it has some strengths over the Samsung Galaxy Watch3 is a real treat.

So, let your budget make your decision.