Picking a smartwatch to pair with your Android smartphone is at once both really simple. There just are not many choices—and maddening: no platform offers a truly a great wearable experience with Google’s mobile OS. The two biggest platforms are, of course, watches powered by Google’s own Wear OS, and also Samsung’s Tizen-based Galaxy Watches. Both platforms have their advantage and (ample) drawbacks. But choosing the right one will probably depend both on your wished physical aesthetic and some specific software features. In this article, we are going to talk about Wear OS vs Tizen – Which one is Better? Let’s begin!
WearOS is the OS of your choice for really a lot of smartwatch manufacturers at this point since the software part of the watch becomes Google’s trouble. Made by Google, Wear OS works well with Android and also iOS devices and has a stable application marketplace.
Then why is it that almost every huge manufacturer is going with their own smartwatch OS rather than just using Android Wear? Because that one is dated.
Android Wear came out really some time ago and from that time, it has pretty much been the same. Yes, Google has worked on the OS to make it more stable and also efficient. But the visual element still lacks far behind it.
Well, its biggest strength is also its weakest point. Wear OS can run on pretty much any smartwatch, at one point all of that watches start feeling the same and also the innovation part dies out. The difference is then just one feature here and there rather than just having an entirely new user experience.
Wear OS is importantly being Android, it enjoys a lot more application support if compared to Tizen. However, you do fall a bit short whenever it comes to watch faces.
One more factor is the cross-platform connectivity. Sure it also works great with Android, but what about iOS? For most of its part, you can also use it just as well as you would on Android, but the experience is just so much better when you have an Android phone.
Tizen OS is actually a Linux-based operating system. It is maintained by the Linux Foundation and is used by Samsung for all of its smartwatches. Tizen has also found its way on the Samsung Z series of the budget phones. Not only this, but the company also uses the OS on its smart TVs as well.
Now when the app ecosystem is smaller than Wear OS, it does have a lot — and I mean areally lot of watch faces. Tizen OS also provides for a clean, different, and unique UI and user experience as well. The graphical elements also look better than WearOS too.
Although the biggest factor is the rotating bezel. I cannot stress this enough, the rotating bezel on Samsung smartwatches makes plenty of difference. It just makes navigation and scrolling so much easier on the watch that you almost feel like you do not need a touchscreen. A few of WearOS watches also use a rotating bezel but none do it really as well as Samsung. Yes, they do charge a premium for it but trust me, it’s really worth it.
Another thing that Tizen also does really well is the menu organization. Even without the rotating bezel, navigating around the watch is just so much easier for us. Everything is right where you need it and you can also customize everything to your heart’s content. Also, Tizen works just equally well with Android and iOS. You do not miss out on anything unless the specific app you want to use is not on the App Store.
Wear and Tizen OS Features?
Wear OS that is previously known as Android Wear, is a variation of Google’s Android OS. That they designed this for smartwatches. It also utilizes Google Assistant tech. And can pair with Android Phones running version 4.4 or iOS Phones on version 9.3 and newer than that.
They also have traditional Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE incompatibilities as well. Also other features and applications. Thanks to this, it has a stable place in the market, and especially tech-savvy consumers.
Tizen OS, on the other hand, is an open-source OS based on Linux kernel and also WebKit runtime. Made by Linux Foundation, it is used by Samsung in all of its smartwatches as well. Tizen OS is used on Samsung phones and also Smart TVs. A little known fact about it is that its roots back to the Samsung Linux Platform and also the LiMo Project.
Let us now take a closer look at the Wear OS VS Tizen debate starting with products that are actually supported by these two operating systems.
The first key difference between Wear OS and Tizen is the watch selection actually. Many manufacturers produce watches with Wear OS. That includes Motorola, Fossil Group, Mobvoi, and many others. By comparison, Samsung is actually the only one creating watches with Tizen. However, Samsung does produce a few different watch styles, it can’t match the variety you get with Wear OS.
Most Wear OS watches on the market right now come from Fossil Group and its many sub-brands. That includes Skagen, Diesel, Misfit, and many others. Taking into account the handful of watches produced under the entirety of Fossil Group, and all the different styles that available for each model. You also get dozens of possible designs. That’s not including the new Moto360, the TicWatch lineup, and all other models created outside of Fossil.
Moreover, Samsung currently produces just two smartwatch models: the Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active2. The former is a larger watch, along with a spinning bezel used for navigating via menus. The latter model is a slimmer sports watch with no spinning bezel, that is available in two sizes.
User Interface | Wear OS vs Tizen
After the last huge Wear OS update, which added full-screen tiles to the platform. It and Tizen OS are more same than ever from a design perspective.
Let us start with Wear OS. The watch actually faces acts as the ‘home screen’ of sorts, and you also can scroll through your notifications by swiping up on the watch face. Swiping down opens an instant setting, and pressing the center side button displays your list of applications. ‘Tiles,’ full-screen widgets that show information from installed apps, are accessible by swiping to the side of the watch face. Simple.
Tizen operates in the same manner, but with some of the gestures switched around. Notifications are actually organize to the left of the watch face, with tiles to the right. Just like on Wear OS, pressing the side button will show a list of applications, and swiping down from the top will bring up instant settings. If you already use Samsung phones, then you might appreciate that Tizen has the same One UI interface design as Samsung’s recent Galaxy devices.
One of the greatest advantages of Tizen is no doubt, its performance. Swiping between tasks and opening apps is noticeably faster and also smoother on Samsung’s watches than on any Wear OS wearable. The performance difference is less noticeable on Wear OS watches along with 1GB of RAM. Just like the Fossil Gen 5 and Skagen Falster 3, but it is still there.
Applications | Wear OS vs Tizen
Wear OS and Tizen both have a very limited selection of applications, especially third-party ones. There are some of the big names on both platforms. Such as Spotify, Strava, and Uber, but the vast amount of applications come from smaller third-party developers or the OS vendor (Samsung/Google).
As you might expect, most of the must-have applications on Wear OS come from Google. You can also check notes on your wrist with Google Keep. Scroll via texts with Messages (as long as the Messages SMS application is on your phone), review fitness data with Google Fit, and so on. If you are deeply entrenched in the Google ecosystem, along with no desire to switch to other services, Wear OS might be a better option.
Tizen is also in the same situation, with most of the headlining apps coming from Samsung itself. You have Samsung Fit, Samsung Internet, SmartThings (for smart home device management), and some others. Again, there are only a few applications from big-name developers.
Google Assistant is arguably the best virtual assistant on any platform, so its presence on Wear OS is a huge selling point. However, Assistant on Wear OS can’t do everything that the Android equivalent can. Such as reading news summaries, the core functionality is still available: sending texts, talking to third-party services, retrieving the weather, opening apps, and much more. If your watch also has a speaker (or if you have Bluetooth headphones paired), Assistant replies are spoken aloud.
The huge catch is that Assistant is still a somewhat-buggy experience on Wear OS. Whether because of Bluetooth sync issues, or some other factor. Assistant telling you “Sorry, something went wrong” is a normal occurrence on even the best Wear OS watches.
Galaxy watches also have the ever-useful Bixby assistant, the same found on most recent Samsung phones. However, Bixby does not have as much functionality as Assistant. But it does do just about everything you would want from a watch. It can start timers, tell you the weather, send texts, and many other tasks. In my experience, Bixby does not fail nearly as often as Assistant on Wear OS, so Bixby has that going for it.
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