Which Is Better?: Pokemon GO Plus vs. Pokemon GO on Apple Watch

The war of the wearables begins as Pokemon GO Plus squares off against the Pokemon GO app on Apple Watch.

The Pokemon GO app is out on Apple Watch, directly competing with the external add-on Pokemon GO Plus device. Let’s cut through all the nonsense and marketing — here we’re going to break down all the features in both to see which is better.

Before getting started, here are some ground rules — we aren’t comparing the physical devices, or the extra functionality that the Apple Watch has over a Pokemon GO Plus. This isn’t about comparing / contrasting the Apple Watch. We’re only interested in the Pokemon GO app on Apple Watch, and what it can do for you.

With that out of the way, let’s break down the features and see which is better.


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Which Is Better?: Pokemon GO Plus vs. Pokemon GO on Apple Watch

Pokemon GO Plus is an external wearable device fans of Pokemon GO can purchase. Pokemon GO on Apple Watch is an app that adds extra functionality to Pokemon GO when you’re on-the-move. Both are very similar in function, and both aren’t a replacement for Pokemon GO on iOS / Android. You’ll always need the main game on a smart phone to get either of these add-ons to work.

To decide which is best, let’s take a closer look at all the features — in-game, built-in, or part of the experience.


Pokemon GO Plus — Features Breakdown

Learn more about Pokemon GO Plus with our full features guide here.

  • You can catch Pokemon.
  • You cannot battle with Pokemon — Gyms or Wild Pokemon.
  • You are notified when Pokemon are nearby.
  • You can collect Pokestops.
  • Your steps are tracked for Buddy Candy / Egg Hatching.
  • You won’t get notifications for Buddy Candy / Egg Hatching completion.
  • No visual interface.
  • No XP tracking.
  • Costs $34.99 US retail. [Due to extremely limited quantities, expect huge price mark-ups.]

 


Pokemon GO on Apple Watch — Features Breakdown

Learn more about Pokemon GO on Apple Watch with our full features guide here.

  • You cannot catch Pokemon.
  • You cannot battle with Pokemon — Gyms or Wild Pokemon.
  • You are notified when Pokemon are nearby.
  • You can collect Pokestops.
  • Your steps are tracked for Buddy Candy / Egg Hatching.
  • You will get notifications for Buddy Candy / Egg Hatching completion.
  • You will use a visual interface.
  • You can track XP.
  • You can track play sessions in your daily workout log.
  • No cost — totally free. [The Pokemon GO app is free. Apple Watch price not included.]

Which Is Better?

Both wearables bring similar functionality to Pokemon GO — they’re practically identical, save for one major factor. You can’t catch Pokemon in Pokemon GO on Apple Watch. But is that so important?

Here’s the thing. You can catch Pokemon with the Pokemon GO Plus, but it does not show you which Pokemon you’re about to (attempt) to catch. It only informs you that there is a Pokemon nearby. If the color is green, that means you’ve spotting a Pokemon that isn’t yet in your Pokedex. Sounds good, right? Not necessarily, because Pokemon GO Plus only uses standard Pokeballs. No Great Balls, no Ultra Balls — only standard, basic, Pokeballs.

If you’ve made any progress in Pokemon GO, then standard Pokeballs just won’t cut it when you’re hunting Pokemon. Even though you can catch Pokemon, you’ll still have to switch over to the iOS / Android Pokemon GO.

Then there’s the price. Pokemon GO Plus, at this point in time, is available in extremely limited quantities. Purchasing it means finding it on eBay or through online stores with a massive price hike. That’s a huge issue, and one that Nintendo / The Pokemon Company will hopefully address in the future. For now, the free price for the (still pretty underwhelming) Apple Watch is sounding better and better.

This is going to be a controversial call, but due to all the extenuating circumstances surrounding Pokemon GO Plus, we’re going to have to pick the Pokemon GO app on Apple Watch. It’s the better choice… if you can afford an Apple Watch.

Which Is Better?: Pokemon Go on Apple Watch


Don’t agree? Convince us which of these devices is better in the comments section below! We’re still open to any suggestions.