After a number of rumors, leaks and teasers from Samsung themselves, the South Korean giant is ready to unveil their next-generation of smartwatch, the Gear S3. This time last year, Samsung announced the Gear S2, radical new design that reinvigorated Samsung’s wearable line of products. Along with the Gear Fit 2, Samsung has turned the Gear line of devices into something as recognizable and important to Samsung’s business as their Galaxy S line. If you thought last year’s Gear S2 was a device that resembled a traditional watch, the Gear S3 takes that look and feel to new heights.
With a 1.3-inch fully-circular Super AMOLED display, covered up with Corning’s new Gorilla Glass SR+, a raft of sensors, an improved look and feel and a simplified duo of just two models, the Classic and the Frontier, the Gear S3 is a huge improvement over last year’s model. The Gear S3 Classic is 12.9mm thick with a more streamlined and understated feel, with two prominent buttons on the right-hand side of the device. Meanwhile, the Gear S3 Frontier shares a similar 12.9mm thick casing, but where the Gear S3 is more understated and classic, the Gear S3 Frontier appears to be a little more edgy, with more design elements on the rotating bezel and a silicon watch strap. Both share IP68 water and dust-resistance, an optical heart rate sensor, 4GB of storage and 768MB of RAM, as well as Samsung’s own Tizen 2.3.2. A dual-core CPU clocked at 1.0 Ghz keeps everything ticking here, and 3G and LTE connectivity is included, as well as WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, GPS and NFC. This standalone LTE connection allows users to listen to Spotify wherever they are as well as make calls without their smartphone. Battery life has always been something that wearables have struggled with, but the Gear S3 will now offers users three-to-four days’ worth of battery life from a single charge. All of this is just from a 380 mAh battery, which supports wireless charging.
That inclusion of NFC will allow users to pay for things using Samsung Pay at participating stores, as well as stores that don’t support it thanks to Magnetic Secure Transmission with your watch simulating the mag strip on a credit card strip. Built-in GPS allows users to track their runs and get directions without a smartphone nearby, and of course, users can still make and take calls on the Gear S3 with the built-in speaker and microphone. Samsung have partnered with BMW to include functionality with supported BMW models that allow people to control certain elements of their car straight from their watch.
To design the Gear S3, Samsung partnered with Yvan Arpa, a renowned Swiss-based watch designer, and Samsung is really pushing the whole “craftsmanship” avenue with the new Gear S3. With a 46mm face and a sizeable 1.3-inch display, the Gear S3 isn’t the smallest watch in the world, but it’s not too big, either. Using the same stainless steel that high-end Swiss names use, the Gear S3 is perhaps the most traditional smartwatch that’s available. In keeping with this, Samsung has chosen to use standard 22mm watch strap fittings on both the Gear S3 Classic and the Gear S3 Frontier, while also offering a range of different colors and textures of their own.