Often, when a new smartphone or gadget is released, those who own its immediate predecessor are left unimpressed and feeling that there is little reason to upgrade. Since the smartwatch world is still young and the technology hasn’t advanced all that much just yet, there are many who feel that way when a new smartwatch comes out. There have been some cases, of course, where an upgraded device outstrips its predecessor or precursor by a wide margin; such has been the case with the Sony SmartWatch 2’s upgrade to Android Wear from Sony’s first effort, and the huge leap in style and technology taken by the LG G Watch R after the fairly basic-looking original G Watch.
While Samsung’s Gear S3 lineup may not make the Gear S2 family look pitiful by comparison, but they are certainly a step forward. Spec bumps, software upgrades and a brand new style are the key hallmarks of this year’s Gear S3. Coming in two variants, the rugged Frontier and the elegant Classic, the Gear S3 entrants are an overall improvement from the Gear S2’s normal and Classic versions, with a somewhat different style. Larger watch faces and more elegant styling all around make the Gear S3 variants real head-turners, and a sharp departure from the base, futuristic stylings of the regular Gear S2.
Along with a new style, the Gear S3 family sports a bit more durability thanks to their new face crystals made of Gorilla Glass SR+, a new type of Gorilla Glass made especially for wearables. The Gear S2’s IP68 certification is still on board, as are all of the sensors. The Samsung Tizen platform that the watches run on is now at version 2.3.2, Bluetooth has been bumped up to version 4.2, and GPS has been added in to beef up the navigational capabilities. The battery has been notched up to 380 mAh, and the amount of RAM now sits at a task-switching friendly 768 MB. A speaker is now a part of the watch, allowing for calls and music. The presence of Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) rounds things out, allowing users to take advantage of the full capabilities of Samsung Pay.