AT&T is adding another 4G LTE-connected smartwatch to its lineup, with Samsung's Gear S3 Classic, which will be available to buy from this Friday. When the Gear S3 series debuted, Samsung only offered optional 4G LTE connectivity on the Gear S3 Frontier model, which comes with a darker hue and a more rugged appearance with larger side buttons and a replaceable rubber strap. The Gear S3 Classic, which was available in a stainless steel finish and ships with a leather band, was initially only available with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, but Samsung announced in March that the Classic model will gain a variant with cellular connectivity. The availability of a 4G LTE variant of the Gear S3 Classic will give users a choice in the aesthetics of Samsung's newest wearables, while not having to compromise on 4G LTE wireless connectivity.
For those interested in the Samsung Gear S3 Classic with 4G LTE, AT&T is offering a few promotions when the smartwatch becomes available. Through June 30, if you're also picking up a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus smartphone, you can grab either the Gear S3 Classic or Gear S3 Frontier for just $49.99. If you're just buying the watch, the Gear S3 Classic is priced at $249.99 with a two-year contract, or $17.50 per month on a 20-month installment plan. For comparison, the Gear S3 Frontier with LTE retails for $349.99 on AT&T without a contract. The AT&T model of the Gear S3 Classic comes with a pre-loaded NumberSync app, which allows you to use your smartphone's number on your watch to make calls and send texts, along with AT&T Digital Life to manage your smart home and a DIRECTV DVR apps.
Unlike other smartwatches that run Google's Android Wear platform, Samsung's Gear S3 series run on Tizen OS. The Gear S3 range comes with its own ecosystem for apps, and Samsung added some unique features to the Gear S3 that are not currently found on competing smartwatches. The rotating steel bezel around the watch's face, for example, could be turned to navigate through the Gear S3's menus, while the presence of Samsung Pay makes mobile payment more useful. Samsung Pay's support for NFC and MST technologies means that you can use the Gear S3 smartwatch at supported NFC payment terminals, as well as with most magnetic card readers where you would normally swipe your credit or debit card.