Samsung’s Gear S3 debuted back in 2016 with the now-defunct Tizen OS. An eager developer has now ported Wear OS 2 software on the smartwatch, offering it a new lease of life.
This Wear OS 2 ROM is compatible with the Gear S3 Frontier and Classic
Users can now download the Wear OS 2 ROM for the Gear S3 through the XDA forums (via 9to5Google). When the question of bringing the unified Wear OS 3 to older smartwatches emerged last year, Google offered a vague response saying it was not an easy task. This new custom ROM for the Gear S3 is still noteworthy, given that it offers entirely new software and a massive upgrade coming from Tizen.
Although this Wear OS 2 ROM is designed for the Gear S3 Frontier (SM-R760), the developer says it also works with the Gear S3 Classic. The ROM itself works pretty smoothly, based on the developer’s words. It offers most of the core Wear OS 2 features, including the Play Store, Google Assistant, etc, and can even sync with your Google account.
Furthermore, users will be able to discover several new watch faces that weren’t previously available on Tizen. Gear S3 owners can also use the rotating bezel as they would on any other modern-day smartwatch.
This custom ROM is not free from bugs, however
But the Wear OS 2 ROM is far from perfect. The developer said the ROM won’t work on 4G LTE models of the Gear S3. Battery life appears to be worse compared to the older Tizen software.
Additionally, the tilt-to-wake feature isn’t working. Some of the sensors, including GPS, NFC, and pedometer, are non-functional too. Meanwhile, the charging animation appears even when the wearable is rebooted.
Since this is an unofficial ROM for the Samsung smartwatch, it’s likely to feature a few other bugs too. There’s also the chance of bricking the smartwatch, which usually leads to data loss. If you’re aware of these caveats and still want to try out Wear OS 2 on your Gear S3, be sure to check it out.
Google unveiled Wear OS 3 last year in partnership with Samsung. To date, the only wearables to support the new software are the Galaxy Watch 4 and the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. The existing crop of smartwatches like the Fossil Gen 6, Skagen Falster Gen 6, Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3, and TicWatch E3 are in line to get the update soon.