The Samsung Gear S3s are here and they’re better than ever. In most respects they outdo their predecessor like in terms of performance and features. Samsung’s partnerships with big companies have also made them devices that can do a lot more than just be companions to your phone. The idea of smartwatches is still something that I personally find hard to accept. It still seems like a gimmick to sell more gadgets rather than actually be useful. The product is for such a niche market that it just doesn’t click with the general public (according to the disappointing sales until now). The sales are reported to bloom to 141 million in 2018 but I’m still skeptical. That being said, let’s take a look at the Gear S3.
The watch comes in two flavours: Classic and Frontier. The Classic has a clear bezel with a jagged edge and the Frontier has a bezel marked with minute and hour points. Both watches are IP68 certified, water resistant just like their brothers in the Smartphone departments. They’re both covered with 1.3 inch thick, scratch resistant Gorilla Glass SR+ (specially made for wearable tech). They feature the dual core Exynos chipsets with 768 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage as well as Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity. Where they differ is that the Frontier also has LTE built in. Both watches are fitted with 380 mAh batteries that Samsung claims, will last for three to four days on a single charge.
Bells and Whistles
The Gear S3 includes a barometer, a gyro, a heart rate monitor, a speedometer and a standalone GPS radio. All this equipment can help you measure the atmospheric pressure, speed, distance traveled, altitude and your vitals. Something that could really come in handy for a traveler, a mountaineer, an athlete, a mountain climber or a doctor but NOT a general consumer. There’s also an SOS distress call built in to the watch that’s triggered by triple tapping the home button. Wired considers it “scarily easy to set off by accident”. You can rotate the bezel to silence an alarm or pick up a phone call; a great functional addition to the hardware that makes the device more user friendly.
Bulkier but Prettier
In terms of size the Gear S3s are bigger than the S2. They are 46 mm wide and 12.9 mm thick. That’s too big for some wrists and feels bulky. This isn’t a huge problem but it does take away from the comfort of wearing the device.
In terms of looks these are gorgeous watches. They look like they could take a beating and still come out without a scratch. And they look like actual watches. Not something out of a Jetson’s cartoon like their counterparts at Apple. Samsung has partnered with Industrial designer Arik Levy to design watch faces and straps for the device. If the latter don’t fit, you have the option to switch them for any 22 mm strap.
The S2 isn’t being left behind though. It won’t be discontinued just yet, in fact a software update is coming.
The Gear S3 will be released in October and the pricing will be announced thereafter.