Samsung Gear S3
IMAGE: Samsung

While Samsung is clearly not focusing on the Android Wear platform anymore, they are most definitely not getting rid of their smartwatch plans altogether. Samsung’s Gear S from two years ago was a lukewarm smartwatch leaving much to be desired. However, their follow with last year’s Gear S2 was a very impressive smartwatch.

Now, the company has just official unveiled their brand-new Tizen-powered smartwatch, the Samsung Gear S3. Featuring the similar design elements at the S2, new features, and many more enhancements, the new S3 is a step in the right direction for smartwatches.

Samsung Gear S3 puts design first

Just like the Gear S2, the S3 will be available for purchase in two models – the Classic and the Frontier. The Gear S3 Classic, as the name suggests, is a more basic and classy-looking wristwatch, with a more elegant design and no LTE connectivity. The Frontier model, on the other hand, is a more rugged, sports-minded version that does come equipped with LTE functionality.

Both devices come equipped with the popular rotating bezel feature, first introduced on the Samsung Gear S2. This time around, however, the feature comes with several more capabilities. Users now have the ability to accept and reject calls with a twist of the bezel. Additionally, it can be used for instances such as changing music volume and setting the amount of time for alarms and timers. The Frontier model is equipped with longer, flat buttons, while the Classic has more prominent, circular buttons on the side.

The Samsung Gear S3 supports pretty much any standard 22mm watch strap available, although Samsung plans to launch several of its own watch straps for more customization options.

One of the most notable design differences between the S3 and the S2 is that the new model is much larger than the older. The difference is so drastic that it might be considered too large for the average-sized wrist. While it may seem like a major flaw, fortunately it also means that Samsung was able to include a much larger battery this time around.

For those who prefer a more streamlined, svelte look, Samsung product manager David Ng pointed to last year’s Gear S2 watch. Women who might be looking for a fitness band should consider the company’s Gear Fit 2.

Impressive specs and features on the Gear S3

The Gear S3 comes equipped with a 380mAh battery, compared to the S2 250mAh cell. Additionally, the Gear S3 comes with a power-saving option, allowing users to squeeze out a day’s worth of use with only 5% charge! The S3 also comes with a “watch-only” mode, letting owners use it as only a wristwatch, without the smartwatch features. The Gear S3 is also backwards compatible with the S2’s charger.

The Samsung Gear S3 runs on Samsung’s Tizen OS. Since the Tizen Store now has over 10,000 applications available for download, users are bound to find useful applications for their respective needs.

One of the biggest additions to the newest Samsung smartwatch is the addition of Samsung Pay, the company’s NFC payment technology. Simply set up the program with your bank, and the phone can act in place of your credit card, all wirelessly.

Both models come equipped with the same display, a 1.3-inch Super AMOLED fully circular display. The new models also sport Samsung’s “Always On Display,” a new feature that allows the screen to show 16 million colors. Protecting these high-tech displays is Corning’s brand-new Gorilla Glass SR+, which will no doubt help keep the screen looking tip-top.

Both models of the Samsung Gear S3 have IP68 ratings for dust and water resistance, keeping them functional in even the harshest environments. Additionally, the watches have an extra military-grade durability rating, helping the watches maintain their functionality in even the most extreme temperatures.

The S3 comes equipped with an altimeter, barometer, speedometer, optical heart rate sensor, and a GPS. Additionally, the smartwatch has a proprietary SOS feature in case you find yourself in trouble without cell service.

Since the Classic model does not have LTE connectivity, it relies upon either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections. The Frontier, however, does have LTE connectivity, allowing users to leave their smartphones at home and still have their watch at full functionality.

Both models come equipped with a built-in speaker and microphone, allowing owners to make and take calls right on their watches. Furthermore, the watches have the ability to hold music files locally, so users can play music either through the speaker or through a set of Bluetooth headphones.

Pricing and availability for the Gear S3

While Samsung has officially announced the watch, the company has unfortunately yet to announce any details regarding the watch’s price or its availability. However, according to many reports, the watch is expected to release by the end of the year.

As more details emerge regarding Samsung’s top-of-the-line smartwatch, we will be sure to update them here.