If you fell in love with Samsung’s fabulous looking Gear S2 watches that were released last year, we have some news for you. Samsung recently showed off the next iteration along the series, the Gear S3 smartwatch, and the company has finally let go of S2’s minimalistic theme with something a bit more flashy.
The watch was announced at the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) event that is currently ongoing in Berlin. Samsung has actually teamed up with Swiss designer Yvan Arpa to design this watch and the changes as compared to the Gear S2 are pretty obvious.
The first thing that hits you when you put it on is its sheer size. Whereas the gear S2 was fairly normal sized, the S3 is big. What’s more, the company hasn’t launched it in multiple sizes either, meaning that weather you are 6′ or 5′ tall, you only have a single size for your hands.
There are two variants, however, they have nothing to do with the size of the dial. While the Classic is the standard one, Frontier, as the name implies is the tougher version — kind of on par with Samsung Galaxy Active — and comes with IP68 waterproofing and military level durability.
Look wise, the Frontier is definitely the more flashy of the two with a deep gunmetal finish and a significantly more prominent bezel. Meanwhile, if you are off to a business meeting with a suit on, we would recommend the Classic with its silver finish and rather more subtle bezel.
The only other major difference between the two models is that Frontier also packs an optional LTE variant. The Classic meanwhile, does not pack the faster Internet technology yet.
The standard version is no pushover either though and the Gear S3 series of watches is actually the first to utilize Corning’s ultra scratch resistant Gorilla Glass SR+. And yes, as rumored, the watch display is, always on. The watch deploys the industry-standard 22 mm watch straps for easier customization.
As far as size is concerned, both Frontier and Classic feature the same, 1.3-inch AMOLED display. Samsung has also bumped up the battery size on the watch and the S3 packs 380mAh of juice under the hood. Considering the size of the watch, a battery of that size should be enough for around three or four days when fully charged. Which is a significant improvement as compared to the Gear S2.
Sadly though, the extra battery has it’s disadvantages and has a hand in bumping up the size of the watch to this extent. Meanwhile, under the hood, you get Samsung’s home-made Exynos processor that has been combined with 768 MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage for apps and other user data.
Samsung has always loved experimentation to innovate and the S3 is no exception. There isn’t really a lot of space on the watch itself to place buttons and so, Samsung is using the case itself to issue commands. You can actually accept or reject calls by spinning the bezel. How cool is that? The same action can also be applied to respond to notifications as well.
Samsung is also not letting go of the S2 just yet. The company will keep the Gear S2 in its lineup and is hoping to sell more by introducing many of the software updates found on the Gear S3 to the S2. Sadly though, the number of applicationss on the Gear S3 is still limited as Samsung is still sticking to it’s Tizen software instead of Google’s Android Wear.
There are also thousands of watch faces available to download, although , Samsung has already included a dozen pretty cool ones with the Gear S3 Watch. Meanwhile, the Gear S3 also supports BMW Connected, thus letting you monitor and control features on your dashboard.
Oh, and Samsung is taking electronic payments a step further with the Gear S3 and has integrated Samsung Pay with the watch. Now, you can literally flash your watch, or rather, tap it to a payment terminal to make payments, just like that. Simply press and hold the back button to launch the service, choose out of the cards stored on your phone and tap the watch to a payment terminal.
And in case you are worrying about security, the watch as the same level of Knox security as out smartphones. Sweet!
Finally, the Gear S3 supports Apple’s iPhones. Yup, Samsung has finally succeeded in its attmepts to break into the huge market that is mostly covered by the Apple Watch. Tests have been ongoing for the long time and indeed, there were rumors of an iPhone supporting Gear S2 in Beta, however the company has finally managed to hit the hammer on the head with the S3.
Speaking on the topic, Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics said,
Samsung Gear S2 achieved meaningful progress in the smartwatch category with a personalized watch face and a versatile rotating bezel that provided an intuitive smartwatch experience. Now with the new Gear S3, we expand our Gear collection and introduce not only a great smartwatch, but a great watch. With smart capabilities and sophisticated, elegant design, the Gear S3 marks a significant addition to our smartwatch portfolio.
Well, that’s about all we know for now folks, but we have got our eyes and ears on the topic. Stay tuned and check back soon for more updates from IFA 2016.