Samsung have announced the release of the Gear S3. Here’s our first look at their latest Smartwatch – what’s new, what’s good, and how has it developed from the S2?
Samsung are undeniable giants of the smartphone world, but their domination of the Smartwatch market has been gradual. Previous incarnation, the Gear S2, took a proud leap in the right direction, making some bold changes to design and function, and bringing to the Gear Smartwatch a new premium style by which it’s now identifiable. Continuing the company tradition of product evolution, the Gear S3 notably sticks with the successes of its predecessor, and makes improvements where there were shortcomings. So with the Gear S3 due for release sometime in the coming months (or even weeks), what’s new with Samsung’s latest Smartwatch?
Are You Out or In?
This time around, Samsung have divided their attention, recognising that not all Smartwatch owners are necessarily sportspeople: the Gear S3 Classic is a sleek, metal-and-leather design adorned with Bluetooth connectivity to Smartphones and built-in speakerphone for on-the-go communication. The 22mm leather straps are interchangeable, and the casing a durable stainless steel. The Frontier is specially designed for the outdoorsy type, and comes impressively equipped. Not only is it resistant to extreme heat and cold to suit any environment, it has built-in LTE radio connectivity, for use without Smartphone. Throwing in IP68 water resistance, built-in GPS and scratch-proof Gorilla Glass SR+, the Frontier design is well and truly ready for action.
Gear S3 Body Work
The original Gear S Smartwatch was in need of much cosmetic improvement – a bulky, square design with rubbery straps, it carried on quite simply from the early rubber wristband pedometers. As a viable wearable that worked as part of an outfit or a lifestyle, it struggled. The Gear S2 gave the watch a makeover, taking more inspiration from traditional watches: leather straps, rounded face, brushed metal housing and a really sleek bezel for improved control.
The S3 has continued down this path, partnering with Swiss watchmakers to turn out the most desirable and durable design possible. Making its first appearance on the Smartwatch market, the Gear S3 is reinforced with new Gorilla Glass SR+, and refined with a powerful Super AMOLED display. The highly-praised bezel addition of the S2 has been retuned, and given far more use across the watch’s functions, requiring less use of touchscreen. And while not the most powerful on the market, the 380 mAh battery lasts a good day on full power.
Gear S3 New Appendages
One of the main issues raised with earlier versions of the Gear S was the lack of functionality and compatible apps. This has been improved, with a bank of over 10,000 apps now compatible with the watch, including the S Health app, which makes much better use of the sports functions. Also included as standard are altimeter, barometer and speedometer.
Possibly the greatest new addition to the Gear S3 is the inclusion of NFC and MST technology that allows for contactless card payments wherever a magnetic stripe PIN pad is available. This combined with the LTE radio connectivity highlight the S3 as a viable standalone product, which is perhaps its real USP. With just your watch, you can pay for things, make and receive correspondence, and keep track of your physical activity. Models like the new Gear S3 are the main players in making Smart living a reality.
Samsung have made an art of acting on customer feedback. Defining their product by bringing top quality and functionality together, Samsung are coming closer and closer to the Smartwatch ideal.