Samsung’s only gone and done exactly what it repeatedly hinted it was going to do and launched the Gear S3 at IFA. That’s right, smartwatches are still a thing.
Unlike some of the company’s earlier attempts, tough to forget for all the wrong reasons, this one looks pretty good. I say one -- Samsung’s actually launched two different editions of the wristpiece: the Gear S3 Classic and the Gear S3 Frontier.
So why does Samsung think you should part with your money? Here's everything you need to know about the Samsung Gear S3.
Design and Build
There’s a myriad of improvements that the new Samsung Gear S3 has over the already pretty great Samsung Gear S2. The latest smartwatch from Samsung is fashioned to look more like a proper watch than the previous Gear iterations.
However, the Samsung Gear S3's most eye-catching feature is its size. The Samsung Gear S3 is big.
It’s 46mm wide. That’s 4mm wider than the Gear S2 and 8mm wider than the 38mm Apple Watch. For perspective, the average men’s watch is somewhere between 40mm and 42mm nowadays and the average woman’s watch rests comfortably in the 28-32mm range.
In other words, the Samsung Gear S3 is a big honking beast sitting firmly in the watch size range of prestige timepieces from the likes of Breitling and Uboat. When strapped to your wrist the Gear S3 will, undoubtedly, be a statement piece, but without the goofy rectangular flash of the most popular smartwatch on the market.
The Samsung Gear S3 will come in two versions that are identical beyond outward appearances: a rugged darker number labelled Frontier, and a traditional stainless steel one labelled Classic. From afar they’re gorgeous timepieces, and the ability to customise the watch face (a huge bulk of the 10,000 apps available on the Gear’s app store are for customisation) means you can make it look like the £10,000 beauty you've always coveted.
The battery has also grown to 380mAh from 250mAh, with Samsung claiming it'll last up to four days between charges, the S3 is IP68-rated and Samsung Pay is built right in now.
There’s the traditional NFC that other pay by phone/watch services use, and the newer MST, which lets the watch function more like your card and should, according to Samsung, let you make purchases with your watch at more locations than ever.
It also picks up a neat trick from the excellent Gear Fit 2 and lets you sideload up to 4GB of music or stream directly from Spotify.
But cool customisations and paying for stuff with a swipe of your watch can’t hide the fact that this thing is a monster. If you’ve got a slim wrist expect to look like you’re wearing a parental figure’s hand-me-down when this watch becomes available later this year.
Price and Release Date
Erm... Samsung? There's been no word yet on pricing or availability, but we'll let you know as soon as we hear something concrete. We'd expect the Gear S3 to cost something between £250 and £300 though.