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[Hands-On] The Samsung Gear S3
Samsung’s Gear S collection is now complete with the addition of the new Gear S3. Merging the worlds of analog watch-making and mobile innovation, the device is one that boasts a traditional, premium design, standalone connectivity, life proof features and an expanded ecosystem.
A Real Watch Design
Both versions of Samsung’s newest smartwatch—the Gear S3 frontier, a well-built wearable that can withstand tough conditions, and the Gear S3 classic, a luxurious yet minimal timepiece—were designed to emulate the look and feel of a traditional premium watch down to the smallest details.
Following the trends of the latest watch designs, most prominent in the enhancements of the Gear S3 are the physical dimensions of the watch itself.
The bezel, buttons and overall hardware of the Gear S3 were accentuated to give the device a sturdier, more refined look, and to ensure that its functions and features are easier to access and control.
In addition to a new fit that allows for maximized comfort, everything from the angle and slope of the screen, slight elevations around the face and the way the bezel feels when turned have been fine-tuned. The knurling process (how watchmakers texturize the bezel, crowns and buttons to make the device more tactile and rugged) was also perfected. Even the Gear S3’s material—stainless steel 316L—adds to the device’s analog aesthetic.
The rounded sharp edges of the case and the sunray brush finish on the bezel illustrate the attention to detail and quality put into the form of the device. Extra care was taken in designing the crown of the watch to realize the ideal of a traditional timepiece.
Likewise, the Gear S3’s 16 million colors full-color Always On Display function gives the smartwatch a more traditional look, allowing for more realistic watch faces, dials and hands, including the new active second hand. Samsung also integrated standard 22 millimeter bands, so users can interchange them to personalize the Gear S3 to their liking.
But not all of the design enhancements were made strictly for aesthetic purposes. The bezel, for example, was improved to allow for better control of the Gear S3. Users can now quickly respond to calls or alarms with a simple twist, or rotate the bezel to set simple voice reminders.
While the Gear S3 is the perfect partner for the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy Note7, its ability to function as a standalone device makes it even more powerful.
The Gear S2 helped paved the way for smartwatches to have standalone 3G connectivity, but the Gear S3 now supports LTE. Along with a built-in speaker and microphone, the smartwatch makes placing calls easy, and possible right from the wrist. And, whether users call from their smartphone or Gear S3, the receiver will see the same number, eliminating confusion on the other end of the line.
The Gear S3 also houses various sensors that work together to enhance users’ lifestyles. Included among them is the built-in GPS, which doesn’t require a phone to function. An altimeter, barometer and speedometer make the Gear S3 the ideal companion for those who enjoy the great outdoors or leisure activities.
With these features, users can measure the altitude on a mountain hike, predict changes in the weather, check out how fast they’re cycling down a hill, or even send a notification to family members with their exact location.
In addition, Gear S3 users can also take advantage of the device’s connectivity to stream music from apps like Spotify. Or, they can simply enjoy their own playlists, thanks to the device’s standalone music player.
Enhanced fitness features on the S Health app let users track a wider variety of activities on the Gear S3, such as workouts on a rowing machine or elliptical trainer. Social features like the 1:1 Steps challenge and Steps leaderboard add a fun, competitive element.
Other new features function to make the little things in life more convenient. Reminders lets users keep track of small tasks and to-dos such as picking up the dry cleaning by recording a simple voice input and setting the reminder time via the bezel.
Users can also download Samsung-recommended apps and watch faces* directly from the Gear S3 via a Wi-Fi or LTE connection, meaning they can now personalize their device faster, easier and without a smartphone connection.
On the Safe Side
To ensure that users remain out of harm’s way while taking advantage of all the features of the Gear S3, Samsung made sure to life proof the device to the max.
Because users wear it on their wrist, the Gear S3 can help them in emergencies more efficiently than a smartphone, which is usually in a bag or pocket when a crisis situation arises. When activated, a triple tap on the home key immediately sends a clear SOS call to the user’s contact of choice—either a friend or one of Samsung’s security partners such as ADT (US) or S1 (Korea). Location tracking then enables responders to locate the user’s position in real time via the Glympse solution.
Such security functions, paired with the Gear S3’s durability features, help to protect users no matter where they are—whether in the middle of a city, or the middle of the ocean. That’s because the Gear S3 is IP68 certified, meaning it is water and dust resistant. Furthermore, the display of the Gear S3 is made of Gorilla Glass SP+ to provide ultimate scratch resistance, not to mention a sharper, clearer screen.
A larger, longer-lasting battery (380mAh), which has a typical usage of three to four days, ensures that the Gear S3 is working when users need it to. And, when it does need a battery boost, a 15-minute charge in its cradle amounts to around ten hours of wear time. Even in the most extreme case, the device will work as a digital watch for up to ten hours with less than five percent battery life when the Power off Watch is activated.
An Expanded Ecosystem
With an improved battery life, users can now do even more with the Gear S3, like make a contactless payment.
Samsung Pay has been greatly improved with the Gear S3, as now, both NFC and MST technology are embedded into the device. This means that anywhere a credit card is accepted, the Gear S3 can be used, too, so users can leave their wallets behind when out for a jog or a coffee break.
In addition to Samsung Pay, more than 10,000 apps are now compatible with the Gear S3 and its Tizen operating system. From utilizing IoT services to car sharing to music streaming, users can do more than ever, right from their wrist.
Good for Business
With so many useful and convenient features, the Gear S3 is also an ideal device for the work environment, especially for jobs that require hands-free work, such as airport task management or handling real-time inventory.
Should an enterprise want to utilize the Gear S3 as a device in the workplace, they can do so safely and securely, as all messages and communication are protected by Samsung’s KNOX security platform.
*Selected apps and watch faces are available with this function.
**All functionality features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.