The first thing that becomes noticeable is that the Samsung Gear S3 is a large watch, very large. And in this they follow the proven path of the Apple Watch. The watch includes everything that is expected of them – it’s GPS, and a heart rate sensor, and water resistance, and NFC, and fitness tracker functions, an altimeter, and even LTE (but only in some cases).
A large display and a durable battery, of course, are also included. And where without them? But you can choose the design of the watch: a more sporty design was called “Frontier”, and the second one was called “Classic”.
Interestingly, for Gear S3 Samsung changed the firmware from Android Wear to Tizen. As a result, there are slightly fewer applications for the watch. Let’s see how this will affect the popularity of watches, because both LG Watch Sport and Huawei Watch 2 came out in parallel.
The new system also has advantages – for example, it is compatible with all smartphone models that have Android 4.4 or later installed, ready to sacrifice at least one and a half gigabytes of RAM in favor of the watch.
And also, Samsung watches are also compatible with Apple products (those that boast iOS 9 and later). So most can be sure that the Samsung Gear S3 will work great with their trusty smartphone.
Design and appearance
First of all, let’s talk about weight – the watch weighs 59 grams, and this, in principle, is not much, but it is still inferior to its regular competitor Apple Watch with a difference of 13.4 grams.
What cannot be denied is the feeling of a good quality watch. The assembly is as always on top, and the metal frame around the display, whose diagonal is 1.3 inches, leaves a very pleasant aesthetic impression. It should be noted that the watch also inspires confidence – the dust and water-repellent qualities are even confirmed by the IP68 certificate.
The frame of the glass can be rotated and is used for navigation, just like the touchscreen, and two buttons that add a nice retro clock feel.
By the way, the frame is just the main and most convenient method of navigation. With it, you can move between screens, lists, scroll and select applications. Actions can be confirmed by tapping the screen. This system can be changed in the settings.
One of the buttons takes you to the home screen, the other – back. Once you get used to the layout of the buttons, the controls become quite comfortable.
On the back of the watch is a heart rate sensor. This is a rather ingenious solution that turns out to be quite useful for those who prefer to constantly monitor their heart rate.
The “Classic” model comes with a leather watch strap. It, like all skin, needs to be spread a little. The good news is that the belts can be changed, which means that you can choose the right option for any style.
And for those who are more interested in the functions of a fitness tracker, which we will talk about later, it is better to pay attention to the corresponding sports model “Frontier” – it includes a rubberized belt, which is much more comfortable to wear when playing sports. True, it is a bit rougher in design, and weighs 62 grams, otherwise, there are few differences and interchangeable belts are also suitable for this model.
In some countries, models with LTE are also available, but so far not in all.
Super AMOLED display of this watch has a diagonal of 1.3 inches and a resolution of 360×360. Right now, this is one of the best smart watch screens available on the market. This is not surprising, one has only to look at Samsung smartphones.
The screen is always on, which means you can always watch the time. This, of course, affects the life of the battery.
But what positively distinguishes Gear S3 from other watches is the brightness of the screen – in any weather conditions, you will always be ready to answer the question “What time is it?”
So far, there are not so many applications on the Gear S3. This, of course, has to do with the decision to ditch Android Wear, a more developed system. Therefore, for now, Samsung boasts its own applications, several third-party and games. But we are sure that the assortment will expand soon, because so far not all developers are familiar with Tizen.
To stay connected, the Gear S3 skillfully transitions from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth sync and back again. Not only that, the watch does this automatically, which allows it to send notifications, information, and so on.
Music lovers will be very pleased with the playback function on the Samsung Gear S3. If you listen to music on your smartphone, the watch allows you to switch between tracks using the watch frame and see what exactly is playing and even album art.
You can also download MP3 tracks directly to your watch, so you can listen to music directly from it. You can stream radio with Bluetooyj and much more. The sound is loud and very high quality, especially for a watch.
All this is done quite simply, downloading music, photos and other media is not difficult at all.
Thanks to the available screen views, you can choose any watch face you prefer, be it classic or digital.
As we have already said, in terms of activity tracking, the Samsung Gear S3 is in perfect order. To track the run, the watch has a built-in GPS navigator and an accelerometer that will track the speed. The Samsung S Health app is fully compatible with the watch, so you can keep an eye on everything. The clock reminds you of the lack of activity and even animates the movement.
For beginners and sports fans, Samsung has also prepared useful features. Tips remind you to warm up if you move a lot and even explain how to do it right.
Not surprisingly, the Samsung Gear 3 tracks various types of workouts – squats, jumps, and so on.
Pretty accurate distance tracking is another plus point for Samsung watches. And of course, it’s nice to see your progress all the time thanks to the screen. The brightest screen that is always on. And it is especially worth noting the function of switching on when raising your hand – it works one hundred percent.
In addition, the watch has built-in programs to increase speed and endurance.
The heart rate sensor does not work perfectly, but we know very well that not a single tracker has achieved perfection yet, however, in most cases its readings are quite correct.
We have already noted that the watch is able to track various workouts, but here’s another feature that will delight fans of a healthy lifestyle – Samsung Gear S3 automatically recognizes the types of workouts. Whether you’re running, cycling, or generally active (even when doing housework), the watch will start tracking activity and counting calories burned after 10 minutes. Isn’t it great?
Of course, the watch also tracks sleep. And they do it pretty well, recognizing the duration and phases of sleep.
It’s time to talk about the battery, which, as we mentioned, needs to be quite powerful to keep the display going. The battery of Samsung Gear S3 has a capacity of 380mAh and can withstand four days of work under standard conditions. That is, if you do not overload it with the constant use of GPS or music.
The watch charges very quickly, in addition, wireless charging. In what-in what Samsung still surpassed the competitor Apple Watch 2, so it’s in charging. But will it still be.
There is also a convenient low battery mode on the Gear S3 – with it the screen goes into monochrome mode, and the battery will last longer without recharging.
Samsung Gear S3 is definitely a very interesting novelty among smartwatches. Lots of features, extensive tracking options, incredibly high-quality display. All this makes up a very positive picture and gives odds to many representatives of similar products on the market.
We can definitely recommend this watch to those who are attracted by the options for listening to music, receiving notifications and activity tracking.
In many ways, this watch is unique and, of course, every year it will be refined, but the direction that Samsung has chosen for the development of the Gear watch is definitely encouraging at the moment.
For now, we can only wait for the next new product from Apple and compare the two irreconcilable competitors in order to make a final verdict.