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With a great build and finish the Samsung Gear S3 is a stylish smartwatch that looks more like a watch. Making it a lot more compatible with personal style choices. Available in 2 variants of the overall look. The Classic is neater while the Frontier is a bit more sporty looking. Packed with features to aid your life and make smartphone usage more integrated. A great way to keep track of your health and activity levels. Price-wise, this is a mid-range device to purchase.

Pros & Cons


  • Animated always-on display

  • Great activity tracking

  • Intuitive interface

  • Built-in LTE (Frontier variant only)

  • Samsung Pay

  • Good voice control

  • Water-resistant

  • More than a day of battery life

  • Rotating bezel


  • Large on the wrist

  • Lack of apps


Gear S3

The Samsung Gear S3 was released in November 2016. The design has 2 form factors, the Frontier and the Classic. The Frontier is a slightly more rugged design, while the Classic is neater. Built with its own LTE, WiFi, NFC payment, voice control, heart rate monitor and GPS. The LTE option was specific to the Frontier variant. The Gear S3 has an always-on display and the bezel has functionality to navigate the watch, it can be used to scroll through screens or lists. Overall a heavier smartwatch, but the build quality is very good.

Internal specs

Running the Tizen OS which has been developed by Samsung for wearable devices and smart TVs. Powered by a Samsung Exynos 7270 1GHz dual-core processor and 768MB of RAM. The Gear S3 has 4GB of storage space built-in. These specs are ample for the smooth running of the smartwatch.

Design elements and build

Both the variants have a round bezeled design and look more like a watch than a smartwatch. The classic design is preferred by people as it fits in with existing styles regarding fashion. The futuristic Apple Watch is a tough mix with a leather jacket. If the pre-installed watch faces aren't what you are looking for there are plenty of free and paid faces you can install. These little customisations are crucial as they allow one to personalise devices, especially when it is something you will be wearing on your wrist. 

The build quality is top shelf, the watches feel sturdy. They have an IP68 rating which means they are water-resistant and able to withstand dust and dirt. Even though it can be in water at 1.5 meters or for a duration of 30 minutes it isn't recommended for wearing while swimming or diving. The Gear S3 works fine in rain but over a longer stretch in rain, the touch interface does develop some issues. Corning's Gorilla Glass SR+ has been used as the screen, which is tough and can take serious bumps without breaking apart.


With a larger display than its predecessor the Gear S2, the Gear S3 has a 1.3 inch AMOLED screen. The resolution is the same at 360x360 pixels, which does mean you are seeing fewer pixels-per-inch but this doesn't affect the quality. The display is still bright, high contrast and has vibrant colours. The Gear S3 has the option of an always-on display, with a further option for it to be dimmed when not being viewed. Unlike the Gear S2 the dimmed watch face stays in full colour, again making it feel more like a watch. Activating this option does burn some battery but on the other hand, the screen turns on fast when one raises their wrist if it is not in the always-on mode.

Apps and other features

The Samsung Gear S3 relying on the Tizen OS means you need apps that are developed for it. Some Android apps are compatible but not enough of an app sphere exists. Developers need to make apps specifically for Samsung's Tizen and that takes extra resources. Still, there are enough apps for one to make use of such as Uber, Nike+ Running and more.

Thankfully its own fitness tracking app is good, it records number of steps, monitors your heart rate, tracks sleeping patterns and other health-related readings. It also can auto-sense what activity you are partaking in and start recording data. There are little nudges from the app to keep you active, asking you to do some stretching if you have been stationary too long. Guiding you through the stretching process while recording the data, this feels more interactive than just a reminder. It also has built-in sensors for speed, height and air pressure changes.

The bezel is a key feature that allows you to navigate the various aspects of the OS. Letting you move over the widget screens and remove ones you don't want or all the way to the end where you can add more widgets. This can be done by swiping as well but the bezel does make it easier at times, it is one of the best features. When you do scroll you have to tap the screen to complete actions, the bezel only rotates. The bottom button takes you to the Tizen app menu, which has circular icons lined around the edge of the display. The display has space for only eight apps per page; pages get added as you install more apps. Samsung also included S Voice in the Gear S3 which lets you give it voice commands.

This was the first Samsung smartwatch to support Samsung Pay, both NFC and MST.


Samsung claimed the battery can see you through four days but with full usage, it is closer to 48 hours. That is still better than most smartwatches and it hardly loses any power on standby mode. The Gear S3 comes with a wireless charging cradle which has an LED indicator to let you know the status of charging.


Smartwatches still have a long way to go before they are truly stand-alone devices, the Samsung Gear S3 is a great step in that direction. Check the varied prices it is available at on Shopsy.


Weight 59g
Dimensions 49 x 46 x 12.9 mm
OS Tizen
Storage 4GB
Screen size 1.3-inch
Resolution 360 x 360
Screen type Super AMOLED
Battery 380mAh
Processor Exynos 7270
IP rating IP68
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