Samsung Gear S3 Review
Samsung Gear S3 Review
The Samsung Gear S3 is the latest tech from Samsung (though the Samsung Gear S4 is set to debut later on this year – 2017). That aside, the Gear S2 successor is theoretically the greatest tech from Samsung. With the Apple watch series 2 introducing some cool features and the LG Watch Sport taking the Android wear bar even higher, the smart watch game has seen lots of changes.
Now, the Gear S3 decided to make available 2 designs. There is the classic option which offers a luxurious look and feel, and there is the Frontier version which is more rugged and better designed for the great outdoors. The two still run the Tizen operating system and return the all so glorious rotating bezel.
You will be in a position to pair this gadget with Samsung phones and many other Android phones as well. Heck, it even works with iPhones though, the user experience with iPhones is greatly reduced. Samsung has gone all out on the Gear S3 in terms of features and design here, there is no doubt. But have they managed to build on where they left off with the Gear S2? Below is a review to shed light on this and more.back to menu ↑
The Gear S3 only weighs 59g. But even at this weight rating, the watch feels heavy. Comparing it to its predecessor the Gear S2 that weighs just 42g or the Apple watch 2 that weighs 45.6g, Samsung has undoubtedly added some parts to the Gear S3. But nonetheless, the watch is well made and you can sense the great build quality. Contributing to the added weight is the metal frame housing that houses the 1.3-inch screen and holds two buttons on the side of the watch which function- as the App/Home and Back Keys.
The distinction between the two buttons is hard to grasp but with time, it starts to become an act of muscle memory as you constantly toggle through the menus and apps which are more of swiping as well as swinging the bezel than pressing down on the buttons.
Speaking of which, the bezel is the main feature in the Samsung Gear S3 and other recent smart watches from Samsung. The rotating dial provides an easy way, for some, of navigating through the Gear S3. To work the bezel you either swipe it to the left or to the right which will allow you to scroll through the apps or let you select any specific application.
It is, however, a little off given that the gadget does not sport a confirm button. To land on the app you need to use, you have to press down on it with your finger. Agreed, this is not one of the easiest ways to get things done on the smart watch but it does, however, come with the option of setting up the Gear to open an application when you hover the dot over the app you need.
On the back side of the Gear S3 is a heart rate sensor which seems to be a unique design by Samsung. This sensor provides you, the user, with the ability to keep track of the heart rate throughout the day which is an added benefit for those getting the device and trying to get fit in addition to having the convenience of their Smartphones on their wrist.
We should point out that this review mainly focuses on the Classic flavor of the Samsung Gear S3 which features a leather strap in the box. And as you have come to realize with the other timepieces of this caliber, the leather is usually stiff and will need some weathering to get it to a nice, flexible feel.
The leather straps are connected to the face of the watch by a 22mm pin which is the standard. That said if you are purchasing this unit for the purposes of getting a fitness partner, you just might have to get a strap that is sweat resistant. Leather just won’t do you any good.
The Gear S3 Frontier, on the other hand, comes with a slightly rugged design as earlier mentioned and features a rubber strap as the standard. Being a sporty design, this version of the Gear S3 makes more sense for the fitness minded individual. Still, on the Frontier, it weighs 62g which is even heavier than the classic version. But aside from the straps and the look, the two devices are similar.
Moving on to the screen, it measures 1.3 inches and is a super AMOLED screen with a 360 x 360 resolution. It should not come as a surprise that this is one of the best screens available on the market. Samsung uses the same technology it has been using on its Smartphone screens to give the Smart watch a brighter and clearer look.
Another cool feature that Samsung gave the Gear S3 is the Always-On Display that the Galaxy S7 sports as well. With this technology, you get to see the time regardless of what the display is doing. For this convenience and coolness, however, you should be ready to deal with a shorter battery lifespan.
When turned on, the gadget displays a vivid and beautifully bright screen. There has been some heated debate about which is better, a rounded or square display, for a while now. While the rounded face is aesthetically pleasing, reading text at the bottom proves to be slightly harder which can be rather frustrating.back to menu ↑
If you have been keen on the review so far, you will notice that there are lots of features that the Gear S3 sports that its predecessor only hoped and wished it had. One such feature not mentioned so far is the built-in GPS receiver. This enables the Samsung Gear S3 to keep track of your whereabouts even when you have left your phone at home, at work or wherever else. This is a handy feature for runners who love to be free and light while on the track or road.
Another new feature on the Gear S3 is the inbuilt speaker. Coupling this with the microphone that has been retained from the predecessor translates into you having the ability to answer as well as make calls right from your wrist. This might not be something you do often when you are outside, but when in the comfort of your home, you will not have to frantically search for your phone when you get an incoming call notification. And since the Samsung Gear S3 has Wi-Fi capabilities as well as Bluetooth, you do not have to be close to your phone to take a call on your wrist. In addition to making calls, this watch can and will give you audio notifications and some well-deserved and needed encouragement when you are exercising and slowing down. Be warned though, it can be rather difficult to make out when breathing heavily.
In addition to these features, many of the Gear S2 features have been retained as well. These include the heart rate monitor located on the rear end of the watch, the barometer and altimeter, NFC, 4GB of localized storage and wireless charging.
What’s more, the Samsung Gear S3 is powered by a Dual-core 1GHz Exynos 7270 chip from Samsung complemented with 768MB of RAM and Tizen operating system.back to menu ↑
The Samsung Gear S3 sports a 380mAh battery which in theory should provide a decent length of service time. Honestly, the battery can provide you with several days of service if the GPS tracking is not engaged regularly or the watch is not used as often. We’ve been getting an average of three days, exercising every day (GPS on) and with the always on display engaged. When drained, the unit can be recharged fast courtesy of the wireless charging dock that seems to fire it up suddenly.
If you are a fitness enthusiast, you probably are curious to know just how long the watch will last while you are busy using it to track and monitor your heart rate. Well, you should be aware that the Gear S3 is the best Smartwatch, taking into account that is not a sports watch as Garmins, power performer on the market. While keeping track of your distance/speed and heart rate, for about 4 hours, the Smartwatch will have only lost 50% of charge assuming it was full. This is a far better performance level than the Apple gadget offers. But when listening to music via Bluetooth and have the always-On Display feature engaged when out for a jog, the watch will lose the 50% charge in just two hours or less. In light of this, it is safe to say that the unit is not a big fan of multitasking.
Also handy is the low power mode which when switched on will have the Gear S3 providing limited information in a single color but have it last for a longer period.
The Smartwatch market may not be as big and diverse as we think but the Samsung Gear S3 still has plenty of rivals. Its main competitor as we all might spect is the Apple Watch 2 which runs in a totally different operating system. Meanwhile, in the Android ecosystem, the LG Watch Sport stands out with a bigger and improved screen.
- Classy design
- Long battery life
- Swift and impressive performance
- High quality, bright and clear display
- Heavy weight in comparison to its predecessor and competitors
- Lacks numerous apps variety
- Large and not as comfortable while exercising