UPDATE: The Gear S3 Frontier will be available from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
Samsung’s Gear family of wearables is growing again today with the Gear S3.
Like the Gear S2 before it, the Gear S3 is a smartwatch that runs Tizen on a round display. The Gear S3 also comes in two versions: Classic (below left) and Frontier (below right). Outside of those similarities, though, the Gear S3 is a pretty different beast than the Gear S2.
The Gear S3 features a 1.3-inch 360x360 full color, always on Super AMOLED display that’s a smidge bigger than the 1.2-inch 360x360 display found on the Gear S2. That display is covered in Corning’s new Gorilla Glass SR+, a toughened glass that’s design exclusively for wearables.
Samsung has brought over the rotating bezel from the Gear S2 to the Gear S3, but that feature has more capabilities on the Gear S3. For example you can accept or reject calls with it, as well as snooze an alarm.
The Gear S3’s case is bigger than the Gear S2 as well, with the Gear S3 measuring 46 x 49 x 12.9mm and the Gear S2 coming in at 42.3 x 49.8 x 11.4mm. Packed inside of that case is a 1GHz dual-core processor, 768MB of RAM (up from 512MB on the Gear S2), 4GB of RAM, and a 380mAh battery (up from 250mAh on Gear S2) that Samsung says will last up to four days on a single charge.
Samsung’s Gear S3 also includes an array of sensors like an accelerometer, heart rate monitor, and ambient light sensor, as well as NFC and MST support for Samsung Pay. Rounding out the Gear S3’s feature set is Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, GPS/Glonass, a built-in speaker, 4G LTE connectivity, and a case that’s IP68 rated for dust and water resistance.
The Gear S3 will be offered in two versions: the Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier. The Classic isn’t totally flat, but it does have tiny ridges on its edge, whereas the Frontier has larger ridges on its outer edge. The Frontier model also has a more rugged design, including differently-shaped buttons and a tachymeter. Both models support standard 22mm watch bands.
Samsung’s Gear S3 is compatible with devices running Android 4.4 or higher with 1.5GB of RAM or more.
There’s no word yet on when the Gear S3 models will launch or how much they’ll cost when they do. Samsung does say that it’ll continue to sell the Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic, though, as well as support them with software updates that’ll include “select Gear S3 features.”
The Gear S3 looks like a solid improvement over the Gear S2, offering features like a bigger battery, additional RAM for better performance, a built-in speaker, and MST support so that you can use Samsung Pay. That said, the bigger display and casing might make the Gear S3 a bit too large for some folks, and since both Gear S3 models are the same size, people with smaller wrists may simply pass on the Gear S3 because of its size.
What do you think of the Samsung Gear S3?