Samsung Gear S3 Revealed — Round 2 of Smartwatch Battle

Gear S3 the Classic (Top) / Gear S3 the Frontier (bottom)

Samsung attempts to take over the lead in smartwatch market through another preemptive attack followed by its early Galaxy Note 7 release. On August 31st in Berlin, Samsung introduced Gear S3 to the world.

With the successful launch of Note 7, Samsung is driving the momentum to dominate the rest of 2016 by adding a new wearable device to its product portfolio. Over 1,000 reporters and tech bloggers from all over the world attended Samsung’s ‘Talk about 3’ press conference, and Samsung didn’t disappoint our expectations.

‘Talk about 3’ — From Timepiece to

Opening of ‘Talk about 3’ by Lee Young-Hee, VP of Samsung Mobile Division

Lee Young-Hee, vice president of Samsung’s mobile division and the former winner of Cannes Lions’ creative marketer award, introduced Gear S3 to the world for the first time. As many tech media expected, Gear S3 is developed as a standalone smartwatch. Through 3G/LTE connection, Gear S3 allows users to make calls, write messages and surf the Internet without being connected to a smartphone. As we’ve already experienced the advantages of standalone devices through Samsung’s own wearables such as Gear Fit 2 and Icon X, Gear S3 continues and advances such advantages.

What’s New?

Gear S3 will be operated by 2nd generation Tizen OS that increased accessibility and applicability to Samsung App store. The new OS will allow users to download & apply related applications directly on their smartwatches. Also, Gear S3 applied various new features such as water proof and Samsung Pay, which were applied only on Samsung’s high-end smartphones. With improved Samsung Pay, the users will be able to make transactions at any places that have credit card readers.

Also, Gear S3 improved durability significantly. It appiled IP68 water proof hardware that is comparable to Galaxy Note 7, and strengthened the outer glass to protect the device from daily scratches & crashes.

Gear S2 Experience

Yvan Arpa, who designed Gear S3 hardware, introduced a new term ‘Techpiece’ when he stated,

“The goal was to create a Techpiece that will still look good in 20 years.”

The results were two designs, Frontier & Classic, which fulfill the needs of our busy lives and our desires for aesthetics of traditional watches.

We had a chance to experience Gear S3 for the first time after the presentation. Unlike the previous models that often received complains about their somewhat smaller display size, Samsung increased the display size to 1.3-inch. Also, unlike previous models that supported few colors on ambient mode or turned off display, Gear S3 applied ‘full-color always-on display.’ As a result, Gear S3 increased aesthetic qualities of watch by making watch faces more visible. In other words, Gear S3 will look like a real watch even when users are not actually looking at it.

Gear S2 3G (left) / Gear S3 Classic (right)

The ‘Frontier’ model is designed for outdoor activities and applied dark gray colored and a rotating bezel to target mainly male users. The ‘Frontier’ supports Bluetooth, LTE/3G to enhance Gear S3 standaloness. The bezel movement was smooth, and it showed excellent reactions when changing watch faces and scrolling through the menu.

Gear S3 Frontier

The ‘Classic’ model targets users who are seeking for more traditional design. It is built with stainless steel with a polished silver feeling, which will bring more classical looks of traditional watches. The ‘Classic’ model supports

Gear S3 Classic

While the both two models targets different groups of users, their quality as fashion items has been significantly improved from a bigger display and easiness to download & apply watch faces.

Gear S3 and the Battle of Smartwatches

Lee Young-Hee stated “Gear S3 pursues traditional values of timepieces through its design and opens new possibilities as a smartwatch simultaneously by equipping high technology of smartphones.”

With the recent release of Xiaomi’s Amazfit and upcoming devices such as Apple Watch and Huawei Watch, the round two of the battle of smartwatches is about to begin. Now, it is up to consumers to decide the success of Gear S3 and the future of smartwatch market.