Samsung Gear S3 Classic & Frontier - PB Tech Hands On

Staff Writer By Staff Writer - May 5th, 2017
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Samsung have had a few cracks at smartwatches now, and the new Gear S is a more traditional style with a price to match but does this wearable deserve that premium price tag?

This is the Gear S3.

We get two flavours this time around. The S3 Classic and the S3 Frontier. Both have stainless steel casings, and look stunning. While the classic takes on a luxury traditional style, the darker frontier has a more adventurous appeal. The only real difference between these two models is the colour, home buttons and default straps. As for features they're exactly the same.

Both watches are running an Exynos 7270 processor with 768mb of ram, which delivers one of the most snappy and responsive experiences I’ve ever had on a wearable. This device is on the large side, even compared to some of the bigger wearables out there. The 1.3" OLED display is coated in gorilla glass SR+ and is by far one of the best features on this device. Colours are vibrant, and contrast is deep, its able to get really bright which is a must on a device you want to be able to see clearly no matter where you are.

Both watch straps are high quality as they should be for this price. The classic comes with genuine leather while the frontier has a nice stylised rubber, but these straps can be swapped out for any 22mm band, which opens up a lot of possibilities to change up the look. A lot of companies have experimented with ways to navigate the UI on a wearable. But I think Samsung have nailed it, while everything can be done fully with the touch screen, this takes a backseat to the rotating bezel which requires very little effort to rotate and scroll accurately though all of the different types of elements. It’s one of the most unique and best tactile experiences in smart wearables today, and without a doubt the best way to look at and read notifications.

With a built in microphone for answering calls or searching a question on Google, and a speaker, which isn't the greatest for music but is fine for notifications, you can easily connect to applications like Spotify and use the watch as a remote.

I found the 380mAh battery to last roughly a day and a half. You charge the watch though a magnetic dock which makes daily charging easy, which plenty of heavy users will probably have to do. After pairing to either your Android or iOS device you will be asked to download 3 separate apps which felt like a bit much but this allows you to transfer files to the inbuilt 4GBs of storage. You can transfer over offline music and connect a pair of Bluetooth headphones to listen to tunes without the need to have your phone on you at all. Just note that if you are pairing this to an iPhone the experience is rather restricted, but you still have access to a handful of the apps and watch faces.

There's also built in GPS, barometers and altitude sensors for those who might go running, hiking or climb stairs for fitness. S health plays a big part in this watch, sensors on the bottom can measure your heart rate, and display an overview of your how your days going so far. With added features like water and caffeine intake, it’s all displayed clearly and fitness enthusiasts will find plenty to like with the Gear S3.

It is IP68 certified, making it dust and water resistant up to a meter and a half for 30mins. This watch is running Tizen OS which has grown a lot since the Gear S2, but is still rather lacking on third party applications. By holding down on the watch face you can edit the default faces to display the information you want to see at first glance or you can also download more styles. This can be done either on your phone or on the watch itself and there's a good amount to pick from with a good percentage being free. From traditional styles to more digital and animated faces there's something for everyone here.

When it comes down to it, I would have to say this is the most premium and refined smartwatch on the market to date. Samsung have crammed as much as they can into this device and have delivered a visually stunning piece with fluid software to match.

You can check out both the Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier instore or online, or view our entire range of Smartwatches.

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Staff Writer

For the words, not the glory!

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