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Samsung Gear S3 First Impressions: Appealing design and loaded with features
Samsung’s latest Gear S3 smartwatches feature larger displays, bigger batteries and slew of sensors to fight the wearable war.
Samsung Galaxy Gear 3 smartwatches are now official in the Indian market. The Korean tech giant has launched both the variants- Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier at Rs. 28,500. The smartwatches retain the circular design of the previous Gear S2 and are Samsung's first product launch for the year 2017 in the Indian market.
Gear S3 will go on sale from January 18, 2017 and will be available in all leading Samsung sales channels across the country.
The new gear wearables brings a new design, improved battery backup and a slew of features to take on the likes of Apple Watch, Moto 360 series and other wearables selling in the market.
We got a chance to test the smartwatches at the launch event and here are our first impressions of Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier.
Design and Display
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier evokes a rugged outdoor look and has a bigger watch face that can be customized with a number of bright coloured straps. On the other hand, the Classic variant is more of an elegant looking watch with a minimalist design.
The watches have two physical buttons on the right side and also feature the rotating bezel, which we have seen previously in the Gear S2. The rotating bezel allows you to accept or reject a call or snooze an alarm without touching the display. You can also use it to access setting and other features of the smartwatch.
Both the watches feature a 1.3-inch circular super AMOLED display (360 x360 pixels resolution) offering a pixel count of 278ppi. The displays are bright and offer vivid colors. The touch response on both the smartwacthes is just amazing. The displays are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass SR+ and both the smartwatches are IP68 certified, which makes them dust and water resistant.
Hardware and Software
Both the smartwatches are powered by a 1.0GHz dual-core CPU paired with 768MB of RAM. There is 4GB of internal memory. Samsung Gear S3 runs on Tizen Based Wearable Platform 2.3.2, which let you customize the watch faces, read news on the go and offer a slew of apps including fitness, music, news, sports and travel category.
It is worth mentioning that you can now install select apps and watch faces directly from the Gear S3 without the need to download via a smartphone by using smartwatch's in-built connectivity features.
While the underlying OS feels quite smooth and rich in features, Samsung need to add more apps to match the like of Android wear and Apple watch series.
Sensors and other Features
On the sensor front, Samsung Gear S3 features a new altimeter and speedometer, which are joined again by the accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, heart rate monitor and an ambient light sensor.
Alti/barometer allows users to track altitude, atmospheric pressure and sudden changes in weather. The Speedometer allows you to track distance traveled and speed. The smartwatches also come with a built-in speaker, which allows you to take calls, activate voice messaging and listen music on the watch itself.
With extra sensors and bigger displays, the new Gear smartwatches utilizes bigger 380mAh battery units that's said to last for three to four days on a single charge. We will test such claims while reviewing the smartwatches in detail.
As far as connectivity goes, Gear S3 Frontier has an edge over the Classic variant because in addition to Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, NFC, MST and GPS, it also offers 3G/LTE that you will not find in the Classic variant.
The latest iteration of Samsung Gear S smartwatches bring iOS compatibility, rugged design (dust and water resistivity) and a number of sensors to add value to the wearable category. The appealing design also makes them impressive but the battery backup and Tizen app ecosystem still remains a question for the wearables to win the market.
We will try to find such answers in our detailed review of the Gear S3 Frontier and Classic.