Samsung is in the wearable department for a long time now and has been updating their product portfolio now and then. But, we must admit that Smartwatch market is still in its initial stage as of now with consumers not preferring to get a Smartwatch of their own as they believe that their phone is nearly enough for them to manage daily tasks.
But, South Korean smartphone giant, Samsung is looking the segment in an entire peculiar way. With the Samsung Gear S2, the firm moved away from the Android Wear OS and embedded their Tizen OS, which was backfired then.
However, Samsung is sticking to power their next generation Gear S3 Smartwatches with the same Tizen OS.
This time around, the OS is perfectly optimized and is slightly more productive than the Android Wear. Samsung launched two variants of the Gear S3 Smartwatch- the Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic. That said, both the variants share a similar set of specifications, but the Frontier has support for LTE, which is a fitting addition having around.
Samsung sent us a review unit of the Gear S3 Classic, which doesn't have support for LTE connectivity. We used the Smartwatch connected with a Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 during our review period, and Samsung recently added support for Apple iOS as well. Here's our complete review of the Samsung Gear S3 Classic after using it extensively for more than two weeks.
Design: Just another Smartwatch with good looks, but the leather strap is annoying, first up
Without any doubt, the Gear S3 Classic and Frontier are the best looking Smartwatches from Samsung. Arguably, the best ones out in the market right now. The Galaxy S3 Frontier looks a bit odd with its utterly disappointing design, but the S3 Classic looks like an original watch, which we liked.
There is a rotating bezel placed around the screen of the Gear S3, and it is used to switch between the screens. This essentially removes the fuss of using the touchscreen all the time to browse between certain tasks.
Another best part of the Gear S3 Classic is: you can use any 22mm strap with the watch. Samsung bundles a leather strap with the Smartwatch itself, and we did not like it, first up. Our editor was so furious that he can't even bend the strap after taking it out of the box.
Up front, there is 1.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 360*360 pixels that further extends to a pixel density of 278 PPI. This AMOLED panel gets bright enough, and we don't have any issues to complain. Also, you can choose between the brightness levels from 1 to 10, which is a good feature to have around.
Software: Better than Android Wear 2.0, but lacks apps
One of the major highlights for Samsung still surviving in the Smartwatch segment is the fact that the company uses the Tizen OS to power them. Tizen OS is Samsung's in-house operating system, which takes on the Android Wear and we must admit that Tizen OS is way ahead of Android Wear.
Google recently announced the Android Wear 2.0 with hell lot of new features, but those upcoming features are already present in Tizen OS. To be precise, the Gear S3 Classic runs on Tizen OS 126.96.36.199. Samsung has a dedicated Gear application in the Google Play Store, and the South Korean giant recently added the support for iOS as well, but the IOS application can't access notifications.
With the Gear application, you can do pretty much everything like changing watch faces, and there are many watch faces to choose from, where some of them are paid, and some of them are free. The Samsung store is filled with applications, but not as many as Android Wear platform, which is another downside.
You can manage notifications, set alarms, play music, and can do pretty much everything within the Gear S3 itself.
Also, the Gear S3 Classic comes with several fitness tracking options as well. There is a heart rate sensor located below the Smartwatch that measures your heart beat rate without any issues. The Smartwatch even keeps track of your record while walking, running, sleeping, etc. Alternatively, you can download the S Health application to view your daily data.
Another feature which we liked is that the watch wakes you up if you're unmoved for more than one hours by saying as 'Keep Moving.' That said, we did not receive any notifications while sleeping, though.
Regarding connectivity, aforesaid, the Gear S3 Frontier has support for LTE, but the Gear S3 Classic did not have support for LTE. Instead, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC.
Performance and Hardware: Pretty much the same as current generation Android Wear watches
The Samsung Gear S3 Classic comes with a 1.0GHz dual-core chipset, coupled with 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Yes, this watch comes with 4GB of internal space, which means that you can install a lot of apps and store music within the app itself.
The real life performance of the Gear S3 is brilliant as well as we did not face issues or touch irresponsiveness while using the Smartwatch. On the flip side, the Huawei Watch used to showed us large signs of lags and sometimes to get the touch working; we have to reboot as well. Well, that's all about Android Wear platform.
Battery Life: Nailed it!
One of the major aspects of the Gear S3 Classic is its battery life. Android Wear watches never delivered a good battery life in their existence. But, that has changed with the Gear S3 Classic. It comes with a small 380mAh battery that charges from zero to 100 percent in less than two hours.
The Samsung Gear S3 Classic offers a battery life of about two days even with the device connected to a mobile phone all the time. At the time of its launch, Samsung claimed that the battery could last up to four days with a single charge, however, in our entire review period, the Gear S3 haven't delivered battery life for four days.
We used the Huawei Watch running on Android Wear, and when compared the Huawei Watch with Gear S3, the Samsung's Smartwatch is way ahead of Huawei ones' as it offers a battery life of about 20 hours, which is underwhelming.
Verdict: Only for Android users!
The Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier ships with the same price tag of Rs. 28,500, which is on the heavier side. Also, it's a but disappointing factor to see that the Frontier has additional support for 4G LTE and costs same as the Gear S3 Classic.
However, barring the heavy price tag, the Gear S3 Classic is a perfect upgrade to Samsung Gear S2 and is currently the best Smartwatch out there. That said, we haven't tested the LG's new Watch Style and Watch Sport yet.
The Gear S3 is a worthy upgrade over its predecessor with improved display, performance, better battery life, and expanded support for Tizen OS. All said and done; we have a new Smartwatch in the town that can overshadow the existing Android Wear watches.
Samsung recently released the Gear application to iOS as well, but there are many features missing. So, if you're an Apple iPhone users, just don't get the Gear S3 Smartwatch.