samsung_gear_s3_03A year after the launch of the Samsung Gear S2, we were expecting a Samsung Gear S3 to show up, and it did appear like clockwork. The thing is, the Samsung Gear S3 is not going to replace its predecessor, but to supplement it. Both products will continue to exist on the market, and you’re going to understand why.

The Gear S3 is a larger watch that comes in two main variants: the Gear S3 Classic and the Gear S3 Frontier. The Gear S3 Classic is meant to be a fully-featured watch that has all the main functionalities that the overwhelming majority of people use, including Bluetooth connectivity. The Gear S3 Frontier can go further with an LTE version, and that, along with some aesthetic differences, is the main difference between the two models.

Industrial Design

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Samsung has pushed the industrial design of the Gear S3 to new heights (from the S2), and the result looks great. The materials look better, more “premium”, and small details such as how the steel is brushed or polished is more obvious than one may initially think. Samsung is using standard 22mm watch straps, in case you want to shop with 3rd parties, but will provide a good selection as well.

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The display is noticeably bigger since it went from 1.2-inch to 1.3-inch since the Gear S2. It doesn’t seem like much, but the difference is in surface area is big enough that you would spot it immediately. The new display is capable of reproducing 16M colors, which opens the doors to new, more beautiful, watch faces.

The Gear S3 is water and dust resistant and is rated IP68* (learn more about IP ratings). The IP68 rating means that you can easily go to the swimming pool, shower or do most sports activities with it. In fact, Samsung says that the design has a “military-level” durability so that users wouldn’t have to worry about it. For example, it can resist wide variations of temperatures going from near-freezing to very hot, desert-like conditions.

*IP68: Dust-tight, no dust can penetrate. Strong water jets (~12.5mm nozzle) won’t harm the device. 3mn test, 100L/mn at 100 kPa, 3 meters away.

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To that end, the watch has a Gorilla Glass which is highly resistant to scratches. Since the display is very small and protected all around by a metal ring, it is less likely to break during a drop, although it is not impossible, if it was to land directly on the glass.

The Samsung Gear S3 has a wireless charging cradle which is a little larger than the S2’s but remains compatible, so if you have an existing charger or want to use your S2 watch on the new charger, it should work.

Filed in General >Reviews. Read more about Gear S3, IFA, IFA 2016, Samsung, Smartwatches and Wearable Tech.

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