2016 might very well be the year Samsung pulls ahead of the competition. Their eagerly anticipated Galaxy Note7 is already reaping the best kind of advanced praise (reports of exploding devices notwithstanding) and they just unveiled their latest smartwatch–the Samsung Gear S3–to a rapt audience at the IFA in Berlin. In our humble opinion the Gear S3 is a worthy follow up to last year’s S2, exuding the same degree of wearable elegance while adding some bulk and a small arsenal of new features.
Fans of the Gear S2 Classic Model will find familiar highlights in the S3 like a rotating bezel that allows you to explore the watch functions, a circular display, a stainless steel case and the ability to utilize Samsung Pay. However, where the Gear S3 really breaks out is through the incorporation of built-in GPS and LTE connectivity that allows the wearer to make and receive calls without the use of a smartphone.
The Samsung Gear S3 comes in two models–Classic and Frontier. Both represent a marginal increase on their predecessors in terms of case and screen size. Between the two the Frontier emanates with the broadest appeal by hosting a slew of nifty features and a versatile design inspired by the outdoors. It’s the Frontier that exclusively offers LTE connectivity while the Classic is more minimalist in spirit and therefore carries slightly less heft. Both watches are equipped with Bluetooth and run on the Tizen operating system.
While some might scoff at the added bulk of the Samsung Gear S3, the trade-off is a smartwatch that retains the benchmarks of esteemed timepieces while strapping nearly unparalleled amounts of wearable tech around your wrist. Throw in military grade durability, an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, the use of Gorilla Glass SR+ on the cover and an improved battery life under the hood and we’re talking about a watch that’s truly built to last (at least until the next Samsung smartwatch is unveiled). With the Gear S3, Samsung is once again staking its claim and asking that we forge ahead with the technology but never lose our top-shelf sense of traditional style.