The Samsung Gear S3 is here. As predicted, Samsung announced the latest iteration of their smartwatch model at an event on Wednesday. The manufacturer promised that it will provide the perfect wrist-based companion to the Samsung Galaxy S7, which has already become one of the most popular smartphones on the planet since its release earlier this year. However, there’s still a lot to know about Samsung’s new piece of tech. With that in mind, let’s answer some of those key questions.
When will the Gear S3 be released?
Whilst Samsung announced the Gear S3 at IFA 2016 yesterday, don’t be mistaken in thinking that the hardware is available to buy just yet. According to Wired, Samsung used the event to pen an October release date for the Gear S3. Exactly when in October remains to be seen, with Samsung expected to provide further details closer to release. That being said, with widespread speculation that Apple is preparing to release another iteration of their watch line, Samsung could be looking to provide some pretty tough competition.
When Samsung does release the Gear S3, it’s worth keeping in mind that the smartwatch will be available in two variants; Frontier and Classic. Samsung says the former is designed to provide a “rugged outdoor” option, whilst the latter provides a more traditional watch styling for everyday use.
The smartwatch market is incredibly competitive. Not only do Samsung have to deal with competition from Apple, but also Google’s range of Android Wear smartwatches. With that in mind, you’d expect the Gear S3 to be priced fairly competitively. However, Samsung didn’t use their IFA 2016 event to confirm the price point for the Gear S3. Pricing for the Gear S3 is expected to be announced closer to the watch’s release in October and it remains to be seen whether or not the two models will differ in price.
That being said, Samsung did confirm that they’ll drop the price of the Gear S2 once the S3 has been released. It’s a move that Samsung thinks will entice new users to the smartwatch market, providing a gateway to such devices without shelling out for the latest model.
Samsung is keen to ensure that the Gear S3 provides an enticing offer for current owners of the Gear S2. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that some features do differ between the two aforementioned models of the Gear S3. According to the Telegraph, you’ll find a bigger screen and GPS functionality across the board. However, the Frontier variant will also introduce 4G connectivity, which makes sense considering the device is designed to be used in the great outdoors.
Whilst the Frontier model is designed to be used outside, both models are pretty durable in their own right. Both models feature a circular gorilla glass face, providing ultimate durability in a smartwatch. At the same time, both models are designed with an always-on display, meaning you’ll be able to easily check the time without turning on the watch. What’s more, Samsung is promising that both models are capable of lasting four days without a charge, but whether that’ll work in practice remains to be seen.
It is worth mentioning, however, that unlike other manufacturers, Samsung’s watches don’t use the Android Wear platform. The manufacturer has again confirmed a new iteration of the Tizen operating system, which will come pre-installed on all models. However, that does allow for Samsung Pay functionality to be included.