Go big or go home. Samsung gets bold with the new design of its Gear S3 smartwatch
Samsung has expanded its smartwatch portfolio with the launch of sturdier timepieces boasting a larger screen, water resistance, 4G, and GPS.
The Samsung watches eschew the miniature slate-like approach of rivals such as the Apple Watch, and instead opt for a more traditional watch look.
“With the Gear S3, we sought to integrate tradition and technology, bringing to the forefront an immensely intelligent smartwatch,” said Yvan Arpa, the Switzerland-based luxury watch designer, who was involved in the Gear S3 design process. “The large watch face was inspired by styles emerging from the world’s most premium watch brands. A classic timepiece combined with the latest innovations in technology, the Gear S3 is bound to withstand the test of time.”
The new watches are designed to meet IP68 standards for water resistance and also for the first time features Corning Gorilla Glass SR+, specifically designed for wearable devices to provide a tougher, more scratch resistant and crisp display.
Display wise, besides the Gorilla Glass the device features a 1.3” circular super AMOLED (360 x 360, 278ppi), as well as Always On Display (AOD) which always shows the time rather than automatically fading to black.
Connectivity wise, the Frontier model offers 4G (LTE). Both models however offer 3G and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and NFC. The devices are powered by dual core 1.0 GHz chip. The watches run the Tizen operating system (compatible with Android), and come with 4GB internal memory, and 768MB of RAM.
Other features include wireless charging (WPC Inductive), an accelerometer, gyro, barometer, HRM, and ambient light.
“With the Gear S3, we continue to build on our wearables heritage of offering diverse choices to enhance consumers’ unique lifestyles,” said Younghee Lee, Executive VP of Global Marketing, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics.
“Samsung Gear S2 achieved meaningful progress in the smartwatch category with a personalized watch face and a versatile rotating bezel that provided an intuitive smartwatch experience,” said Lee. “Now with the new Gear S3, we expand our Gear collection and introduce not only a great smartwatch, but a great watch. With smart capabilities and sophisticated, elegant design, the Gear S3 marks a significant addition to our smartwatch portfolio.”
As would be expected, the engineers have tweaked the features of the new watch. Now the user no longer has to touch the screen thanks to the twisting bezel in order to accept or reject a call or snooze an alarm. In addition, writing or drawing on the display is automatically concerted to texts and emojis.
The inclusion of NFC allows Gear S3 users (in select markets) to use their smartwatch to make a purchase with Samsung Pay for Gear S3.
Some analysts have questioned the viability of smartwatches in todays world, where people tend to wear watches less and less.
Indeed, analyst house IDC in July found that sales of smartwatches had plummeted 32 percent, and vendors only manage to ship 3.5 million devices in the second quarter of 2016.
It said that sales are substantially down from the 5.1 million devices sold for the same quarter in 2015.
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