Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Frontier -- big watches with big changes

samsung gear s3 classic r 30 1

If you think bigger means better when it comes to your tech, then you are going to love the new Samsung smartwatches.

Samsung announced two new smartwatches at IFA this year: the Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Frontier. While the two devices are mostly the same, they do sport some important differences, between each other and their predecessor, the Gear S2.

In IT Blogwatch, we channel our inner Dick Tracy.

So what are the important specs? Ron Amadeo has the details:

Samsung is packing everything it can into its smartwatch...There's a bigger, 1.3-inch 360×360 display, an optional LTE version, the addition of MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology for Samsung Pay, a speaker and microphone for calls, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a barometer.
The S3 has a dual-core 1GHz "Exynos" chipset...786MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a 380mAh battery. The watch is IP68 rated for water and dust protection. There are two different styles...the traditionally styled "Classic" watch -- which does not have LTE -- and a more rugged-looking "Frontier" version, which comes with LTE.

What else should we know about the smartwatches? Vincent Lanaria fills in the blanks:

The Gear S3 wearables...feature rotating bezels, wireless charging support and a dual-core chip...Also, to no one's surprise, it's running on the company's Tizen OS.
The new iteration is bulkier and heavier than its predecessor. The Gear S2 is 11.4 mm thick and has 20 mm bands, while the Gear S3 is 12.9 mm thick and has 22 mm bands...the S3 gets a larger display at 1.3 inches...a tad bigger than the 1.2-inch screen of the S2.
Compatibility-wise, they will work with any Android device running on 4.4 KitKat or later with at least 1.5 GB of RAM...Support for iOS has also been confirmed, but when the Gear Manager app for iOS is rolling out has yet to be revealed.

Those are all the basics. But what else do the Gear S3 watches feature? Himanshu Goenka tells us a little more:

The Gear S3 has an always-on display...and the option to change the face of the watch...Samsung says the device also goes for up to four days on a single charge, which given the always-on display, is pretty good for its 380 mAh battery.
If there is a drawback to this is probably...that it uses Samsung's own Tizen OS...there are very few apps for the OS, taking away somewhat from the smartness of a smart device. Samsung, however,...said it is working to bring thousands of more apps to the Tizen ecosystem soon.

So what's the bottom line? David Nield shares his opinion:

These watches look great, handle...well...and are packed with more features than ever before; but when we strap them on we don't quite feel like we're wearing a watch that oozes quality from every material. If you were hoping Samsung's smartwatches would...move in the smaller/more compact direction, you'll be disappointed too. For premium watch owners looking to switch to a smart model, both of those points could make a big difference.

What else? Schlermie zeroes in on one very important detail:

Who loves Tizen?

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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