Samsung Gear S3 melds elegance with ruggedness

Right on time, Samsung unveiled the Gear S3 smartwatch. It’s actually smarwatches – meet the Gear S3 classic and Gear S3 frontier. Both will come in Wi-Fi only form as well as an LTE and voice-call enabled one.

The watches grew since the S2 generation – 1.3″ screen size, 46mm in diameter. That’s why Samsung will continue to sell the Gear S2 for those who find the S3 too big.

But they will be missing out. The new Always On display is so much better, it shows the full 16 million color gamut (S2 managed just 8 colors). Also, the screen remains surprisingly active for this being a lower power mode – you can see the second hand tick!

Also, the Samsung Gear S3 now has full support for Samsung Pay – both NFC and MST (S2 did only NFC). And all versions of S3 will be able to handle calls – the LTE one can dial on its own, the Wi-Fi one just acts as a hands-free.

The watches are surprisingly rugged too. Officially, they score an IP68 rating, but their 316L stainless steel body should handle even corosion from salt water. The screen is guarded by a specially formulated Gorilla Glass SR+ – Samsung says it’s almost as tough as sapphire. The company also had impressive displays of how the watches handle extreme temperatures – from the freezing cold of dry ice to the scorching light of heat lamp.

What’s the difference between Gear S3 classic and Gear S3 frontier, you ask? Well, frontier is the sportier watch, available in black and only with rubber bands. Classic comes in silver, with leather bands. But both watches use the same materials for the case and glass and are equally durable.