Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Classic Review


Welcome to the 2016 Samsung Gear S3 review. After 2 years wearing the LG G Watch R it was always going to be replaced by the LG G Watch Urbane LTE, unfortunately it wasn’t a world wide release and so we bought the new Gear S3 instead! As you see we’ve forgone the usual PR image and show you the comparison between the old LG watch and the Gear S3 so you can be assured that we’ll post a comparison review after this one! The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier or Classic recommended retail pricing varies around the world so it ranges from $499-699 but sells for under $700 at release in November 2016 in Australia, where we bought it. It’s not cheap but competitively priced.

In terms of construction and design the Gear S3 is excellent. The case and engraved details are equal to a high end watch costing the same or more. There are 3 moving parts which makes it more complex than the Apple watch which only has 2. (Cynical remark but the equivalent of Apple PR.) The wrist band and body is rather thick as per any other smartwatch or wearable but it all works together. Both have metal frames but a black plastic back which hides its thickness. The Gear S3 Frontier initially looks more expensive then the Gear S4 Classic version and more like a ‘regular sports watch’  but a longer look reveals the Classic design is just as good, something timeless about the design, hence was the version we chose. The side buttons and the rotating bezel feel high quality. Both models are IP68 weather resistance so will be fine in most types of environments.

In terms of feel both Gear S3 models are surprisingly light, much less so than mechanical Swiss or Japanese watches. However the design is just about right for 2016 as it’s the same size and other smart watch. The size in pictures may put you off but you really need to try them out in person and not be influenced by small wristed geeks on Youtube. Yes, video puts at least 10 kgs in weight and 10 cm in height that’s why we don’t do video. When worn on the wrist the black rear panel hides it’s thickness well and shows the depth of design, as from most angles except directly side on cannot tell. It is no thicker and then any Casio G-Watch, Moto 360, Huawei Watch and Apple Watch.

Any review that is negative towards its size should be ignored totally because clearly they don’t get it which is a little sad in 2016. They have never aspired to own a genuine mechanical swiss watch, G-Shocks are too outrageous or more to the point they have an iPhone so they have absolutely no choice. The Gear S3 watches are not primarily targeted towards women so there is no need to waste an entire article masquerading as ‘truth’ and writing rubbish on this one issue just to meet the word count requirement. Remember the oversized gold watch a few years ago that was the height of fashion? – these writers complete missed it and the point…

In terms of hardware features both Gears S3 has everything from barometer, GPS, WiFi, heart rate, speaker and microphone, AMOLED screen, NFC, 22mm watch band compatible and more! The best features are GPS and Wi-Fi but if you get the LTE version you should be mobile connectivity. The next best features are the speaker which sounds great and bright screen. Overall the CPU and memory are industry average but shows how efficient the software is compared to Android Wear and Apple OS. Wireless charging and fast charging is a great features to have as well.

In terms of use the Gear S3 runs Tizen OS a custom version which works very well. The rotating bezel is an amazing interface to use and the menu navigation is smooth and fast at the same time. The notifications and any txt based information has been optimised for the round face so makes easier to read. Health functionality seems to be one of the few compelling reasons to buy a smart watch and its good – everything you could want for now… The Health functions can be tricky to setup properly would be only real sore point but its all there including GPS route tracking. All there key Apps are there as standard so there’s really not that many other useful Apps. That comment applies for any smart watch regardless of brand at the moment. That said you have to download the calculator and voice memo separately for some reason – arguably to encourage users to access the Samsung store.

To conclude the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Classic watch models are the best smart watches you can buy right now (2016). They look and work great have everything you’d want for the next 12 months or more. The interface is consistently smoother than the Apple watch or any other Android wear watch, the screen looks better, the design is timeless, you feel good wearing it which is the key point. If you are in the market for a new smart watch and can afford the Gear S3 then what are you waiting for? We love it.

Samsung Gear S3 Vs LG G Watch R – Watch Urbane comparison

Best Apps for the Samsung Gear S3 (2016)

Calculator, Voice memo, ESPN, Bloomberg, HERE We Go Maps

Specifications : Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Frontier

  • Design
    Stainless Steel Smartwatch
  • L46 x W46 x D12.7 mm
    Weight 60 gms
  • Display/s
    AMOLED 360 x 360 1.3 inch screen
  • Camera
  • Connectivity
    Bluetooth V4
    4G LTE
  • CPU 1.0 Ghz Exynos
  • Memory
  • Ring tones
    Vibration only
  • Features
    IP68 Weather resistant, Speaker, Microphone, Barometer, Gyroscope, Heart rate, GPS, 4G LTE
  • Power
    380 mha
    Up to 4 days Standby
  • Package contents
    Wireless cradle charger and smaller wrist band
  • Price history
    2016 Approx Under $600 outright.