Samsung unveils Gear S3 smartwatches

Alex Kidman 1 September 2016


Samsung’s sticking to spinning watchfaces and its own Tizen operating system, but we'll miss out on LTE variants down under.

It wasn’t much of a secret that Samsung would announce a new smartwatch at the IFA show in Berlin, or indeed that it would call said device the Samsung Gear S3. The third generation of Samsung’s particular take on smartwatches isn’t, like competing Android-compatible watches running on Google’s Android Wear platform, but instead Samsung’s own Tizen operating system.

The Gear S3 will be made available in two different variants, the Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier. As the name suggests, the Gear S3 Classic is meant to look like a more standard timepiece, where the Gear S3 Frontier is meant to appear more visually rugged, although there’s no functional difference in terms of durability between the two smartwatches. Both feature IP68 ratings, which means in theory they should be fully dust resistant and able to survive a dunking in water up to 1 metre.


Both new Gear S3 smartwatches feature the rotating bezel originally found in the Gear S2, which can be used for everything from menu selections to volume control. Both devices will also feature support for Samsung Pay, Samsung's own in-house take on contactless payments which launched in Australia recently.


Samsung will produce the Gear S3 Frontier in an LTE version, but we won’t officially see that variant in Australia, with a statement from Samsung Australia indicating that only the Bluetooth-compatible models will be released here. Local pricing was not disclosed, but Samsung Australia indicated that it intends to launch the pair of smartwatches in Australia before Christmas.

SamsungGear S3 frontierGear S3 classic
Display Size1.3in1.3in
Display Density278ppi278ppi
ProcessorDual core 1.0 GHzDual core 1.0 GHz
OSTizen Based Wearable Platform 2.3.2Tizen Based Wearable Platform 2.3.2
Size46 x 49 x 12.946 x 49 x 12.9
Weight62g (without band)57g (without band)
Memory4GB Internal memory, 768MB RAM4GB Internal memory, 768MB RAM
SensorsAccelerometer, Gyro, Barometer, HRM, Ambient lightAccelerometer, Gyro, Barometer, HRM, Ambient light

We'll update with Australian pricing as soon as it's announced.

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