Samsung Gear S3 review

More apps, but Samsung's latest is still lacking

(We first reviewed the Samsung Gear S3 in December 2016. With a host of new features added since then and having spent more time with it, we've returned back to our review to factor in all the big changes. )

The successor to the much-loved Gear S2, the Samsung Gear S3 is the company's latest and, theoretically, greatest ‚Äď and gets a highly commended mention in our best smartwatch guide.

With the Apple Watch Series 2 introducing some serious new tech, and Android Wear 2.0 now unleashed with smartwatches like the LG Watch Sport, the smartwatch game has changed considerably a lot over the course of a few months.

Wareable verdict: Samsung Galaxy Watch review

For the Gear S3, Samsung has decided to offer up two designs. There's the more rugged Frontier for outdoor types, and the Classic, which aims to be the more luxurious option of the two. Both still run on Samsung's own Tizen operating system and that rotating bezel makes a welcome return.

You'll be able to pair it with a Samsung phone, most Android phones, and it even works with iPhones, though the experience on the latter is slightly more limiting.

Samsung's also added features like built-in GPS for sports tracking and sending out SOS alerts, a speaker to make calls, Samsung Pay to, well, pay for stuff from your wrist, and a bigger battery.

Samsung has gone big on design and features, but has it built on what it achieved with the Gear S2? Furthermore, now a few months since our initial testing, has much changed? Read on and find out.

Samsung Gear S3: Design

Samsung Gear S3 review

Skinny wrists beware: the Gear S3 is a big smartwatch and that's immediately going to put off anyone that was hoping for something similar in stature to the Gear S2. Its hulking 46mm frame makes it undeniably a more manly watch. It's also noticeably heavier and thicker as well, no doubt to accommodate the additional sensors and a larger battery.

Essential reading: Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro details

Does it look nice on the wrist? It's something that has divided the Wareable team, but a few months later we still feel like it's too big. The Gear S2 feels like a better looking watch, and it's not at all surprising that Samsung is still offering the older model. In short, it's not going to be for everyone. If you like outdoor watches then you'll appreciate the more rugged looking Frontier, but while neither can be accused of looking too "techy", the Classic is definitely the more stylish of the two.

Samsung Gear S3 review

Compare it to something like the orange coloured Nixon The Mission or even the new Garmin Fenix 5 and the Frontier just feels like it lacks some character. There's something far more attractive and alluring about the Gear S3 Classic in comparison.

On the subject of durability, the Frontier is IP68 certified water resistant, which means you can submerge it in water of up to 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes. You can't use it for swimming or diving though. We've taken the S3 in the shower plenty of times with no problem, although you'll have trouble using that touchscreen when it's we.. Samsung has talked up the military level durability testing it puts its watches through to withstand high and low temperatures. That all sounds very impressive, but it's disappointing that it didn't seize the opportunity as Apple did to make the Gear S3 fully waterproof, as we'd love to be able to use the Frontier for swim tracking.

If you want to add some personality this can be done in the strap department, with a simple pin mechanism behind each strap letting you swap in other 22mm watch bands from Samsung and accessory makers like Incipio. The textured silicone band that comes with the Frontier is pretty bland, but it does feel well suited for outdoor pursuits and built to withstand some rough and tumble.

One of the big differences between the Frontier and the Classic is the finish on the bezel and the buttons. That rotating bezel is elevated from the watch face making it easier to interact with. Since we first reviewed it, Android Wear 2.0 has brought support for rotational input, and we expect it won't be long before we see some Google watches with a similar mechanism. We couldn't blame them, it's one of the Gear S3's best and most unique features, and Tizen on the watch has been designed around it.

Read this: Samsung Gear S2 v Samsung Gear S3

Like that bezel, the two physical buttons on the side of the watch also include a textured finish and are larger than the buttons on the Classic, which makes them easier to get to grips when you're wearing gloves or getting a little sweaty.

Tucked away on the side is the speaker, allowing you to make calls and listen to music, while around the back of the watch is where you'll find an optical heart rate sensor similar to the one on the Gear S2. This delivers continuous tracking and heart rate readings during exercise. More on that in a bit.

In sum, we still feel like it's a bit average in the looks department - particularly the Frontier - and disappointingly hefty. After the S2 we were surprised Samsung's smartwatch beefed up so heavily, and with the huge range of Android Wear smartwatches rolling out, the competition is going to only get tougher for Samsung's smartwatch, especially running its own race with Tizen.

Samsung Gear S3: Rotating bezel returns

Samsung Gear S3 review

The rotating bezel was Samsung's solution to making smartwatch interactions more fluid, saving you from continually swiping through screens and trying to find what you were looking for. We were big fans when we first tested the Gear S2, and we're grateful it's back on the Gear S3. There's now also a more satisfying click when you transition between screens and the bezel is further integrated into the Tizen experience. This is a key differentiator with the S3, and something Samsung and Apple have over Google. For Google, it's continuing to partner with third parties to make the hardware - even for Wear 2.0's flagship watches - but Samsung and Apple have end-to-end control. It definitely shows in the Gear S3.

Read next: Samsung Gear S3 tips and tricks

Going back to what it can actually do, you can answer/reject calls or control music volume with the bezel and even play games. For calls, we continue to naturally gravitate towards using the touchscreen, and as the bezel is not clickable you still need to complete actions using the touchscreen. So it's not entirely giving you full control, but it feel like a more natural way to navigate than the digital crown on the Series 2. The use of rotational input is one of our favourite additions to Wear 2.0, but Samsung can proudly say it got there first.

And of course, this integration goes for third-party apps too. It can be used to adjust the temperature on a Nest smart thermostat or the lighting on your Philips Hue setup. We love using it to scroll through news feeds, and in Map My Run it can be used to easily scroll between heart rate, distance and pace data.

Samsung Gear S3: Screen

Samsung Gear S3 review

If there's one thing we have few complaints about it's the Gear S3's glorious screen. Like its phone displays, the one on the Gear S3 is a real beaut For starters it's a bigger 1.3-inch, 360 x 360 AMOLED touchscreen display, so there's more screen estate for that Tizen OS to shine.

It's bright and vibrant and colours are rich, making it undoubtedly one of the best smartwatch screens out there. While some smartwatches can struggle to retain the same kind of sharpness of images, we've been pretty pleased with the way photos look on the smaller screen. But generally it's beautifully vibrant, making the watch faces pop nicely. Even after being spoiled by the latest Android Wear lookers, Samsung's Gear S3 holds its own in the display department.

It's slick and responsive too, when you're not twisting that bezel, and you'll have no problems viewing it at night or in bright sunlight. To add to the Gear S3's ruggedness, Samsung has also used Corning's Gorilla Glass SR+ display tech that provides improved scratch and damage resistance as well as reduced surface reflection.

Samsung Gear S3: Tizen

Samsung Gear S3 review

Operating systems are where smartwatch battles are won and lost. Apple continues to refine its watchOS, Google's Android Wear 2.0 has brought a significantly better experience and many new watches in tow. In fact, with Pebble now out of the picture, Apple and Google are the only other two big names battling it out (haven't we seen this somewhere before?). Tizen though, is an interesting third player.

We like Tizen on the Gear S3, but mostly because of how it's integrated with that rotating bezel. Twisting that will move you through a series of updates and notifications, while you'll still use the screen for selecting things. Hitting the lower physical button launches that neat circular app screen, where you can use the rotating bezel to scroll through the icons.

Samsung Gear S3 review

From the main watch screen you can also swipe down to access quick settings like screen brightness and music player controls or check in on battery status. To change your watch face, it's a matter of holding down on the screen. When we first reviewed the Gear S3 we lamented a lack of customisation, but that's thankfully improved since.

Like Apple's watchOS and now Android Wear, Tizen lets you add and alter complications to certain watch faces, adding things like the weather forecast, battery level, step count, or a second clock. Samsung has also just rolled an update to improve this, adding a calendar date and a music complication to the list for select watch faces, the latter being extra useful, we think.

Since our initial review, the number of available watch faces has increased by a lot, so there's a decent collection of free and paid options to pick through.

Samsung Gear S3 review

Overall, it's zippy, simple and easy to use. That circular app menu can also be customised on the watch itself (you can do it in the smartphone app too) by holding down on the screen when it's up. This lets you rearrange apps, but also delete some of the ones you might not use.

Notification support on the Gear S3 is solid too, and despite a dearth of available apps for Tizen (still), you'll have no problem getting messages emails and other third-party app notifications come through smoothly. Plus, again, the bezel makes messages a pleasure to scroll through.

Samsung has packed in a lot here, so it's worth spending some time exploring to find out which features and modes are the most useful. You won't need to be aware of all of them and that's a good thing because it doesn't take away from what is, on the whole, a very straightforward operating system to get to grips with.

Right now the big thing Tizen is missing is a smart AI to compete with Siri or Google Assistant, as S Voice feels a bit behind - and unreliable. Samsung tells Wareable that it has plans to bring its new Bixby assistant to wearables, but we sadly suspect we might be waiting for the Gear S4 for that.

Samsung Gear S3: Using with an iPhone

Samsung Gear S3 review

It's been a long time coming but Samsung and Apple finally worked things out, and now you can pair a Samsung Gear S3 (and a Gear S2) with an iPhone. So there's now another smartwatch alternative to the Apple Watch and Android Wear.

So what is it like? In sum, limited, but not terrible. Getting things set up is straightforward once you've downloaded the Gear S app. It's a very similar process pairing it with an Android phone. After a quick rest of the watch it's a case of waiting for the matching pin codes and you're pretty much good to go.

Now that Android Wear on iOS is a better experience, expectations are higher. Tizen is certainly better at playing with the iPhone than Android Wear's first iteration. You can pull in S Health data, send music or images to the watch and activate the Find My Gear mode when the watch goes walkies. Samsung's also given this a bit of a boost since our initial review with improved stability so iOS users don't feel like third-class citizens.

Samsung Gear S3 review

You can even access the Samsung Galaxy App Store, meaning you can install apps onto the watch from the phone app or directly from the watch. That gave it an edge over Google at launch, but Android Wear now offers the same functionality for iOS users. Still, it's great that Tizen does it, even if the lineup of apps on Tizen remeains disappointingly meagre.

As far as using the watch on a daily basis, sport tracking works much the same, though the addition of Under Armour's app suite means iPhone users can now get more out of the Gear S3 as a fitness device, as the S Health experience is still much more limited on iOS. You can't, for example, link it with third-party apps as you can on Android. Also, iPhone users won't be able to use Samsung Pay.

As for first- and third-party app notifications, these appear promptly on iOS. It's still really satisfying to rotate the bezel to navigate, even more so than using the digital crown on the Apple Watch.

Where things begin to feel limited is when you need to act on a notification, as you only have the option to clear or block them. It hasn't been frustrating all the time but it would be nice to have the option to send a quick response to deal with messages or emails.

You're not getting the full Gear S3 experience, but the one you do get is still good and the features that do make the cut work well.

Samsung Gear S3: Staying in touch and using Pay

Samsung Gear S3 review

When it comes to transferring smartphone features to a smartwatch, Samsung does not cut corners. There's a built-in speaker, which is hidden away on the side of the watch. Once you've successfully paired the S3 with a Samsung or other Android phone over Bluetooth, it'll pull through your contacts letting you make calls from the wrist. We still feel stupid answering calls on our watch, but if it is something you really think you'll do, the call quality is pretty decent. Just make sure you crank up the volume to the max.

That addition of a speaker does also mean you can now create voice memos and leave voice messages. This is done through Samsung's S Voice software, however our experience creating memos was often quite frustrating as it didn't always pick up what we were saying.

It's a similarly awkward and frustrating experience with the other methods on offer to reply to messages and emails. Unsurprisingly, using the keyboard to type out messages is cramped while the handwriting recognition experience is in no way as slick as it is on the Apple Watch Series 2. You do also get some default responses to choose from (which you can customise) to make the job of responding quicker, and there are emojis as well.

As we've already mentioned, Bluetooth is your means to pair the Gear S3 with your smartphone via the Gear Manager app, but it also means you can pair the smartwatch with Bluetooth headphones. That's useful when you factor in that there's 4GB of onboard storage and the ability to transfer music from your phone to your watch.

Samsung is working to do its best to help the Gear S3 be a standalone device, including Wi-Fi and an LTE version of the Frontier, which uses an e-Sim card. The good news is that Samsung is finally launching an LTE version of the Classic.

Samsung Gear S3 review

There's NFC on board too and while that gives you an alternative way to pair your Gear IconX headphones, it also enables Samsung Pay, letting you pay for things from your watch.

To set up Samsung Pay you'll need to verify a bank card, which you can do either through an SMS message or by calling your bank. Note that you have to verify both the phone (if you haven't already) and the Gear S3 separately. So if you have to phone the bank, make sure you're clear that you need both to be OK'd.

Once that's done, you'll need to set up a pin number on the watch. This is slightly irksome as typing on the screen is fiddly, and we've hit the wrong digits a few times, but once you've entered it you won't have to do it again until you take the watch off your wrist. Otherwise, all you need to do is hold down the top button to activate Pay and then hold it up to the terminal.

The big difference with Samsung Pay this time is that you don't have to have a Samsung handset to use it, opening up the platform to many more Android handsets - although oddly the latest Pixel phone isn't one of them. A list of Android-compatible phones can be found here but we know the LG V20, not shown on the list, is also compatible - so don't take it as gospel. If you're in the UK however, you currently can't use the service. Sorry, but it's on its way.

Samsung Pay also has an edge over Apple Pay in that it can be used with magnetic strip readers. Don't worry, you don't have to flatten your watch to actually slide it through, it just requires some slightly different wrist gymnastics.

By making its payment service available to so many more handsets, it also spells bad news for Android Pay which still hasn't made its way to Android Wear. Come on Google, sort it out.

Samsung Gear S3: Health and fitness

Samsung Gear S3 review

Like Apple and Pebble, Samsung is making a big play with fitness. There's built-in GPS to track activities like running and cycling, plus a host of sensors including a heart rate monitor, barometer and speedometer. Automatic exercise recognition works with multiple activities and rep counting (recently introduced to the Gear Fit2) helps you keep a check on sets of lunges, crunches, squats and burpees.

There's also fitness tracking features giving you a breakdown of steps, elevation and calorie burn plus it'll give you a vibrating nudge when you've been sitting down too long and not been active. Everything is powered by the steadily improving S Health platform.

As far as being a Fitbit rival is concerned, Samsung does a pretty decent job. In our initial review we put it up against a Flex 2 and it fared well for steps, distance and sleep tracking. Since then we've also tried it against the Fitbit Alta HR, and found it kept pace too. In fact on one occasion of wearing them together, there was only a difference of around 100 steps after six hours, which is very good.

When it comes to motivating you to get off your butt, the inactivity prompts actually work really well too, flashing up on the big screen and giving a small vibration. All of the data is stored in S Health, but there's more than enough that can be viewed from the watch.

Samsung Gear S3 review

For sports tracking, it's a bit of a mixed bag. We put the GPS to the test in a 10k race against the TomTom Spark 3 and we were reasonably happy with the results. The mapping looked accurate, however a closer inspection of the run breakdown showed that elements like average pace appeared suspiciously faster in comparison to the Spark 3. The maximum heart rate reading was 9-10bpm higher than the TomTom running watch as well.

We later put it in another test against the LG Watch Sport and Wahoo Tickr chest strap. On the run, we decided to do some extra directional changes around a park to see how the GPS fared, and in fact the Gear S3's standalone GPS picked this up more accurately than the Sport, which missed a couple of the turns and did a tad more guesswork. The overall result was negligable (there was an overall difference of 0.02 miles by the end), but it was still good to see the Gear S3 doing a good job here. Where it's less impressive on the GPS sometimes is in locking an initial signal, as sometimes it can take a little while to find its bearings.

Automatic workout detection jumps into action nicely, picking up walking sessions, runs and even rowing machine sessions. The rep counting however is a little hit and miss. We compared the Gear S3 with the Jabra Sport Coach Special Edition and the Atlas Wristband and found that it had problems registering reps consistently and required exaggerating our movement at times.

Samsung Gear S3 review

Samsung Gear S3 (left) and Polar H7 (centre and right)

Unfortunately the heart rate monitor isn't fantastic on the Gear S3, although testing has proven mixed. Aside from our experience running with it in a race, we also used it for several interval running sessions on a treadmill and cycling sessions on an exercise bike. We'd expected more dips in the graphs due to the interval training, but it remained very steady. The Samsung watch tended to record some abnormally high readings when compared to the reliable heart rate sensor on the TomTom Spark 3 and the Polar H7 heart rate monitor chest strap.

Samsung Gear S3 review

We later put it up against the Wahoo Tickr, and in this instance we found the S3 ran a little higher on bpm, particularly at one point where it fluctuated quite dramatically. The overall result wasn't terrible, but the S3 does have a habit of getting readings quite far off the mark.

The better news on the fitness front is that since we first visited the S3 there have been some more fitness apps made available for the watch, notably Under Armour's suite which includes UA Record, MyFitnessPal, Endomondo and MapMyRun, the last of which we've particularly enjoyed using. S Health is a good platform, but we prefer having access to our favourites. It's just a shame that Strava still isn't on there.

Samsung Gear S3: Apps

Samsung Gear S3 review

Apps were one of our biggest gripes with the Gear S2 and since then things have improved. Whether that's a big enough improvement for you depends on how much emphasis you place on good app support. It's better, but not much better.

Samsung says there are more than 10,000 apps available in the Samsung App Store, which you can access from the Gear companion phone app. You can also browse a selection of apps from the watch, and there are plenty of native apps already preloaded including reminders, calendar, music player and weather apps.

Read this: The best Samsung Gear S3 apps

There are some big names accounted for here, including CNN, ESPN, Uber, BMW and Nest, and since our first big test we've seen more added to the crop. Spotify is the big one, now letting you browse and search tracks, and with offline caching promised soon. We mentioned Under Armour's suite too - that could be a big deal to fitness fans considering the S3.

Overall our experiences with the Gear S3 apps has been good, even if it's still lacking in many of the apps we'd like to see. Android Wear 2.0 is getting a lot of the app attention right now, and we hope Tizen doesn't get left behind any further.

Amazon PA: Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

The challenge once again is convincing developers to back the platform. With features like GPS and the rotating bezel and a clear strategy from Samsung to continue making Tizen watches (for now), it feels like there's more reason for devs to tap into what Tizen and the Gear S3 can offer. We just need to see the results sooner rather than later.

Samsung Gear S3: Battery life and charging

Samsung Gear S3 review

Thanks to the bigger body, Samsung now has room to squeeze in a larger 380mAh battery, which we've found averaged at about three days, keeping the screen brightness relatively high and using the GPS tracking regularly. Turning off the always-on display mode definitely helps to push that closer to the four day mark. We also found an hour-long run with GPS tracking tended to knock the battery life down to just below 90%.

Amazon PA: Samsung Gear S3 Classic

There's a pretty good power saving mode on board, so when you are low, it will help you reach that four day mark. Bottom line: the Gear S3 battery life is a noticeable improvement on the Gear S2 and wipes the floor with Apple and Android Wear rivals for staying power. It's some accomplishment to get the battery life it does with a screen of that size and quality.

When you hit 0%, Samsung bundles in a larger version of the wireless charging cradle included with the Gear S2. The small LED light will let you know when it's fully charged and actually looks quite nice sitting out on a desk. The Gear S3 does seem to take at least a couple of hours to get from 0-100%, which is disappointing when Samsung has made such big strides with quick charging tech on its phones.

Samsung Gear S3
By Samsung
The Gear S3 is destined to divide. After delivering us its best-ever smartwatch with the Gear S2, Samsung has sacrificed that sleek design to cram in more features. That bigger body has delivered better battery life, GPS and a screen where Tizen can really shine. It’s not quite the fantastic fitness tracker/sports watch replacement we’d hoped for and it’s not quite the finished article as a smartwatch either. More apps have strengthened Tizen since launch but it still feels behind its rivals, and with the new crop of Android Wear watches hitting the scene, it's going to have to work twice as hard to keep up.

  • Gorgeous display
  • impressive battery life
  • Improving S Health
  • Bezel is still great
  • Slightly lacklustre design
  • App support still not great
  • S Voice is unreliable
  • Not fully waterproof

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  • yogibimbi·

    "but it seems capable of some water sports" - like what? Long-distance showering?

    • l.prasuethsut·

      Kayaking, boating, etc., but it doesn't seem like it can handle much else. 

  • Pw1·

    Bigger & thicker Smartwatches need to be thinner, role on moto 360 announcement. 

  • Yemi·

    I was looking forward to this announcement the most at ifa. Can't help but feel slightly underwhelmed. Maybe I need to see it up close.

  • Jeff12p·

    Finally a smartwatch with all my hardware requirements: GPS, IP68, speaker, and HRM.  Unfortunately, I'm not sold on Tizen.  The waiting continues.

  • jimmybernstein·

    I agree Pw1 that big watches only really work if they're thin--that's why the mondo Suunto watches can get away with being so big (i.e., they still feel and look kind of light on the wrist.)  All said, this is a bit of a disappointment--bigger package, more sensors and radio's crammed in, but nothing qualitatively new or different.

  • CharlesV·

    I disagree that smartwatches have to be thin. Before I bought my Pebble classic, I wore a nice looking Citizen Nighthawk that has a 12.5mm bezel. This never bothered me and honestly it was kinda nice having it be so big. Everything on the watch was easy to read and it showed up really well in pictures. Plus, you always knew if you were wearing it or not because of the weight (i.e. no forgetting it at home). I am all for big watches with a killer battery, and that does all the simple stuff well.

  • jayvisionnet·

    Samsung is serious about it's OS for good reasons...  No version of android could run the hardware and feature set in this watch for more than a day with the same battery without needing a charge. Yes, it is mainly the OS that gives the Gear 3 its long life especially when it comes to the screen being on ALL the time.

    At first to me the Samsung OS was a joke, now years later it is proving itself to be very valuable in the wearable market and the Gear 3 will prove it! 

    As long as this smartwatch runs smoothly without being buggy, it will be the standard by which all others will be judged in the future. 

  • Fuckface·

    Great job at packing another small ass battery into your watch!!! The S2 won't even survive 3 hours!

  • Rach·

    I am really hoping that this will be a smartwatch with fitness tracking capabilities which are good enough to wear only this device. Im sick of being disappointed with wearables. Fitness trackers trying to be smartwatches badly and smatrwatches trying to incorporate fitness tracking badly. When will I be able to buy one device which does it all? 

  • AndreaV67·

    love the information 

  • RunningMan72·

    I purchased this watch today after 6 months of excitement keeping a close eye on release dates and pricing. I am a runner and although I love my S2 I wanted to be able to leave the house without my phone and still be able to make calls, have GPS and Samsung Pay. Unfortunately although these functions are all clearly advertised on the Samsung Australia website, none of them are available in Australia. I'm returning mine tomorrow, what a disappointment. 

  • lookatbowen·

    Samsung have missed a MEGA trick here. Why oh why is there no LTE availability in the UK? Nor is Samsung Pay supported in the UK. It is quite absurd! Limiting the smart watch to a few countries seems simply dumb. 

  • spikep3·

    I am looking to purchase this watch but have two questions. Do you need a monthly plan with your cell phone provider to run functions such as calling on the watch? Also, is it compatible with an IPhone 5S?

    • joyfulmachines·

      To reply about a data plan - you do not need an additional data plan and should be able to start taking calls immediately.

      To reply about iPhone 5S - yes, it can connect to the iPhone 5S, but you lose some functionality (not sure exactly which ones work and which don't), and any app that is a paid app cannot show up through the iOS Gear Store.

      We found this out with our typing system Modality - it won't show up for Apple users.

      All in all, though, a good watch. But iOS needs some expanding.

  • Armyguy198036·

    iPhone 7+ Owner, will the watch login to public wifi? The type u agree to agreements through a browser? 

    • Noxyyyyy·

      How is being an iPhone owner relevant to the question? I don't think any smart watches support that kind of thing.

      • Armyguy198036·

        lol I was a longtime note owner 2,3,4,5 had the 7. I switched obviously. I had the gear S, S2. Samsung dropped milk music with no other streaming music app available so I had a bad taste in my mouth from Samsung products. I just want a smartwatch I can workout with and use Spotify,pandora, slacker, etc as a standalone. My gym has wifi so I don't want to necessarily get the lte version. 

  • Baleine·

    Beware! I've been using the Gear S3 Frontier for a couple of weeks and it's a good watch unless you intend to use the WiFi feature. It's not possible to use a public WiFi network that requires a sign-on page, which is most of them. Samsung don't appear to have any fix for this so my watch is going back!

    • GarebearVonDude·

      just sign in using your phone won't that work? 

  • Smokey·

    All at one side the main Important issue here is Availability, Samsung has a worse customer satisfaction when it comes to product availability, i have been looking for this watch for almost 6 months now, Still even after it has been released. I m not able to put my hands on it. Everywhere i go wheather online or direct in shops i am told its out of stock, i think i'll buy myself moto or Huawei smartwatch.

  • Jo_Seph_B·

    Can you check that the mention of a Nike app is correct?  I've seen people mention Nike in other reviews yet as far as I can see there is no Nike app for the Gear S3.  Its also been removed from the Gear S2 as far as I can tell.  Can you confirm? 

    • m.sawh·

      That was an error on our part. The Nike app is also unavailable for the Gear S3 as well. We've followed up with Nike to find out whether it's going to be coming back

  • Jo_Seph_B·

    Can you check that the mention of a Nike app is correct? I've seen people mention Nike in other reviews yet as far as I can see there is no Nike app for the Gear S3. Its also been removed from the Gear S2 as far as I can tell. Can you confirm?

  • Docsharpie·

    So far the sensor stopped working 3 times on my watch.  I had to reset it each time to get it working again. The other morning after driving through town, when I parked, my watch congratulated me on my bike ride.  I find it to be rather flakey with some of the fitness features and not nearly as accurate as my MS Band 2.  I'm returning this and looking for a more suitable replacement for my B2.

  • DP4·

    I love the S3 Frontier over my Gen 1 Samsung watch (the big curved face.) I will say that I enjoyed the immediate ability of being able to check my heart rate over the auto-checking that the S3 does. But I think that will change in time as anything automatically done is ultimately better. 

    Using the S3 during my workout is freakishly awesome. It's very interactive and intuitive. The interval reminders are super cool as you hit time/calorie burn goals.

    This review mentioned that the bezel on the S3 isn't clickable and you still have to use the touchscreen. I'm not sure what that means - however, there is a setting in the S3 that will auto-select an app when you use the bezel. So to open an app, you don't need to touch the screen, you simply need to turn the bezel to the app you want and it will open once you stop rotating the bezel. There is a small delay so it's not like you have to be wicked fast with the bezel. I love that setting as I prefer to not have to turn the bezel AND use the touch screen.

    Samsung Pay on the S3 is wicked good and responsive.

  • Komarova8·


  • hazza123·


    I've been an iPhone user my whole life, I was wondering if anyone knew if the Samsung Gear s3 is compatible with iPhone?

  • stickerman·

    May seem a silly question, but are all the faces on the S3 based on black? Any reason a more traditional white background can't be used?

    • DaveC1964·

      You can have white backgrounds, I have seen them.  Th reason most are black/dark is because 1) darker matches the look of the watch better and 2) this is an OLED screen,  brighter colors use more battery than dark ones.  The more black/darker the watch face the longer the battery life.

  • urgan·

    Does anyone know if the S3 or S3 Frontier have improved vibration? My only complaint about the S2 was that it I frequently missed notifications because of how weak the vibration motor was, even on it's highest setting.

  • Angi2·

    Does any body know if you can use and external hrm with the watch like the polar h7? 

  • ddd222·

    Am i missing something here? There is no way to send a NEW email, you can only respond. Hope I'm wrong about that...riduculus especially with s voice on board

  • Archiesdad·

    Is anyone else having problems with the battery life of the phone? Ever since I installed my Gear S3 and connected it to my Galaxy S6, my phone battery dies after about 3 hours. Used to last all day. Very frustrating. Anyone know how to fix?

  • StanR·

    "If my GS7 Edge is paired and connected to a Gear S3, will the phone still automatically connect to my car or will I have to manually force a connection and/or first have to turn off the watch's Bluetooth?


  • EdH·

    Gear S3 Battery Life - I have had my Gear S3 for 5 days now, and have done next to nothing to the watch to test the true Out Of Box (OOB) battery life.

    I call 100% B.S. on 3 to 4 days of battery life. At best I have achieved a day and a half, and that is with simply wearing the watch and looking at the time and any alerts that might have popped up due to the OOB pairing with my Samsung S6 Edge.

    I have now started USING the watch, and I am definitely below a full day (24 hr) usage.

    Maybe I am doing something wrong, Maybe I have a watch that has a bad battery, but I have yet to see/hear anybody on this board comment on the battery life of their S3.

    Very interested in anybody's feedback.

    • m.sawh·

      Hey Edh,

                    That definitely sounds odd that you're only getting a day and half or even less. After my review, I continued using the Gear S3 as normal and still got a good three days off a single charge and that's while using GPS tracking for a couple of runs and having notifications fully switched on. I usually have my screen brightness on relatively on high as well.


  • JonathanEvans·

    I have to say Frontier is a better design than Nixon Mission which feels and looks to clunky.  I think the larger design for S3 generally over S2 is better, but then I'm 6'3" with fairly large wrists.  

    Overall, I like the speed and smoothness of the S3 watches... smoother than many Android Wear watches.  I too have noticed high heart rate data, but haven't confirmed comparing with chest strap, which I'll do shortly.

    On area Gear S3 outperforms Android Wear is with scrolling messages/emails.  It's a much better design, smoother, faster and easier to read.

    On major let down, especially with the Frontier is that it's not totally waterproof so that you can comfortably swim with it.  If it was, it would truly compete with Nixon or Casio.  I like the design, but when I hit the slopes, it's Nixon Mission or Casio all the way.

  • easyway·

    Hi, your phone will still connect automatically. No problem whatsoever.

  • Gretchen·

    The heart rate sensor on my gear S3 watch rarely works. It tells me to take it off and clean the sensor and try again almost every time. I'm not sure how functional that is. Is anyone else having the same problem?

  • whatuask·

    This is the future because you can leave your phone behind! Love it!

    -You can navigate, take calls, pay, and type

    - I can actually TYPE on it with a downloadable app, MODALITY

    -I also like the health features, keeps track of my walks. 

    - I don't think its' too big at all

    - Beautiful, bright, customizable watch face

  • kiaism01·

    Hi, anyone has problem with the wammer app? Downloaded this app so that I can listen to Spotify offline while running. However, after 2-3 songs, the music stopped playing. Going back to the app to restart the song causes the watch to hang. Rebooted and Factory Reset no help. No help from Wammer, Spotify, Samsung.

  • DonRustia·

    Im Don from saudi arabia and i purchased my Gs3 wifi edition in dubai and so far my device can last 3 and half days... not to say that im a techy guy and heavy user. i use my device to answer , control music, reply on text,messenger or any sns .

    so far so good i've been using it since dec 23. and thumbs up to samsung! :)

  • whatuask·

    Check out this "Editor's Pick featured app" on the Samsung store this week... MODALITY. 

    It's an input alternative that works a zillion times better than drawing letter by flipping letter or the crappy voice feature! 

    A mind-shift for sure but works once you get used to it (they claim 40+wpm). Developed FOR Tizen OS; they didn't even bother with Android since nobody's made an Android-GearS comparable!

  • Gruffdoggsd·

    why can't I lock the s3 frontier while wearing it. There should be an option to lock the watch without having to take it off.. I would like my privacy while wearing it.. smh..

  • Hush·

    Anyone who have the watch face any problems with it being not fully waterproof? Etc having to keep removing it when swimming? 

  • RWillStl·

    I have had my Gear S3 since around Christmas time and after updating the firmware the screen has been scrolling diagonally uncontrollably.  I am not sure if the issue is with the firmware or coincidence.  I paid over retail price to get it from a very large retailer overseas since it was sold out in the US before Christmas and I had to have it.  Now Samsung won't service the warranty in the US and it cost $100 to ship it back to Hong Kong to the Warranty center there.  Not a good experience for a person that has bought every new Samsung flagship since the S5 as well as the Gear S3 and now S3.  

  • Skybeatle·

    I have owned a Gear S for 3 years, love it. Fell while hiking and was able to call for help.

    Today I purchased a Gear 3 for about 1 hour. Could not find a watch screen that gave me simply the time, date, weather, calendar and notifications. I use my Gear S as a back up phone while on conference calls with my primary phone. I can simply swipe to ignore the call and the call is sent to my Gear S. I can mute the primary and take the call. Could not make the Gear 3 do the same. 

    I also get involved with the dirty gritty work in the yard and as a volunteer in the woodlands. My concerns were dirt and grit getting under the rotating bezel. No one could show me how the clean. It was quite disappointing.  

    After one hour of sitting in the store trying to make the phone work, I simply returned it. 

  • Gil080·

    I'm a Samsung girl 100% but this Frontier 3 is the worst purchase I have ever made. I have to charge the battery every day not three. I did lower the screen lighting removed apps and nothing. I am stuck on a plan with tmoble and am miserable with it. I should have stayed with my fitbid. 

  • Devavra·

    is s3 gear frontier (bluetooth only) compatable with galaxy A9 Pro ?

  • JoeHo·

    Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and Samsung customer service are a joke!

    I have a Gear S3 Frontier that I purchased 4 months ago. It died on me 3 weeks ago and I just got it back yesterday with a note from Samsung saying because it sustained water damage, it can't be repaired and is voided from warranty. Ironically, my watch has NEVER been exposed to water or much less, submerged in any. I did wear it during cycling so the closest thing to water was sweat from my arm and face coming in contact with the watch. The watch being IP68 rated, that sort of contact should never impair a device. It's false advertising and very misleading. When I called them to explain they made a mistake and the watch should be able to handle such exposure because of it's rating, they gave me nothing but a run around and never wavered from their position of denying warranty service. I'm now out $349 and feel completely ripped off by Samsung. I also own a Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge Plus, which I was considering upgrading to a Note-8 but not anymore. The horrible customer service I've experienced is enough to get me to never buy another Samsung product again. I'm not an Apple fan so this puts me in an awkward predicament.

    I sense a class action law suite coming on. Based on my research, I'm not the only one who has experienced this exact same scenario. I'm beyond frustrated with Samsung and their awful customer service and run around they have put me through.

    Samsung published specs: "This device passed military specification (MIL-STD-810G) testing against a subset of 10 specific conditions, including drops from 4.9 feet, extreme temperatures, dust, shock/vibration, and low pressure/high altitude. Water- and dust-resistance based on IP68 rating (water-resistant in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes). Rinse residue/dry after wet."