Samsung Gear S3 tips and tricks: Get more from the Classic and Frontier

Hidden features to help you get better acquainted with your S3

The Samsung Gear S3 has been around for a while now, so you're more than likely already set in a routine with your Tizen-powered smartwatch. Or maybe you're still researching the S3, working out whether to buy one or not.

Either way, there's plenty to unpack with the latest Samsung smartwatch, which means it's easy to miss out some of the additions that didn't make the cut on the Gear S2.

We've spent a decent amount of time getting to understand the ins and outs of the Apple Watch Series 2 rival in order to find out what it's really capable of.

Here's our pick of useful Samsung Gear S3 tips, tricks and hacks to try out after you've got it out of the box and ready to use.

Get your app icons in order

Samsung Gear S3 tips and tricks: Get more from the Classic and Frontier smartwatches

Now you can decide where your apps live simply by going into the app menu screen and pressing down on any app.

You'll be able to drag it into another place or another page altogether by simply shifting the app over the Next Page icon.

Turn on the Always on watch mode

Out of the box, your Samsung watch is set up to only activate when you prompt it to. Whether that's raising the screen towards you or tapping on the physical buttons to wake up the display.

If you'd prefer it to act like a normal watch and display the time 24/7, head to Settings on the watch and select Style. Tap on Watch always on and you're good to go.

Pair Bluetooth headphones

Samsung Gear S3 tips and tricks

Now that you've got 4GB (well, slightly less than that) of onboard storage and the fresh Spotify S3 app on the go, it's a good time to invest in a pair of Bluetooth headphones and leave your smartphone behind on runs or trips to the gym.

Once you've got your Bluetooth buds powered up, head to your Gear S3 and go to the Settings app icon and select Connections. Press down on the Bluetooth option and that'll open your connection options. Hit BT headset and it'll scan for available devices nearby.

Turning off continuous HR monitoring

Samsung Gear S3 tips and tricks: Get more from the Classic and Frontier smartwatches

The Samsung Gear S3 is jam-packed with sensors and fitness data, and while we're not the biggest fans of the heart rate monitor when exercising, it seems pretty adept at delivering reliable resting heart rate information.

The problem with having a heart rate sensor continually taking readings is that it's going to have an impact on battery life. If you're not fussed on knowing your heart rate all the time, go to S Health on your Gear and rotate the bezel all the way to the right to find the S Health Settings. Here you can turn off or turn back on the Auto HR mode.

Sending out an SOS

Thanks to the built-in GPS, you can track activities but also share location data with Samsung's new SOS mode. If you're out hiking with your Frontier and get into trouble, you'll be able to tap the Home key (the bottom physical button) quickly 3 times to send out a message.

First you need to head to the Gear Manager app on your phone and go to Settings to get everything set up. Select Send SOS requests and here you'll be able to decide how the SOS message or call is sent to. You can also add a count down before raising the alarm just in case you accidentally set it off.

Add widgets

One of the new features introduced in the latest version of Tizen is the ability to create widgets so that your favourite apps, quick access to contacts or data from S Health can live on a separate home screen.

To do this, twist the S3's bezel all the way right until you see the Add widget icon. Once selected, you'll see a collection of different widgets that can now be added.

If you want to remove a widget, simply press and hold on the widget and tap the minus to get rid of it.

Wear it with gloves

It's the ultimate catch-22; you need to wear gloves to avoid your fingers freezing off but you also want to take advantage of all the fun your S3 has to offer. Well, there's a way around this age-old snafu.

Read this: Samsung Gear S2 v Samsung Gear S3

Simply head to Touch sensitivity on on Device settings and ramp things all the way up. This means things can get a tad too sensitive when you're not wearing gloves, but this can easily be disabled by holding down the lower button and toggling Touch sensitivity.

Put the watch in power saving mode

Samsung Gear S3 tips and tricks: Get more from the Classic and Frontier

The Gear S3's battery life is pretty good and in our testing managed around three days. Samsung claims you can get up to four days and that's definitely possible with the help of the power saving mode.

When you turn it on, this essentially restricts features turning off all functions apart from calls, messages and notifications. To do this, you need to press and hold the bottom physical button. This will open a menu of options including Power off, Touch sensitivity and finally power saving mode.

Schedule 'Do Not Disturb' mode

You can toggle Do not disturb on and off easily, but did you know that you can set up a schedule? This way your Gear S3 will automatically refrain from disturbing you during the hours you specify, which is especially useful for getting a good night's sleep.

To set your schedule go to Settings > Device > Do not disturb and scroll down to Turn on as scheduled and pick the days and times you don't want to be disturbed.

Change up the Gear S3 watch faces

Samsung Gear S3 tips and tricks: Get more from the Classic and Frontier

Keeping things fresh is always important with your smartwatch. After all, you're going to spend a lot of time glancing down at the face. In order to change it up, simply long press on the current face and select from the options.

Of course, you can always scroll through further options on the accompanying smartphone app, too.

And don't forget those new Outdoor, Travel and Sport 'functional watchfaces' that recently hit the Gear App Store.

Set up a shortcut

Navigating on the Gear S3 is a cinch thanks to the rotating bezel, but sometimes you have a go-to app that you want to be able to fire up in no time at all. A double press of the bottom key will see S Voice launch by default, but you can customise this to take you to straight to the likes of S Health, music and reminders.

Just head to your device setting and pick from the list under the Double press Home key section.

Take a screenshot on the Gear S3

We'll admit there's not too many reasons for wanting to screenshot something on your smartwatch. With that said, if you do find yourself needing to discreetly capture a moment of action, just hold down the home button and swipe right at the same time.

This can be a little tricky to get the hang of, but you'll see the image fly off the top of the screen if you've completed it right. And for when you want to catch up on all those wrist-based memories, just head to the Gallery in Apps to see what you've stored.

Quickly jump into the music player

Samsung Gear S3 tips and tricks: Get more from the Classic and Frontier smartwatches

There's two ways to open the music player on the Gear S3, but for the quickest route to get some tunes playing, swipe downwards from the main screen to access the status panel. Tap the music note icon and it'll launch the music player instantly.

Quickly restart the Gear S3

While we haven't experienced any bugs, that's not to say that you won't. So if you find the Gear S3 is playing up or not being responsive, the quickest way to restart it is to hold the bottom button for at least seven seconds.

Perform a Samsung Gear S3 factory reset

If that doesn't do the trick, the other option is to entirely reset the watch, which means sacrificing any data you have saved on the device. There's two ways you can do this.

The first is from the watch itself where you can head to Settings, and then Device where you'll see the option to Reset the Gear. If you can't get to that screen, you can go to the Gear Manager app on your phone go to Settings and then select About Gear. Here you can then select to back up and restore.

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  • Baleine·

    I have been using the UK Gear S3 for a couple of weeks and on the whole it's a good watch. A couple of important things to be aware of though. Firstly, the storage is 4Gb, but 2.5Gb is taken up with the operating system and pre-installed apps, so only 1.5Gb is available. Secondly, the WiFi feature doesn't support captive portals, which are used by most public networks, so the watch is pretty useless when away from the phone.

  • paradis_paul·

    Great watch. Works great with, and without the watch. Connects to WiFi and LTE easily and smoothly. The only complaints I have is Tizen has so few reputable app selections, and Samsung refuses to police their so called playoffs store. It's filled with fake apps and junk.

  • TopDog31·

    Incorrect. It's the bottom button: 

    "the quickest way to restart it is to hold the Home button (the top one) for at least seven seconds."

  • Mychal·

    the bottom button is how I had to turn mine off, the top button activated samsung pay

  • Jaannasheen·

    can you tell me where are they offering frontier with lte capabilities? Was it just a lie to get people to buy this? I am in Canada and no one not even best buy or bell has LTE.... and when looking at us they dont either. ... so either Samsung was lying to everyone or they are unable to keep up with their promises as we have seen them do with Note 7... "we will fix it... and then Okay now its fix... o same problem please just send it back and thanks for the headache" what the heck samsung? Either dont make promises or when you do then at least have to decency to deliver them...



    • Lionkng05·

      Hi, I'm afraid I can't tell you where they have the 4G LTE Frontier version in Canada, but here in the US I purchased one from TMobile last evening. My understanding is that TMobile and AT&T are the only carriers here to have the 4G LTE model. Good Luck!

  • roberthoekstra·

    Can one tell me if it's possible to 

    1) show heartrate measured by bluetooth hrm worn on my chest, so I know my heartrate during training and

    2) if there's a way for the s3 to tell me I have run x meters, recurring, so I can do interval trainings?

  • bubu·

    is there a way to remove the swiping option and only use the bezel on Samsung gear s3

  • mason7672·

    I have the UK wi-fi only s3 frontier, is there a way to set it so the watch knows if I've answered a call on the phone instead of the watch? 

    No matter what I've tried when I get a call it answers on my watch, even if I use my phone to answer. Did anyone know a way to fix this?

  • Hesbalah·

    why does my s3 keep auto pausing every 10 seconds weather I'm running or not after I program a workout and push start

  • Protefix·

    can I read and/or reply wechat and line messages?

  • Chris122·

    A couple of things bother me about this watch.  When using an app, the screen always reverts back to watch face mode after a few seconds.  Very annoying.  The other is the altimeter does not work in standalone mode.  

  • Mnoer·

    Hi, Can any of You recomend a ski app, like ski track, suiteable for the GS3 watch?

  • Mnoer·

    Hi, any of You who knows about a ski app for GS3? Similar as ski track.

  • tracht·

    Would like to have the watch face stay on for more than 10-15 seconds when activated.  Is there a way to increase the time without leaving it on all of the time?

  • Onthelookout·

    To save battery life (to stop the display being illuminated while I sleep), I use either Theatre Mode and/ or Power Save mode. This disconnects bluetooth which doesn't then re connect automatically when I turn both modes off. Am I not doing something right or is there a glitch/ bug? 

  • Athomas·

    During workout the S3 auto pauses and does not detect motion.  Is there anyway to turn off the auto pause functionality 

  • Donut79·

    Watch auto-pauses even while activity is occurring. How can you disable the auto-pause function?

  • Donut79·

    How do you disable the auto-pause function? It pauses even while activity is occurring.

  • chefwitzel·

    When workout detection is enabled and workout begins (10min later) it starts to track.  It doesn't track distance,  heart rate, or maps out route (gps)  like it does if you start it there a way to enable this in workout detection mode or only by starting manually? 

  • Kiter·

    During the sleep recording, it divides the whole night into 4 segments, that I have to manually select to see the total sleep record. My Gear fit used to record the whole night as 1 segment, not 4.

    Any solution ?

  • Argieric·

    I just bought my samsung gear s3 frontier and I wanted to ask that am I still need to download some application for me to use the GPS?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Saurabh·

    When I put my gear S3 on power saving mode it simply act as if its off the wrist. It wont count your steps, your heart rate and evn it wont detect your sleep. I was using gear fit2 which was doing so very well while on power saving mode.  Not happy with this feature. While sleeping I just dnt wish to keep it on normal mode. And after turning power saving mode on there is no point keeping it on your wrist while sleeping. 

  • solly747·

    What settings do people use when they go to bed?  I mean I can put on DND but the screen is still on.  I want to have the screen off and turn it on when I want to check the time, otherwise it is still too bright, and I don't really want to keep adjusting brightness, DND etc every night.  It would be great if there was a mode or app that does this

  • solly747·

    What are people setting their watches to when they go to bed?  I want the screen to be off and only turn on when I press a button, otherwise it is too bright still.  I know I can use DND but the screen is still on, and I don't want to change brightness, DND etc every night before going to bed.  Is there a setting or an app that will do that?

  • Brickqube·

    Hi there.

    Can someone please tell me how the S gear 3 watch can show constant haert rate?


  • NavFak·

    I am using Gear S-3 with my Samsung Note 3 Android Ver 5.0 since December.  Lately, I have found a problem that while being connected (my watch with Note 3) through bluetooth, as soon as, I turn on location (GPS) on my phone, the bluetooth connectivity is lost & my watch is disconnected.  I have so many times unpaired the watch & again paired it but the problem persists.  The problem occurred during last three weeks.  

    Any idea what's wrong and how it can be rectified.  Shall appreciate.

  • Mattk·

    can anyone tell me how the frontier s3 keeps track of floors climbed ? gps?

    or just movement . i climb stairs everyday and it seems to only track a few of them.


    • JonathanHaas·

      It tracks floors climbed by 10 ft change in altitude up or down from what I understand

  • aylsworth0680·

    my s3 frontier pin seems like it don't want to work when I enter it , I have to reboot the watch and it works fine with my pin a few hours about 9hrs it'll beep/vibrate and I'll check go to put my pin in and says incorrect pic then have to reboot the watch again , for a $300 watch it sucks I should of got a Apple Watch ‚ĆöÔłŹ¬†

  • 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.  I returned the new phone and will continue on with the old Gear S.