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

Hidden features to help you get better acquainted with your S3
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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

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: Get more from the Classic and Frontier

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

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

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.

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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