Update: Samsung will be adding new activity tracking tech to the Gear S3 and you should expect sensors that can monitor your altitude when climbing mountains.
That’s because the Gear S2 does a lot of things different and in some cases, more intuitively, than its competitors. The bezel wrapping around the watch face can be rotated to naturally scroll through each of its colorful and informative slides.
Building off of those controls much in the way that Apple’s watchOS 3 does with its Digital Crown, Tizen generally feels more snappy than Google’s wearable platform.
Arguably the biggest improvement in Samsung’s latest smartwatch is that it works on all Android phones running at least KitKat and at least 1.5GB RAM, unlike the Samsung Gear S, which only worked on Samsung’s own smartphones.
But as good as it is in its current state, you’d better believe that the Samsung Gear S3 is right around the corner. And with Android Wear 2.0 coming soon, it had better be good.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming wearable and the list of improvements we’d like to see.
Fancy something with a little Android flavor? Here are the best Android Wear smartwatches.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Samsung’s refinement of an already-excellent smartwatch
- When is it out? The latter half of 2016
- What will it cost? US$250 (about £189, AU$330) depending on the model
Samsung Gear S3 release date and price
Though no details (leaked nor official) about the Gear S3’s release date have surfaced through the woodwork just yet, it’s likely that Samsung will use the stage at IFA 2016 in early September to announce it.
Samsung originally teased the Gear S2 during its Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ event, so it shouldn’t be completely ruled out that the company could hold a pre-IFA conference to unveil the device.
In terms of the pricing for the upcoming wearable, it’d do well to stay at its current entry price of US$299. Of course, we’d love to see a lower price, but that’s probably not in the books.
Like the Gear S2, the Gear S3 will probably release in a few different models: a basic version that has a more sporty style and a more svelte edition, like the Samsung Gear S2 Classic. Currently, the latter costs US$50 more than that standard model, but offers a more elegant steel build and leather band.
Three unique models might be overkill, but it’d be interesting to see if Samsung tries introducing a new Gear S3 model into the roundup with even more features or a drastically different build style.
Samsung Gear S3 design and performance
Don’t expect Samsung to reinvent the bezel with the Gear S3. After all, it’s the Gear S2’s marquee feature to be able to rotate it to navigate through the Tizen OS, and if you’ve used it, you know how cool it is. Recent rumors point in favor of Samsung sticking with the acclaimed feature for the Gear S3.
And while we’re on the topic of the Gear S3’s design, there’s nowhere else to go but with a slimmer device. At 11.4mm, the Gear S2 is on par in the thickness department with many of today’s available wearables, but Samsung would really rock the boat if it can shave a few millimeters from the chassis.
Inside of the Gear S2, Samsung built in its very own Exynos dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz. While fine and dandy for day-to-day use, we experienced slowdown when navigating to and from some more intensive apps, like Here Maps. Additionally, Samsung has now used the same processor in the Samsung Gear Fit 2, a fitness tracker that’s cheaper than the Gear S2.
If the Samsung Gear S3 is going to push next-level wearable experiences and compete with the coming generation of smartwatches, it’s going to need an improvement in the chipset.
Samsung Gear S3 features
The Gear S3 is sure to do everything the Gear S2 already achieved in terms of notifications and apps directly on your wrist – but what new features will it bring to the table?
One source – speaking to SamMobile – claims the Gear S3 will be built for active users and come with an integrated GPS, a speedometer, a barometer and an altimeter.
The altimeter and barometer will work today to be able to measure the altitude for when you’re climbing. It’ll also include a weather indicator so you can keep an eye on the conditions when you’re out and about.
It looks like Samsung is billing the Gear S3 as the ultimate adventure’s wrist wear.