As a consumer there is no better activity to witness than competition. It drives the market place and forces manufactures to innovate and release better and better products into the market place. In the smart watch arms race (get it) Samsung recently announce the release of their latest smart watch, the Samsung Gear S3, and yours truly got to get all handsy with latest tech gadget.
When the package arrived and I was offered both colorways to sample, the Gear S3 Frontier and the Gear S3 Classic. I found myself leaning towards the Gear S3 Frontier and spent the bulk of my time wearing that watch. When I first put the piece on, my initial reaction was that the watch wears extremely well. From the casing, to the weight and proportions of the the dial, it feels like a high end mechanical watch. In other words, it passes the sniff test where it doesn’t feel like a piece of technology trying to be a watch, it simply feels like a watch. The feel of the piece is a testament to the research the Samsung has done into watch manufacturing and craftsmanship.
For lovers of technology however, there is a lot to love. The screen remains black until it is tilted to check the time. When that happens the LED screen comes alive to display its information. Using the swipe gesture, the user is able to cycle between the time, news updates, sports, email and text messages. The bezel is used to scroll up and down through content and after progressing for some time through either an article or email, the watch gives the option to display the same content on your Bluetooth synced smart phone. I found the screen incredibly bright and legible and the size of the screen was large enough where I didn’t immediately feel the need to go from the watch to a smart phone.
The watch is also water resistant and meets IP68 standards, meaning that the case meets the International Protection marking standards and is resistant to dust, dirt and sand and the watch can be submerged in water 1.5 meters deep for up to 30 minutes. The screen for the smart watch is also made from Corning® Gorilla® Glass SR+ and highly durable to shocks and other distresses.
An aspect of smart watches that I like to dig into are the features they offer around fitness. To that end Samsung leaves no stone unturned. The watch offers a step tracker, heart rate monitor, sleep monitor, calorie counter and workout tracker that can be adjusted for your type of workout, i.e. free weights, running, yoga, cycling etc. The apps are a worthy companion to the most intense fitness buff or a neophyte looking to get into better shape.
The watch also features built in speakers, four day battery reserve, and in case of emergency, SOS and geo tracking capabilities. While the S3 app wasn’t available during my pre launch time with the watch, users can expect the full complement of customizable faces, news, sports, access to music, and the like. One thing I would like to see is the extent of available watch faces. My desire would be to see a digital version of some of the more financially out of reach watch complications selectable. How about a perpetual calendar moon phase with tourbillon escapement? Yes please.
Some interesting collaborations to be aware of, Samsung has partnered with artist Arik Levy and integration with BMWs personal mobility companion. There is a lot to like in the latest smart watch offering from Samsung and it is aggressively priced at $349.99. With the holidays around the corner, this is an easy gift consideration for the loved technophile in your life.