Samsung Gear S3 IFA Berlin 2016
Samsung's brand new smartwatch - Gear S3
It’s hard to believe that there’s been seven Samsung smartwatches so far. That’s right, seven. And the innovator in this exciting category isn’t done yet, tonight releasing a beautiful new edition at IFA 2016, designed by Swiss watch designer.
The new Samsung Gear S3 isn’t particularly revolutionary. It doesn’t really need to be, as Samsung hit the ball out of the park with last year's Gear S2 and its remarkable rotating bezel. So, rather than fundamentally changing the insides of the device, instead this year the company has focused on creating a smartwatch that really looks like a watch. No mean feat, but it really does look the business.
What does the Gear S3 do?
First, let's focus on the features. It includes the rotating bezel, but this time, it’s a lot more tactile. You’ll know exactly which button you’re touching, and what it does, without having to look at the device.
It’s again water resistant at IP68 (the same as the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note7). It’s also shock resistant. And if you’re into skiing, you’ll love the new speedometer and barometer features, which work with the built in GPS. It shows you exactly where you are on the mountain, and how much faster than your mates you went. Plus, if you get lost, there’s a handy SOS feature you can press to alert people.
That feature is thanks to the devices built in LTE. Rather than having to make phone calls by Bluetooth connection to your phone, you can do it with the watch through it's speaker. And you can connect easily to Spotify too, without any dropouts.
The S3 also has exactly the same Knox security you’ll find on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7. Plus it boasts a battery that'll give you 3 - 4 days of continuous use with just one charge.
If you’re familiar with the Gear S2 Classic, then this watch is an evolution on that. Everything looks far more considered, far more well designed and far more, well, Swiss. Watch designer Yvan Arpa has gone to town creating two different variations of the device. The Frontier, for snappier more fashionable dressers, and the Classic, for people who like something a little more understated.
His boast was that these watches will look as great now as they will in 20 years. Which is probably true, but it does beg the question, while we might be happy with its looks in 20 years, are we really going to be happy with the tech?
Regardless - it’s a beautiful watch, with some great new features and some very beautiful new straps. And it’s coming soon to your local Carphone Warehouse and Currys PC World stores. Stay tuned to The Lowdown for more updates, plus all of our continuing coverage of IFA 2016, live from Berlin.