Samsung was in full form today.
The Korean giant and top Android OEM took to stage to unveil its latest-generation smartwatch that isn't affiliated with Android -- except to say that it works with an Android smartphone.
The new smartwatch, called the Gear S3, comes in two models: the Gear S3 Frontier and the Gear S3 Classic. Both smartwatches draw their inspiration from the Gear S2 Classic from last year, with Samsung providing a ruggedized yet classic-looking smartwatch than the Gear S2 "Sport" model from last year.
The Gear S3 Frontier is a ruggedized smartwatch built according to military specifications that provides all you love about a "Classic," premium look but is built for rain, ice, and shock situations (it's shock-resistant, has a MIL-STD 810G rating, the same as its Galaxy S7 Active smartphone). The Gear S3 Frontier and Classic are quite similar, with the exception being that the Frontier is more ruggedized and the Classic is more of a "sleek, sexy, and vulnerable" smartwatch. Words to distinguish the two are hard to come by, particularly because both smartwatches are similar in design and in technology.
While Samsung brought the design to these smartwatches that consumers are sure to love, the company also brought some new technology to the Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic: first, both smartwatches retain the 4GB of storage as the Gear S2 but add slightly more RAM (from 512MB in the Gear S2 to 768MB in the Gear S3). IP68 water and dust resistance makes a return here for both smartwatches, but Samsung has added an altimeter/barometer, speedometer, built-in speaker for clearer call quality, its MST technology with Samsung Pay that now lets you make mobile payments on your wrist, and even built-in GPS.
The Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic have 1.3-inch, circular AMOLED displays with a 360 x 360p screen resolution but feature Corning's new Gorilla Glass SR+ -- a tough Gorilla Glass panel for smartwatches (just think about Gorilla Glass displays and their scratch and impact resistance on smartphones). The Gear S2's 300mAh battery has been increased to 380mAh, which Samsung says can get you through up to 4 days with moderate use. Samsung's KNOX security arrives in the Gear series with the S3, which means that business professionals can now have as much enterprise-level encryption on their wrist that they have on their Samsung Galaxy smartphone. The Always On Display gets a return here, but gets a revamp: instead of just showing the watch hands as before, the AOD on the Gear S3 now shows the entire watchface in Always On mode. We're glad you fixed a grievance of ours, Samsung.
The Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic now let you connect your BMW and your watch (by way of a BMW Connected Car app on Tizen) so that you can use your watch to perform specific actions that let you get your car ready before you hop into it. Another first for the Gear S3? It's the first Samsung smartwatch to have LTE connectivity.
The Gear S3 Frontier and Gear S3 Classic run Tizen, Samsung's proprietary homegrown wearables platform which Samsung says is the future of its Internet of Things agenda. The Korean giant has said that it doesn't intend to launch another Android Wear smartwatch, and today's announcement continues to drill that answer home for diehard Android Wear enthusiasts.
You can watch the Gear S3 announcement by clicking on the YouTube video below. Come back and let us know which Gear S3 model is your favorite and why.