Samsung has launched the Gear S3 smartwatch, its first wearable device to come with built-in 4G connectivity.
The Korean manufacturer unveiled the product at IFA in Berlin today (September 1). There are two versions available; the Classic (below) and the more premium Frontier (left). Only the latter comes with 4G, however, offering faster data downloads and mobile internet speeds than the Classic. Its predecessor, the Gear S2, just had 3G connectivity.
The other major difference between the two watches is the design. Samsung has designed the Classic to look like a conventional analogue watch, whilst the Frontier has a more ‘rugged’ appearance designed for the outdoors.
Both can be connected a compatible Android smartphone using Bluetooth. Once synced, owners can make or receive phone calls and receive voice messages. Users can simply twist the rim of the watch to either accept or decline a call.
Samsung executive vice president of mobile communications business Younghee Lee said: “With the Gear S3, we continue to build on our wearables heritage of offering diverse choices to enhance consumers’ unique lifestyles. With smart capabilities and sophisticated, elegant design, the Gear S3 marks a significant addition to our smartwatch portfolio.”
Design and screen
The handset maker has made the watch’s face circular, which it claims has been influenced by extensive research with consumers and design experts from around the world. It is crafted from Corning Gorilla Glass SR+, a material designed to be more scratch resistant and clearer than conventional glass screens.
The screen also has an Always on Display. This allows the product to display information about the time, date and any notifications even when it is on standby mode. It is also powered by Super AMOLED technology, Samsung’s own display hardware which it claims consumes less power than rival displays when powered on.
Each model can also be customised. Samsung teamed up with sculptor and designer Arik Levy to create special edition watch faces and straps, which will be introduced later on this year. The watch face can also be customised with various downloadable designs.
The wearable is also water resistant and has GPS technology to track fitness activities. Information such as altitude, atmospheric pressure, sudden changes in weather, distance travelled and overall speed when running can be monitored.
Overall usage can last up to four days with the 380mAh battery, whilst SOS and location tracking functions have been added for emergencies. Each variant comes with wireless charging, 4GB of internal memory, 786MB of RAM, Bluetooth and WiFi, and an NFC chip for contactless payments.
UK pricing and availability has yet to be confirmed.