IFA 2016: Samsung Launch Gear S3
With the aftershocks of the Note 7’s release only beginning to settle, Samsung has revealed its next major product for the smartwatch market.
Launched at the company’s pre-IFA conference event, the Gear S3 combines a more-refined design, IP68 water resistance, support for mobile payments and built-in GPS.
Design-wise, Samsung say they have aimed for a smartwatch that doesn’t look like a smartwatch but one that looks like a “smart watch.”
To this end, they even brought on venerable watch designer Yvan Arpa who hoped to make the Gear S3 a watch that still looks good in twenty years.It uses the same steel used in high-end luxury watches and a lot of the same design sensibilities.
Samsung says that “every feature, from the circular bezel to the premium finishing and buckles, has been reimagined to elicit the look of a classic timepiece.”
“In addition, the Gear S3 is compatible with 22mm watch bands so consumers can easily personalize their watch to match any outfit or special occasion.”
The same level of thought has been put into the faces available for the Gear S3.
Samsung’s latest will feature a range of professional modern faces designed by artist Arik Levy.
“It was interesting and fun to collaborate with Samsung on creating unique and evolving watch face concepts and watch bands for the Gear S3. Inspired by my artwork, installations and sculptures, we created features that not only technology-savvy consumers will love but also those who place a high value on art, design, freedom of the mind and aesthetics,” Arik Levy said
Durability also looks to have been a factor, with the Gear S3 set to be the first smartwatch to feature Corning’s new Gorilla Glass SR+ and “military-level” protection.
The latest addition to Samsung’s ‘phone-plus’ ecosystem comes in two variants – Frontier and Classic.
“Inspired by the active explorer, the Gear S3 frontier evokes a rugged outdoor look with an enduring style that blends form and function. The frontier was designed to perform in any setting or environment – whether business or leisure.”
Meanwhile, “the Gear S3 classic pays homage to the minimalist, elegant style found in the most iconic timepieces. The classic was designed with meticulous attention to detail – with its size and shape chosen to attain the same consistency and balance of a well-crafted luxury watch.”
Under the surface, “The Gear S3 puts convenience at the flick of the wrist, allowing users to leave their smartphone behind when they don’t need it on-hand. The built-in GPS functionality enables users to accurately monitor their daily fitness activities while the Alti/barometer and Speedometer allow users to track everything from altitude and atmospheric pressure to sudden changes in weather, distance traveled and speed.”
The Gear S3 also boasts built-in speakers, LTE connectivity and support for mobile and secure payments over Samsung Pay.
Samsung look to also be ramping up when it comes to the software side of things, with a growing library including an Alti/barometer and Speedometer apps.
BMW owners will even benefit from new functionality that will allow Gear S3 owners to check their fuel level, set alerts for when they need to leave the house and unlock their car remotely.
There’s also a new SOS feature for use in emergencies which activates the watch’s location tracking capabilities and alerts friends, family and others about crisis situations.
“With the Gear S3, we continue to build on our wearables heritage of offering diverse choices to enhance consumers’ unique lifestyles,” said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics.
During the company’s presentation, she highlighted the heritage that Samsung have with deep wearable devices and how that provided them with the insight necessary to stand out in an increasingly crowded smartwatch market.
“Samsung Gear S2 achieved meaningful progress in the smartwatch category with a personalized watch face and a versatile rotating bezel that provided an intuitive smartwatch experience. Now with the new Gear S3, we expand our Gear collection and introduce not only a great smartwatch, but a great watch.”
“With smart capabilities and sophisticated, elegant design, the Gear S3 marks a significant addition to our smartwatch portfolio.”