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Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Review - Fitness Smartwatch Champ

The Gear S3 is Samsung's latest and greatest smartwatch yet. It's a Tizen OS powered wearable with improved build, specs, and battery coming from the Gear S2. It's premium, feature packed, and has that more serious focus on fitness akin to what we saw with the Gear Fit 2.
Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Review
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Those traits made very excited to check out what this machine has in store for us. It even gave us a lasting impression that it could be the smartwatch to beat this year. Here's our review!

Note: The Gear S3 has two versions, the Classic with genuine leather strap and this Frontier with a more rugged appeal.

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Specs

Display: 1.3 Inch Circular Super AMOLED 360 x 360 resolution w/ Always On and Gorilla Glass SR+ at 278 ppi
CPU: 1.0 GHz dual core processor
RAM: 768 MB
Battery: 380 mAh w/ wireless charging
OS: Tizen 2.3.2
Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, LTE, NFC
Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, hrm, barometer, ambient light, GPS, A GPS, GLONASS
Others: IP68 water and dust resistance
Dimensions: 49.1 x 46.1 x 12.9 mm
Weight: 62 g
Price: PHP 16,490

Disclaimer: This Gear S3 Frontier was borrowed from Samsung Philippines for this honest review.

Unboxing / Accessories

Wireless charging pad and the watch
Wireless charging pad and the watch

We borrowed the unit bare-bones but it should come in a neat type of official circular retail package just like what we saw from the net. Anyway. it'll come with the charging brick, wireless charging pad, micro USB to USB cable, and a short extra rubber strap. It's a decent overall package.

Build / Design

Textured buttons
Textured buttons

What differentiates the Gear S3 Frontier from the Classic is its more rugged construction and appeal. Like what we previously stated, the Gear S3 Frontier is its body and rotating bezel is made out of a sturdy high-grade US stainless steel.
It even has IP68 rating for water and dust resistance!
The rubber strap is flexible / durable and the circular display boast the Gorilla Glass SR+ tech for superior scratch resistance and toughness while maintaining great optical clarity and touch sensitivity.
Speaker on the side
Speaker on the side

In terms of design, the body is bigger than the S2 yet the frame is slimmer than most smartwatches. The look is stunning and this is simply one of the most stylish wearable in the market today.
It's premium and rugged at the same time!
Buttons are also easy to located and wearing comfort level is high. Even with the rugged look, Frontier's style is designed to fit most occasion.

Note: The Active rubber band strap can be replaced easily. You may even use the leather straps from the Gear S3 Classic.

Display Quality

The bright and beautiful display
The bright and beautiful display

What we enjoyed the most in this watch is its always-on AMOLED screen, its vibrant, well saturated, sharp (278 ppi), non-fatiguing in the eyes, and can go really bright. It also has the right size at 1.3 inch which doesn't look awkwardly big compared with other smartwatches. Even under direct sunlight, legibility is fine. That's surprising!

Battery Life

Wireless charging works
Wireless charging works

Equipped with a 380 mAh battery, the Gear S3 has a listed up to 4 days of battery life. In real life usage, we were able to get 5 days (on watch stand alone mode) and 3 days when connected via Bluetooth or WiFi on heavy usage.
Battery life is very good for a full-blown smartwatch!
You can even further extend the battery life by switching to power saving mode in grayscale colors That's very impressive for a smartwatch. Our previous Fossil Q can only last for 1 day.
Enter power saving mode
Enter power saving mode

What Samsung can improve is charging time, 2 hours is needed from 0 to 100 percent.


The step counter is accurate
The step counter is accurate

Using the device is simple even if you're not a Samsung user. Setting the time and adding pin for data protection can easily be found in the settings after turning the device on. Navigation is easy, touch is accurate, physical buttons are responsive, and using the rotating bezel makes your life easier. 

The Gear S3 Frontier is powered by a 1.0 GHz dual core chip and 768 MB RAM which is more than enough to run and load most apps with ease and without hiccups. The ROM at 4 GB is quite small, but if you won't install other apps or games, it won't be a problem. Besides, the device is truly feature packed and works great even without added applications.
This wearable is designed to push your fitness game further!
The fitness sensors are accurate and responsive where it can really track our fitness well. It can count your steps and stairs climbed, measure heart rate, calculate calories burned, and monitor your the number of your sleep hours. It even has a barometer and altimeter for weather forecasting.

Note: Wasn't able to maximize the barometer and altimeter as we're not that familiar on how to use it.

What we like the best is it'll even push you further with your fitness especially if you're doing great. Example, it'll encourage you keep up the good work for walking for 15 mins and remind you to stand up if you're sitting too long.

The Tizen 2.3.2 OS is intuitive but has limited app support. To maximize the use of the Gear S3, download the Samsung Gear App (Android only) and the S Health app (limited on iOS devices though). This is where you'll manage notifications, install apps, monitor your health, and create fitness goals.

To fully take advantage of said features, it is advisable to download the S Health app so you can also manually input data like food, water, and caffeine intake, as well as add goals and fitness programs.

The Samsung Gear app is only available for Android so iPhone users could sit this one out available for Android and iOS. Once you have the app installed and the Gear S3 connected, you can then manage your notifications and install apps for the smartwatch. You can also connect it to your home Wi-Fi so it can retrieve data online.

Other features of this wearable includes: Ability to make calls (using speaker and microphone), WiFi, stable Bluetooth connection, notifications from most apps, and pre-loaded (uninstallable) Monster Vampire game, and built-in music player (works for Spotify).

Call quality isn't great for noisy outdoor locations though.

Pros - Premium build, rotating wheel is cool, water / dust resistance, good display w/ great sunlight legibility, nice performance, feature packed, long battery life
Cons - Speaker is weak for calls, limited apps, charging time could be faster


For its purpose, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is the best wearable we tested yet! The design is top notch and attractive, performance is good, and the battery life is longer than most smartwatches we had.

What it can improve is the app support for the Tizen OS. It's fun to use and has tons of potential though. At PHP 16,490 we'll recommend this over any other fitness smartwatch that's readily available in the country today.

Build / Design - 4.75
Display: 4.5
Battery Life - 4
Performance - 4
Average: 4.31/5
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