Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Review – Prepare for Small Wrists

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is one of the best smartwatches you can find around today. Read more about the features of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch in this review.

The same Samsung, in the tech space, garners a lot of respect and reputation. This is due to a long history of manufacturing quality gadgets and devices. The latest in the line of quality products from Samsung is the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier.

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is a smartwatch that possesses a lot of impressive and state-of-the-art features. With this smartwatch, you can confidently leave your phone at home without missing much. Yes, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is awesome.

This review will discuss some of the features and specifications of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier. It will also review some of the possible uses and drawbacks of this smartwatch.


Our verdict

Ratings: 7 out of 10

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is essentially a smartwatch with lots of useful features. If you want to remain connected even without your phone, this smartwatch allows you to do this. It is easy to set up and use.
However, it is big and feels clunky on the wrist. You may have a bit of an issue if you are more inclined to smaller watches.

Why we like it:

  • It has a lot of features
  • Has a beautiful and clear display
  • Reliable, strong and rugged.

Why we hate it:

  • Feels big on smaller wrists
  • Has a limited compatibility with non-samsung devices

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Design and Screen

  • Well built, but feels heavy
  • Uses buttons and a bezel for functionalities
  • It has an impressive 1.3-inch Super AMOLED screen
  • Has an Always On Display feature

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Design

While the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier's weight may not sound that heavy, it sure feels heavy when you use it. One of the major reasons for this is its screen, which measures almost 2 inches in height and width. It is also about half an inch thick.

However, despite this heavy size, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier was designed to last and perform excellently. The watch face features a Corning Gorilla Glass SR+, which protects it against scratching and breaking.

Another important design feature is the rotating bezel that the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier spots. The bezel adds a rugged and sporty look to the smartwatch while providing an easy means of control and usage. You can use the bezel to navigate through apps and faces on the smartwatch. This navigating bezel affords some sort of seamlessness to the usage of the smartwatch, but you may need to take some time to get used to it.

Alongside the bezel, two buttons allow you to control the apps on the smartwatch. The buttons function as Back and Home buttons, and with the rotating bezel, they offer total control of the smartwatch.

The smartwatch's band is another feature that is worth mentioning. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier features a thick and strong silicone band, known as the Active Silicon Band. If you are conversant with Samsung products, you will know this band for its durability, strength, and aesthetics. The Active Silicon Band also allows for a comfortable and gentle feel on the wrist. Finally, it is secured at the back with a strong buckle with two tabs.

However, this band also contributes to the heavy nature of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier. It feels heavy and oversized on a smaller wrist. Thus, people with small wrists may find it a bit uncomfortable.

You can, however, change the band of the smartwatch if you so wish. There are many 22-millimeter bands that you can select from Samsung or other brands. The ability to change bands make the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier more versatile, as you can then use a band that matches any occasion.

Speaking of versatility, another way through which the smartwatch ensures versatile usage is the customizable watch face. You can select from a wide range of options, customizable watch faces that match numerous uses and occasions. There is an analog watch face option, where your Samsung Gear S3 Frontier mimics an analog watch's display.

While the customizable watch faces are exciting, they drain your smartwatch's battery easily. Thus, you may shorten the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier's battery life if you use these watch faces incessantly.

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier uses a 1.3 inch AMOLED screen with a 360 by 360-pixel resolution. In line with Samsung's reputation for clear screens for its smartphones, this smartwatch features a clear and vivid display screen.
Remember the Always On Display feature we talked about earlier? It combines with the AMOLED screen to provide an excellent visuality for the smartwatch all day and night. The circular nature of the watch also contributes to the aesthetics of the display screen.

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Review Design

However, you may encounter some issues with reading texts at the bottom of the watch due to its circular nature.
Also, due to the settings on the watch, the screen comes on with the slightest movement. While this is an impressive feature, it may turn out to be intrusive or stressful in some cases (for instance, while in bed or in a cinema). Thus, a DND would be a nice addition to prevent the incessant lighting of the watch.

For the screen's interface, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier uses an in-house operating system, Tizen, as against the Android Wear that most of its competitors use. The decision to use Tizen bode well for the smartwatch as the screen interface had the combined look of Google and Apple's watch operating systems.

The Tizen interface gave the watch two layers. The first layer is accessible from the home screen, where you can swipe right or left to check your notifications and recently opened apps. You can check for weather information, set reminders, and check your health metrics, and many other tasks from this same home screen.

You can access the second layer by pressing the home button, which opens the apps menu. The app's icons are circular and are arranged around the edge of the screen. You can only get eight apps on the screen at once; thus, you may need to swipe to another page if you have more than eight apps installed on the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier.

Fitness Features

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Fitness Features

The fitness features of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is one of the spectacular things about it. In the hands of a sportsperson, this smartwatch will act as a perfect companion and motivator.

Let us begin with the Samsung Health Suite, which is a suite of functionalities built into the smartwatch. This suite possesses apps and programs that help you track sporting activities such as running, swimming and measures the rate of metabolic activities such as the number of calories burned, water intake, caffeine intake, and many more.
The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier automatically detects and tracks some activities such as running and walking. This is an impressive addition as it removes the stress of having to set up the tracking module for basic activities such as walking. It would have been great if the smartwatch was able to link up the GPS tracking feature with this automatic tracking.

Apart from activity tracking, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier has lots of sensors that allow the smartwatch to offer immense benefits to fitness enthusiasts. The sensors include a barometer, heart-rate monitor, and an altimeter. These sensors track the elevation and weather conditions around you as you go jogging or running.

When it comes to the accuracy of tracking activities, it was discovered that the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier lagged behind a bit, especially with activities such as running and walking. This inconsistency can be traced to the failure of the smartwatch to initiate a GPS linking before detecting and tracking the activity.

On the other hand, the heart-rate monitor was accurate in its readings. The bodyweight workout options are somewhat accurate. While there is a satisfactory level of accuracy with workout routines like squats, the same thing cannot be said for routines like lunges, star jumps, and crunches. The level of inaccuracy with these activities is discouraging.

Overall, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier's fitness feature allows you to overview your fitness level and state of health. It has tips that help you carry out more fitness activities in a day. For instance, if you have not been moving a lot, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier will entice you into moving around and guides you through the process.

The large size of the screen and its AMOLED display feature makes it easier to see and track your progress on the smartwatch. A simple flick of the wrist will lighten up the screen for you to view your metrics. This is impressive as you don't have to worry about pressing a button or tapping the screen while working out. But you may find this feature annoying when the screen comes up every time you raise your hand during an activity such as running.
Despite having two physical buttons and a bezel, you will have to touch the smartwatch screen to start, pause, and stop your workout tracking. This is not a very good feature as fingers are usually sweaty during and after the workout, and it may be a tad difficult to register a tap or swipe with sweaty hands.

Another observation regarding the fitness metric reporting on the smartwatch is the delay in updating fitness metrics. While this seldom happens, sometimes, it takes as much as a few seconds for the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier to update your running metrics or heart rate data.

Lastly, the sleeping tracking feature of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is not very awesome too. While it does the tracking well, you may notice some disparity between its metric on restful sleeping and sleeping patterns.

Smart Features

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier Smart Features

The smart features of a smartwatch determine a lot of its usability. With the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, the smart features are in great abundance, and this is one of the features that make the smartwatch a top-quality watch.
Starting with the connections, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier uses both Bluetooth and WIFI connections to keep your smartwatch updated and provide you with needed information. These connections, especially the WIFI, allows the smartwatch to connect with some apps on your phone. An example of such an app is Whatsapp, whose notification can get the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier once connected.

The WIFI connection is excellent once you have added the location to the smartwatch. This means that the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier will connect to your home WIFI as fast as possible. On the other hand, you may not enjoy this fast connection when you are in a new location, as the smartwatch takes some time to search and connect to new WIFI networks.

Another rough edge that the connection has is the ease with which the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier loses connection with your phone. You may find the smartwatch in a remotely connected mode, which means that the watch is only connected to WIFI and not to your phone. Although you can easily rectify this issue by using your Bluetooth connection, it is still an avoidable drawback for the smartwatch.

The review of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier's connection features is not complete without mentioning its 4G LTE Radio connection. This feature allows you to make and receive calls, send and receive texts, get weather updates, and download apps.

The smartwatch call feature works efficiently as the call quality was superb, both from your end and that of the receiver. There is also an SOS feature that allows you to send a distress call to selected numbers and allow them to track your location for about one hour. This is a very useful security and safety feature.
Despite the WIFI, Bluetooth, and 4G LTE connection, you cannot use apps that don't have a watch version. Examples of these apps include Twitter and Facebook.

Another smart feature that you would love about the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is its music streaming and playback feature. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier offers seamless streaming and playing experience with your phone. You can see the tracks on play, their album cover, and even change the tracks from the smartwatch.

You can also transfer your songs to its 4GB memory and play them through a Bluetooth speaker or the smartwatch's speaker. Yes, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier has a speaker, which is impressive. While the speaker cannot compete favorably with a proper speaker, it fulfills its function of playing audible sounds. What's more, the process of transferring these tracks from your phone to the smartwatch is easy and fast.

There is also the S Voice feature that allows you to send voice commands and receive voiced responses. While the feature doesn't have Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa's functionalities, it has some impressive functions. The feature can accurately translate voice to texts and can tell some jokes too.

You won't get current updates, though. The S Voice cannot tell you your favorites team's fixtures or the weather update. It also experiences some delay in processing and responding to your voice prompts.

App

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier watch App

All the hardware provided by the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier allows you to enjoy the use of more apps on the smartwatch. These apps are either in-built or installed. For installed apps, you need to have the Galaxy Wearable app from iPhone's Apple App Store and Google Playstore.

One of the things you will notice about the in-built apps is the absence of popular fitness apps like Strava, MyFitnessPal, and many more. So all the fitness functionalities you get are from the S Health app.

Popular apps such as Twitter, eBay, and many others were not present in the previous versions of the smartwatch (S2), upon which Samsung promised to include them in the next version. But when the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier came, we only saw the eBay app on the smartwatch.

Also, despite the presence of the Spotify app logo on the smartwatch, the app wasn't included in the smartwatch. You can only connect it with that on your phone.

There is, however, a Nest Thermostat app and an iHeartRadio app. There is also Yelp, Uber, NPR, the Weather Channel, and The Wall Street Journal.

While there is no Facebook and Twitter app version, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier's connection with Samsung S7 affords you the opportunity to get notifications from Facebook. But this privilege ends when you step too far away from the phone.

You can also use Maps on this smartwatch. For the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier's screen, the Maps are detailed, and the rotating bezel allows you to zoom in or out to get the precise location. However, you cannot access the map's navigation features unless you connect the smartwatch to a smartphone.

Battery Life

Samsung Gear Battery Life

The battery capacity of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is 380Ah. This battery capacity is enough to fuel the smartwatch's functions and operations. With average usage (without the use of GPS), the battery will last a few days.
If you turn on the heart-rate monitor and accelerometer, you will only lose about 50% of the battery life in under 4 hours. However, combining the Always On Display, Music Streaming, and Bluetooth connection with your activity tracker will drain the battery by 50% under one hour.

There is a low power mode where the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier shuts most of its functions down and only offers information about time in a monochrome display, which is a way of reducing power consumption.

The battery uses a wireless charger, and all you need to do is drop the smartwatch on the charging dock and watch it charge up. The wireless charging kit is really affordable(should you need to get a new one).

The only downside to the charging features of the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is its charging duration. You will have to wait for a couple of hours to get the full recharge after a flat battery.

Compatibility´╝łAndroid and iOS

Samsung Gear Frontire Compatibility

The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. This is a great advantage that the smartwatch has over other smartwatches, especially the Apple Watch Series. This series of smartwatches have a hard time connecting to Android smartwatches.

Samsung Pay

With this app feature, you can initiate and complete payments from your smartwatch. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier connects with the Samsung Pay app on your phone. The connection is made possible by sending and receiving an NFC signal to the pay terminal. The terminal will read this signal the same way it will read the swiping of your bank card.

Samsung Gear make Samsung Pay

However, the app is only available on Android devices. All you need to do is install the app on your phone and connect it to the smartwatch. Then configure your bank card according to the instructions on the app.

Who's this for?

If you like a functional smartwatch with lots of features, the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier is perfect for you. While you may not get the best fitness features from this smartwatch, you cannot neglect the impressive smart features that the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier provides.

Also, if you have a small wrist, you may not find the smartwatch really comfortable.


Competition

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LG is another reputable name in the business of electronics and smart devices. This smartwatch is one of the two latest smartwatches from the manufacturer; the Watch Style and Watch Sport. The Watch Style is the lesser of the two watches featuring a smaller and lighter design.

Like the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, the Watch Style has a 360 by 360 display resolution. But its display screen is a bit smaller, with a 1.2-inch screen.

Despite these impressive features, it has no fitness feature nor sensors.

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This smartwatch features a solid look and a premium timepiece design, combined with great battery life. In comparison with the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier, it competes favorably. However, it misses important smartwatch features such as GPS, Heart rate monitor, and NFC.


Conclusion

After reviewing this smartwatch watch's features, it is safe to say that the Kate Spade smartwatch is a very good smartwatch with exquisite design and basic fitness and activity tracking features.