In the early days where smart watches are just getting started, I dumped my dumb watch and decided to make the switch to smart watches. One of my very first smart watch was from Sony, it had a really small square display, it runs a few apps and receives notifications from my smartphone, I then moved on to Pebble, then Android Wear and finally, I got fed up with annoying notifications, proprietary charging cables and cradles. Therefore, I went on to buy a Casio Edifice EQB-500, which looks like a typical watch but comes with Bluetooth SMART for syncing the time with my smartphone and I absolutely love it. Until a few weeks back, the folks at Samsung decided to send me their latest Gear S3 Frontier smartwatch for review, and my love for smartwatches has once again returned.

ICYMI: Samsung Gear S3 Review

Smart and Solid Design

Although I have concluded my review in a YouTube video back in the US, I was inclined to write more about it as the watch had been with me for an extended period. For one, the Gear S3 has definitely looked a lot smarter than its predecessors and other smart watches I’ve seen, the display is bright and beautiful, while that rotating bezel is great for scrolling through messages and notifications. In addition, the Gear S3 is a IP68-certified water and dust resistant device and I have never find the need to take it off whenever I jumped into the pool. Overall, the Gear S3’s build quality is a rather commendable one, while it still remains as a rather geeky device, it is a smart looking wearable that you will want to wear it on your wrists in most occasions.

Software that works Standalone

When choosing a smartwatch, cross platform compatibility is always my first consideration and the Gear S3 thankfully offers that. After the demise of Pebble, this is probably one of the only few smart watch that could work with both iOS and Android devices, while support for the former is still in its very early development stages, the Gear S3 will work well with most Android messaging apps, including WhatsApp, Gmail, LINE and WeChat, which you will be able to reply to messages using your voice, the watch’s built-in keyboard and preset template messages. What I really love about the Gear S3’s software is the ability to work as a standalone device even if you don’t have it connected to your phone, Tizen OS is pretty much a decent smartphone operating system itself and there are already a number of useful apps you can download from the Samsung App Store.

Better than most fitness trackers I’ve worn

As far as I love wearing fitness trackers as well, they are just fitness trackers and do nothing more than that. The Gear S3 is a far better fitness tracking device that I’ve ever worn, while I won’t compare the accuracy to wearables that do only fitness tracking, it already does the essentials such as tracking your steps, recording your running activities and etc, it automatically pauses its tracking when it detects I’ve stopped moving, which avoids the need for user action as I’ve always forgotten to do when using other fitness trackers. Furthermore, the Gear S3 works very well as a workout music player, I was able to play my Spotify playlist and have it paired to my Bluetooth headphones, and I can just leave my phone in the gym locker.

Buy? Or not?

As I’ve mentioned in my review, the Gear S3 faces tough competition for what it is priced at, you also won’t miss a lot of things if you are already rocking a Gear S2 on your wrists, but what this handsome wearable truly offers more than the rest of its competition is being a standalone device, the cross platform support for iOS and Android, and being a rather competent fitness tracking device. Sure, Samsung still has a lot to work on its software, such as providing a better virtual assistant and introducing more apps in its catalogue, but the Gear S3 is definitely one wearable that I would consider purchasing, the review unit has already been returned to Samsung at this point of time, and I’m going to wait for a price drop on the device to make my purchase.

DISCLAIMER: This write up is a personal opinion and is not sponsored in anyway by Samsung.