Samsung Gear S3 Classic Smartwatch

8.7
8.7 score
(GearWeAre.com) score (8.7)/10

Our GearWeAre.com score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Samsung Gear S3 Classic Smartwatch Review Facts

Taking all of the best features from other generations of Gear S watches and putting them into one, they created the Samsung Gear S3 Classic model smartwatch. Whether you’re the tech-savvy type or the curious first-timer this user-friendly device incorporates fun characteristics with high levels of productivity to make your life a little easier. This rather large timepiece incorporates a rotating, futuristic looking bezel for smooth navigation within the watch and is Bluetooth compatible with Android and iOS phones. Make phone calls, send messages or emails right from your wrist and download social apps to stay connected with this truly wearable smart device. Conveniently pay for items using Samsung Pay and track your physical activity with the real-time heart rate monitor or step counter. It pairs all of these excellent features and more with a great touch screen, stainless steel casing, scratch resistant durability, and a long-lasting battery all wrapped up in smart ‘Classic’ look. Is this the right choice for you? We will help you decide below in our review.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Easy to use interface with touchscreen
  • Strong Bluetooth or LTE capabilities
  • Replaceable 22mm band
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Water resistant
  • Works well with Samsung Pay
Cons
  • Bulky watch face
  • Lacks third-party app support
  • Limited use for iOS devices
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 4 hours analyzing a total of 6512 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • This is a great choice for anyone who wants to stay connected but can't always keep their phone accessible.
  • The mic and speaker work well.
  • Reviewers like that it looks like a traditional watch rather than a tech-heavy smartwatch.
  • There is a good selection of watch faces available.
  • The setup is simple.
  • It has a nice, high resolution display.
  • The rotating bezel is efficient and intuitive.
  • Making and receiving phone calls is easy and the sound is clear.
  • You can receive and respond to text messages.
  • Using this as a fitness tracker creates a great motivator to stay active and reach fitness goals.
  • Spotify and Uber apps are available to use.
  • Since its release, buyers have liked the updates.
  • If you pair your phone, you are able to use it to locate your watch if you misplaced it.
  • Notifications can be customized for what you want.
  • Reviewers say that many features are user-friendly such as the calendar, alarms, navigation, etc.
  • The band can be changed, and there are many other bands available on the market.
  • Using Samsung Pay through the watch is super convenient.
  • Activating the display usually only takes a turn of the wrist so it doesn't always have to be on.
  • This device is helpful in an emergency if you need to call someone but can't get to your phone.
Negative
  • The material of the band is stiff.
  • The voice command feature tends to lag.
  • There are limited apps available compared to other smartwatches.
  • The watch face is large.
  • Although water resistant, it is not fully waterproof.
  • Some of the settings drain the battery quickly.
  • Some reviewers report problems with S Voice not working properly.
  • After some updates, buyers have noticed issues with a few features.
  • This watch is designed for right-handed people.
  • The size and weight are not ideal for people with small wrists.
  • Using this watch with non-Samsung devices has resulted in problems with full functionality.
  • The included instructions for the watch and apps are minimal. Reviewers have had to look up other online resources.
  • There are some complaints that the watch can factory reset occasionally on its own.
  • A few reviewers complain of bad customer service experiences with Samsung about problems with this smartwatch.
  • Some buyers are disappointed in the Tizen OS.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 6512 reviews we found in total, 16% were negative, and 84% were positive.
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Features

Features

With such a wide range of varying features all packed into such a tiny device there’s no wonder this watch is considered one of the leading tech designs next to the Apple watch. Made of stainless steel the S3 Classic has military-grade durability that resists dust, extreme temperatures, and will survive the occasional drop. Water-resistant properties of this smartwatch will survive up to 1 meter for 30 minutes so you can take it along with you everywhere without worry. This seemingly delicate timepiece features 4GB of storage, 768MB of RAM, dual-core chip, all under a Corning Gorilla glass face to protect against scratches and is shatterproof. There are two buttons on the right side of the S3, the top one is the back button and the second acts as a home button. Rotate the steel bezel that is located around the face to the right and easily access favorite apps such as weather, music, integrated calendar, daily news, detailed step counter, etc. Turn to the left for notifications where you can instantly check texts, and get any updates your smartphone normally provides.

The Gear S3 Classic is connected through Bluetooth so you can receive texts, emails, and app alerts without reaching for your phone. With Samsung Pay, you can also easily make payments without your phone or wallet, use the S3 anywhere a credit card can be swiped or tapped. Samsung Pay will not work with an inserted card reader such as an atm or gas pump. You will be able to make and answer calls hands-free with a built-in microphone and speaker. This feature has helped many online customers stay connected and safely talk on the phone while driving.
Face

Face

A beautifully designed round face makes it easy to guess why this watch model’s name is Classic. The 360 x 360 resolution display is crystal clear and visible even in bright sunlight. The default screen setting is always on and that will keep the watch face visible at all times and only dims after idle use, leaving it barely visible and conserving power. This option significantly increases battery consumption but gives it the “real” watch aesthetic. When the screen goes black simply move your wrist upwards to check the time. The display is comfortably readable for all users and is made from damage resistant glass. There is a range of customizable watch faces available for free or a small fee through the app, the library is extensive enough to meet most users preferences.
Band

Band

The S3’s stock strap is adjustable with a metal clasp, it is very comfortable and easy to slip on and off but it is prone to attracting dirt. It is a standard black leather suitable for all occasions but if you’d prefer different choices for work and play the 22mm band on this piece is easily replaceable and third-party options are available on Amazon or Samsung offers an array of sporty silicon rubber or more luxurious grain leather options on their website.
Apps

Apps

Usually, Android products such as Samsung run an Operating System known as Android Wear but this brand of smartwatches runs on its own proprietary software called Tizen. It is praised for its unique user interface and single-company platform branching away from Android. The downside to new technology such as this is the number of third-party apps will always be limited and support for fixing issues may not be as efficient, for now. Integrating with google and apps such as Gmail and Google calendar has been an issue with some users. One customer found themselves limited to read-only on emails and had to switch over to their phone to be able to respond. Samsung continues to update and renew its app store to give users a great experience each time.

On the plus side, the S3 has some impressive built-in apps customers can't stop talking about. S Voice, Samsungs voice search option works very well in making it easy to set reminders, alarms, make calls, text, or open apps. This hands-free capability acts as your virtual assistant and gives you more time to focus on your everyday tasks.

A built-in GPS will work without your phone, it tracks your activity while working with the background heart rate monitor and step counter app called S Health. This syncs with your phone to set walking goals, log water or coffee intake, and track sleeping patterns all while monitoring heart rate. The GPS offers accurate navigation and makes it easy to share your location whether you’re off-roading or exploring a new densely packed city.

Other noteworthy built-in apps include efficient Weather predictions, a music player you can download music onto and use with a Bluetooth headset, a Scheduler keeping you on time, and a World Clock updating during time zone changes that can be handy during travel.
Accuracy

Accuracy

The S3 Classic is very accurate in its data collection with automatic tracking coupled with stats packed activity monitoring. It cant be fooled like its competitors, the step counter running in the background monitors each step for an accurate measurement of activity and heart rate. Forget to press start before a run? The watch will instantly log any body movement and also has an auto-pause feature. You cannot shake it like a Fitbit tracker to record steps and it reports a comprehensive, detail-rich data report to your phone afterward. The built-in GPS locks into satellites to pinpoint your location and reviewers say it can take about a minute to find you in a highly populated area but works just as well in a spacious zone.
Weight

Weight

Made from stainless steel and a durable scratch resistant glass this smartwatch carries a heavier weight than users anticipated. A bulkier face at 46mm and 59g in weight this watch can look out of sorts on a smaller wrist and is more on the masculine side. The weight makes a substantial difference over competitors of the S3 but also adds a touch of strength that you know it will stand up to the elements. For the price, customers would expect nothing less.
Price

Price

When it was initially released in 2016 the MSRP was quite expensive. This was substantially discounted with the release of newer versions and the competitors market. It is now available on Amazon and other retailers for much lower. LTE versions of this watch vary in price depending on your plan and carrier.
Connectivity

Connectivity

At first only compatible with Android phones, the updated Gear S3 syncs with a wide range of iOS and Android smartphones. However, online users have stated that only Android devices have full feature access with this watch. Bluetooth capabilities pair instantly with any device and hold a strong connection with no worry of losing service as long as you are in range. When you find yourself out of range using your watch but Wi-Fi is available the S3 will switch over and you will still receive notification and calls with the phone out of sight.

A version of this watch is available with LTE if you have a current wireless plan with Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile. This life upgrade gives you the ability to completely leave your phone at home while still having access to its features. The prices of those versions may vary with an added fee to your monthly plan. It is worth it for some who prefer the untethered feel but online users comment on the Bluetooth enabled model with the phone nearby fitting their needs well.
Power Source

Power Source

The Gear S3 Classic comes with a 380mAh battery and is one of the best long lasting batteries in a smartwatch. According to Samsung, users can go up to four days on a single charge. If you are using the always-on mode, Wi-Fi or LTE on, high brightness and keep background apps running expect the battery time to be a lot less. With these features turned off and closing apps when not in use you will save the battery life.

A dedicated wireless charging cradle is how this device gets its power. A magnet holds the watch in place and it comes equipped with a LED indicator to notify you when your device is fully charged. The cradle needs to be plugged in so that means finding a place at home for it to sit and you are kind of stuck to using it in that stationary position until its charged. There is also no option for attaching the watch directly to a cable so on-the-go charging isn't really an option.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

Set up is as easy as using it, first-timers might feel a little intimidated by the new technology factor but the Gear S3 is very user-friendly. Simply download the Samsung Gear app on your smartphone, pair with the S3 and you’re ready to go. Easily scroll through and access apps with the touch screen or bezel and speak commands to it using S Voice. With the Bluetooth capabilities, this smartwatch can receive calls or messages while your phone is nearby. No more digging around in your bag or pockets when a call comes in, the built-in microphone picks up your voice instantly and newly added speaker clearly projects the person on the other line. If you don't like talking into your wrist you can just as easily transfer the call back to your phone without interruption.
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

For all of these reasons, and not wanting to buy into the mainstream machine, we believe the Samsung Gear S3 is worth the purchase. Samsung is one of the only Android manufacturers continually updating and expanding its smartwatch lineup. It feels like a luxury watch and a wearable smart computer all in one. It’s easy to use, wear and even train with and the battery seems to last a lifetime. The ability to easily access calls and messages right on your wrist sells itself. Since they’ve lowered the price it’s the more economical choice while still getting all of the bells and whistles of other pricier smartwatch options.

An issue with switching to the digital age of smartwatches is their likelihood to diminish in battery life with prolonged use and the need for replacement is more frequent. New technology comes out all the time that is newer and flashier than the last but with gentle care and regular updates of this technology it only gets better. The issues with iOS devices not being able to access the full features of the S3 is another downside that knocks it down a peg. Despite all of that, this is the watch is sure to make you want to retire the old timepiece and step into the future. If you’re looking to get into the smartwatch game for the first time or simply expand your collection, this watch is for you.