The Samsung Gear S3 is now up for preorder in various regions around the world including the United States. In line with this development, Samsung has also released an update to its Gear Manager Android companion app.
Best Buy is one of the first retailers to set up an online store page for both the Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier variants. These devices, however, are listed as Coming Soon with no information of actual rollout schedule. Both devices cost $350 and are powered by Tizen. Preorder is expected to go live in the next few days.
Samsung Gear S3 vs. Asus ZenWatch 3
By their looks, the Gear S3 devices seem to be on a collision course with the Asus ZenWatch 3, a similarly rounded premium smartwatch that will retail for $229. The wearable competition at this point is pretty thin as other major players such as Motorola and LG are expected to launch their smartwatches next year.
Under the hood, the Gear S3 uses the Samsung Exynos 1 Ghz processor, 768 megabytes of RAM and 4 GB storage. It also sports proprietary biometric technologies such as the heart rate sensor and the altimeter in addition to the ambient light sensor, barometer and the gyro sensor. Both Gear S3 Classic and S3 Frontier are water-resistant and support NFC technology. They each have AMOLED displays with 360 x 360 pixel resolutions.
One notable information found in the Best Buy site involves the S3 Frontier version. The carrier's model seems to lack LTE support, unlike the device that Samsung exhibited last August. Nevertheless, the specifications are significant improvements in comparison with those found in the Gear S2.
Gear Manager Update
Meanwhile, the Gear Manager software update introduces key improvements, including a revamped user interface. At first glance, a user will immediately note the brighter and more minimal design. The hands-on experience also reveals that the usability experience is akin to what users have in the Samsung S-Health fitness app.
Once the app is launched, the user will be greeted by two tabs: Info and Settings. The former contains tools such as battery level indicator, apps' battery consumptions and a suggested app section, among others. The Settings menu covers configuration options that allow the user to tweak connectivity as well as modify and choose profiles. Except for the design, the entries here are largely unchanged.
Early adopters found that the experience is more seamless and safer, especially when navigating between the Gear Manager and the Galaxy Apps. Some compatibility issues have also been resolved.
The changes to the Gear Manager app should be automatic. But users who were not able receive the over-the-air upgrade can manually update by going to the Settings menu of the app. The manual update option can be triggered by tapping the Update in the App Version submenu.