10 Features That Will Put the Samsung Gear S3 on Plenty of Wrists

10 Features That Will Put the Samsung Gear S3 on Plenty of Wrists
Two Versions of Gear S3
LTE Available on the Frontier Model
Gorilla Glass Protects Gear 3 Displays
Processing Power
Gear 3 Runs Tizen OS, Not Android Wear
There's 4GB of Internal Memory
Go Ahead and Dunk Gear S3 in Water
NFC Enables Samsung Pay
Gear 3 Works With Android Smartphones
Availability a Mixed Bag
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10 Features That Will Put the Samsung Gear S3 on Plenty of Wrists

Here's a look at key features of Samsung's Gear S3, which looks to be a fine upgrade over its predecessor and could be a serious contender in the smartwatch space.

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Two Versions of Gear S3

Samsung is selling two versions of its Gear S3. The first, known as the Gear S3 Frontier, is designed for those who want an "active, sporty look" that can be used while working out. The second, the Classic, resembles a traditional watch that attempts to match the look of more fashionable analog timepieces. Samsung says it has the same appeal as a "well-crafted luxury watch." Think of the Classic as the fashionable option for important business meetings or nights out on the town.

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LTE Available on the Frontier Model

When deciding between the Frontier and Classic versions, the choice comes down to how the smartwatch will be used and whether LTE connectivity is essential. With LTE, users can travel about town and answer calls, open email and access other online information. Without it, they'll need WiFi access or connectivity from their smartphones. If LTE is important, users must go with the Frontier. It's the only Gear S3 version that supports cellular connectivity.

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Gorilla Glass Protects Gear 3 Displays

The display is identical in both the Frontier and Classic models. It measures 1.3 inches, is circular and runs on Super AMOLED technology. Users will find 278 pixels per inch and Corning's Gorilla Glass SR+ to safeguard it against accidental dings and scratches. It's also a full-color, always-on display, so users can quickly check notifications and the time.

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Processing Power

The Gear S3 offers a solid processor that should be able to handle most of the things users would want to do with the device. According to Samsung, both models will ship with a dual-core 1GHz processor. However, the company didn't identify who is producing the chips.

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Gear 3 Runs Tizen OS, Not Android Wear

Unlike so many other recent entrants into the smartwatch market, the Gear S3 isn't running Google's Android Wear operating system. Instead, users will find Samsung's Tizen. The OS, which at one time was supposed to be Samsung's answer to Android on smartphones, delivers a range of watch faces, a simple interface and access to apps through its "app ecosystem."

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There's 4GB of Internal Memory

Since the Gear S3 can be used without relying on a smartphone, Samsung has bundled some storage in the device. The company says that the smartwatch will ship with 4GB of internal memory before the operating system and other apps are factored in. For performance, there is also 768MB of memory.

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Go Ahead and Dunk Gear S3 in Water

It wouldn't be wise to spend too much time in the deep sea with the Gear S3, but it can withstand some brush-ups with water. In fact, the device ships with an IP68 rating, a standard rating that measures intrusion prevention from water, dust and other particles. IP68 means that the device is both water- and dust-resistant and will not suffer damage from submersion in up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes.

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NFC Enables Samsung Pay

Both the Frontier and Classic models come with Near Field Communication chips that interact with payment terminals across the United States with Samsung Pay. As of this writing, Samsung Pay is available at more than 90 percent of the top 250 merchants around the country, making the Gear S3 a nice tag-along when making a mobile payment.

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Gear 3 Works With Android Smartphones

Those hoping to use the Gear S3 with the iPhone will be out of luck, according to a Samsung statement. The company says that the Gear S3 is compatible with Android 4.4 or newer handsets that have at least 1.5GB of RAM. Samsung makes no mention of Apple's iPhone, suggesting it won't work with the Gear S3.

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Availability a Mixed Bag

As of this writing, Samsung has shared only some of the Gear S3's pricing and availability details. The company says that the Gear S3 will be available "later this year" at several major retailers, including Best Buy, Amazon, and Macy's. Wireless providers AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon will also carry the LTE-equipped frontier version. The company will rely on wireless providers to announce their own pricing and availability at a later date.

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