Yesterday I finally received a long-awaited Gear S3, so don't miss the video at the top for Unboxing and my first impressions!
As a context, I comment that I have been using a Smart Watch for centuries. I had a pebble – the first generation – because I was a believer and supported the product via Kickstarter. For a long time, it was my favorite, as you can see in this comparison. Then I had the first Galaxy Gear when Android Wear didn't even exist and the Apple Watch was just a rumorr. Then I went to the Galaxy Gear Fit, a combination of smart band and smart watch that I really liked. The shape of the device and that curved, slim AMOLED display look super futuristic. Then I had a good period with the Moto 360 that I never really liked because of its abysmal battery, and with a Huawei Watch that didn't convince me either because Android Wear, until now, still seems to me to be a rather weak operating system for smart watches. Unintuitive, slow and worst of all, with a totally unreliable battery. The smartwatch I have used the most, however, has been the Apple Watch. I have the first generation, Series 0, for more than two years and, to this day, it has been a faithful companion. The new operating system, Watch OS 4, has turned out to be too much for this watch and apps are constantly hanging and the battery is not the same as before. But in the time that it was working well, the Apple Watch has been the best smartwatch I've used, because it knew how to focus on doing few things, but doing them well.
Under this context I enter, then, to use the Gear S3. I have a Gear S2 that you used sporadically, so I never delved much into Tizen – the operating system that Samsung uses in these smartwatches. It seems to me a wise decision to avoid Android Wear, since it is an operating system with which even Google does not seem to know what to do. Android Wear 2.0 has been a disappointment and worsened usability, and the platform seems semi-abandoned.
Having the luxury of having its own operating system gives Samsung enough freedom in the construction of the Gear S3, and therefore, It is one of the most intuitive watches we have on the market. My preference is for watches with square screens because, in the end, a smartwatch is finally a screen where we read text, and for text, a round screen does not make much sense. But Samsung knows how to make the most of its round screen by using the dial around it as a navigation element. This struck me as a genius on the Gear S2 and now that I am using it more with the Gear S3, it is extremely convenient. Navigating through menus and options is much easier, since I just have to turn the dial that surrounds the screen. I don't have to be covering the screen with my finger, allowing me to read the displayed information without problems.
The entire navigation and usage interface is tied to this rotating bezel, and therefore, it is a rather intuitive experience. Navigating through menus requires that we turn the bezel to the right or left, and the same is true for moving between messages. The display is also excellent, with an AMOLED panel with a 360 x 360 resolution that, even in the sun, looks quite good.
What surprised me was its weight and size; it is definitely bigger than the Gear S2. This is due not only to the larger battery (which supposedly lasts 3-4 days), but because one of the most outstanding things about this watch compared to the Gear S2, is that it has a built-in GPS. Yes, Apple also does it with its Series 2 and Series 3, but it is great to see it in an alternative for Android. Having a GPS built into the watch means that we can go running without having to carry our phone with us.
And speaking of leaving the phone, Another pleasant surprise was to see that Spotify has an App for the Gear S3, which we can use without the watch! Just as they read it! We can listen to all our playlists from the clock, download playlists and keep them offline from the clock, without having to have the phone nearby! This It means that we can pair Bluetooth headphones to the watch, put on our exercise clothes and go running with the watch, nothing more! The Gear S3 will be in charge of mapping our route with the GPS, and with Spotify Offline, we will be able to listen to our favorite playlists without an internet connection .
Yes, my first impressions are definitely very positive. It is a powerful watch, full of possibilities, to be explored for the next few days. And be a breath of fresh air after so many years with the Apple Watch