In Short

Samsung's Gear S3 is the company's top-end wearable for 2016 and a follow-up to 2015's Gear S2. Just like last year there are two different versions of the Gear S3, the Frontier and Classic, with identical specs and capabilities but different designs. The Gear S3 Frontier is the more masculine of the two, with a dark gunmetal finish and more military-like gnarled bezel. The Gear S3 Classic is very similar to its predecessor the S2 Classic, with a simpler two-tone silver finish and more basic bezel.

The differences really are just skin deep, though. Both are quite large — much larger than the Gear S2 — with a 1.3-inch circular display inside a case that measures 46 mm across and 13 mm thick. That makes room for a bigger battery with considerably longer battery life than before, but also makes the watches a bit less compatible with smaller wrists (to say nothing of the male-skewed design of both watches).

There's also an LTE version of the Gear S3 Frontier available, which unlike last year isn't any larger or thicker than the standard version. With the onboard LTE radio (and requisite monthly service from your carrier), the Gear S3 Frontier LTE can work independently of your phone, including make and receive calls, stream media and use standalone apps.

The Gear S3 runs Samsung's own Tizen wearable platform rather than the competition Android Wear watches, and that means Samsung has tweaked and added plenty of features. The latest version builds on what was a strong showing on the Gear S2, focusing on using the rotating bezel as a primary input method rather than swiping across the small screen. The operating system gives you tons of features from fitness to productivity, and can also install full apps directly on the watch.

You can use a Gear S3 with any Android phone running Android 4.4 and above, though the integration with certain apps and services is a bit more polished when you sync up to a new Samsung phone.