Samsung's Gear S3 was unveiled in late 2016, and it quickly became one of our favorite smartwatches. Slightly bigger than its Gear S2 predecessor, it has battery life for days and a great circular rotating bezel that, in the context of wrist watches, makes a lot of sense. But at $349, it was also an expensive proposition.
Now, 5 months after its debut, the Gear S3 Classic and Frontier have dropped to $299 for a limited time, which puts the series in better standing with the latest run of Android Wear devices, as well as the Apple Watch. In his review, Andrew Martonik said that it's worth the price if you love doing a lot on your wrist instead of your phone:
The Gear S3's hardware and design is great, so long as you can deal with the size of it. Its display and always-on watch faces are top notch. Notifications fully sync with your phone, keeping the bigger device in your pocket more often. S Health fitness tracking is good for casual observation of your activity throughout the hours you have a watch on. Samsung Pay is a fantastic technology, and is truly useful for quick purchases on the go.
Does it all add up to a smartwatch experience that's worth $349 and potentially $10 more per month on top of that for LTE? Well right off the top, I'd say skip the LTE if you're considering a Gear S3 — there just isn't enough there to justify the price. But when it comes to buying the standalone watch, that's a tougher decision. If you've already made the decision that $300+ is an acceptable price for a smartwatch, the Gear S3 is worth looking at for all of its redeeming qualities. For others who may not have spent much more than $349 on their phone itself, it's a tougher sell — the Gear S3 is nice, but when you consider what you'll actually use it for, it'll be hard to spend the money. You may just land on buying last year's Gear S2 or a fitness-focused Gear Fit 2 for far less money and end up being much happier.
Now that the watch is $50 cheaper, it may be an easier sell. The new price should be reflected at all major retailers, including Best Buy and Amazon. It also looks like the Gear S2 has been discounted a further $50 to $199, which is an even better deal if you're looking for a similar smartwatch with a smaller footprint.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
A few good Kindle books can help you get through these tough times
One of my favorite pastimes in good times or bad is to curl up on the sofa with a good book, preferably on my Amazon Kindle. Here are some of the stories that have been distracting me over the past few weeks of lockdown and social isolation.
Top 6 things Google needs to add to Chrome OS to compete with Windows
Chrome OS has gotten pretty good in recent years — especially for tablets and touchscreens — but there’s always room to improve. Here’s my wishlist for my favorite lightweight laptop ecosystem.
Amazon Echo Frames review: Alexa comes for your eyes and ears
When I reviewed the Amazon Echo Buds in late 2019, I commented that they were a solid first attempt to help get Alexa out of the house and make her more useful on the go. The Echo Frames, which were announced at the same time as the Echo Buds, are the latest of Alexa's steps into the wider world. I'll tell you what I thought of them after my first few days with them.
These are the best screen protectors for the Gear S3
Whether you plan to wear your Gear S3 on outdoor hikes or around the office, there’s always a risk of the screen getting banged up. Fortunately, a screen protector can help!