VERDICT & RATING
The Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Frontier smartwatch models earn a rating in this review of 7.5 out of 10. Before the introduction of the Apple Watch Series 2, the Gear S3 might have earned an 8. However, the recent forceful entry of major Apple Watch upgrades to its CPU, GPU, and display, as well as its new GPS chip and associated new fitness and activity tracking capabilities, the latest WatchOS upgrade to version 3, and the new Apple Watch 2 case material of the future (the zirconia ceramic Edition model) all conspire to place the Samsung Gear S3 into a real pickle, actually more like a baseball pickle hotbox, if you will.
And this, folks, is the very definition of being stuck in a baseball pickle hotbox, stranded between two strong competitors squeezing your position like a vice grip, with very little in the way of maneuvers to land safely at the next base.
Stranded between the double digit percentage compound annual growth platforms of the Apple Watch and the Android platform, how can the Samsung Gear S3 — a fine product, yes, I grant you — work its way outta this pickle and make its way aggressively and safely to home base? (Note: Baseball language is permitted here considering that the playoffs and World Series are just around the corner.)
Unless and until the Samsung Gear S3 infuses half a dozen major new technology upgrades to the upcoming Gear S smartwatch family (S4?, in 2017?), the introduction of the Gear S3 in 2016 will be noted as the point in time when the tide of the smartwatch war turned against Samsung and the innovative future win-win opportunity the Gear S2 once marked out with great promise for smartwatch users worldwide.
Apparently, one can only imagine a dream world in which the appeal of a traditional, natural, and intuitive circular watch face, an easy peasy circular ‘bezel from heaven’ user experience, and all of the extreme hardware horsepower and technology features of the Apple Watch Series 2 with AirPods (smart earbuds) are all combined into one world-beating smartwatch of which Steve Jobs would be proud.
Alas, of the follies of men and machines – suboptimal solutions for all, from all smartwatch competitors, . . . whence mere mortals cry for top shelf solutions to our smart wrist issues and challenges!
Peeps, in the global smartwatch war, there is no popular phrase that says, “Go square or go home.” At least we can give credit to Samsung for getting the circular smartwatch design experience correct.
That said, on most accounts, the Gear S3 disappoints and can be considered a swing and a miss upgrade effort, except for those consumers for whom the Classic and Frontier models directly appeal, which is a very limited portion of the global smartwatch market.