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Samsung Gear S3 review – the results are in

The Samsung Gear S3 aims to achieve the ultimate combination of style and performance. It looks great, but how did it perform in our in-depth tests?

When it comes to buying a smartwatch, there are an increasing number of models to choose from. Many manufacturers, including Apple, have upped the ante when it comes to design, features and battery life, too. Can the Gear S3 match up, and does it improve on the Gear S2?

Read on as we take a closer look, and reveal exactly how big a challenge the Gear S3 faced in our tough smartwatch testing.

Just want to find out the full results? Head over to the Samsung Gear S3 review.

Samsung Gear S3 vs Samsung Gear S2

Maybe you’ve already got the Gear S2 and are wondering whether to upgrade your smartwatch, or you’re simply trying to decide between the two.

The latest Samsung device is available in two versions, just like its predecessor the Gear S2. The Classic has a traditional watch-type design, while the Frontier has a rugged look that’s designed for ‘exploration’, according to Samsung. Both versions cost a fairly hefty £349. The Gear S2 is £100 less at £249.

Design wise, both have a circular display and a rotating bezel for scrolling through menus. Both look good, but the Gear S3 just nudges it for style. Diagonally across, the screen of the Classic including the bezel is more than a centimetre larger than the Samsung Gear S2. Is that extra bulk unnecessary, or does it make the display easier to see and interact with? We’ve rated both devices for ease of use and obtrusiveness in our full reviews.

When it comes to features, the Samsung Gear S3 is streets ahead on paper. Both S3 versions have built-in GPS as standard, giving you freedom from your smartphone. And Samsung claims the Gear S3 will get four days of battery life per charge – an extra day on the Gear S2. We put these claims to the test in our labs, so you’ll be able to see exactly which device came out on top.

How did we test the Samsung Gear S3?

Every smartwatch we test is put through its paces in our lab to see if it deserves a spot on your wrist. And we’ve had our hands on the big names, including the Apple Watch Series 2 and the Huawei Watch, so the Samsung Gear S3 has a lot to live up to.

Our test participants used the Gear S3 for several weeks, to fully assess its ease of use, comfort and obtrusiveness. They hopped on to a calibrated treadmill and walked at 4.8km/h for 10 minutes and ran 9-10km/h for 10 minutes, to check the accuracy of the tracking. And we didn’t stop there – the Gear S3 was assessed for the readability of the screen, how it handles smart notifications such as calls or emails, and the length of battery life per charge. If you want to know more about our testing, find out how we test smartwatches.

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