Samsung Galaxy Watch vs Samsung Gear S3 Frontier full review

Announced along with the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung has a new flagship smartwatch for your wrist. Here we compare the Galaxy Watch to the older Gear S3 to find out what's changed and if you should upgrade.

We're aware that the Gear Sport was a more recent launch from Samsung, but the smartwatch isn't as much of a direct rival to the Galaxy Watch so we're focussing on the Gear S3 here. You can also see how it compares to the Apple Watch Series 3 over on Macworld.

Galaxy Watch vs Gear S3: Price and availability

There's good news as the Galaxy Watch is cheaper than the Gear S3, starting at a reasonable £279/$329 for the 42mm model. If you want the larger 46mm model, then it will cost you £299/$349.

You can pre-order the Galaxy Watch which is released on 7 September and doing so will get you a free Wireless Charger Duo.

The Gear S3 was £349 at launch so pretty pricey. Since it's been around for a while you can get it a bit cheaper. The Frontier and Classic versions are £299 from Samsung and around £279 on Amazon.

Samsung Galaxy Watch

Galaxy Watch vs Gear S3: Design and build

It's hard to change the design of a watch to make it look that different so it's not really a huge surprise that the Galaxy Watch has a very similar appearance to the Gear S3.

Samsung has perfected the combination of a round screen with a rotating bezel around it which is used for navigation. It makes watches that can't do it seem very inferior.

The big change this time is that the Galaxy Watch comes in two sizes so if the 46mm option is too big then those with more dainty wrists can opt for the 42mm. It doesn't sound like much but does make a difference.

You can expect excellent build quality once again and the watches are matched with IP68 waterproofing.

Gear S3

It's a shame that the Galaxy Watch doesn't come with an option like the S3 Classic with a leather strap. Both sizes have interchangeable straps, though, so you can buy one if you like.

Galaxy Watch vs Gear S3: Specs and features

As mentioned, the Galaxy Watch comes in a smaller size, so you'll get a 1.2in screen compared to the usual 1.3in. Not a difference at all on a phone, but on a watch it is.

The trouble with the smaller model is the lack of space for a battery, so it's 270mAh compared to the 470mAh on the larger model. The Gear S3 is in the middle at 380mAh.

So if you want the best battery life possible then go for the larger Galaxy Watch. Samsung says it will last up to a week.

Galaxy Watch 46mm

Specs across the watches don't really differ much, although the Galaxy Watch has a newer Eynos 9110 processor. You probably won't notice a difference in performance though.

With any watch you get decent connectivity (LTE optional) and features like NFC for Samsung Pay, GPS and wireless charging .

See below for the Galaxy Watch specs:

Specifications 46mm Galaxy Watch (Silver) 42mm Galaxy Watch (Midnight Black/Rose Gold)
Display 1.3in Super AMOLED (360x360) AOD, Gorilla Glass DX+ 1.2in Super AMOLED (360x360) AOD, Gorilla Glass DX+
Dimensions 46x49x13mm 41.9x45.7x12.7mm
Weight 63g (without strap) 49g (without strap)
Strap 22mm (interchangeable) 20mm (interchangeable)
Battery 472mAh 270mAh
AP Exynos 9110 Dual-Core 1.15GHz
OS Tizen-based Wearable OS 4.0
Storage 4GB
Memory 768MB (Bluetooth); 1.5G (LTE)
Connectivity 3G/4G; Bluetooth 4.2; 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi; NFC; A-GPS/GLONASS
Sensor Accelerometer; Gyro; Barometer; Heart-Rate Monitor; Ambient Light
Charge WPC-based wireless charging
Durability 5ATM + IP68, MIL-STD-810G
Compatibility Android 5.0+; iPhone 5+ running iOS 9.0+


Samsung Gear S3 Frontier: Specs

  • 1.3” Circular Super AMOLED
  • 360 x 360, 278ppi
  • Full Color Always On Display
  • Corning® Gorilla® Glass SR+
  • Dual core 1.0 GHz
  • Tizen Based Wearable Platform 2.3.2
  • 46 x 49 x 12.9
  • 62g (without band)
  • Strap 22mm
  • 4GB Internal memory, 768MB RAM
  • Bluetooth® 4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • NFC, MST, A-GPS/Glonass
  • Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer, HRM, Ambient light
  • 380mAh
  • Wireless charging (WPC Inductive)
  • IP68 water & dust resistance

Samsung Galaxy Watch: Specs

  • 1.2 or 1.3in 360 x 360 Circular Super AMOLED
  • Full Color Always On Display
  • Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX+
  • Dual core 1.15GHz Exynos 9110
  • Tizen Based Wearable OS 4.0
  • 41.9x45.7x12.7mm or 46x49x13mm
  • 49g or 62g (without band)
  • Strap 20mm or 22mm
  • 4GB Internal memory, 768MB RAM, 1.5GB 4g version
  • Bluetooth® 4.2, Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • NFC, MST, A-GPS/Glonass
  • Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer, HRM, Ambient light
  • 270mAh or 472mAh
  • Wireless charging (WPC Inductive)
  • IP68 and 5ATM

Best prices today: Samsung Galaxy Watch

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